Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I've been away from the blog for a little while due to a couple factors. The wife and I are moving across town this Friday, so we've been packing up and what not. Also, I was getting my political rocks off on the forum of the Hattiesburg American.
But the action there has really died down, and I'd been meaning to get back to blogging here at Left-Handed Leftist.

So the rest of this post is culled from a thread I started on the Hattiesburg American forum here. I really want to try to keep up with this...

Pre-Iran War Period?

08/24/06 at 21:27:53 If, as many seem to think, we are currently experiencing what we will later call "the runup to the Iran War," let's take it upon ourselves now to note what is being said by the intelligence community, by the
administration, by the pundits, by the rest of the world, by the Hattiesburg
American, by the left, by the right, etc.

In other words, let's document the sales pitch for the Iran War as it's being
given. Then we won't have to argue later about who said what, what reasons
were given by whom--we will have been actively talking about it all along.

Then, once we (hopefully don't) go to war with Iran--in one way or another--
we'll compare what they say during and after "major combat operations" in Iran with
what they tried to get us to believe beforehand. Then maybe it'll be easier for us to tell who's full of it and who's actually got some sense.

My First Contribution

So let me make my first contribution...

In August 2005, Iran was judged by the consensus of the intelligence
community to be a decade away from having a nuclear weapon.

A year later--this week--the House intelligence committee releases a report
saying that they don't know enough about Iran--there are "significant gaps
in our knowledge and understanding of the various areas of concern about
Iran," in the language of the report.

Even so, the U.S. is right now threatening sanctions against Iran if Iran won't stop
enriching uranium, which they say they are doing for peaceful purposes.

Iran has already pretty much rejected an offer of mostly unknown "incentives" to stop enriching uranium.

Despite the fact that our own government admits we don't know much about Iran, but that we are pretty sure that they're at least a decade away from a nuclear weapon, we are still threatening them with sanctions. Given these facts, it is safe to assume that Iran is not the slightest threat to the United States and that our aggressive stance is not making us any friends.

Unless the real "area of concern," not discussed much by our representatives or the media, is that Iran is opening up their own oil bourse (they're taking their time) which will trade in euros rather than dollars, a scenario that may eventually weaken or supplant the dollar's position as the world reserve currency that makes our current record deficit spending possible.

Here's the part I wanted to keep with and add to day by day:

Wanted to add a couple things to the discussion about what we know about
Iran and our dealings with them and vice versa here in the pre-Iran War

1. "In 2003, U.S. Spurned Iran's Offer of Dialogue"

Quote: "Just after the lightning takeover of Baghdad by U.S. forces three years ago, an unusual two-page document spewed out of a fax machine at the Near East bureau of the State Department. It was a proposal from Iran for a broad dialogue with the United States, and the fax suggested everything was on the table -- including full cooperation on nuclear programs, acceptance of Israel and the termination of Iranian support for Palestinian militant groups.
But top Bush administration officials, convinced the Iranian government was on the verge of collapse, belittled the initiative. Instead, they formally complained to the Swiss ambassador who had sent the fax with a cover letter certifying it as a genuine proposal supported by key power centers in Iran, former administration officials said.

2. "Iran opens nuclear reactor, defying U.N. "
The reactor won't be finished until 2009.

So what do we know so far?

-Iran is a signatory of the nonproliferation treaty; Israel, India, and Pakistan are not.
-CIA gives Iran flawed nuke plans in 2000 (Operation Merlin, "State Of War" by James Risen)
-Iran offered to talk in 2003, we turned them down.
-In 2005, our intel deemed Iran to be 10 years away from a nuke.
-Iran supports Hezbollah; we support Israel.
-Iran says enrichment is for peace, we say it's for war.
-Pentagon says Iran is helping Iraqi insurgents.
-House Intel Committee says we don't know very much about Iran.
-Iran turns down US/EU offer of "incentives" for halting enrichment but says
it still wants negotiations.

Anybody have anything to add/dispute/correct? If not, does any of this sound like a good casus belli for a war/military confrontation with Iran? I would argue in the negative.

And that was the last post on that thread...nobody was interested after that. At least they haven't been in several days.

And now comes the news that Iran is being given until tomorrow to stop uranium enrichment...which they say they will not do because they aver correctly that it is within their rights to develop nuclear energy for civilian use...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Here's what I posted on the forum of my local paper on Aug. 10:

It is very likely that news of this latest "foiled terror plot" is just designed to take the oxygen out of the fire that is the Lamont victory and the news that 60% of the country thinks the Iraq occupation is/was a mistake.

I'm almost certain that in a couple of weeks, there will be a small item published about how the Brits got it all wrong regarding this supposed "terror plot"--that it was all just a mix-up. But that won't be splashed across the front pages of every news outlet like this story is.

There's already been an example of that scenario playing out--almost exactly a year ago. After the 7/7 bombings last year, it was big news that the British police shot and killed a suspect in those attacks. It was reported widely that he was running from the police, that he jumped the turnstile at the Tube, and that he was wearing a big bulky coat.

It turned out that none of those things were true. He was simply a 27-year-old Brazilian electrician. But that was not trumpeted nearly as widely as was the news that the Brits had bagged a "terrorist." And the British police didn't admit their mistake until two to three weeks later (at least they did admit it).

And I have a feeling that something similar will come out about this most recent story.

It now looks as if this is coming's a quote from the World Socialist Web
Site that synthesizes the info coming from more mainstream, gullible publications:

"It this case, it transpires that not only were no bombs actually assembled, but none of the British-born Muslims being held had purchased airline tickets, and some did not even possess passports. Despite a massive trawling operation by police involving days of extensive searches at 46 separate locations, no trace has been found of chemicals that were supposedly to be used as explosives."

Scotland Yard has nothing on these guys. Why? Well Wayne Madsen clears that up for us (at this link, scroll down to Aug.11):

"According to knowledgeable sources in the UK and other countries, the Tony Blair government, under siege by a Labor Party revolt, cleverly cooked up a new "terror" scare to avert the public's eyes away from Blair's increasing political woes. British law enforcement; neo-con and intelligence operatives in the United States, Israel, and Britain; and Rupert Murdoch's global media empire cooked up the terrorist plot, liberally borrowing from the failed 1995 "Oplan Bojinka" plot by Pakistan- and Philippines-based terrorist Ramzi Ahmad Yousef to crash 11 trans-Pacific airliners bound from Asia to the United States. In the latest plot, it is reported that liquid bombs were to be detonated on 10 trans-Atlantic planes outbound from Britain to the United States."

Being right rules. Being right-wing does not.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Looking at the new carry-on policy over at United Airlines today, a thought occurred to me: is urine allowed on a plane? Is it possible that a "liquid explosive" could be drunk before take-off then collected through urination in-flight (in the rest room, of course)? Are bladders allowed on airplanes now?

Israel Given Go Ahead To Attack Lebanon "Earlier This Summer"

From the New Yorker:

"Earlier this summer, before the Hezbolla kidnappings, the U.S. government consultant said, several Israeli officials visited Washington separately, "to get a green light for the bombing operation and to find out how much the United States would bear." The consultant added, "Israel began with Cheney. It wanted to be sure that it had his support and the support of his office and the Middle East desk of the National Security Council." After that, "persuading Bush was never a problem, and Condi Rice was on board," the consultant said."

That makes me wonder even more about something that occurred to me recently, which is this--were two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by actual Hezbollah people or by friendlies posing as Hezbollah? Because the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers is an awfully slim pretext for the kind of bombing campaign that Israel waged against southern Lebanon.

And then there's the fact that Bush didn't want an immediate cease-fire--he wanted "a lasting peace." That was a very strange position to take given the ferocity of the bombing campaign, which horrified most observers. Probably because they weren't in on it like Bush apparently was. Hmmm...and then there's the expedited shipments of bunker busters and cluster bombs and what not...

Whoops, no...I guess not

But now that I read more, I see that Nasrallah took credit for the kidnappings, so I guess that blows that theory out of the water. But the whole thing about this campaign being planned already and asking for Bush's permission and what not...I have absolutely no evidence or anything for my little baseless theory, but everything about this just seems fishy.

I mean, I hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but good Lord--stranger things have happened...