On Obama’s Silence on Iran

Ken AshfordIranLeave a Comment

This is typical of the rightwing reaction to what's happening in Iran — Bill Kristol: This isn’t September 1939. But the developments in Tehran are a potentially big moment, signaling the possible transformation or at least reformation of the Iranian regime. American principles and American interests argue for support of the Iranian people in this crisis. And where is the … Read More

Iranian Election Tragedy

Ken AshfordIranLeave a Comment

It's all a little hard to digest, so I don't have much to say.  One really hoped for a non-fraudulent election there, with the popular pro-reform candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi emerging victorious, but it really looks like something odd and unsavory occurred. (For example, Mousavi was leading Ahmadinejad by 2 to 1 in Tehran in a poll last week, but … Read More

Not Funny

Ken AshfordElection 2008, IranLeave a Comment

John McCain once again "jokes" about his desire to kill Iranians.  And he’s not talking about the Iranian military or anything — he’s joking about killing Iranians. I guess that’s good red meat for the conservative masses, but the targets of McCain’s blood lust "joke" are ordinary Iranian civilians. I know it’s easy to think of Iran has some sandy … Read More

Fallon Out; War With Iran In?

Ken AshfordBreaking News, IranLeave a Comment

In a recent article in Esquire, CENTCOM Commander Adm. William "Fox" Fallon openly criticized the idea of a possible war with Iran, which Fallon called an "ill-advised action".  Fallon implied that he would resign rather than go to war against Iran.  (Fallon is not alone on this; most military leaders are opposed to war with Iran). Breaking news out of … Read More

Lying Or Incompetent?

Ken AshfordIranLeave a Comment

Joe Biden, on the President’s line that he wasn’t briefed on the new Iran NIE until last week: “Are you telling me a president who is briefed every single morning, who is fixated on Iran, is not told back in August that the tentative conclusion of 16 intelligence agencies in the United States government said they had abandoned their effort … Read More

Omnibus Post Because Frankly My Plate Is Full

Ken AshfordElection 2008, Godstuff, Iran, Local Interest, Sex Scandals, TheatreLeave a Comment

Ugh.  So much to discuss: (1)  White House egg-on-the-face: After months of beating the war drums to invade Iraq, it turns out that Iran doesn’t have a nuclear bomb program after all.  As Matt says: "Meanwhile, how outrageous is it that the best twelve months of alarmism from Bush & Cheney have come in the context of an environment where … Read More

Moving To The Iran Desk

Ken AshfordIranLeave a Comment

Sy Hersh in the New Yorker about the administration’s Iran plans: I was repeatedly cautioned, in interviews, that the President has yet to issue the “execute order” that would be required for a military operation inside Iran, and such an order may never be issued. But there has been a significant increase in the tempo of attack planning. In mid-August, … Read More

Nuke Iran?

Ken AshfordIranLeave a Comment

The story about how the Air Force "lost" five nuclear warheads (for a while) has an interesting and unnerving twist: Why the hubbub over a B-52 taking off from a B-52 base in Minot, North Dakota and subsequently landing at a B-52 base in Barksdale, Louisiana? That’s like getting excited if you see a postal worker in uniform walking out … Read More

Just Call Them Terrorists…

Ken AshfordIran3 Comments

This can’t be good: Iranian Unit to Be Labeled  ‘Terrorist’ U.S. Moving Against  Revolutionary Guard By Robin Wright Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, August 15, 2007; A01 The United States has decided to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, the country’s 125,000-strong elite military branch, as a "specially designated global terrorist," according to U.S. officials, a move that allows Washington to … Read More

Let Me See If I Get This Straight

Ken AshfordBush & Co., Corporate Greed, Iran, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

Let’s get a timeline: In 1995, Clinton cuts off all trade and investment with Iran.  U.S. companies were no longer able to do business with Iran. After that announcement, Halliburton decided that business with Iran, then conducted through at least five companies, would all be done through a subsidiary incorporated in the Cayman Islands.  This way, Halliburton could skirt around … Read More

The Iran Debate

Ken AshfordIranLeave a Comment

I second Publius’ well-thought-out critique of the "credible threat" tactic we are imposing on Iran.  Publius’ point, in a nutshell, is that by publicly insisting that we are keeping all our options open with respect to Iran — particular the invasion option — we are encouraging Iran to seek deterrent weapons (i.e., nuclear weapons), not discouraging them. The impetus to … Read More

Is The Whole “Surge” Plan A Set-Up?

Ken AshfordIranLeave a Comment

Andrew Sullivan wonders: This paragraph, buried by the NYT, leapt out at me this morning: A Shiite political leader who has worked closely with the Americans in the past said the Bush benchmarks appeared to have been drawn up in the expectation that Mr. Maliki would not meet them. "He cannot deliver the disarming of the militias," the politician said, … Read More

The Truth Shall [Redacted] Set You Free

Ken AshfordIranLeave a Comment

This is astounding. The White House censored an New York Times editorial, telling the Times to redact certain portions.  The censored portions do not contain classified information.  The White House, it seemed, just didn’t like it. (The redacted version of the op-ed is here.) It should be noted that the CIA normally does these type of things, not the White … Read More

Iran: The New Fake Boogeyman

Ken AshfordIranLeave a Comment

Here we go again. Last month, the GOP-run House Intelligence Committee released a report on Iran.  The report was not voted on by the full committee. Its message?  "Ooooooh, they’re about to bomb us with a nuke!" It got a LOT of play in the press. Surprise! It’s a fraud! U.N. inspectors investigating Iran’s nuclear program angrily complained to the … Read More

Still Alive

Ken AshfordIranLeave a Comment

We were all supposed to die yesterday.  Did you know that? Here’s a list of gloom-and-doom articles from the right-wing press, foretelling that August 22 was the day in which Iran would wreak nuclear kick-ass on all us Westerners (or, at least, Israelis). Wall Street Journal: August 22 World News Daily: Iran Cataclysm Forecast Aug. 22 FrontPageMag: Iran’s Day of … Read More