You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

February 03, 2007

Nothing But Iran

Back on November 8th last year I surmised the election results would make Bush far less likely to attack Iran. Turns out I was—how you say?—UNBELIEVABLY WRONG.

So I'm thinking I may make this site all-Iran-all-the-time for the next few months. My favorite coping strategy for massive anxiety is to learn as much as possible about the source of the while this would make no difference in the outside world, it might improve the weather inside my head.

To kick things off, here's my favorite passage from the recent New Republic article titled "Yossi Klein Halevi and Michael B. Oren Are Dangerously Insane and Must Be Stopped" by Yossi Klein Halevi and Michael B. Oren:

Defense experts downplay the possibility of secret facilities unknown to Western intelligence agencies. "If we can locate a suicide bomber as he moves from place to place, then we know how to locate static targets, even deep underground," says the former defense official. Nor are those facilities as impenetrable as some foreign news reports suggest. Noted Yuval Steinitz, former chairman of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee: "The Iranians are signaling us that the nuclear project is vulnerable. Whoever spends several billion dollars just for anti-aircraft systems around nuclear sites is saying that those sites are vulnerable. There would be no need to invest those sums if their bunkers were deep enough [to avoid an air strike]."

Right. When countries are being openly threatened with a massive aerial attack by extremely powerful nations that refuse to rule out the use of nuclear weapons, they will naturally eschew anti-aircraft systems. Any deviation from this standard, normal behavior is extremely significant and tells us something important.

Posted at February 3, 2007 12:38 PM | TrackBack

Join the crowd, I thought it would be last summer, but TOO MANY PEOPLE pitched a bitch about Iran invasion and, THANK GOD, ruined my prediction.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 3, 2007 01:33 PM

For god's sake (or, GOD'S SAKE, if your name is Meyer), tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday and you're carrying on about pugnacious Persians and jumpy Jews. So, whther it's football or foreign relations, bombs away is the American way. Get with the program.
I say: the Green Bay Packers by three goals.

Posted by: donescobar at February 3, 2007 02:50 PM

He gets a lot of grief from liberal bloggers, but Thomas Friedman wrote a good piece on Wednesday pointing out why we can and should pursue diplomacy with Iran. He did a lot to dispute the "crazy Iranians" view that too many Americans have, and even went so far as to say that settling the US-Iran dispute would do more to stabilize the region than settling the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

Does anyone know how it can be viewed without being a subscriber to the TimesSelect service?

Posted by: Whistler Blue at February 3, 2007 02:54 PM

"He gets a lot of grief from liberal bloggers,"

As well he should. Even a stopped clock can be right twice a day, so if you write a couple of columns a week for many years you might type something sensible once in a while--maybe a cat walks across the keyboard or something. There's no one alive more overrated than Tom Friedman--as the leading bloviator on globalization in the 90's he totally missed the facts that led Joseph Stiglitz to say that antiglobalization protestors were partly right. Even Krugman has come around on that, though in the 90's he and Friedman took turns bashing the puppet-carrying protestors. And did the great friend of free trade notice that there were millions of people dying of disease who might need more than IMF austerity measures? Nope.

His other great area of expertise? The Middle East. So he lies about what happened at Camp David and supports the invasion of Iraq.

But he did say something sensible about Iran in this column. However, being Friedman, he can't stop there, but has to mix in the usual Friedmanesque crap. Friedman's comment about the I/P conflict taking a back seat is, first, a slap at Jimmy Carter and second, a not-so-subtle way of saying that the reason there isn't peace in the I/P conflict is because Iran supports Hezbollah and Hamas. In other words, the US and Israel are trying the best they can to come to a just solution, but Iran is standing in the way.

Posted by: at February 3, 2007 03:23 PM

Whistler, just google a phrase from it every now and then. Some masochist will eventually post the whole thing. Meanwhile, I'm broke and for less than half the price of Times Select, I'm willing to take a rubber mallet to the head of anyone possessed of an uncontrollable urge to read Friedman. Less damage and more affordable.

Posted by: weldon berger at February 3, 2007 06:55 PM

If you do decide to go "all Iran all the time" let me know if I can help. There's a ton of info out there about the imminence of an attack on Iraq.

Hell, there's a ton of info just from the PNAC and AEI folks.

Posted by: SPIIDERWEB™ at February 3, 2007 07:13 PM

The war drums are beating harder now because the AIPAC-PNAC-AEI nexus realizes that this is their best opportunity to destabilize the entire middle east. Dumbya doesn't need much (if any) prompting to launch a catastrophic attack against Iran. With the glaring exception of H. Clinton, all probable presidential successors will be a much harder sell. AIPAC wants the middle east reduced to chaos and would rather not wait another 4-8 years if it can possibly avoid it.

Posted by: turkey turkey turkey at February 3, 2007 08:27 PM

I think I can pinpoint the moment I became convinced war on Iran is on. It was somewhere between 12:20 and 12:45 on Monday, January 29, standing in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building, listening to a very junior aide of John Warner's trying to pooh-pooh concerns about an Iran war as "conspiracy theory," and then in the next breath blaming Iran for our troubles in Iraq.

Uh huh.

Posted by: Nell at February 3, 2007 08:41 PM

You guys think so small. Who cares if we bomb Iran? The interesting question is, Which country do we bomb next and next and next?

There are about 200 countries in the world, 199 of which HATE America and MUST be bombed! Actually make that 199.5 because the US of A has been a little self-hating lately.

Now think of the axis of the evil as the top 3 america haters. Once you bomb them, then you get another top 3, and so on.

As I argued brilliantly in my last appearance before AIPAC, Ireland and Israel are next in line after Iran. How do I know that? Brains, my friend: brains. Iraq, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica.. (Geez, even the CIA could figure out that one.)

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at February 3, 2007 09:44 PM

Jesus Christ on a crossbow, just when I'm beginning to think New Republic can't get any more vile, they prove me wrong. They're not content to just insult our intelligence, they have to slander it.

Posted by: Paul Avery at February 3, 2007 11:11 PM

There's a hole in Halliburton's arm
Where the money goes
And that's their oil in Iran
Everybody knows

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 4, 2007 03:12 AM

They're going to wait until March 9th, the opening of Frank Miller's 'The 300'. Cross marketing.

Posted by: Lloyd at February 4, 2007 07:34 AM

Whistler Blue - If I wanted to read Tom Friedman, the work-around I could use would be my public library, which not only has the NY Times on hand physically, but also has electronic access to it once I've signed in from home. Maybe your own public library has something similar.

I don't do this, because jurassic pork at posts the Times Select columnists who are [in my limited perspective] actually worth reading - e.g. Krugman, Bob Herbert, Frank Rich.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at February 4, 2007 08:23 AM