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February 19, 2009

"Consensus" Versus Evidence

Why has the Obama administration—including Obama himself and Secretary of State Clinton—started talking about Iran's "nuclear weapons program" even though U.S. intelligence agencies don't have any actual evidence that such a thing exists? Because the politicians have reached "consensus." Charles Davis explains.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at February 19, 2009 09:56 AM

I find Obama's language on the Middle East - his adamant support for Israel, his sly hawkishness with regard to Iran, his open militarism in Afghanistan/Pakistan - so transparently in line with American imperialism that I'm surprised anyone managed to find him a symbol of change. I suppose most people aren't looking for the kind of changes I want - they just wanted Clinton back. But, Christ, why else do we think Obama is so passive-aggressively engaging Iran? Can't be president without being a fucking oil warrior, apparently. So greedy to drink the black stuff.

Posted by: saurabh at February 19, 2009 01:49 PM

Iran-stoneage-THE answer.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 19, 2009 02:11 PM

I think "they just wanted Clinton back" is exactly right. Clinton is liberals' Reagan.

Posted by: abb1 at February 19, 2009 02:28 PM

So why did I vote Green, you might ask? Not because I was under any illusions about my choices getting into office, assuredly. I just didn't want to be constrained to mimic Lady Macbeth, wandering around the ol' castle at night trying to scrub blood off of myself. But realistically, even though I try to at least keep my conscience clear, I'm still lashed fast to the blood-drenched juggernaut of Imperial "consensus". Sometimes, I hope that the Mayans were right in their prediction that it'll all go poof in 2012. And with any luck, that it might happen before the next "election".

Posted by: JerseyJeffersonian at February 19, 2009 02:35 PM

As far as Obama is concerned, past a point he and his beliefs regarding foreign policy are irrelevant. Robert Gates is the man running the military-industrial complex. He was left behind to run that part of the shop.


Posted by: Bob In Pacifica at February 19, 2009 04:09 PM

As far as Obama is concerned, past a point he and his beliefs regarding foreign policy are irrelevant. Robert Gates is the man running the military-industrial complex. He was left behind to run that part of the shop.


Posted by: Bob In Pacifica at February 19, 2009 04:09 PM

There is something about this website that causes double posts.

Posted by: Bob In Pacifica at February 19, 2009 04:12 PM

There's an unfortunate predisposition to this mindset inside the Beltway, given the rhetoric coming out of Teheran. The Mullahs have an apparent incentive to promote uncertainty and paranoia on our part, just as Saddam wanted to be seen as a US-defying rogue even though he had long ago quietly eliminated his WMD stocks and activity. As the aftermath of the Iraq NIE proved, within the Intelligence Community there are no penalties for hyping the threat -- even rewards for doing so -- but absolutely no willingness to be seen as underestimating it.

Posted by: Ralph Hitchens at February 19, 2009 05:00 PM

Obama can't fight the Israel lobby, the banks (but I repeat myself), and the coal/oil giants all at the same time. Hopefully he's just going to continue the Bush policy of making loud noises at Iran and doing nothing. Iran can destroy the US economy with just a few torpedoes in the Straits of Hormuz and Obama knows it.

Israel is going to do it's best in the meantime to stir up enough trouble for it's neighbors as possible in the hopes of maintaining attention and funding. Ultimately the 300 million arabs will defeat the 20 million Zionists. Math is like that; no physical law says Israel has to exist in the face of overwhelming opposition.

Posted by: Pangolin at February 19, 2009 05:20 PM

Zionism, Islamism, and now Mayanism, where does it all end?

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 19, 2009 05:37 PM

Ralph Hutchens: The Mullahs have OIL and won't just give it to Exxon to sell to U&I. THAT'S ALL the uncertainty necessary.
Pangolin: UR gastank runs out on a regular basis, just like mine. AND that's why WE will always back Israel against those 300 million. Its WHY U pay those TAXES every year, so's U can keep the tank full and hearth and home safe.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 19, 2009 05:49 PM

Cites to nameless "U.S. officials" and "U.S. intelligence officials" again, I see. Did they have sacks on their heads?

Posted by: RobWeaver at February 19, 2009 08:12 PM

I like this comment over at Charles Davis' place:

They have to publicly take this stance because if they don't the Republicans in congress will have a field day declaring the administrations lack of love for America. Hopefully this is all talk and behind the scenes sanity will prevail.

Pretty much says it all, don't it?

Posted by: SteveB at February 19, 2009 10:18 PM

Agreed. Obama's hawkish positions are Chicago bluster designed only to grant political cover for perpetual inaction.

Posted by: Kyle at February 20, 2009 12:01 AM

Mike: What happens when that big gas tank won't pump anymore to all the little gas tanks? Do a little research on Peak Oil and you will see that day is fast approaching. Obama didn't go to Canada to see the trees; he's there to make sure America gets oil from the tar sands no matter what. The military umbrella that protects Israel relies on cheap oil. Besides, I got a cargo bike.

Posted by: Pangolin at February 20, 2009 02:24 AM

Contrary to what the shrill, radical, militant poopyhead Richard Dawkins says in his sequel to the Necronomicon, "The Blind Watchmaker", if the primitive tribes of Washington believe that the moon is 400ft away, IT ACTUALLY IS. How do you think we got to the moon in the 1960s? Everyone just believed really hard. It was the cynicism of the me generation that led to restriction of the space program to low earth orbit, and ultimately the Challenger disaster.

Posted by: me at February 20, 2009 08:02 AM