Teheran Victory and NIE Assumptions

Training Iraqi insurgents? Check.
Providing military hardware? Check.
Giving cover to Shi’ite extremists when folks come a’knockin’ at their door? Yup.
Nuke-u-lar bomb makers? Sez who?

The National Intelligence Estimate, released yesterday, provided fodder for almost every point of view in the Iran discussion. Almost all these compass points, however, are belaboring under self-imposed delusions.

The President and his sycophants showcased it as a success of their pressure, even though National Intelligence Estimate dates Iran’s cessation of activities to 2003, when the biggest threat was not a direct one to Iran, but a ‘flinch,’ in all probability, to the invasion of Iraq. I guess technically Bush is correct — but we can’t be in a constant state of war with Iran’s neighbors to expect good behavior from them.

Iran, of course, heralded this as a victory against the United States. But they probably heralded the insane Omaha mall killer as a strike against fascist Amerika, so his pronouncements are probably not worth heralding. This is also a great coup for them on the military front, since it deflects, in the fickle, ADD media world, Iran’s huge investment in destabilizing Afghanistan and arming and training Iraqi militants. So long as it’s not nuclear, it doesn’t count!

Bloggers, always keen to have fun, have added this to the list of reasons not to live in America. Silly, but accurate as far as it goes. America is imponderably puzzling to non-residents; it’s local, State and Federal laws ebbing, flowing and conflicting in an amazing, unpredictable rhythm.

Serious analysts have bemoaned America’s foreign policy towards Iran since before the uprising against the Shah. They are right in their plaints; Iran has been interfered with as long as every other country in the Middle East: since the fall of the Ottoman Empire to the Infidel British.

The reality is that Iran is playing the spoiler in many fronts: Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Where it can’t win, it can disrupt. Where it can’t disrupt, it can foment. And it will not change its stripes until the people, heretofore subdued, subjugated and scared into silence, raise their democratic voices and bring reason and logic, for which Persians have been known for millenia, back to their part of the Middle East.

More of the Same (when will it end?)

On one hand, Hizb’Allah rearms. Syria gets Russian missile systems so new even the Russian Army hasn’t received them for deployment. Hamas continues its pacification of the Gaza Strip, creating the path-of-no-return that American advisor Karl Rove so wanted to make, and failed, for his party.

On the other hand Israeli ministers continue to be put under criminal investigation for abuse of power, removing PLO terrorists from their wanted lists to appease the weak moderates in the West Bank, and continuing to pay a bare lip service in reining back Israeli fanatic ultra-nationalists, who get away with abuse and assault on Israeli soldiers and police at best, and foment insurrection within the ranks of the military at worst.

It’s true that the West has never learned how to truly deal with the Middle East (it’s much easier to work with a despot than a democracy in that part of the world). But Israel, with a population steeped in all the world’s cultures, has shown not to be the ‘light to the nations’ as it was charged in the bible, but yet another corrupt and in many cases morally bankrupt entity.

Perhaps. But Israel has not stooped to commit the evils proclaimed by many of its neighbors (and carried out by them). And Israeli’s as a people, have never stopped striving to embrace the idea that fixing the world is a core belief. Even if that requires overcoming the internal inertia that is modern Israel.

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Puppet Journalism

When Nasrallah speaks, the world listens, even if he speaks idiocy. “I believe Israel could have been behind [the two incidents in which Spanish and Columbian UN troops were killed].” No doubt that’s why his group is escorting UNIFIL soldiers so they’re not hit by Al-Queda IEDs.

There’s no thought to reality testing his claims, or refuting them (or even discussing them) in the article (look here). This is an example of the kind of idiot journalism that has come to symbolize this generation’s journalists. After all, if you talk back, question, or disagree with a Famous Name, at best you won’t be invited for any exclusive interviews! (At worst, it’s fatwa time!)

Yes, Israeli could have been behind the killings of the UN soldiers (no doubt it would be easier to accomplish when they take their R&R in Israel, which is where they go). Israel also could secretly be transmitting mind control signals to the Iranian President through its squirrel spies, or, equally probably, using nuclear space lasers to melt the ice caps so as to drown the Arab countries’ shoreline populations and oil terminals. Oh, please, would someone quote an unnamed former Israeli intelligence source as saying that?

We depend on journalists to report news. Idiotic babble does not rise to that level and should not be quoted. Maybe if public officials were only quoted when they made sense, they would speak more rationally (and sparingly!). On speak, but not be heard, which, all in all, isn’t a bad thing.