Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Great White Meme Returns

Moby Weapons breeches again!

Once again The New York Pravda is giving us the fair and balanced story of the virtuous virtuoso diplomat Kindasleezy Rice doin' her bestest to advocate a non-violent solution to the evildoers in Iraq. But her bestest best still somehow can't face the facts our loveable pirate of a Vice-President and his loyal office crew present: them terra'ist Iraqnis are cooking nukular no-nos in their galley, and if we don't turn and give 'em a salvo soon they'll board us!

Let's look at the lead disinformation of the morning served up for those of you who feel you must think and don't want to read about how Paris Hilton's toenails are chipping in the cooler.

Iran Strategy Stirs Debate at White House
Published: June 16, 2007

WASHINGTON, June 15 — A year after President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced a new strategy toward Iran, a behind-the-scenes debate has broken out within the administration over whether the approach has any hope of reining in Iran’s nuclear program, according to senior administration officials.

The debate has pitted Ms. Rice and her deputies, who appear to be winning so far, against the few remaining hawks inside the administration, especially those in Vice President Dick Cheney’s office who, according to some people familiar with the discussions, are pressing for greater consideration of military strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities.

In the year since Ms. Rice announced the new strategy for the United States to join forces with Europe, Russia and China to press Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment activities, Iran has installed more than a thousand centrifuges to enrich uranium. The International Atomic Energy Agency predicts that 8,000 or so could be spinning by the end of the year, if Iran surmounts its technical problems.

Those hard numbers are at the core of the debate within the administration over whether Mr. Bush should warn Iran’s leaders that he will not allow them to get beyond some yet-undefined milestones, leaving the implication that a military strike on the country’s facilities is still an option.

Even beyond its nuclear program, Iran is emerging as an increasing source of trouble for the Bush administration by inflaming the insurgencies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and in Gaza, where it has provided military and financial support to the militant Islamic group Hamas, which now controls the Gaza Strip.

Even so, friends and associates of Ms. Rice who have talked with her recently say she has increasingly moved toward the European position that the diplomatic path she has laid out is the only real option for Mr. Bush, even though it has so far failed to deter Iran from enriching uranium, and that a military strike would be disastrous...

See? We're tryin' to be nice. They just won't let us. And 8,000 gas centrifuges! By the end of the year! An' see? Kindasleezy's tryin' to be a reelist about our conventional capabilities! So if we're gonna be conventional and all she sez we have to side with those chocolate-making surrender monkeys!

It does not matter that this is not an official IAEA report to the UN or letter to Iran, but another anonymous leak. It does not matter that

* The IAEA has condemned the US over a report written by a congressional committee on the nuclear situation in Iran. The leaked report was called erroneous and misleading in a letter sent to Peter Hoekstra. Allegations in the report of why an inspector was dismissed were branded outrageous and dishonest. One unnamed western diplomat called it deja vu of the false reports made by the US administration to justify the invasion of Iraq.

* IAEA officials complain that most U.S. intelligence shared with the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency about Iran's nuclear programme proved to be inaccurate, and none has led to significant discoveries inside Iran.

* On 10 May 2007, Agence France-Presse, quoting un-named diplomats, reported that Iran had blocked IAEA inspectors when they sought access to the Iran's enrichment facility. Both Iran and the IAEA vehemently denied the report. On 11 March, 2007, Reuters quoted International Atomic Energy Agency spokesman Marc Vidricaire, "We have not been denied access at any time, including in the past few weeks. Normally we do not comment on such reports but this time we felt we had to clarify the matter...If we had a problem like that we would have to report to the (35-nation IAEA governing) board ... That has not happened because this alleged event did not take place."

It does not matter that the head of the IAEA describes the people who want to go to war with Iran on this issue as "crazies". And it doesn't help that the general level of maturity about this in the Iranian government matches the best Dear Leader brings to bear on the issue here at home.

None of these facts really matter, because, ya know, they just don't match the Truthiness that those Al Qaeda Irani SunniShiites wanna nuke us the first chance they get, so the only possible solution is to make Islamic atomic by nukin' 'em first!

But I get ahead of the yarn. Back to the Great White Whale Watch at Pravda-on-the-Hudson:

...The accounts were provided by officials at the State Department, White House and the Pentagon who are on both sides of the debate, as well as people who have spoken with members of Mr. Cheney’s staff and with Ms. Rice. The officials said they were willing to explain the thinking behind their positions, but would do so only on condition of anonymity...

There's nothing nothing like a good bisexual bipartisan party, with an equal courage of convictions or lack thereof on all sides of a sham argument.

... The issue was raised at a closed-door White House meeting recently when the departing deputy national security adviser, J. D. Crouch, told senior officials that President Bush needed an assessment of how the stalemate over Iran’s nuclear program was likely to play out over the next 18 months, said officials briefed on the meeting.

In response, R. Nicholas Burns, an under secretary of state who is the chief American strategist on Iran, told the group that negotiations with Tehran could still be going on when Mr. Bush leaves office in January 2009. The hawks in the room reported later that they were deeply unhappy — but not surprised — by Mr. Burns’s assessment, which they interpreted as a tacit acknowledgment that the Bush administration had no “red line” beyond which Iran would not be permitted to step.

But conservatives inside the administration have continued in private to press for a tougher line, making arguments that their allies outside government are voicing publicly. “Regime change or the use of force are the only available options to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapons capability, if they want it,” said John R. Bolton, the former United States ambassador to the United Nations.

Only a few weeks ago, one of Mr. Cheney’s top aides, David Wurmser, told conservative research groups and consulting firms in Washington that Mr. Cheney believed that Ms. Rice’s diplomatic strategy was failing, and that by next spring Mr. Bush might have to decide whether to take military action.

The vice president’s office has declined to talk about Mr. Wurmser’s statements, and says Mr. Cheney is fully on board with the president’s strategy...

Ah, the loyal opposition. Really, why is there need for an opposition party or even a Legistlative or Judiciary branch, when all bogus sides of a bogus issue are so thoroughly bogusly considered by the Bogarts involved?

Of course, the ultimate truthiness that cuts through all the masterdebators is presented a beacon of Wisdom from the NeoCons:

...In a June 1 article for Commentary magazine, the neoconservative editor Norman Podhoretz laid out what a headline described as “The Case for Bombing Iran.”

“In short, the plain and brutal truth is that if Iran is to be prevented from developing a nuclear arsenal, there is no alternative to the actual use of military force — any more than there was an alternative to force if Hitler was to be stopped in 1938,” Mr. Podhoretz wrote.

...Iran is far behind the North Koreans; it is believed to be three to eight years away from its first weapon, American intelligence officials have told Congress. Conservatives argue that if the administration fails to establish a line over which Iran must not step, the enrichment of uranium will go ahead, eventually giving the Iranians fuel that, with additional enrichment out of the sight of inspectors, it could use for weapons.

To date, however, the administration has been hesitant about saying that it will not permit Iran to produce more than a given amount of fuel, out of concern that Iran’s hard-liners would simply see that figure as a goal.

In the year since the United States made its last offer to Iran, the Iranians have gone from having a few dozen centrifuges in operation to building a facility that at last count, a month ago, had more than 1,300...

Yes, who needs what's actually been said? Heresay, leaked reports and letters from anonymous sources that the real watchdogs vehemently deny, all the rumors and vapors of a storm building at sea. Ahab beckons, and who among a loyal crew would deny him?

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