Mark Warner’s Nukes

Well, it appears to be all Warner all day today.

Someone mistook me for a bigtime blogger and I got invited to attend Mark Warner’s post-talk blogger chat. I asked the first question, which went something like:

I’m going to ask the Iran question, but I’m going to get at it sideways. You said that Iran is the biggest WMD threat out there. But Pakistan is a tremendously unstable country right now. And if Musharraf fell, Al Qaeda could get the bomb within 6 weeks. And al-Baradei has just said that Iran does not now have the bomb. So why is Iran the biggest threat?

He then listed several reasons why Iran was a threat: Ahmadenijad’s nuttiness, a “regional strategy,” support for terrorism. I pointed out that none of those things were WMDs. I’m not certain, but I’m fairly sure he argued that Hammas was a big threat, although he did later admit that Al Qaeda is a threat.

Anyway, I think I at least made him think about this differently.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

  1. Anonymous says:

    If those were his answers, he DOES NOT DESERVE TO BE ANYWHERE NEAR the presidency.

    He’s an idiot. And unread. And uninformed.

    Eat him out of house and home. Best use of his campaign dollars.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great question. You definately showed him that progressive bloggers are intelligent and tough and aren’t going to give anyone a free ride. On that note…if you happen to speak with Harry Reid I would love to find the answer to the question…â€Where is phase 2 of the senate intelligence report on pre-war Iraq†Yesterday Boxer was asked about using (is it article 21?) to shut down the senate to go into closed session to speak about it. Well there is still no phase 2 report. I am wondering where it is. Just throwing it out there. Thanks

  3. Anonymous says:

    I second jmba’s request, if you can manage it:
    â€Where is phase 2 of the senate intelligence report on pre-war Iraqâ€

  4. Anonymous says:

    Iran’s President Ahmadinejad is going to a World Cup soccer match in Germany on June 21. I don’t think Europe is quite as steadfast in their deadlines as the US if they are inviting the Iranian President.

    See Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff’s piece at the Washington Note.
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.c…..001469.php

  5. Anonymous says:

    well, if we’re going to discuss pet peeves…. I’m sick of seeing YKOS as a gathering of â€thousands of bloggersâ€. ALthough there are lots of â€name†bloggers attending, most of those in attendance are readers of blogs who understand that the internet can be a powerful engine of change, and want to be a part of that change (or just wanted to meet some of the people they have been communicating with through comments and diaries on DailyKos for years.)

  6. Anonymous says:

    I was neither strongly for nor strongly against Warner, but if he’s climbing aboard Bush’s â€Next Stop: Iran!†train, he’s lost any credibility he ever had with me.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It’s becoming apparent that a large number of people in power are attempting to lead the country into the â€terrorism = WMD†idea without actually saying it. I think that and the nebulous â€regional strategy†are the guiding principles to the US’ foreign policy posture.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Great job, EW. That’s TWO pols — including Boxer — now ID’d by the YKos process as needed an education.

    p.s. fabu job on the Plame panel!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    p.lukasiak

    the term is used interchangably.. bloggers are posters on Daily Kos and front pagers as well. I like â€managing editors†for the front pagers, â€bloggers†for the diarists, but whatever.

  10. Anonymous says:

    emptywheel,

    listening to you at the Plame panel has been one of the highlights of YKOS – hope you are enjoying yourself –

    this â€response’ sure smells like Mark Mellman, Joe Hansen, does anyone know who Warner’s ’consultant’ is ? would really like to hear Jerome’s impression of this –

  11. Anonymous says:

    These are the exact same â€reasons†lieberman gave in his question and answer period at the Ukranian Social Club in Windham on 4-23-06

    â€Real quick now, Iran, unfortunately, a real danger. These people the State Department calls it and, in this case almost everyone agrees, the most significant state sponsor of terrorism in the world. They have the blood of Americans on their hands. And now you have got this fanatical person who’s come to power, who says he’s going to kill some, to a crowd of thousands in Teheran [unintelligible] open up to the United States of America. I think we have to take this seriously. You can’t assume he’s just making idle comments and therefore someone like this having nuclear weapons is a real danger to us.

    To which, my hero, Questioner #5, responded:

    Questioner #5: With all due respect, Senator, this isn’t about Iran. It’s not about Iraq. It’s about us. It’s about our miserable butchering of foreign policy. We can’t change who the President of Iran is, but the worst thing we can do, the absolute worst thing we can do, was rattle our sabers, after we botched [unintelligible] and tell them you can’t do this, right after he walks out of India, the President of the United States walks out of India, where he cuts a sweetheart deal with a neighbor of theirs, to work out the supply of nuclear technology.

    â€This is insanity. If the Iranians have a lunatic for president, so do we.â€

  12. Anonymous says:

    Don’t kid yourself, Empty Wheel.

    Don’t get me wrong – your website is brilliant… but the idea that you might have gotten him to think differently about this subject is a long shot.

    If this man is willing to say â€Iran is the biggest WMD threat out there†he is so far lost to simple reason that nothing you say is going to make a difference. When an elected official speaks to you like this, so insultingly, like some kind of automated talking point robot, the truly revolutionary response would be to:

    1. Walk away
    2. Throw your drink in his face
    3. Ask him if he is bought and paid for by the Israel Lobby
    4. Ask him whether or not he is a fucking moron or something

    Of course, simple questions about Iran’s natural resources, political structure, topography, languages, religion, and history would be enough to reveal that this guy is a complete and total idiot.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Great question.

    I saw your photo at fdl–wow, superfine! Apologies for the superficiality, etc.

  14. Anonymous says:

    So this may be a dumb question but: what was the right answer?

    One person I discussed it with ventured, â€The difference is that there’s a huge US presence in Pakistan. Suppose you have on your block a known killer who you know has been going out trying to buy a gun, and a guy who keeps a gun locked at home but who you know has a juvenile delinquent kid at home who has threatened you. Who is the more immediate threat?â€

    (Personally I’d move to another block.)

    Seriously — what would have been the best answer for Warner to give?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, how dare Mark Warner attempt to be a politician and punt on a question from a nobody, and give an answer that ? I am SO much smarter than Warner is. What a loser he is. All that crap about his business history and his governorship…he’s a stupid doofus.

    Thank god we have such a long proven track record of truth tellers winning the Presidency. Fight the Power!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Maybe he won’t think differently about Iran. But we can hope he’ll think differently about whether or not the blogosphere will roll over for him.

    And though it’s not as earth-shaking a change, that’s worth hoping for, too.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Truth Teller – I don’t get it. Irony? Double Irony? What gives?

    I am not suggesting that anybody is smarter than Warner but I am fairly certain that I could tell you more about the Middle East in 15 minutes than you’ll ever get from all of Warner’s stoopid ass sound bytes.

    It doesn’t take much to even know just a little about US policy in relation to Iran and the rest of the Middle East. The man can’t be that dumb.

    But dumbness isn’t really the issue. It’s not stupidity we are dealing with here. It’s ambition, self-censorship, cowardice, and indifference.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Kagro – my point is that he’s obviously not even thinking AT ALL about Iran. It’s just an abstract talking point for him; something to position himself around safely. That’s what his stoopid ass remark tells me.

    I said that it wasn’t dumbness but you know what… maybe there’s a little bit of that too.

    Here’s a to do: when you bump into him next – ask him what countries border Iran.

    Ask him who is in charge of the military.

    Ask him how many people live there, how much oil is produced each day, and what bodies of water the country is contiguous with.

    Ask him where Tehran is located.

    Ask him what language is spoken there.

    If he can’t give you answers to all of these very basic questions, why would you think he knows anything about any purported WMD or any purported super double top secret information that… purportedly… puts our lives in danger?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Frank: Unless Iran’s a greater threat to Pakistan, there is no â€right†answer. If the best he can come up with is reason’s Iran’s a threat, I can think of any numberof actual, greater potential threats, not the least of which is are the loose nukes from Russia that the Bush adinistration has neglected to do anything about.

    As for the guy who says that there is a â€huge US presence in Pakistanâ€, he’s full of crap. We have 130K+ troops in Iraq, a country of 25 million and we can’t keep the peace there. Pakistan has a population of 165 million, more than half that of the US, as well as a fairly modern military (something the Iraqis didn’t have). That’s roughly a 13:2 ratio. And I’m pretty sure we don’t have anywhere near the 800,000 troops available it would take to turn Pakistan into the equivalent of Iraq.

    Oh, and did I mention that Iran’s population is three times that of Iraq?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Warner said in a recent speech that it is good that Bush is engaging in diplomacy with Iran. If he is that naive, I can safely say I will not be supporting him for any higher office.

  21. Anonymous says:

    How does what Howard Dean said fit in with your thoughts about Warner?
    â€â€¦Secondly, under no circumstances will a Democratic Administration ever allow Iran to become a nuclear power.†Feb 28, 2006.

    Are you quibbling that Iran is the biggest nuclear threat out there? Or do you hope that a Democratic Administration might allow Iran to be a nuclear power? Or do you disagree with Dean on this one as well?

  22. Anonymous says:

    darrelplant: those were my comments not Frank’s (attribution is under the comment not above it). I’m asking whether there is any reasonable argument to be made that Iran is a bigger nuclear threat than Pakistan — or, rather, I was assuming there IS some intelligent argument that could be made (even if many of us would disagree with it) and I wanted to hear what it was. The argument about US presence in Pakistan has to do with our ability to protect access to nuclear sites in the event of an Al Qaeda coup — not to maintain order nationwide.

  23. Anonymous says:

    emptypockets

    No. There is no reasonable argument that Iran is bigger nuke threat than Pakistan. None.

    Iran won’t have the bomb for five years, unless someone deals them technology. Far and away the leading candidate to deal them technology is, voila, Pakistan. There are suggestions the AQ Khan network is still active. Why are we trying to shut off country after country that has gotten AQ Khan’s nukes, rather than addressing the problem at its source.

    I have heard Pakistan described as the equivlanet of Iran in 1978–a country in which we believe we have real presence, but one in which a large popular movement could make that presence meaningless. And this Iran of 1978 has a bomb.

    But here’s another way of thinking of this. Whatever we do to Iran is going to destabilize it. Which means we’re going to have another nation-building case on our hands. Why not learn how to build civil society (and thereby stabilize the country) in a country that is nominally an ally, rather than trying to do it again in a hostile situation.

    And as I pointed out, Warner really is arguing about terrorism, and he’s arguing that Hamas is a bigger problem than Al Qaeda. By the end of the conversation, of course, he reiterated that Al Qaeda was the big problem. Which is the key disconnect here–if Al Qaeda is the problem, we need to do something about Pakistan. If a nuclear-armed oil state is the problem, then let’s discuss that.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Pointed Head, you claim to know what’s going on inside the head of Mark Warner. That is absurd.

    If you go up to a politician and ask him what the borders are of a given country, do you think that might possibly be construed as aggressive? And that the politician might back away so as not to cause an argument in a roomful of voters?

    You do not even remotely get â€the game.†And that is a weakness….along with the idea that you can just intellectually bully people. That’s not public debate, that’s bloviation.

    This kind of â€debate†has been absent at The Next Hurrah. I think most people here would like to keep it this way. Take your bloviation to Mydd.com.

  25. Anonymous says:

    cho nailed it. Warner’s drunk the Neocon Koolaid. He belongs nowhere near the presidency. We already know how well that’s worked out.

  26. Anonymous says:

    EW. You might not consider your self a bigtime blogger, but you’re one of the most intelligent and diligent bloggers we have. You are an important part of my daily blogger fix, and by the way, you were great on the Plame panel!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Sorry about the mis-attribution, emptypockets.

    In any case, there is no â€huge†US presence in Pakistan. The Pakistanis — and by that, I mean the current government — don’t want us there. We’re not very popular, as you may have noticed. Just after September 11, they refused to offer staging areas for the attack on Afghanistan. They reluctantly allowed overflight. As recently as two years ago, Rumsfeld was asked whether there were troops in Pakistan and he replied â€not that I know of†(admittedly, you have to consider the source). There have been plenty of rumors of special forces working within the country or penetrating in raids from Afghanistan, but that’s not a major presence.

    If Musharraf fell to a coup (that’s how he came to power) engineered by al-Qaeda sympathizers (of which there a number in intelligence and military), they’d have much of the military apparatus of Pakistan at their disposal. They’d know where the nukes are — we probably don’t. They probably wouldn’t keep them all together in one place. So the idea of some small force securing a nuclear site becomes rather ridiculous. Most likely, multiple mobile warheads would need to be found and secured. That’s not an impossible task, but it’s no cakewalk either in a country where we haven’t been able to find Osama bin Laden.

  28. Anonymous says:

    crab nebula – i didn’t mean it literally.

    whose the one who doesn’t â€get itâ€?

    nevertheless, i just saw barry mccaffrey on MTP. i may not have agreed with any of his unspoken premises, but he certainly knew what he was talking about (vis-a-vis Iran).

    anybody who wants to be president should have a team of people focused solely on
    understanding every angle of this issue. a war in iran is a very likely possibility that the next president will have to either get us into or get us out of. it is arguably the most important issue for him to be up to speed on. responding with sound bytes about WMD really reflects poorly on where his mind is in relation to this right now. do you really think, if he knew more, he would keep it to himself? on the contrary… i would think he would want to wear his sophistication about this issue on his sleeve.

  29. Anonymous says:

    â€Anyway, I think I at least made him think about this differently.â€

    EW, as one of the most intelligent people on the Internet (you!, not me), I find it hard to believe what you say here in this quote. It bespeaks a hope and a wish. I know, as someone who works in a job where one’s hopes and needs can intrusively bend reality, that we must be wary of our own projections.

    Your assessment of Warner is correct, as your questioning indicated. The attraction that comes with proximity to power affects EVERYONE who comes into contact with it, so that’s no shame. But please reconsider your assumptions as to the effects of your intervention. It will only make you wiser and more effective.

  30. Anonymous says:

    darrelplant & emptywheel: well, like I said, I knew it was a dumb question when I asked it! Frankly I hadn’t appreciated that the Iran-Pakistan question was that black and white — I had thought there was a case to be made on either side, and that you were saying Warner just flubbed it. So, ok. What is the correct prescribed course?

    learn how to build civil society (and thereby stabilize the country) in [Pakistan,] a country that is nominally an ally — is this what Warner should have said? or are there more specific plans out there?

    and, I guess, politically, is that what we want Candidate Dem ’08 to be answering? let Iran be Iran & engage more deeply with Pakistan?

  31. Anonymous says:

    ~pockets

    I asked the question in the way I did to test whether Warner had thought critically about the current security narrative we’ve got. No one, IMO, is making the point I’m making-that we have no business going to Iran with Pakistan sitting there as a festering boil. So yes, if Warner had talked about civil society in both places, I would have jumped on his pricey bandwagon. Barring someone speaking that intelligently, I will settle for an explicitly anti-stupid war (learned that from my new buddy Joe Wilson) candidate, thankyouverymuch.

    TO those who think I’m being naive about the â€think about it differently†comment, I should have added one more detail. One of the last things he said to anyone was when he and I shook hands and exchanged cards. He looked me in the eyes and said, â€if I’m wrong about something, I’m not afraid to admit it.†Do I know that he was referring to me, or to my comment? No. But every other disagreement we had with him (on health care and a few other things) he closed the discussion by saying â€we’re going to have to agree to disagree about this.†He didn’t do that with the Iran question (though to be fair, the Iran question quickly morphed into the Iran-Saudi Arabia-Greater Middle East question). So maybe, maybe he realized he had to think about this some more. I do hope the front-pagers at DKos report this. Iran is an easy question (not really, but that’s what they think). But Iran compared to Pakistan is not an easy question.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Oh, and darrelplant, thanks for expanding on my comment. It’s hard to make much sense while you’re running around.

  33. Anonymous says:

    emptypockets, I believe the question was: Why does Warner consider Iran the biggest WMD threat, not whether it is a potential WMD threat.

    Given that they don’t currently have any nuclear weapons, and in most estimates they are a ways off from developing them, there’s no possible way that they should be considered the biggest threat. Pakistan, on the other hand, has nuclear weapons, has tested nuclear weapons, is the country where at least some of the military and intelligence officials are presumed to be providing protection to bin Laden, and is the source of nuclear weapons knowledge and equipment to other countries via the father of the Pakistani nuclear program, A.Q. Khan. If Iran gets a nuke, it’s probably going to be as a result of dealings with the Khan network before it was supposedly shut down.

    That makes Pakistan a much more serious threat than Iran. It’s not even a close call. No a nuclear-armed Iran wouldn’t be a good idea, but it’s a bridge we can bomb when we get to it. And there are several other serious threats ahead of Iran, as well.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Warner is running for the Presidency and is afraid anything he says re: Iran before the bombs start dropping on Teheran will do his candidacy in. Same fear that immobilized Kerry and Edwards re: Iraq. He can’t say what he thinks until he thinks a majority of the public think what he thinks.

    This is why changing public opinion one person at a time is so important. No politician who has the faintest chance of getting elected in this very conservative and divided country can afford to be first in line. Look what happened to the fundamentally conservative Howard Dean. Too correct, too soon.

    The alternative is for a charismatic candidate tos show real leadership, but our public institutions are no longer set up for that.

  35. Anonymous says:

    so let me get this straight emptywheel:

    â€Someone mistook me for a bigtime blogger and I got invited to attend Mark Warner’s post-talk blogger chat.â€

    you think you’re NOT a big time blogger ???

    you can’t claim that you are not a big time blogger just because you’re NOT WEARING the cape and tights at the time

    Superman is still superman, even when he’s acting out the Clark Kent role

    Markos, ReddHead, Jane, and countless other â€big time bloggers’ bow to your expertise in Plameology

    I just mention your work on other blogs and the praise of emptywheel overwhelms the comments sections

    you might not know it, but you’re a BIG TIME BLOGGER emptywheel (even if C-SPAN can’t figure out where you live)

    you’re gonna be remembered in history as the â€Daniel Ellsberg†of the Plame Scandal (or maybe the â€WoodSteinâ€, I forget which)

    I’m thinking of starting a campaign to nominate you as our honorary frogmarcher (which means you get to lead karl out of the whitehouse)

  36. Anonymous says:

    knut, if Warner’s afraid of taking and then explaining an unpopular position, then he has no right to be President. If he can’t come out and say that the Bush administration’s policy on Iran ignores far more serious threats such as unsecured Russian nukes, Pakistan, etc., then he just plain doesn’t deserve to be Prez.

    If he’s going to start out his candidacy either misinformed or flat-out lying, then what distinguishes him from Bush and Cheney?

  37. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t there some way we can get to these candidates and give them some big clues BEFORE they show up at events and blogs and say stupid things.

    There should be a briefing paper or FAQ somewhere with a list of simplistic and dumb things you really shouldn’t say to Kossacks.

    I’m sure they’d be happy to study up and pander to us.

    Of course, they have to say the opposite of the pablum they usually spew, so this may be too much to expect from them.

  38. Anonymous says:

    If you were mistaken for a â€big time bloggerâ€, what the heck was *I* doing in that room?

    He doesn’t yet â€get†foreign policy, not on your question, and not on my follow-up on the Saudi regime. It’s one thing to say â€wouldn’t it be nice if they didn’t support terroristsâ€, it’s another to actually have a plan to prod them into doing so.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Strategically there is no reason for Warner or anyone to go out on a limb and box yourself in on foreign policy this far out for the ’08 race.

    People here are basically complaining that Warner hasn’t said exactly what they want. (And making inferences about his intelligence that aren’t supportable.) That is their right as commenters, but it is also silly to expect. Presidential races don’t work that way.

  40. Anonymous says:

    crab, it’s not a matter of whether Warner said exactly what I want, it’s whether he told the truth and sounded like he knew what he was talking about.

    I’m not a Middle East expert. I just read the newspapers and stuff. When Warner — or anyone else — says stuff like this, they just sound as stupid about foreign policy as George W. Bush, who we know gets his news from â€summariesâ€. How the hell are they going to do any better than he did?

  41. Anonymous says:

    Let me just add that by agreeing with the Republican talking point that Iran is the greatest WMD threat, Warner has already boxed himself in. If he claimed otherwise between now and the presidential campaign — by which time we could very well be dropping bombs on Iran — he’ll get attacked for flip-flopping. That’s why it’s important for him to know what he’s talking about rather than just running his mouth off.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Darrel, you are overestimating the importance of these statements. Nobody will come back to him with these unless they inflame voters that he sees as persuadeable. That’s who he’s speaking to. I know that as a base D you may be offended by it, but he’snot talking to you. But you should be in his corner if he wins the nomination. Go look at his record. he’s no Republican. If you prefer, say Wes Clark, great, (so would I!) But Clark is not much of a politician. If you’re waiting for a truth teller, you’ll be waiting a long time.

    Yes, you play it safe on this issue because so much will change. You don’t treat foreign policy statements about a dynamic situation the same way you do, say, Social Security.

    I think Iran IS a WMD threat, but not for many years, probably. What’s so wrong with believing that? I bet many, many Americans believe the same. This doesn’t make me or them Republicans.

    Warner, like any skilled politician, knows how voters think and respond. It’s like a hit record…it doesn’t matter if you think it’s bad music. If it’s a top seller, it’s a hit.

    And again, you are making an inference as to his knowledge level and â€the truthâ€. And the truth in this case is debateable, (is the truth what you believe?) for you haven’t adequately defined the terms of this argument (which I don’t have much more patience for….let’s revisit this again some other day.)

    If you think there’s a politician in the world who *doesn’t* carefully position, that’s naive.

  43. Anonymous says:

    As the candidate in the race currently with the least foreign policy experience or expertise, Warner’s quite vulnerable to the received wisdom of the Beltway centrists. The standard Dem talking points on this issue fatally box us in: â€Iran’s a growing threat, and we’ll deal with that threat better than Bush.â€

    For that reason, it’s a great service to the party and the world to challenge this rote approach with a candidate who might (exactly because he is at the stage of actively learning) re-examine some of his assumptions. Arrayed against this are the pressures of what the donors want to hear, the built-in biases of the credentiale experts, and the public poisoned by media that reflexively characterizes the dispute with Iran as a â€nuclear crisisâ€.

    EW, when I saw you on C-SPAN saying that Iran-Contra is why you do what you do, tears came to my eyes. Thank you.

  44. Anonymous says:

    crab, I view national security and international diplomacy issues as one of the most important areas a President deals with. As the current dumbass in the WH has shown, if you get involved in a foreign war and spend all of the country’s money on military contractors and equipment, then you don’t really have much left over to do anything at home, however well-intentioned you might be. That was a trap Johnson got into with Vietnam, as well.

    And again, if EW’s recounting of her question was acurate, the issue wasn’t whether Iran was a potential threat — which I already agreed it was — but whether it was the biggest threat — which it isn’t.

    And yeah, many Americans (apparently including Warner) believe Iran’s an imminent threat because that’s what they’ve been told for the past several months, but a lot of them still believe Iraq was involved in 9/11 and that Saddam and bin Laden were good buddies. But that wasn’t true either. I’m surprised you’ve already forgotten that.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Your question was great, if only because it points out the absurdity of the â€X is the biggest threat to mankind†fads that keep going around Washington. The MSM fell hard for it when Iraq was the bogeyman, rarely questioning the logic behind it. Somebody has to keep this nonsense in check. Of course your question pointed out the obvious fallacy of it and Warner still stayed on script, so there needs to be a lot more pushback before sanity sinks in.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Arrayed against this are the pressures of what the donors want to hear

    Is there really a pro â€war with Iran†donor base?

  47. Anonymous says:

    Is there really a pro â€war with Iran†donor base?

    Of course there is. That’s how things get done.

    Or let me put it a different way — if the major part of the donor base thought that war with Iran were a bad idea, do you think we’d be moving in that direction?

  48. Anonymous says:

    darrellplant is saying most of what I want to say on this.

    But yes, the question was designed to challenge the wisdom that Iran is the biggest WMD threat. In his defense of that position, I believe (though I wish a journalist with more intelligence than Wankette had reported on it so I could check my understanding) Warner basically listed only non-WMD threat factors, and ended up asserting within the same conversation that Iran is the biggest threat because of Hamas, but Al Qaeda is a real threat, the big one. Those are not logically consistent positions, and I just wanted to point that out to him.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Iran can’t be a gathering threat until we impose sanctions and no fly zones, if we want to match historical innaccuracies to the topic.

    Russian loose nukes are the main concern, Saudi Arabia has the oil money to buy those…

    Watch out for groups with connections to UAE, Dubai Ports World, etc. being the new Chalabi/Iraqi National Congress/Iraq Survey Group/WHIG.

    UAE was ceded from Iran and will have the Iranian expats as a staging point.

    Pakistan is a bigger threat at this time than is Iran, their gov’t is intimidated by a shadow cabinet of Al Qaeida supporters going back to the days of the Mujahadeen.

    Iran is a decade off at this time. A country having enough nukes to deploy deterrent is the main concern. One nuke simply invites obliteration. Several of them, enough to stage in multiple points, and with a deliveray means of submarines as we believe Iran can deploy, is another matter.

    Submarines make Iran more the concern, along the lines of ONI wonks…
    Loose nukes to terror should be a concern of Saudis and Pakistan.

    Russia has the supply to pony up loose nukes and the Sauds have the dough and demand to buy it. Pakistan is a self standing concern, apt at procurement already.

    Look at people in the Intelligence Community and where they were being deployed(Edmonds, Jawbreaker,etc.) and you see that the line of demarcation was being drawn from EU/former Soviet/Russian borders towards the mid east.

    Clinton and Albright saw the loose nukes problem for what it was and Bush shit all over their plans, just like he did threat monitors of Al Qaeida.

    As for Al Qaeida , it has been the boogie man for the past two years. Zarqawi is dead now, Iraq still erupts in violence. Most of the violence is towards Sunnis via state spoonsored militias and death squads.

    Madrid and London were splinter groups and copycats. Their group names have higher body counts the past three years. As Richard Clarke noted, the problem has morphed.

    Nobody expects a politician to speak of these items until the media does, some would claim vice versa is the case as well, and the media always falls back upon that excuse.

    Until Judith Miller speaks of it the mainstream can’t go perhaps…

    The Pentagon had a lot of people from Warner’s state working there. He could probably tell you more personal stories about that day than you can imagine.

    He can tell you more of foreign policy than you care to hear as well, probably dealing more with macroeconomics and currency fluctuations based on his stock portfolio and successful business dealings.

    Warner would be smart to use his business success and run as the candidate who understands how today’s challenges can best be met by someone who has mastered them.

    Per capita, more Americans are victims of economic warfare due to outsourcing jobs than they are of terror.

    We should stop fighting over there, the oil supply can come from other places(south america has an abundance).

    Warner just needs to find an effective way to deflect the topic. He should run on his strengths and the man probably has the kind of appeal towards libertarian types. As a business success, he could force the opponent to campaign on its own ground.

    His voting record is amazingly sparse to the point he can save negative attacks, nobody in Congress can make that claim. Wes Clark can make the same claim and has the security credence that Warner lacks.Combined they disarm republicans on the topic of proivate enterprise and security.

    He has seen enough of the revenue transition of the tax cuts to make a good enough point of how to solve much of the funding crises and redevelop our infrastructure and institutions.

    The Pakistan question was more important but he can’t ruffle feathers there.

    Iran is the easiest to talk about bercause its leader has made so many comments, or at least we’re told in translation he has…

    Warner could solve foreign policy quickly- get Rumsfeld out of DoD so we have strategy for success where we already are, and can then get out of there and let those countries win their peace on their own terms as they’re best enabled.

    Get Bolton out of the UN so we can talk with people about rational solutions to their needs and our security.

    All he has to do is highlight one of Bush’s appointed blunders and say that he’ll draw on people with experience and successful track records.

    If necessary he can refer to Clark, not directly, but make the same talking points when asked on the same topics.

    Warner can compare the failures of Bush people to AWOL’s inflexible nature and simply state that people in a Warner administration will be held accountable.

    Bush can’t say that now, no republicans can make that claim from Congress or elsewhere. There’s been no consistent criticism of AWOL’s mismangement and misleadership by republican officeholders.

    As you can hear, he’s been pretty much in the middle of beltway news speak, if he said the opposite immediately he’d be part of the next slander campaign. He’s tap dancing the minefields of talk radio at this stage of his campaign.

    If you have to start from an established narrative, take time with it, going to rock the boat early only gets you sunk, as moderate Howard Dean has proven.

    Exactly what high profile media has listed the internal dynamics of Iran? How often have they relied upon the same vaguely worded media?

    Warner has embraced as much of the dialog as is currently in the media. Going past that at this time is what the media sharks want so they can deconstruct a prime candidate.

    You’ll most likely hear more crisp a response from Warner next time. He does review his positions and he does listen to feedback.