Back to War Against Eastasia…

It seems like just ten days ago that I was reporting that we weren’t at war with Eastasia the Pentagon had announced that Iran had stopped providing Iraq with EFPs (though click through to read the Shachtman update). But ten days is a long time when you’re already two weeks into "Legacy Year," and so it’s time to announce that we are, once again, at war with Eastasia.

Attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq with bombs believed linked to Iran — known as explosively formed penetrators (EFPs) — have risen sharply in January after several months of decline, according to the top U.S. commander in Iraq.

Iraqi and U.S. officials indicated just a month ago that Iran was using its influence to improve security in Iraq by restraining cross-border weapons flow and militia activity. The U.S. military had said in recent months that the number of EFP attacks had gone down.

Gen. David Petraeus disclosed the reversal to reporters after a meeting with President Bush who was visiting troops in Kuwait.

"In this year, EFPs have gone up, actually, over the last 10 days by a factor of two or three, and frankly we’re trying to determine why that might be," Petraeus said. [my emphasis]

Two things to note in this story. First, General Petraeus can count as well as I can: ten days. I wonder if Petraeus is at all embarrassed by his sudden reversal?  Particularly when you look at the timing: General Petraeus makes this announcement directly after meeting with George Bush, just after Bush has visited Israel, and not before. You think maybe Bush ordered Petraeus to ratchet up the propaganda?

Because, after all, there’s no other sign they’re ratcheting up the propaganda. Hammered copper ashtrays and Filipino Monkey, that’s what this great country has  stooped to.

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41 replies
  1. phred says:

    They are on mission to start another war, and we have to keep pushing back. Keep calling bullshit EW, people are paying attention.

    • phred says:

      Hillary supports it (see Kyl-Lieberman and all of her hawkish rhetoric).

      I don’t think Barack has made up his mind. He still seems to wait on his handlers before taking a stand on things.

      I think we still have a long way to go before the progressive wing of the Dem party wrestles the establishment wing to the mat.

        • phred says:

          It seems to me that both establishment Ds and Rs believe ardently that our economy will collapse without oil. They will go to great lengths to maintain control of oil supplies. So while it is overstating things to say that Hillary wants war with Iran, I do believe that she would not shy away from it, if she felt Iran was threatening our access to oil.

          The sad thing is that we could reorient our energy supplies and extricate ourselves from the bind we are in in the ME and simultaneously boost the US economy through homegrown industries. Unfortunately, our politicians suffer from magic-bullet thinking, where they want one solution to our energies needs, rather than building a diverse and resilient portfolio of resources (which would have the added benefit of improving national security). The reason politicians can’t see this is because, oil companies would not be able to maintain their control of energy markets. They have a lot to lose and will fight tooth and nail to hold on as long as they can.

      • Leen says:

        Hillary lost me on her vote for the Kyl Lieberman amendment. why in the hell would you give the Bush administration an inch an excuse a way to pre-emtpively attack Iran. Cnn reported that those patrolling the Straits of Hormuz are no Iranian Revolutionary Guard…Hello..the Kyl Lieberman amendment defines the guard as “terrorist” those tapes are funny if only that situation were not so potentially dangerous.

        This explains the Kyl Lieberman
        amendment
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_6CB-3qj 8Y&watch_response

        Here is Hillary responding to Gravels challenge and bringing attention to Obama skipping out and Edwards
        eloquent response
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npzN3dZR6 JM

        • phred says:

          You and me both Leen, but I gotta say Hillary lost me way before then. I simply disagree with the whole (bogus in my view) “centrist” agenda that motivates Hillary and Rahm and Nancy and the rest of them. We really need to clean house within the Dem party if we hope to see any real change in government.

  2. GregB says:

    The mighty US military is being harrassed by the Filipino Monkey and 5 Boston Whaler boats.

    That Neo-con, Michael Ledeen strategy of instilling fear into the heart of Middle Eastern authoritarians and terrorists has worked like a charm.

    -GSD

  3. merkwurdiglieber says:

    After that genius move they pulled with Pakistan, Bushco intends to
    build on that success with these Iran machinations for what, campaign
    fodder for the spiraling Republican candidates or following fresh plans
    personally picked up in Israel. Democratic candidates must speak up,
    this is too transparent for belief… I hope.

  4. oldtree says:

    Imagine blaming the Iranians yet again for something the army proved wasn’t their product, was over ridden by chinny, so they had to blame Iran again cuz no one else that provides that kind of weapon isn’t our ally!

    what great country were you referring to by the way?

  5. Neil says:

    Unitary executive means that every resource in the executive branch can be subverted to serve the wishes of the President, whether those wishes are reasonable policy meant to aid the friends of the Republican Party or just to make Chimpy look good to our grandkids, which will certainly take a lot of resources.

    Yes, I think Bush ordered Patreaus to ratchet up ‘war enemy propaganda’ against Iran but no I don’t understand how it fits into his efforts in Palestine or US efforts in the GWOE – global war on enemies.

    It may however keep gasoline and heating oil propped up in the $3.03 and $3.499 per gallon range despite two weeks of temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s in the northeast, no reason to believe refineries have changed their production mix, and crude hovering in the same price range.

    • masaccio says:

      The link you gave looks like an effort to support the idea that the speedy boats are a real threat, despite the failure of the first wave of stories to impress anyone with the danger. I suppose there is some reason to be concerned about these boats after the USS Cole, but in the actual event, I’m just not seeing it.

      • emptywheel says:

        I suspect it’s not a question of this incident being a risk, it’s a knowledge that the boats may well be testing US rules of engagement, in the eventuality that they might want to use little speedboats for some real mischief. I’m not bugged that the Navy made a response, I’m bugged that our Adminsitration is trying to turn it into propaganda fodder.

  6. bobschacht says:

    EW,
    Where did you get the term “Eastasia” to refer to Iran??? Most people I know reserve the term for countries, like, y’know, China and Korea and stuff. Iran is usually considered part of the “Middle East”. But who knows? maybe usage is changing.

    Bob in HI

    • emptywheel says:

      Given the choice between calling Iran Eurasia or Eastasia, I went with Eastasia (though Iran really does count as Eurasia). Neither particularly applies well to today’s geopolitical realities, since Iran has dealings with both Russia and China.

  7. Hugh says:

    I am shocked that you can so cavalierly dismiss the threat posed by Filipino Monkeys. Next you are going to tell me I don’t need to worry about Shanghai Pandas.

        • emptywheel says:

          Hey, don’t Yugo that. The thing is perfect for India, and the refusal to do stuff like that will doom the American car companies.

          Understand, India has a burgeoning Middle Class and, in some cases between cities, great roads. But within cities, they’ve got almost zero infrastructure (unlike China, which has astounding infrastructure in its big cities). When I was on a business trip in India (selling cars), the “small city” of 2 million I was in had, I kid you not, 5 traffic lights. Imagine Phoenix with 5 traffic lights?

          So China and India have different driving styles. In China (and Thailand, at least in Bangkok), people get up to 45 in a city block, then slam on the breaks. Whereas in India, where people pretty much throw their vehicle, of whatever type, into an intersection, and only then look around, they simply don’t get that much speed going. So a car with a lawnmotor sized engine is definitely the way to go in India (particularly since India is not subsidizing gas prices like China was and I believe still is).

          India’s car market stands to surpass China’s, because its ability to take on outsourced english language jobs (call centers and software) means their middle class has a lot more money than what counts as middle class in China. But they simply don’t need to be buying a car that was designed for an American or even a European market (Ford, at least, is selling European designs in India). They need something designed for India. A scooter engine with four doors.

            • chetnolian says:

              Hey you know there really was a car called the Yugo, made, not surprisingly, in Yugoslavia. Both gone, country missed; car, believe me, not.

              • bmaz says:

                Agreed on the country and car. Long story, and not that interesting of one really, but I actually met and knew just a little in the 70s, Malcolm Bricklin, who lived here in Phoenix, and based his company, General Vehicles, here (although he built the things in Canada). As you probably know, Bricklin was also responsible for bringing the Yugo here. Despite these foibles, Bricklin is (I assume he still is, he certainly was back then) a way cool guy that is usually way out in front of things. He has lately been involved in attempts to Import cheap efficient cars from China and other projects that are kind of cutting edge under his latest company, Visionary Vehicles. The last link is worth taking a look at; it shows what Bricklin is up to now and is pretty interesting.

                • bmaz says:

                  Oops. Left this out. For anybody checking out the Visionary Vehicles link, make sure you stay with it long enough to get through to the “Model” section, that is where the rubber meets the road in Bricklin’s project, so to speak. Pretty interesting stuff.

                • phred says:

                  Thanks for the link bmaz. I do think plug-in hybrids would be great. I know some folks who work at a battery company out this way and apparently the technology is getting much much better. It would be nice to be able to just buy one, rather than to have to install an after market version (as is now possible for Prius).

                  • bmaz says:

                    Bricklin truly is a visionary guy. If history is any guide (it usually is), he will bugger it up by trying to pull of more than is humanly possible, right out of the gate, without a firm enough foundation; but will lay the pathfor the real deal. But we need everything we can get and you just have to love the attitude…

                    • emptywheel says:

                      Well, that first attempt to import Chinese cars was a bust: Chery is such a crappy company the Chinese won’t even buy it unless they’re forced by economic circumstances, and they have some really big IP issues with GM they’d have to settle before they could do business successfully in the US.

                    • bmaz says:

                      No question. But he knew that though and was trying to set up quality improvements and when that proved undoable they axed the effort. That was the local spin here anyway (other dude involved, really maybe the main guy, is local so we were kept apprised). Bricklin ain’t that picky though, he thought the Yugo was a good idea….

          • MsAnnaNOLA says:

            I have been to India three times and I agree with this assessment. They don’t get up to speed and no infrastructure. I also agree with the assessment that their middle class will probably grow faster and farther because of English.

            This was my assessment the first time I visited in 1995. Everyone in trade and economic circles was talking about China and how great their economy was going to be etc. I thought well, they have a lot going for them…but India is a democracy that speaks English and has almost a billion people. They also have a legal tradition closer to that of England since they are a former colony. Since China is not a democracy it is much riskier to invest there in my opinion. If China destabilizes it is more likely that businesses would be taken over by the government. My thought was India will give China a run for their money. So far it seems that they have.

        • phred says:

          Thanks for the link bmaz. I had hoped it was a car with an alternative energy engine. Something like this perhaps. If you go to the MDI link (it uses compressed air) you will see they signed an agreement with Tata last year. So perhaps I’ll be able to cheer on the little Indian car company that could afterall : )

  8. radiofreewill says:

    phred and Loo Hoo – Here’s my .02:

    First, Hillary Doesn’t want Bush Impeached – Gore will jump-in and Win in a Landslide – And an Imminent Threat to Our Nation keeps Bush in Office.

    Second, Hillary Does want the War with Iran Meme to Continue as a Real Possibility – She’s the ‘Furthest Right’ of the Dems and this Keeps her Connected to both the Military and the Powerful Israeli Lobby.

    Her Kyl-Lieberman Vote is the Seal on Both those Deals.

    No Impeachment and a Belligerent Iran = President Hillary

  9. Leen says:

    Justin’s update on the Straits of Hormuz “Borat” speaking neoconese in his latest. As usual he hits the nail on the head

    Iran, Again
    The War Party is pushing us into attacking
    http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=12189

    “This is an election season, and so we have an opportunity to influence the public debate: it’s the season when politicians are open to pressure from us plebeians. No matter whom you support, or which party you identify with, it’s important to make your views known. It’s an outrage that none of the supposed “front-runners” in the presidential race have made a statement on the Hormuz “incident” – or, at least, no such statement has been reported as of this writing, nearly 48 hours later.

    How disengaged from world events this election is becoming, with no real discussion of the important issues and everything taking a back seat to the Chris Matthews “horse race” school of reporting. Here we are on the brink of war, and all they can talk about is Mitt Romney’s Mormonism and Hillary’s one recorded moment of authenticity. The Iraq war has been pushed to the background: the “surge,” we are told, is “working.” Move along – nothing to see here. As for the Hormuz incident: why aren’t the candidates being asked about it?

    When it comes to directly answering the question of whether the President will come to Congress before launching an attack on Iran, this administration has a long history of evasions. I think it is fair to say, however – given the passage of the Kyl-Lieberman resolution and the White House’s expansive conception of presidential authority in wartime – that the answer is clearly and emphatically no. Senator Jim Webb (D-Virginia) has introduced legislation that would require the President to seek congressional authorization before taking military action against Iran, but that is stuck in committee, and failed to gain much support among the Democratic presidential aspirants. To be fair to Hillary Clinton, she signed on as a co-sponsor of the legislation: the only problem is, she’s just as likely to vote for war with Iran as she is to vote nay. Only two major party candidates that I know of rule out aggression aimed at Iran – and have spoken out loud and clear on the issue – and that is Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul.

    So what about Obama, the alleged “peace” candidate now being held up as the alternative to Hillary – and where is John Edwards on this question of a looming war with Iran? These guys are nowhere to be found when it comes to facing down the War Party when and where it counts – and, worse, their “antiwar” supporters are letting them get away with it!”

  10. radiofreewill says:

    I was in India in ‘06 and had the feeling that their English Affinities (English is spoken almost everywhere, and the Laws are promulgated in English (and then translated into 16 other Official Languages) were a major plus for their development.

    However, something about their Cultural Progression over 1,000’s of years has failed to generate a Middle Management Skill-set, at least as far as I saw. I travelled at night by bus, and every night the process of launching a bus towards a destination looked as chaotic as if it was the first time they had ever attempted it.

    Also, the pace of Life there is fully 1/3 slower than the West – which is a beautiful thing to un-wind into coming from Assembly-line and Caffeine-driven America, but words like ’speedy’ and ‘fast’ just don’t go with India.

    So, I see India having an early advantage in partnering with the West and integrating into the English-speaking Business environment, but there’s not much there to grow the initial good start.

    In the long run, however, China is a Juggernaut. In contrast to India, they’ve spent 1,000’s of years developing a very sophisticated middle-management/civil service infrastructure. They need almost no outside resources and have an intensity about them that the Indians don’t.

    Plus, the Asian investment mentality is much different than ours. I once asked a Japanese Multi-millionaire how he planned to make money with his first American plant (he had nine in Japan) when his Market (precision metal fabrication) was relatively saturated and he had less than a 1% share. He said, “Not to worry. We are only in year 4 of our 100 year plan!”

  11. bmaz says:

    More Blackwater/US State Dept. criminal coverup conspiracy in Iraq. What exactly will it take for Congress to care?
    Blackwater Worldwide repaired and repainted its trucks immediately after a deadly September shooting in Baghdad, making it difficult to determine whether enemy gunfire provoked the attack, according to people familiar with the government’s investigation of the incident.

    Damage to the vehicles in the convoy has been held up by Blackwater as proof that its security guards were defending themselves against an insurgent ambush when they fired into a busy intersection, leaving 17 Iraqi civilians dead.

    The repairs essentially destroyed evidence that Justice Department investigators hoped to examine in a criminal case that has drawn worldwide attention. The Sept. 16 shooting has strained U.S. relations with the Iraqi government, which wants Blackwater expelled from the country. It also has become a flash point in the debate over whether contractors are immune from legal consequences for their actions in a war zone.

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