Neocons pushing regime change at point of a gun, again

on 35 Comments

I was chagrined watching Chris Matthews on the Iran question tonight. He had Michael Rubin of AEI on (before sunset on Yom Kippur; wonder what Sandy Koufax would do?) pitching neoconservative religion and Robert Baer, the former CIA guy. All three were doomsday. And Matthews conducted the rapidfire session like a catechism of crisis. Ratcheting up the probabilities with each question till we went to break and I was sure we were on the threshhold of WW3.

To his credit, Rubin separated Israel’s interest from the U.S.’s– something the neocons never did when they pushed the Iraq war. But he said in essence: it’s an existential threat and Israel is going to take matters into its hands.

Matthews went along with that. He kept referring to Israel as the refuge for the Jewish people–in what I took to be a motion of unexamined Irish Catholic sympathy–and said that Iran wanted to eliminate it.

I wish someone had dealt with the Iranian bluster question. Ahmadinejad has never said that he aims to destroy Israel; he has said that it will vanish from the page of time. Not that different from anti-Zionists in the U.S. who call Israel the Temporary Zionist Entity. Also, Ahmadinejad has said that he defers to the political wishes of the Palestinians. Would he really aim to destroy the Palestinians? Ahmadinejad is angered by the unending occupation, which is a red flag of injustice across the Muslim world. And as Steve Walt has pointed out, the Iranians would never fire one missile at a country that has 200– why, to watch their country get burnt to a crisp?

I wish Matthews had brought up Zbig Brzezinski’s statement that the U.S. should take out Israeli jets before they try to attack Iran, because the American interest, including troops in Iraq, would be so harmed by such a strike. Matthews agreed with Rubin that a nuclearized Iran is a "psychological threat" to Israel. But when it comes to psyche, what about Netanyahu’s irrational performance at the U.N., producing blueprints of Auschwitz to counter Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial, and calling Hamas Nazis. Is this a rational actor? Do we want him in the driver’s seat for WW3? 

Both Rubin and fellow neocon Eliot Cohen in the Wall Street Journal have the same recommendation: regime change. Iran won’t be safe till the Islamic Republic is gone. And a strike, Rubin concedes, will insure that the Islamic Republic is around for a long time. Eliot Cohen seems to want a  permanent war in the Middle East:

The choices are now what they ever were: an American or an Israeli strike, which would probably cause a substantial war, or living in a world with Iranian nuclear weapons, which may also result in war, perhaps nuclear, over a longer period of time.

Funny how the neocons always project Israel’s bad behavior on others. Cohen says that the Iranians are responsible for an arms race in the Middle East. Is the responsibility theirs alone? And as for regime change, how many Americans in high places believe that no progress will come on our biggest problem in the Middle East, the Israel/Palestine conflict, until the Netanyahu government is thrown out?

Oh here’s another neocon on the loose: Paul Wolfowitz at Financial Times, pushing for regime change, too.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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35 Responses

  1. VR
    September 28, 2009, 10:54 pm

    “…probabilities …threat…Iran wanted to eliminate it…which may…could be…the choice…may yield…might embolden…”

    Such is the talk of so-called preemptive strike, preempting “what” is the question. Preempting speculation? For all intents and purposes it is not any different than the talk before the attack on Iraq, all the same verbiage about “threats….possible….could be…which may…etc.”

    “One of the most indelible perspectives about Israel’s legal gymnastics to justify its actions comes from Colonel Sharvit-Baruch’s predecessor, Daniel Reisner. “What is being done today is a revision of international law,” Reisner has said, “and if you do something long enough, the world will accept it. All of international law is built on that an act which is forbidden today can become permissible, if enough states do it.” In expressing how the ILD moves forward by turning back the pages of legal jurisdiction, Reisner says, “We invented the doctrine of the preemptive pinpoint strike, we had to promote it, and in the beginning there were protrusions which made it difficult to fit it easily into the mold of legality. Eight years later, it’s in the middle of the realm of legitimacy.” ”

    ISRAELI OFFICER PROMOTES WAR CRIMES AT HARVARD

    Who invented the doctrine of “preemptive strike?” I totally disagree, it was done many years ago. Actually by Nazi Germany, in fact, it was one of the chief tenets which was wholeheartedly condemned at Nuremberg and brought the severest penalties, and one sworn to never be used again by signature nations – one of which is Israel.

    The real question is have we learned anything – has anyone in power learned anything? Or are we doomed to commit these savage crimes until we wipe each other off of the face of the planet?

  2. ehrens
    September 29, 2009, 12:38 am

    Counterpoint to this was tonight’s interview on PBS by Judy Woodruff of Michael Elleman, former UN missile inspector, and Karim Sadjadpour, from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:

    link to pbs.org

    The segment concerned missile testing, which has also been blown way out of proportion since Iran has been able to reach Israel for some time with existing technology and the new missiles do not extend range to Northern Europe. Woodruff asks if the hysteria is justified. The answer she gets is that it’s all part of an elaborate negotiation:

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Is it possible we’re making too much of this, making too big a deal of this?

    MICHAEL ELLEMAN: Of the missile tests themselves?

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes.

    MICHAEL ELLEMAN: Yes, I think we’re making much more fuss over what I would call just ordinary developments.

    KARIM SADJADPOUR: I would agree with that. I always look at the institution of the bazaar. And I say that, when you go into a carpet bazaar and you see a carpet you like, never show the merchant how much you like that carpet, because if he knows you’re not going to leave the shop without the carpet, he can extract a very high price for it.

    I think from — from the Iranians’ vantage point, they say, well, if the Americans feel so strongly about our nuclear program, then they should offer us the corresponding price. And I actually once posed this to an Iranian official. I said that, I don’t think this nuclear pg was ever so important for Iran until it became so important to the United States. And he said that’s absolutely right.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So what you’re saying is, for the rest of the world, just to act as if this is — to yawn and say, you know, “What’s next?”

    KARIM SADJADPOUR: Speak softly and carry a big stick, I would say.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, we’ll leave it there. Karim Sadjadpour, thank you.

    Michael Elleman, thank you both.

  3. javs
    September 29, 2009, 2:10 am

    This would to me at least seem to be nothing new, that in the past we go and we (usa) take over a natural resource and brain wash people into a religons (controls) in other lands. Are we not so surprised that even before JFK the elements were being so very cunninly deployed as “one of us” only to “group up” as cancers in societys slums of porn, drugs etc to the cleaner cut lawyers, judges and doctors, only to give creedance to a cult which enveloped the world into so many areas good and bad through monopolizations, manipulations and force. When did this entity rougue apartheid state backed by the usa for so very long…coinsidence in the strategic political groupings by one group whom has never obidded by resolutions itself amd commits genocide. Even more than pathetic is we all are powerless as individual groups that whisper..and all should step up to the plate and shout untill change has driven away the cultist demons which have sunk into the very fabric of what is normal behavoir in the “civilized democracy” by the “democratically elected officials”.
    The nuclear problem is not with Iran but the occupiers which will inevitibally hold the usa and world economy hostage as they just did in the most recent arena of bendover john & patti citizen we are investing in murder and have been scince the begining, and by the way…. …..reaping what you sow and roost has a way of comming home. Russia is nice this time of season.

  4. javs
    September 29, 2009, 2:35 am

    Has anyone also taken a look at the personalities on the cable news and ever noticed that for the longest time the very same news peoples husbands and wives are usually conected with the high ranking officials that BTW support and fund these atroscities.
    repetitiveness and indoctunating children with slip ins of how they are specially chosen. This is not a good thing FYI. It is also very bad that the religous zealots and cults are allowed to be on cable tv preaching the mumbo jumbo taking every last dime and brainwashing these people as well. It would seem Iran can handle it just as Iraq did however regionally it would just be “another day of murderous fun” for the occupationist cult embeded in Palestine and holding” us all ” hostage to these insane beliefs and demands of
    ‘the cult”. Unfortunate for Iranians, and the way it goes just unfortunate for the civilization to just degrade and slip back into the same pattern of control and greed which has remained on a genocidal path of self destruction for a long time. Maybe just possibly by some freak of luck the 2012 or 2013 predictions are true and the world s people will all parish………..the signs that read” We Stand With Israel” with the two flags (american and israeli come to mind. So just by freak luck is this all worth it ….if we could change these predictions for a change)…for the betterment of human beings and this planets ability to bounce back quicker than a few hundred years ( if humans exist) and if not…was it worth not shouting out till good things come of the madness in the usa and Palestine

  5. javs
    September 29, 2009, 2:37 am

    Sorry for the run on

  6. Call Me Ishmael
    September 29, 2009, 5:06 am

    On the subject of attacking Iran, Richard Cohen has another of his obnoxious articles appearing Tuesday on the op-ed page of WaPo. Entitled “Time to Act Like a President”, it’s an exceedingly intemperate attack on Barack Obama. Intended to display a total lack of respect.

    He is appalled that Obama is not attacking Iran and is afraid that he won’t. More of the Zionist media blitz against the Iranians.

    In passing, Richard the Outrageous threw out this little nugget:

    “These Persians lie like a rug.”

    Cute, huh? Would WaPo allow such a statement about “these Jews” from one of its columnists? Overt expressions in the media of bigotry toward a people can do a lot of harm to that people, especially at certain times in certain circumstances. This is one of those times and one of those circumstances. Fred Hiatt knows that.

    Do you think Abe Foxman will get on WaPo’s case about this?

    • Call Me Ishmael
      September 29, 2009, 5:11 am

      Here is the link to Cohen’s article:

      link to washingtonpost.com

    • Chaos4700
      September 29, 2009, 6:12 am

      I can’t say I’m surprised. Anti-Arab and anti-Persian epithets were getting through Huffington Post comment moderation all the time, especially since January of this year and getting them either scrubbed, or even getting a rebuttal past comment moderation, was an uphill battle I eventually lost.

      Thanks to the Zionist movement, Muslim is the 21st century equivalent of being Jewish in the 19th.

      • Donald
        September 29, 2009, 9:12 am

        That’s true. And there was a passing reference to this (at least the part about Muslims being the new Jews, so to speak) in the New Yorker article about the Dreyfus affair. The same attacks made against Jews 100 years ago (and still made by some) are the ones made against Muslims today. And now it’s perfectly respectable even for so-called liberals to take these criticisms seriously, just as anti-semitism was widely accepted then.

  7. Citizen
    September 29, 2009, 7:12 am

    Will Obama allow Israel’s American-made jets to fly over Iraq? What will be the fall-out?

    • Call Me Ishmael
      September 29, 2009, 7:57 am

      Too ugly, Citizen. How about this plan:

      1) Israel fires cruise missiles at Iranian facilities from offshore.

      2)Iran strikes back against U.S. facilities in Iraq (and, conceivably, Hezbollah sacrifices itself and fires some rockets into northern Israel).

      3) Under tremendous pressure from Congress (orchestrated by AIPAC with aid from the Zionist media), Obama orders massive, repeated air strikes against Iranian nuclear and military targets.

      Mission accomplished. No need for permission from Obama.

      • Chaos4700
        September 29, 2009, 9:18 am

        Of course, then there’s the subsequent steps:

        4) The world petroleum market grinds to a halt and gas prices in the US shoot up to new records. The ailing US economy sputters and stalls out, since now Americans can’t really afford both health insurance and fuel to run their cars or heat their homes.

        5) The US military effort finds its back completely broken as countries which were at least tacitly complicit with our military operations — like Turkey, or Pakistan — withdraw that tacit support. Our supply lines break down, leaving thousands of our brave men and women to die out in the cold without support from the now completely ineffective armchair generals at the Pentagon who put them in harm’s way for no good reason in the first place.

        6) The European populace, finally having had enough of the US trying to drag them into a World War (having been through two centered on themselves and knowing what idiocy it is to invite that) vote out US-friendly politicians in favor of anti-war, anti-imperialism and, generally, anti-American politicians. Since American power as it stands today was built on both manufacturing and military supremacy, and since the former died years ago and the latter having been taken off the map by the “brilliant strategy” against Iran, the loss removes the final linchpin of our place in the world — fear of us, since we long ago lost people’s respect and admiration.

        7) China stops buying US bonds and pushes even harder for a new global currency. India and Russia jump on that bandwagon. As a result, the US loses its last handhold on the global economy, the financial aspect of it.

        Sorry for being all doom and gloom, but you know, that seems like the likeliest path that the water is going to take as it flows downhill, at least from my vantage point.

      • pineywoodslim
        September 29, 2009, 9:19 am

        You know what, Ishmael? I don’t think the Iranians are crazy enough to take that bait.

        In any scenario, Iran will retaliate. But imho, it will retaliate slowly over a period of months rather than hours. And this retaliation will be done on the sly–through Hezbollah in Israel and in Lebanon, by making mischief in Iraq and Afghanistan, etc. I don’t think there will be any massive military retaliation by Iran directly on the principals involved–Israel, the US, or the Gulf States.

      • Chaos4700
        September 29, 2009, 9:23 am

        I respect your opinion, pineywoodslim, but I don’t think Iran will be given a choice. Do you honestly think Israel or the US would stop at just the nuclear sites? That’s not the real reason we’re going after Iran, you know. They want regime change. They want to install the next shah.

      • pineywoodslim
        September 29, 2009, 3:44 pm

        Still Chaos, while you may well be right about the goal being regime-change, I don’t think Israel alone can do much more militarily than take out some of Iran’s nuclear production sites.

        I believe to pound Iran sufficiently to bring about the sort of chaos that might cause the collapse of the government would require US military attacks as well, and over a period of weeks.

        So again, the question remains–if Iran wisely refrains from attacks against, e.g., US bases in Iraq, what is the US pretext for pounding Iran?

        Oh, I got it! False flag ops, Gulf of Tonkin like b.s., etc. Gee! I’m some smart, eh?

  8. eljay
    September 29, 2009, 8:59 am

    3) Under tremendous pressure from Congress (orchestrated by AIPAC with aid from the Zionist media), Obama orders massive, repeated air strikes against Iranian nuclear and military targets.

    If past and current procedure are any indication, those strikes will be followed by strikes on civilian targets.

    Robert Fisk’s book “The Great War for Civilisation” details some of the injuries he has seen inflicted on Iraqi civilians by American/coalition forces in 1991 and, more recently, in the “liberation” of Iraq. It is utterly demoralizing that such a thing should ever have happened. It is infuriating that it will happen again.

    And it is galling that the “moral” West will once again trot out “justice”, “freedom”, “terror”, “Holocaust” and other trite and meaningless words and phrases as excuses for the slaughter that we will commit.

    • Chaos4700
      September 29, 2009, 9:21 am

      Followed? Why bother doing that later when you can just strike civilian targets along with the others from the start in a massive “shock and awe” campaign. That’s what we did in Iraq.

  9. potsherd
    September 29, 2009, 9:31 am

    link to maannews.net

    This report has been going around.

    • Chaos4700
      September 29, 2009, 10:31 am

      Seriously. Does Israel really think anyone’s going to fall for that scam? I’m not going to downplay the tension between Arab Muslims and Persian Muslims but the notion that Arab states would rather make a deal with a nation state manufactured by colonists that is actively hostile to the entirety of Islam and who has nukes already aimed at them if they make one false move is laughable.

      Say what you will about Iran, but Iran isn’t the threat that could to be invading the Sinai peninsula or expanding eastward across the Jordan River or assassinating Arab politicians by the dozen any time in the near future.

      And even if Arab countries did agree to this absurd plan, Israel would simply go back on its word. Iran is one of the most vocal supporters of the Palestinian cause and a war with Iran would be the perfect pretext for stamping out on the Palestinians — just like the war with Poland was the perfect pretext for Germany, back in the day. And even then the Polish treated their Jews pretty heinously.

  10. wondering jew
    September 29, 2009, 10:08 am

    I oppose an Israeli (or an American) preemptive attack on Iran, but certainly a modicum of restraint might be helpful even from those who oppose such an attack.

    Mr. Weiss,
    1. Your friends might refer to Israel as the temporary Zionist entity, but do they have missiles paraded down the street with “Death to Israel” written on them? Do they organize Holocaust denial conferences? Do they have a Defense Minister who is wanted by Interpol for the bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires? Do they represent a revolution whose founder (Khomeini) claimed that Iran could be destroyed but the real goal was the survival and triumph of Islam?

    2. The acronym of Mutually Assured Destruction, the doctrine that you now feel should make Israel feel safe after Iran gets its bomb is MAD. Do you feel the Kennedy brothers overreacted to the prospect of missiles in Cuba? Why did they lose sleep those 13 days when they should have just yawned?

    3. President Obama during the campaign called the prospect of an Iranian nuke ” a game changer”. Do you think that he was lying for the sake of getting elected?

    4. Twenty per cent of the American Jewish population voted against Obama last November. Are they not entitled to participate in demonstrations against Obama? Don’t you think there are many supporters of Israel who also oppose Obama’s health care program? Are they not allowed to mention the various issues upon which they oppose Obama without being accused of dual loyalty which is what you mean by the label “The Lobby”?

    • Chaos4700
      September 29, 2009, 10:20 am

      Well, I’ll tackle point number one here, in the order the questions were answered: Yes, just like the Israelis do in reverse; No, and you’d know that if you knew credible people who could translate Farsi for you; Maybe, I wouldn’t know but then again, how many Israeli Prime Ministers have been censured for various crimes and corruption, before during and after their tenures; And finally, why is survival for Muslims such a bad thing to you? There any particular reason you want them to jump into the sea?

      Anyone else feel game to tackle the other questions?

      • wondering jew
        September 30, 2009, 12:46 am

        chaos- (are you related to kaos from “get smart”)

        Israel does not have a parade of missiles with “death to persia” written on them. Israel does not wish Persia harm. Israel wishes the current regime of Persia harm.

        Are you claiming that ahmad’jad is not a holocaust denier? juan cole disagrees with you. he speaks farsi.

        The bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires (outside the Middle east) is something that should not be taken lightly. certainly your inclusion of “corruption” in the censures of israeli prime ministers indicates that you take this arrest warrant by interpol lightly.

        i did not say that i am against survival of muslims. i am saying that khomeini said that the destruction of iran is secondary to the survival of the billion plus muslim “uma” and that he would be willing to see iran destroyed if it meant the accomplishment of his goals.

        (your inability to understand this indicates either malice on your part or your lack of facility in reading comprehension)

    • DG
      September 29, 2009, 10:22 am

      “I oppose an Israeli (or an American) preemptive attack on Iran, but certainly a modicum of restraint might be helpful even from those who oppose such an attack.”

      So you oppose a war with Iran, but you restrain your opposition?

      (Have you met Richard Witty? I’m sure you two would get along wonderfully.)

      • wondering jew
        September 30, 2009, 12:49 am

        I have not met richard witty.
        I oppose language that is inexact and statements that falsify rather than illuminate. this is the extremism and the lack of restraint that I was refering to. in opposing a war against iran the authors of this blog are intent upon whitewashing ahmad’jad’s holocaust denial, his rhetoric towards israel and the jihadist rhetoric of the founder of the Iranian revolution. That is the modicum of restraint that I am refering to.

    • Donald
      September 29, 2009, 10:52 am

      “Do you feel the Kennedy brothers overreacted to the prospect of missiles in Cuba?”

      Yes. Fortunately, not nearly as much as their crazed military advisors wanted them to.

      The US had missiles in Turkey. So we had no business complaining.

      I’m not in complete disagreement with your other points. I don’t like the Iranian regime, though the biggest strike against them is not the rhetoric they might use about Israel, but the way they acted last June against their own people.

      • Chaos4700
        September 29, 2009, 11:38 am

        See, that’s what I appreciate. There is a hell of a lot to criticize about Iran’s regime just with what really happened, with how they’ve treated their own people and what was done in the recent election. You don’t have to make stuff up to have a sensible reason to criticize Iran and condemn its actions.

    • Call Me Ishmael
      September 29, 2009, 1:48 pm

      Regarding Wondering’s point 2, I don’t think it would be a good thing for Iran to get the bomb , mainly (but not solely) because of proliferation concerns. But the certain and/or highly-probable outcomes resulting from massive military attacks on Iran are too catastrophic for a sane person to deliberately choose (cf. Chaos’s scenario above and extrapolate further).

      If Iran gets a bomb, or some bombs, that is not likely to produce the worst of all possible worlds. Israel will never give up its hundreds of bombs. The idea that Iran would drop a bomb on Israel is truly mad (which the current Iranian leaders, for all their other faults, do not appear to be). So MAD doesn’t seem to me to be as mad as preventive war with Iran.

      MAD combined with containment appears workable, if it comes to that, over a medium term. In the meantime, the US can (if it actually wants to) improve its relations with Iran and work to bring about felicitous change within Iran over the long term.

      The US and Iran share many interests within the region and in a rational world would be natural allies. The chief obstacle to an improved relationship is Israel. If an I/P peace were achieved, acceptable to the Arab League, the Iran/Israel relationship would improve remarkably fast. So, also, Israel’s security position and economic prospects.

      The biggest question in my mind is, How mad is the Israeli government and military? How far do they want to go in the quest for Eretz Israel, Greater Israel? Where do they want to draw the permanent borders of “The Jewish State of Israel”? Iran getting the bomb changes the balance of power against domination of the Middle East by the Great Zionist Hegemon. Can Israel accept peaceful coexistence within established borders, without control over everyone else? That’s what I really wonder about because it appears to be the girder in the bridge that is most likely to fail.

      • javs
        September 29, 2009, 5:07 pm

        The boarders of this ever expanding cult seem t be going towards completely engulfing the middle east from one end to the other and they will get it, even the temple mount will not be spaired just wait and see within a few years how it unfolds.
        The only hope the people of palestine have is to overthrough the rogue government and start over with a new election of fresh people with no kiss ass traders being bought out. Then mabe the drug hooked traders that have been lured as so many can be de programmed and the people can remember when they all stood as one there which is something I rarely witnessed anywhere else in the mannerism which it took place..little children jumping on incursion vehicles and defending the areas..they are not afraid in the least to die and that is courageous seeming how advanced the aparthied is using usa backed and bought and made methods of death and destruction.

  11. munro
    September 29, 2009, 1:28 pm

    The Iraq War gang is back completely unfazed, Frank Gaffney, jaunty Clifford May in seventh heaven with blood fever, Donald Kagan, Robert Kagan, Frederick Kagan and his wife, Kimberly Kagan
    link to c-spanarchives.org

  12. munro
    September 29, 2009, 1:37 pm

    If Chris Matthews was drawing on Irish sympathy, he might have questioned attacks on Mary Robinson ex-Pres of Ireland by Michael Rubin
    link to blog.american.com
    and Rubin’s wife (?) Jennifer Rubin
    link to commentarymagazine.com

  13. javs
    September 29, 2009, 5:00 pm

    I honestly do not think Iran would react with military after the site is taken out, remember the same happening in similar circumstance. They will hush all the media and create a diversion to cover the time needed to come up with the white wash stories how sanctions were not and diplomatic were not the plans israel has in mind in the long run to begin with. There seems to be sell outs everywhere through out the parties systems in just about every country somewhere ..just waiting for an order to change or go work on more conrols to fit in to the matrix of life for citizens to pay for again. The word again seems to has a stronghold in the politics here is a new one ” as usual” the crimes against humanity are ignored by the international criminal courts and iran is the diversion…temporarily till it is bombed and a different one will show up. And watch whom it is that covers these issues if any on the news networks cnn etc, whom are the spouses of the mouth talking. If nuke facilities where the scare of aparthied israel they would and should be concern with pakistan or a rogue element that has been double crossed by the usa school of the americas area..it is possible the third world natives are going to be the only problem what of the 600+ malitia’s armed that will want to come home and bring the mental luggage with them just as some military familys have experienced unfortunate traggedy from too much go juice reaction after return. I’d say the middle east is costing more…much more than we bargained for ..or for that matter what we were told in the past …judy miller wmd’s, where is the accountibility and now iran.

  14. VR
    September 30, 2009, 1:26 am

    You know what is amazing about many observations regarding Iran? It is the assumptions that are made we we discuss the issues of another country. Regarding Iran, whether it is this issue of Iran’s nuclear capability or an earlier one, like when we were in Iraq, and their were complaints about Iran “interfering” with what we were doing (an illegal invasion of another sovereign nation), there is always one assumption – “WE OWN THE WORLD.”

    “Then came the “debate.” We are a free and open society, after all, so we have “lively” debates. On the one side were the hawks who said, “The Iranians are interfering, we have to bomb them.” On the other side were the doves who said, “We cannot be sure the evidence is correct, maybe you misread the serial numbers or maybe it is just the revolutionary guards and not the government.”

    So we had the usual kind of debate going on, which illustrates a very important and pervasive distinction between several types of propaganda systems. To take the ideal types, exaggerating a little: totalitarian states’ propaganda is that you better accept it, or else. And “or else” can be of various consequences, depending on the nature of the state. People can actually believe whatever they want as long as they obey. Democratic societies use a different method: they don’t articulate the party line. That’s a mistake. What they do is presuppose it, then encourage vigorous debate within the framework of the party line. This serves two purposes. For one thing it gives the impression of a free and open society because, after all, we have lively debate. It also instills a propaganda line that becomes something you presuppose, like the air you breathe.

    That was the case here. This is a classic illustration. The whole debate about the Iranian “interference” in Iraq makes sense only on one assumption, namely, that “we own the world.” If we own the world, then the only question that can arise is that someone else is interfering in a country we have invaded and occupied. ”

    WE OWN THE WORLD

    So I challenge you to get out the preconceived paradigms, because we do not own the world.

  15. America First
    September 30, 2009, 10:47 am

    WSJ neocon deluge:

    The Neocons Make a Comeback By BRET STEPHENS

    link to online.wsj.com

    We’ve Been Talking to Iran for 30 Years By MICHAEL LEDEEN

    link to online.wsj.com

    Stephens concedes “neocons have erred in overestimating the U.S. public’s willingness to engage in long struggles on behalf of other people.” I just wish he specified who those other people are.

  16. DG
    September 30, 2009, 11:56 am

    “I just wish he specified who those other people are. “

    :)

  17. Kathleen
    September 30, 2009, 6:26 pm

    “Funny how the neocons always project Israel’s bad behavior on others. ”

    Not just the neocons. This has been a strategy of those who support Israel no matter what for very long time.

    At least we can be thankful that Chris Matthews even touches this issue. Rachel Maddow Silence… Keith Olbermann…Silence Ed beating the war drums

    Matthews asked the question that needed to be asked “Will Israel attack Iran”

    Matthews was one of the only MSMer’s that went hard on the Bill Kristols , David Frum, Hadley , Wolfowitz, Cheney and the other warmongering thugs. Hell Scooter Libby even made a phone call to Tim Russert about Chris Matthews asking tough questions about the intelligence and need for the invasion of Iraq.

    I thought Micheal Rubin demonstrated the dual loyalty qualities that many who did everything they could to lie our nation into Iraq during his interview with Matthews. When Chris Matthews asked should we attack Iran now Rubin responded “not yet”

    Rubin is part of the team that wants an attack on Iran without a doubt.

    Just wish Matthews would have Flynnt Leverett, Juan Cole, Scott Ritter or someone who could really pose a real debate and question Israel’s agenda and hold on our foreign policy

    Chris Matthews one of the only MSMer’s willing to ask a few serious questions

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