Category Archives: Iran

Rotten Cotton


Oh, apparently we just can’t take a joke:

Republican aides were taken aback by what they thought was a lighthearted attempt to signal to Iran and the public that Congress should have a role in the ongoing nuclear discussions. Two GOP aides separately described their letter as a “cheeky” reminder of the congressional branch’s prerogatives.

“The administration has no sense of humor when it comes to how weakly they have been handling these negotiations,” said a top GOP Senate aide.

Interfering with foreign policy negotiations, hilARious!


Well you could have knocked me over with a feather:

In an open letter organized by freshman Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., 47 Senate Republicans today warned the leaders of Iran that any nuclear deal reached with President Barack Obama could expire as soon as he leaves office.

Tomorrow, 24 hours later, Cotton will appear at an “Off the Record and strictly Non-Attribution” event with the National Defense Industrial Association, a lobbying and professional group for defense contractors.

The NDIA is composed of executives from major military businesses such as Northrop Grumman, L-3 Communications, ManTech International, Boeing, Oshkosh Defense and Booz Allen Hamilton, among other firms.

This is my shocked face:


Seriously, Republicans. Have you ever met a war you didn’t like? I guess as long as Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and Booz Allen Hamilton are filling the campaign coffers, the answer to that would be no.

And major kudos to Tennessee Senators Alexander and Corker, who refused to sign the letter. They’re probably getting slammed from the Neocon wing of the party, which means there will be red meat thrown on another issue, no doubt. But on this they are correct.

Look, elections have consequences. And every time Republicans hold the reins of power, the militarism and warmongering heat up. If you don’t want war, don’t vote Republican. Simple as that.


Filed under defense, Iran, Republican Party, Republicans, Sen. Bob Coker, Sen. Lamar Alexander, Senate, war economy

>Do You Remember The Summer of 2007?

>I do. I was reading Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road,” the grim, post-apocalyptic story of a boy and his father traversing the hopeless landscape that was America post-nuclear holocaust.

At the same time I was reading this thankfully fictional account, Neocon warhawks like Dick Cheney, John Bolton, and Joe Lieberman were calling for us to bomb Iran. Not in that joking “Barbara Ann” sort of way that John McCain had, either. They actually wanted us to send bombs to Tehran to teach them a lesson (and I’m not entirely sure John McCain was joking, either.) It was ceaseless; every news program, every newspaper, had a scary account of how we really needed to bomb the crap out of Iran. The fact that William Kristol, who has truly been wrong about everything, jumped on the bandwagon should have been telling. Heck, Bolton even tried to bring Europe into the game.

And a lot of folks on the right were cheering them on. We had self-described expert on all things Iran Michael Ledeen (who has never actually been to Iran) actually telling Katherine Jean Lopez that Shiite Iran and Sunni Osama Bin Laden were in cahoots and might possibly have cooked up 9/11 together.

Michelle Malkin stoked the fires of anti-Iranian outrage with phony photos; Norman Podhoretz made the case for bombing Iran in a commentary entitled, of course, “The Case for Bombing Iran.” And we had that mouthpiece of sanity Ann Coulter, telling Fox News that “it’s good for Wall Street if we bomb Iran.”

Oh, Ann! But don’t hate her, she was just repeating what Jonathan Hoenig had told Neil Cavuto.

Perhaps most chilling of all was the behind-the-scenes lobbying taking place by groups like Freedom’s Watch, the thankfully-now defunct club of merry warmongers which included Ari Fleischer, and was financed by Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon G. Adelson.

All of that saber-rattling stretched through the summer and into the fall, and to watch this play out while reading a harsh indictment of our warmongering ways like “The Road” was traumatizing. I literally wanted to crawl under my bed and hide for about two weeks.

So excuse me if I don’t buy all the hugs and kisses folks on the far right are sending toward the Iranian people now. Two years ago they were basically advocating incinerating a large number of the folks they’re now scolding Obama for ignoring. You know, over on the Twitter you hear all sorts of things like “Obama went out for ice cream while Iran burned.” As if it’s somehow akin to George W. Bush strumming a guitar with Mark Wills and Condoleezza Rice shopping for shoes while New Orleans descended into anarchy.

Two years after she was egging on the people who wanted to launch bombs at Tehran, we have Michelle Malkin acting all “bygones” and criticizing President Obama for not showing sufficient solidarity with the people she wanted to fry in 2007.

We have John Bolton saying that the president is “not willing to carry through on the hard tasks” and voicing his own reluctance to “cheer on the Iranian dissidents” because, as he notes without any irony whatsoever, “a lot of blood could flow as a consequence.” Umm …. Just curious what he thought was gonna happen when he went on all the networks advocating pre-emptive bombings two years ago?

And we have Iran expert Michael Ledeen, who I repeat has never actually been to Iran, telling us about the awful repression in Iran and saying that “silence is a form of complicity.” Again: two years ago you claimed that the Iranians were working with Al Qaeda, and might even have been involved in 9/11. They were the enemy. Just curious: are you crazy? Or just corrupt?

I really don’t understand our media or why they think it is news when Lindsay Graham and John McCain, two politicians who clearly need to get a room already, disagree with the president.

Is it somehow news that the guy who lost the last election and his campaign doppelganger are going to be critical of the guy who won?

And no, I don’t feel the need to read Michael Ledeen questioning “why hasn’t President Obama “gotten” Iran right”. Because, you know, neither have you, you fool.

Neither have any of you. And you get booked on the Sunday morning bobblehead shows and write your op-eds and you’re still wrong.

So I have a steaming cup of STFU for the lot of you. The grown-ups are in charge, and you can stamp your little feet all you want, but you were wrong in 2007 and you’re wrong now.

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Filed under conservatives, Iran, media

>How To Screw Up A War, Part 2


A plan to show some alleged Iranian-supplied explosives to journalists last week in Karbala and then destroy them was canceled after the United States realized none of them was from Iran.

Our bad!

(h/t, Atrios)

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Filed under Iran, Iraq War

>Ban’d Part 2

>Finally. Commenter Ban concedes that the photo David Horowitz used to promote Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week is a fake. However, I am still a “liberal imperialist liar”:

”You know, I suggest you jumpy delusional indignant westerners who abuse us middle easterners, rather than concentrate on what’s turned out to be an honest mistake about something REAL, you should concentrate on the lies of your liberal imperialist liars:…-code-pink.html
I wonder what you racist elitists have to say to YOUR side’s lies and propaganda. SHAME ON YOU FASCISTS.

I’m so glad we got that settled. Yes, Ban, women’s rights is a real issue. I’m not quite sure how bombing the crap out of Iran will make life better for the women there, though. Let’s ask some Iraqi women how it’s worked out for them:

Iraqi women: Prostituting ourselves to feed our children

Prostitution is a choice more and more Iraqi women are making just to survive.

“It’s increasing,” Suha says. “I found this ‘thing’ through my friend, and I have another friend in the same predicament as mine. Because of the circumstance, she is forced to do such things.”

Violence, increased cost of living, and lack of any sort of government aid leave women like these with few other options, according to humanitarian workers.

“At this point there is a population of women who have to sell their bodies in order to keep their children alive,” says Yanar Mohammed, head and founder of the Organization for Women’s Freedom in Iraq. “It’s a taboo that no one is speaking about.”

She adds, “There is a huge population of women who were the victims of war who had to sell their bodies, their souls and they lost it all. It crushes us to see them, but we have to work on it and that’s why we started our team of women activists.”

Refugees don’t fare much better:

Iraqi Refugees Turn To Prostitution

Many Women In Syria Are Forced To Sell Their Bodies To Support Their Families

(CBS) It’s after midnight, and the action on the Jermana strip on the edge of Damascus is just picking up. CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reports that this might seem an unlikely place to look for war refugees from Iraq, but inside — beyond the musicians and the floor show — they are there.

These refugees are selling the only thing they have left of any value: their bodies. In the clubs, the waiters act as dealmakers between clients and the Iraqi prostitutes.

This is the Arab world, where a woman’s honor means everything. The fact that so many Iraqi women refugees are turning to prostitution is a mark of their desperation.

Historically, women and children have suffered the most during times of war. So I really have to question the agenda of those who would claim war with Iran will be good for women in that country. Sane people know better.

Comments Off on >Ban’d Part 2

Filed under David Horowitz, Iran, Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, women's rights


>The folks at Sadly, No! have possibly shed some light on commenter Ban/Nasi/Somaya, who had some pretty choice words for me when I linked to Sadly No’s original post about a movie still used to justify hate-monger David Horowitz’s bizarro “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.”

Apparently there is someone named Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi whose father is an Iranian political prisoner who has been shopping this movie-still-cum-photographic-evidence around to the fringe right-wing set who are so eager to justify their war-thirst for Iran.

What’s sad is that instead of trying to shine light on a real human rights issue, they’re using phony evidence of atrocities to drum up public support for bombing Iran. I guess things are going so swimmingly in Iraq, our military has nothing better to do, eh?

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Filed under David Horowitz, Iran, Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week

>Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before

>File this under “creepy sycophants with the President’s ear”:

George Bush isn’t talking to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But he is speaking to Iranian student dissident Amir Abbas Fakhravar. And Fakhravar’s dead set on keeping it that way.

The thirty-two-year-old looks the part of a revolutionary. He has the fierce green eyes of a panther, and an eerie confidence that makes you wonder if he sees something you can’t. Dressed in mesh shorts and a T-shirt, he ushers me into his bare D.C. apartment late one night. There’s a desk flooded with papers in one corner. On the wall hang a pre-revolutionary Iranian flag and a cowboy hat.

The flag is for Iran’s past and future, he says, and the cowboy hat is for his greatest hero: George Bush. “Bush and I were both born on July 6, within the same hour” he says. And because of this cosmic occurrence, “[we] are both hard line, passionate people” who want to rapidly, unabashedly change the world. But far more than a birthday and a cowboy ethos bonds the two men.

Last year Bush’s neo-conservative confidant, Richard Perle, former head of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee who advocated invading Iraq, helped Fakhravar flee Iran’s jails for the U.S. Once in D.C., Fakhravar found more allies in the White House who supported an aggressive stance toward Iran. He made the rounds, speaking out at senate hearings, democracy conferences and conservative think tanks. This led some Iranians, including student dissidents like Kouroush Sahati, to ask: is this really fate or just opportunism?

Gee, good question. I wonder … where have we heard this story before? Let me think …. oh yeah, it was this guy. Of course, I’m not the first to compare Fakhravar with Chalabi, down to his neo-con backers and the fact that his fairy tales are being stovepiped directly to President Bush. Mother Jones did an excellent piece on this guy, “Has Washington Found its Iranian Chalabi?”, which I urge everyone to read.

The only thing that puzzles me is how stupid the Washington “foreign policy establishment” can possibly be to buy the same crappy snake oil from a different salesman at the same store. I mean honestly, when Richard Perle comes knocking on your doors and whispering, “Pssst … buddy … I got something for ya here,” you should run, run far, run fast. It’s common sense.

But really, it’s like they’re not even trying anymore. When Richard Perle introduces you to a guy named Fakhravar who spouts crap like this:

“…many Iranians would actually welcome a military strike by the U.S. because of how strongly they wish to get rid of their government.” Americans would be greeted as liberators, he says…

you gotta wonder: they’re just playing with us, right? Really, truly, they don’t think we’re that stupid, do they?

Do they?

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Filed under Ahmed Chalabi, Amir Abbas Fakhravar, Iran, Richard Perle