Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Senators Warn Against War With Iran


AP Diplomatic Writer
January 31, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican and Democratic senators warned Tuesday against a drift toward war with an emboldened Iran and suggested the Bush administration was missing a chance to engage its longtime adversary in potentially helpful talks over next-door Iraq.

``What I think many of us are concerned about is that we stumble into active hostilities with Iran without having aggressively pursued diplomatic approaches, without the American people understanding exactly what's taking place,'' Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., told John Negroponte, who is in line to become the nation's No. 2 diplomat as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's deputy.

To read the full text, see

Thursday, January 25, 2007

President's Portrayal of 'The Enemy' Often Flawed

By Glenn Kessler
Washington Post Staff Writer
January 24, 2007; A13

Blog editor's not: This is one of the most astute analyses I've read of the President's State of the Union speech in terms of the President's characterization of who and what the U.S. faces in the "war on terror."

In his State of the Union address last night, President Bush presented an arguably misleading and often flawed description of "the enemy" that the United States faces overseas, lumping together disparate groups with opposing ideologies to suggest that they have a single-minded focus in attacking the United States.

Under Bush's rubric, a country such as Iran -- which enjoys diplomatic representation and billions of dollars in trade with major European countries -- is lumped together with al-Qaeda, the terrorist group responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. "The Shia and Sunni extremists are different faces of the same totalitarian threat," Bush said, referring to the different branches of the Muslim religion.

To read the full text, see Washington Post

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Scant evidence found of Iran-Iraq arms link
U.S. warnings of advanced weaponry crossing the border are overstated, critics say.

By Alexandra Zavis and Greg Miller
Times Staff Writers
January 23, 2007

BAQUBAH, IRAQ — If there is anywhere Iran could easily stir up trouble in Iraq, it would be in Diyala, a rugged province along the border between the two nations.

The combination of Sunni Arab militants believed to be affiliated with Al Qaeda and Shiite Muslim militiamen with ties to Iran has fueled waves of sectarian and political violence here. The province is bisected by long-traveled routes leading from Iran to Baghdad and Shiite holy cities farther south in Iraq.

But even here, evidence of Iranian involvement in Iraq's troubles is limited. U.S. troops have found mortars and antitank mines with Iranian markings dated 2006, said U.S. Army Col. David W. Sutherland, who oversees the province. But there has been little sign of more advanced weaponry crossing the border, and no Iranian agents have been found.

To read the full text, see Los Angeles Times Note: It may be necessary to register with the Times to read this story. It's free.

How West aided Saddam's regime

If you're interested in how the West, most prominently the U.S., aided Saddam Hussein before 1990 and Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, you can access parts of a documentary on by ex-"60 Minutes" producer Barry Lando which he did for French TV. It is worthy of note that such a documentary never appeared on American mainstream TV. To view, go to US Complicity with Saddam's '91 slaughter. PART 1/2 If the link doesn't work, do a search either for "Barry Lando," or the title of the film, "Saddam Hussein: The trial the world will never see."


This blog resumes today after an eight-month break during which the editor did not teach the class for which it's intended. During the coming semester, we willl resume linking articles that may be of interest to anyone interested in the making and conduct of American foreign policy, particularly during a time of war.