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King Log?

By Michael J. Smith on Monday July 6, 2009 07:04 PM

From the LA Times:

Biden says Israel has the right to attack Iran

Washington — Vice President Joe Biden signaled that the Obama administration would not stand in the way if Israel chose to attack Iran's nuclear facilities....

"Look, Israel can determine for itself -- it's a sovereign nation -- what's in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else," Biden [said].

"Look, we cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do," he said.

Reminded that the U.S. could impede an Israeli strike on Iran by prohibiting it from using Iraqi airspace, Biden said he was "not going to speculate" ....

Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he had been "for some time concerned about any strike on Iran." He also said that military action should not be ruled out and that a nuclear-armed Iran was a highly troubling prospect.

Mullen said he worried about unpredictable consequences of an attack on Iran.

"I worry about it being very destabilizing not just in and of itself but the unintended consequences of a strike like that," he told CBS' "Face the Nation." "At the same time, I'm one that thinks Iran should not have nuclear weapons. I think that's very destabilizing."

Poor Mullen -- trying to cover all the bases, and falling all over himself in the process.

Another straw in the wind, for what it's worth:

Saudis would ignore Israeli jets en route to Iran

LONDON (AFP) — Saudi Arabia would turn a blind eye to Israeli warplanes flying over the kingdom in any raid on Iran's nuclear sites, The Sunday Times said in a report denied by Israel.

Citing diplomatic sources, it said the head of Israel's Mossad intelligence service had assured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Saudi Arabia has tacitly agreed to the use of its airspace....

The Sunday Times said Mossad director Meir Dagan had held secret talks with Saudi officials to discuss the possibility.

"The Saudis have tacitly agreed to the Israeli air force flying through their airspace on a mission which is supposed to be in the common interests of Israel and Saudi Arabia," it quoted a diplomatic source as saying.

Now none of this comes as any great surprise. Everybody now acknowledges that the Israel-crazed Bush administration actually refused to let Israel attack Iran, a couple of years ago. But the Democrats have historically been even more Israel-crazy than the Republicans, so if they're now giving the green light -- which is certainly what Biden's comments sound like -- it's only to be expected, on prior form.

The mildly interesting question is whether Obama is down with all this. Or is he just being bypassed? Is he, in fact, King Log(*)?

The same question occurs in connection with the coup in Honduras. My man Ace Cockburn thinks it was the usual Central American military coup, and Washington was in it up to its elbows, Obie included:

We can take it as an absolute certainly that CIA and Pentagon advisors were at the elbows of the Honduran plotters, giving the green light and barely bothering to maintain deniability, and that Obama and Mrs Clinton had been fully briefed....

The first statements from Obama and Secretary of State Clinton bear all the marks of careful preparation. In the coup’s immediate aftermath last Sunday they merely urged negotiations with the coup plotters to "restore constitutional order”, feebly enjoining "all political and social actors in Honduras to respect democratic norms, the rule of law and the tenets of the Inter-American Democratic Charter”, which has all the moral and persuasive power of telling a child not to go swimming immediately after lunch. Carefully avoided was any tough demand by Obama or Clinton – still hoarse from shouts for “democracy” in Iran -- for the legitimate Honduran President Zelaya to be returned to office. The plan was obviously to try and run out the clock with indecisive parleys until Zelaya’s term ends in six months.

But my other man, Hugo Chavez, thinks -- or at least says -- different (apologies for the translation -- my Spanish is really bad):
Chavez... accused sectors of the US right-wing of being behind the [Honduran] coup.... [He] said these groups were 'defying' President Obama with these actions....

[Chavez] declared that [the US is] sliced up among powerful organizations that add up to a "horrific miltary, industrial, financial, terrorist and drug-dealing machine."

[He] discounted the possibility that the north American [president] had any connection with what happened in Honduras... but warned him to take a position more opposed to the [coup] government.

Somehow -- pace Alex -- I prefer the idea of rogue entrepreneurs a la Aaron Burr conducting US foreign policy on their own, while Obie polishes his soothing phrases in the Oval Office. But who knows? Let's hope we all live long enough to read the memoirs.


(*) A fable of Aesop's. The frogs wanted a king, so Zeus dropped a nice old log into their pond. The frogs enjoyed the log for a while, leaping off its sun-warmed back into the cool water, but then they decided they wanted a more stylish, activist king. So Zeus sent 'em a stork, who ate them all up.

Comments (8)


There it is, straight from the whorse's mouth. The glorious velvet revolution in Iran has failed, so it's on to plan B.

I know it sounds quaint, especially when we are talking about everyone's favorite rogue state, but surely even the Vice-Satrap of West Israel has heard of the UN Charter:

Article 39: "The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security."



"...prefer the idea of rogue entrepreneurs "


that we can wonder here is signifigant

good emperors can due process it
enough to muddle the well intended mind set
so long as they don't over due process
when the nut cracker moments arrive
after all
the ends of empire can never change

his one dimensional take
on the oustering of the pinking prez
shows our alex may have
a too narrow
--if more entertaining ---
view of empire's means

as to zionic strikes
into persia
i'd still bet large agin it

though a better moment
may not come again for some interval

Peter Ward:

Apparently Israel is a "sovereign" nation and Iraq, prior to the US invasion, was not.

Speaking of hash pipes, to me, this time, Chavez sounds rather like he made that statement an hour or so after getting another breath-freshening total-care tube of paste from our comrade Evo. Dude sounds like he's rambling out his butt.

Is SMBIVA's vanguard actually buying the idea that the CIA is not reporting to the President and Madame Scorpion? If that were true and Obie had some scruples on this one issue (having demonstrated none on any other), why wouldn't Ob have simply said "put Zelaya back"?

Personally, I'm with AC on this one, big time. This reeks of the Obamian style of overthrow. Back the rollback, then play hamstrung afterwards, while stalling and imposing a compromise that would have been impossible sans the original green light.

A state that produces 100+ State Department reports a year on Cuba is not hands-off in Tegucigalpa.

All this alleged indecision is merely Carteresque posing to sell the Matthew Iglesiases of the nation the patently preposterous belief that there exists "an effort by the Obama administration to end American dominance in the hemisphere and to demonstrate greater collaboration with its neighbors."

Shit, man, not only have these fuckers already met with the coup instigators, but they're admitting their purpose in encouraging negotiations is to disable "the people who created the problems to walk away from them."

There's only one possible translation for that. Zelaya created the "problem" by taking an opinion poll about pursuing constitutional changes. He must come back and admit that, and then agree that it is wrong for the people of Honduras to dare to govern themselves. Failing that, he can continue to "walk away."


of course you may be right md
but my point:
the good emperor can afford to burnish the brand now and again
the carter parallel here is apt indeed
recall jimmy does mezo
nic at nite
sequel el s

the pass then the no mas

but to drive nails in nic
reagan had to show
the stretch marks
of the shirley temple bad ass emperor brand

we're back to pepsi here indeed
but its a new generation

then again i'd contend
the jfk good emperor
james bond brand division
good looking but bad acting
....when necessary and withgals and style
will not fly today
even in desperately hopeful weather
its a long way from ike and john foster

hey hondo jack hisseff is in town..
he may be doing the scorp lady handle bar style
even as i tap..
a sun riser
tres latin


Just wondering if we are not being a little dismissive of the Honduran people, poor and downtrodden as they are, in rushing to see them as merely passive victims of super-neighbor's same-old arrogant power games?

There's quite a lot of tinder in this area for further Bolivarian ignitions.

P.S. More like King Sinking Log. And the pond is aboil, too...


brand buff supreme :


the ob team wants a piece
of the peace on earth pie
here in the pan am hemi
while killing talibandits
over in urtban country

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