More post-Fallon overheating: “6 signs the US may be headed for war in Iran”

No matter what the illustrations I provide in a blognote, readers top it!  Yesterday’s note discussed the silliness following Admiral Fallon’s resignation, especially the rumors of a US strike at Iran.  In the comments Greg Lehmann provides a better instance of post-Fallon overheating by the major media:  6 Signs the U.S. May Be Headed for War in Iran“, US News and World Report (11 March 2008).  The “six signs” are as follows:

  1. Fallon’s resignation” — Of course.
  2. Vice President Cheney’s peace trip” — Whether for war or peace, all travel by Cheney signals war to some folks!   Also, peace trips by high US government officials are like trolleys, as they come along frequently.  Not exactly a hot indicator of war.
  3. Israeli airstrike on Syria” — Five month old news, so not exactly a Defcon 1 alert.
  4. Warships off Lebanon” — US fleet movements are another standard element of the “about to bomb Iran” urban legends.  US ships leave the Middle East (which means noting); US ships arrive … which means war!
  5. Israeli comments: Israeli President Shimon Peres said earlier this month that Israel will not consider unilateral action to stop Iran from getting a nuclear bomb. In the past, though, Israeli officials have quite consistently said they were prepared to act alone.” — Israel saying they will bomb Iran is evidence; so are statements that they will not bomb.
  6. Israel’s war with Hezbollah: While this seems a bit old, Israel’s July 2006 war in Lebanon…” — Almost two years ago, and so of little relevance.  Yes, this is odd to include in this list.

Sum total:  almost nothing. 

Please share your comments by posting below (brief and relevant, please), or email me at fabmaximus at hotmail dot com (note the spam-protected spelling). 

Other posts in this series about the Internet:  does it make us smarter or dumber?

  1. Will Israel commit suicide? More rumors of a strike at Iran.  (22 December 2007)
  2. Three blind men examine the Iraq Elephant  (6 February 2008)
  3. Cable Cut Fever grips the conspiracy-hungry fringes of the web  (7 February 2008)
  4. Resolution of the Great Submarine Cable Crisis — and some lessons learned  (8 February 2008)
  5. What do blogs do for America?  (26 February)
  6. The oddity of reports about the Iraq War  (13 March 2008)
  7. Will we bomb Iran, now that Admiral Fallon is gone?  (17 March 2008)
  8. More post-Fallon overheating: “6 signs the US may be headed for war in Iran”  (18 March 2008)
  9. Euphoria about the Bakken Formation  (10 April 2008)
  10. The Internet makes us dumber: the Bakken euphoria, a case study  (15 April 2008)

5 thoughts on “More post-Fallon overheating: “6 signs the US may be headed for war in Iran”

  1. “Warships off Lebanon” – yes because if I wanted to attack Iran, I couldn’t think of a better place to put my warships than someplace with Iran’s sole ally between them and their target.

  2. It seems that the logical strategy would be to ‘contain’ Iran while working toward aiding and/or influencing some form of internal change. I may give too much credit, but I suspect that we’re doing an adequate job in that regard.

    The rest is just balance-of-power word war with a faint redolence of brinksmanship. I’d wager that every time the words ‘invade’, ‘attack’ and ‘Iran’ show up close together, people over there get pretty nervous.

  3. I think you are right. But the story is interesting in another way: The US government today reminds me today of the old Soviet regime and even the most subtle changes in rhetoric or a sudden change in the leadership give rise to speculation. A bit sad for American democracy I think.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: Interesting observation! Some of this might result from size, as the government is so large that we must guess at what goes on inside the beast (as it grows, volume increases faster than surface area — so it grows more “opaque.”) Some of this perhaps results from decay, as the government increasingly responds largely to internal factors. This is the “court politics” model of Versailles-on-the -Potomac, where policy decisions are made on the basis of competing factions (both individuals and departments) — not on their effect on the outside world.

  4. “Warships off Lebanon” – yes because if I wanted to attack Iran, I couldn’t think of a better place to put my warships than someplace with Iran’s sole ally between them and their target.

    That would actually be there to deal with Hezbullah, Iran’s proxy there. The line they keep giving about Iran having some sort of secret program is another signal of intentions against Iran.

  5. Re: “Israeli airstrike on Syria” — Five month old news, so not exactly a Defcon 1 alert.”

    I am not ‘pushing’ the ‘Iran about to be attacked scenario’ but, if the Israeli air strike on Syria were to test the standard Russian built defenses (as I assume these are) then a few months to figure the best way to circumvent them is not out of the question. It would be a prudent action if a strike were contemplated.
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    Fabius Maximus: Unfortunately this logic works just as well the other way. If we thought the Russian-build air defenses had hopes, Israel’s strike this blown our operational advantage. Iran has had months to upgrade and otherwise adapt to the lessons provided by Israel. That suggests that the strike was not a prelude to hitting Iran (by either Israel or the US), or if so (as you suggest) the strike should have followed more closed — before Iran too could adjust.

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