Sometimes when people are under stress, they hate to think, and it’s the time when they most need to think

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Slam Dunk: The Bush Administration Is Trying to Provoke Iran

On Wednesday, the New York Times reported:

Members of an Iranian Energy Ministry delegation were arrested and held overnight by American troops in Baghdad for having unauthorized weapons, before being released this morning, American and Iraqi officials said in Baghdad. Iranian officials protested the detentions today. The group had been invited to Baghdad to help resolve Iraq’s electricity crisis, Iraqi and Iranian officials said.

A media adviser to the Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq told Reuters news agency that the group was in Baghdad at the invitation of Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity to help build a power station in the Shiite city of Najaf.Why were these Iranians arrested by U.S. troops if, according to Iraqi officials, they were part of an Energy Ministry delegation invited to Baghdad to “help resolve Iraq’s electricity crisis”? That Iraq has a serious electricity crisis is well known. Surely such assistance should be welcomed. There must have been some mistake.

Not so, apparently, The Times reports. A manager at the hotel where the Iranians were staying said:

“I told [the US soldiers] that the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity had invited them, that they were guests of the ministry and that we had a letter from the ministry confirming this.

So, prior to the Iranians’ arrest, U.S. soldiers were aware that the hotel where the Iranians were staying had proof that the Iranians were in Iraq at the invitation of Iraq’s Energy Ministry.

It’s not what the soldiers knew that was important they were just acting on orders. It is that they were told to make the arrests regardless of what papers were or credentials were produced; that  order came down a chain of command that started at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The neocons haven’t learned any new tricks, the old ones still work pretty well, They Knew Despite the Whitewash, We Now Know that the Bush Administration was Warned Before the War That Its Iraq Claims were Weak

There is no doubt even though there was no proof of Iraq’s complicity, the White House was focused on Iraq within hours of the 9/11 attacks. As CBS News reported, “barely five hours after American Airlines Flight 77 plowed into the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was telling his aides to come up with plans for striking Iraq.” Former Bush counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke recounted vividly how, just after the attack, President Bush pressured him to find an Iraqi connection. In many ways, this was no surprise—as former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill and another administration official confirmed, the White House was actually looking for a way to invade Iraq well before the terrorist attacks.

But such an unprovoked invasion of a sovereign country required a public rationale. And so the Bush administration struck fear into the hearts of Americans about Saddam Hussein’s supposed WMD, starting with nuclear arms. In his first major address on the “Iraqi threat” in October 2002, President Bush invoked fiery images of mushroom clouds and mayhem, saying, “Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program.”

As Her Star Wanes, Rice Tries to Reshape Legacy

Despite criticism from conservatives within the administration, she has allowed her North Korea aide, Christopher R. Hill, enough space to negotiate a truce that led to the North’s shutdown of its main nuclear reactor in July.

It struck me as funny that Rice is going to use the agreement with North Korea to buoy her reputation since the deal she made was a resurrection of the Clinton administration’s agreement, Déjà Nuke

President Bill Clinton’s accord with North Korea—formally titled “The Agreed Framework Between the United States of America and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” signed in Geneva on Oct. 21, 1994—had almost exactly the same provisions.

So her one notable accomplishment has been to act like a Clintonite.

“Sometimes when people are under stress, they hate to think, and it’s the time when they most need to think.”- President Bill Clinton