"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Friday, December 21, 2007

A “Highly Confident” Friday Sermon from Iran

James S. Robbins wrote yesterday at NRO:

“The NIE has presented Iran with a major strategic opportunity. Iran’s best move at this point is to open some form of dialogue with the United States. Promote the idea that the “grand bargain” to settle the major issues of the region is possible, play into that instinct on our side. This will serve as a useful shield against attack by third parties, because if negotiations are afoot, we will strongly discourage any other country from taking military action. Keep the talks going for as long as possible. Periodically hint at breakthroughs, settle some minor issues, feed the vanity of diplomacy. Meanwhile move out vigorously on developing a nuclear-weapons capability. When the time comes to test the weapon, foment some kind of small crisis, break off talks (though not too belligerently), conduct the test, and blame the United States for making it necessary. Then call for a new round of talks, particularly about limiting nuclear proliferation in the region. Once Tehran has the Bomb, non-proliferation will be Iran’s number one priority. At least to anyone who might fight back.”

Oddly enough in today’s Friday Sermon, Expediency Council Chairman Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani “the Swell” spoke of the U.S. intelligence community and the recent NIE regarding Iranian “peaceful” nuclear intentions.

“the West should benefit from the positive points in Iran's nuclear case. "Why are you trying to distort the report presented by your own intelligence units? Why are you trying - based on your diversionary analysis - to consider the positive move of Russia, which has acted on its duty, in delivering the first fuel consignment of Bushehr nuclear power plant as an ultimatum?" Referring to positive moves taken in Iran's nuclear case, Iran's enhanced cooperation with the IAEA and providing answers to questions of the UN nuclear watchdog, and the report of the US intelligence units have on the whole been to a large extent in favor of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

In what could be considered an “even chance,” which “almost certainly,” though if only “remotely” is a page taken from the NIE the Friday speaker said:

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is the responsible party; is not after tension and sabotage and favors peace, calm and tranquility.”

I'll agree Iran is "responsible" for this mess, but how does an extremist government achieve the favored "peace, calm and tranquility?" Nukes? After all, he didn't say when and how.

In “Rafsanjani the Swells” closing (bold mine):

"To sum up, ever since the US president started speaking of the axis of evil, Americans have suffered the most damage. Americans raise their military budget annually. Their war casualties are high and they have many physical and psychological war disabled. This has turned into a disaster for them."

That the U.S. has “suffered the most damage” and “war casualties are high” is difficult to reckon what is being used “subjectively” by the bloodthirsty man of the soiled cloth; however “WITHOUT DOUBT (my intelligence estimate) he is not using the Iran/Iraq war of the 80’s casualties of Iran at roughly 1 million as his benchmark.

The Vindication of Iran

From the National Intelligence Estimate of December 3, 2007:

What We Mean When We Say: An Explanation of Estimative Language:

We use phrases such as we judge, we assess, and we estimate—and probabilistic terms such as probably and likely—to convey analytical assessments and judgments. Such statements are not facts, proof, or knowledge. These assessments and judgments generally are based on collected information, which often is incomplete or fragmentary. Some assessments are built on previous judgments. In all cases, assessments and judgments are not intended to imply that we have “proof” that shows something to be a fact or that definitively links two items or issues.”

"We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program"

Raymond Ibrahim, author of “The Al Qaeda Reader” wrote yesterday at NRO regarding language that couches the findings in the “estimate” along with the juxtaposition of the 2005 NIE and this newest (italics mine):”

“A ‘high confidence’ judgment is not a fact or certainty, however, and such judgments still carry a risk of being wrong” — such as when NIE stated in 2005 (two years after “Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program”) that “[We] assess with high confidence that Iran currently is determined to develop nuclear weapons.”’

We’ll have to assume this year’s estimate was not based on “assessments (are) built on previous judgments.”

It would appear that “intelligence estimates” serve the purposes of many on both sides of an argument and as much as none of the individuals involved would bet their lives on the finished report we should all pass on the “take your pick” NIE and consider Raymond Ibrahim’s closer on the subject of “intelligence” and common sense:

When it comes to all things human, such as politics, “objective” science cannot always help; the irrational is, and always will be, a predominant factor in human relations that cannot be quantified and analyzed. But a little cognizance of human nature — common sense — goes a long way.

Bottom line: Yes, Iran wants to acquire nuclear weapons.”

At least Iran is making good use of the NIE.

For further consideration in what might be used as a guide in defining "common sense" give Great Satan's Girlfriend a visit and enjoy "Divine Intervention and the Date Police" (they don't just live inside of your head)

  • DeMediacratic Nation Blogrolls


    © blogger templates 3 column | Webtalks