For some laffs, check out one of the finds made in that TPM newsthingie's comments thread:
You can bet on going to war with Iran. Many in Glenn Greenwald's Foreign Policy Community will be attending a "Transpartisan Dialogue on Iran" on 9/06-9/08, sponosored by Reuniting America(link below).Er, yeah. I haven't got to that whole Glenn Greenwald "foreign policy community" yet (an insular, theoretically dubious, and out of touch foreign policy establishment is NEWS to some people?) but I know a conference designed to justify policy when I see one.
Partial list of attendees:
John Batiste, Former Commander in Iraq, 1st Infantry Division
Phil Geraldi, Intelligence Analyst, American Conservative Defense Alliance
John Bolton, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Michael Ledeen, Freedom Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
Newt Gingrich, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Michael Rubin, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
Frank Wisner, Ambassador, Vice Chairman, American International Group
Howard Kohr, Executive Director, American Israel Public Affairs
Dov Zakheim, Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton
Kenneth Pollack, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
Mattie Fein, President, Institute for Persian Studies
For those who are unsure, this is how it's going to go down. Policy papers will come out of this, they will all ("reluctantly") justify and advocate war with Iran. Some books will follow from these same people fleshing it out and saying bad things about Iran. That will provide the scholaresque justification that the other right-wing henchthingies need to get on board with their various blogs, journals, and newspaper opinion columns. Everybody who was against Iraq will be in favor of going up against Iran, and will no doubt justify it by saying that taking down Iran will render Iraq winnable. Soon other editorialists will argue in favor of diplomacy instead of violence, thus rendering the key question whether to use violence or not. That will legitimize it. It's a choice.
That's print. Meanwhile, on television, Fox News will (naturally) have a full court press. They'll have all the "scholars" and henchthingies on to sound the drumbeat. They'll bring on progressives to argue against it, but they'll be like deers in headlights, still shocked to the point of disbelief that it even got this far. CNN will follow suit, because it's still scared out of its mind that it might completely lose the conservative oldsters that form the backbone of cable news viewership. MSNBC might not, because their best asset is Olbermann and he'll be ripping the shit out of this, but MSNBC isn't really a big player in the first place.
Soon the question will shift from not "whether" to do it, but under what circumstances. Doing that is easy. Just answer progressives' complaints about the necessity of this with the question "well, when would YOU think it's necessary?" Many progressives won't take the bait, but some, poorly media trained, will... they'll agree that there is a line beyond which Iran cannot cross or bad things will happen. Of course, after that, the precedent is set: if "X" happens, America bombs Iran. "X" will originally be horribly unlikely, but all they need to do is shift "X" over bit by bit, and eventually "X" will become inevitable. They will either provoke it, or invent it.
And as for getting Congress on side? Well, that's easy. Scare the hell out of the Democrats. They're easily spooked, as FISA demonstrated. Find some ignorant blue-dog suckers to go along with your guys and Lieberman, and you can start pushing it as "bipartisan". The media will lap that up, and the Dems (not realizing that the media and Washington groupthink are dangerously out of step with America's positions) will become terrified that they will look "weak on national security". Hillary might even get on-side, because her support base doesn't care what her foreign policy is; it's all character and gender to them. She'll probably play ball so that she can chase the AIPAC endorsement (and, yes, AIPAC will back this, though not in any sort of "conspiracy theory" way) and get the media's support as the "centrist". Obama will either have to respond in kind, or will lose his carefully-hoarded bipartisan cred. Either way, the war wins- the presidential candidates backing the war will get their allies in the Congress to help them, and the Congress WILL do so, because the Dems in Congress don't want to piss off someone they're convinced will be the next President of the United States.
You've got print. You've got television. You've probably got a bill through Congress authorizing things. You've got at least two services who really wouldn't mind this happening, because the Air Force and Navy are feeling the pinch of ever-increasing Army budget demands. The Internet is immaterial, as the FISA thing demonstrated; all you have opposing you is a bunch of weaksauce bloggers who are probably going to be divided over the whole thing anyway, just like they were over Iraq. They'll think that now things will be different, or they'll get swayed by their blogpatrons who don't want to piss off the Democratic establishment too much lest they lose what access they have. The liberal bloggers will most assuredly hang seperately: you don't need to worry about them.
And after that, the only problem is that the whole idea is ludicrous. It will be a military disaster of unmatched proportions.
But when has that ever stopped this bunch before?