Politics of Terror: GOP Adviser and Pundit Raise Possibility of Pre-Election Attacks

I am not one who subscribes to the theory of a pre-election attack on Iran, but it is getting harder with GOP advisers and pundits openly opining of the likelihood or benefit from either an Iranian attack or even a terrorist attack. Pundit Bill Kristol told Fox viewers that, if the American people do not support McCain, Bush may feel that he has little choice but to attack Iran. In the meantime, a leading adviser to McCain has said that a terrorist attack would be a big benefit for the flagging campaign. Finally, John Bolten is penciling an attack on Iran from Israel for pre-inauguration but after the election.

Kristol Ball: Here is the statement of Kristol on Fox News: “if the president thought John McCain was going to be the next president, he would think it more appropriate to let the next president make that decision than do it on his way out.

For the interview, click here.

In the meantime, in an interview with Fortune Magazine, McCain adviser said that another attack on U.S. soil before the election would be a “big advantage” to McCain. (He later expressed regrets over the comment).

For that story, click here.

Now, John Bolton, the former American ambassador to the United Nations, has predicted that Israel will attack Iran after the November presidential election but before George W Bush’s successor is sworn in Showing that he remains consistently delusional, he insisted that the Arab world would be “pleased” by Israeli strikes against Iran, click here.

18 thoughts on “Politics of Terror: GOP Adviser and Pundit Raise Possibility of Pre-Election Attacks”

  1. Although this isn’t about Iran it is showing people willing to speak out to accomplish the good.

    Ex-Cabinet Members Press Bush to Ban Torture

    June 25, 2008 1:08 PM

    ABC News’ Kirit Radia and Jennifer Parker Report: Turning up the volume on the heated debate over the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, a bipartisan group of former cabinet members, military leaders and religious leaders released a signed statement Wednesday calling on President Bush to ban torture.

    “Though we come from a variety of backgrounds and walks of life, we agree that the use of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment against prisoners is immoral, unwise, and un-American,” a coalition of over 200 high-profile leaders from every administration dating back to the Johnson era said in the statement released Wednesday.

    They called on Bush to issue an executive order affirming principles including the rule of law, waterboarding, and end rendition — a controversial practice where the US sends foreign nationals back to their home countries where they may face torture and interrogation.

  2. The issue of bombing Iran isn’t entirely up to the US. Israel (rightly or wrongly) views an Iran with nuclear weapons as an existential threat. Their decisions on this issue aren’t likely to based on the wishes of the American public or Congress. If they truly feel threatened, they will likely make some form of an attack, the consequences to others be damned.

    The alternative (as Israel sees it), is that one day they are attacked with an Iranian nuke and their only recourse is to counter-attack with their own nuclear weapons.

    The military wouldn’t be asked to do anything. They would be ordered to do so.

    As for the military leadership, resignation to due disagreement with orders is rare. It can happen, but don’t hold your breath.

    And the idea of them refusing an order from the president is very dangerous. Policy (even if stupid) is set by the civilian leadership. The military carries it out. Having a situation where the civilian leadership can’t trust the military to carry out its orders is very dangerous.

    I know people often accuse the Bush administration of being fascist, and maybe some its policies are, but if you really want fascism (and loss of democracy) try having civilian policy subject to the approval of the military. The military must never set the policy.

    Personally, I think an attack on Iran would have very serious repercussions and is a decision that should not be undertaken lightly.

  3. rcampbell,

    Every war “game”, and I mean every one, comes out with a hugh disaster for this and other nations. It does seem that many of the people making these insane decisions believe in christianizing the world. Undemocratic and murderous actions are perfectly justifiable to achieve these aims. They are doing it for Jesus and that end justifies every means. I heard the author of the book: “The Family”, Jeff Scharlat on NPR yesterday. It sounds like your worst idea of a conspiracy theory but the author has all the documents to back it up (many obtained from the Billy Graham library). These idiots believe their wealth and power is the sign of their ordination/election by god. I truly hope the military leaders, if asked to bomb, resign, refuse this illegal order and speak out in no uncertain terms. Because, you’re right, if there’s a wrong decision to make, they’re on it!


  4. If Israel attacks Iran and Iran takes a retaliatory action it sets up an extremely dangerous scenario when one considers the very close relationship Iran has with Russia and China. Is that really a road the US should travel? It’s pretty naive to think this might not become a much larger, much nastier international melodrama. There could well be economic consequences for the US even without militar actions.

    Does anyone think that an attack on Iran, even through a surrogate like Israel, wouldn’t have an impact on those millions of Shi’ite Iraqis who are alreay more loyal to Iran than to Iraq, let alone to the USA?

    At every conjucture where a wrong decision CAN be made, this administration has jumped in to make it.

  5. Russ,

    If Israel attacks Iran (which will no doubt be portrayed as a preemptive act of self defense in the US), it’s very likely that Iran will make some kind of military counter-strike.

    It is this counter-strike that will allow the United States to directly strike Iran.

    This administration will position Israel’s initial actions as just and prudent while portraying an Iranian counter-strike as an aggressive, irrational and warring overreaction that represents an immediate and broad threat to Israel’s security or existence. I’m sure we will also hear that US interests and security are also threatened, probably including discussions of global terrorism and oil supplies.

    If this scenario unfolds, US actions against Iran will enjoy a moral correctness and clever political cover in the media that would not exist if we are seen as unilaterally attacking Iran with a lesser justification that would seem to echo the flawed entry into Iraq.

  6. J,

    People in the military can resign and speak up, as many have. Had Colin Powell done so it would have given a real pause to the rush to war.


  7. Good God you liberals are so naive.

    The only attack that will occur will be Israel on Iran after the election no matter who wins or Presidential election.

    Israel is gearing up for the attack. Israel knows this is the best way to force Obama’s hand IF he is elected and they know if McCain is elected they (Israel) can trust him.

  8. Members of the active duty military have restrictions placed upon what they can & cannot say publicly for the purpose of civilian control of the military.

    Whether they agree or disagree with the president on current or proposed policies, they should maintain proper discipline.

    As someone who is from a country with a history of military interference in politics (and dictatorships), the last thing I was is the active duty force engaging in these discussions (at least outside of their own private discussions).

  9. Jill:

    The “Family” sure sounds like the mob or more correctly a Fifth Column.

  10. I wanted to share this as it may be of interest to many. Today’s Diane Rehm show on NPR had a program on, “the Family”. This is a group of christian fundamentalists drawing members from the highest level of our govt. They look to Hitler, Mao etc. as mentors in ruling the world for Jesus. “The Family” (Harper) {by Jeff Sharlet…}

    “It’s one of the most influential and least well known organizations in the country. The Family, also known as The Fellowship, consider themselves followers of Christ, and individuals responsible for changing the the world. An inside look at the power and history of The Family.

    Jeff Sharlet, a contributing editor for “Harper’s” and “Rolling Stone,” and an associate research scholar at New York University’s Center for Religion and Media.”


  11. Tick people!

    I do want members of the military and state to speak out publically. I’ll take the leaks as well, but if Colin Powell had stood up, his actions would have made Iraq much more difficult, maybe even have stopped the invasion.

    I agree that we all have to shout out about this. This tick plans to cling to this issue and try to suck the blood out of cheneybush crazed/dangerous/horrific plan.

  12. What is the difference between John Bolton’s comments that Bush will attack Iran if it looks like Obama will win the Presidency and these horrible comments by McCain’s advisor? They are both attempting to do the same thing. They are both designed to strike fear in the public that doesn’t take the time to actually determine if the facts are accurate whenever they get their daily dosage of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. The Bush Administration and the proposed McCain cadre seem to be intersecting their ideas and that may be due to McCain’s “informal” advisor, Karl Rove bringing his usual divisive politics to the forefront. I agree with Mespo that it is up to the American public to hold McCain’s feet to the fire for statements like this and any politician who uses fear as a campaign tactic. I am not hopeful that McCain will stop those tactics anytime soon. Dunder, I am amazed that you can take the facts and try to reverse them in your direction. You mention Obama’s stance on Iran as being condemned by the world. Where in the world did you get that factoid?? Even Admiral Mullen and Defense Secretary Gates want to open up discussions with Iran. Maybe after the Election you will get a clue.

  13. I am with Jill here. It’s hard to know whether the comment was predictive or precatory. I guess what is appalling is the statements’ absolute divorce from any notion of good or evil– the cynical approach to human death as a contextual backdrop for political maneuvering. What is despicable, as Richard Clark, said lat night is the fact that terrorist organizations monitor this sort of commentary, and Black knows it. If he was being suggestive, he is indeed worse than a traitor.

    As to Jill’s plea for bureaucrats to come forward to oppose this fear mongering, I think she asks what has never been and likely will not be. The Bureaucracy works well behind the scenes with well-placed leaks a la Watergate, but not so well in open opposition. That is up to us.

  14. Another terror attack would provide yet again highlight the dismal failure of the Bush admistration and it’s policies. An attack now would guarantee Senator Obama’s victory as President. It would prove the mantra of the right, “…fighting them over there…” is complete nonsense. It would prove the administartion’s bungling in Iraq has produced more terrorists and made us less safe. The fact is that such an attack practically assures a Democratic Party landslide and yet these right wing nut jobs and their resident blogster enablers continue to promote fear and paranoia as their only campaign issue.

  15. I am of a mixed opinion on this one. I think that Mr. Black was being accurate in his statement. It sounds unseemly, but he was saying what he thought. If you look at the recent past. he was correct in his assement.

    As to B.K., he would accept the bombing of Iran will glee. It seems clear to me that the bushites are out drumming up support for the bombing every way they can. cheney-bush are sending minions out to a variety of forums–running ideas up the flag pole to see who will salute. They are working on the religious as well as the national “security” base, hoping to cobble together enough people who will defend the indefensible.

    The problem is, this shit works. People who believe in the constitution and the international rule of law, be they right or left need to get out in front of this and stop it now. I know many in the military and state dept. are certain of the disaster this bombing would cause. They should keep speaking out in no uncertain terms. The IAEA is speaking out as well. cheney/bush lies need to be clearly and repetetively countered by facts.

  16. A strike on Iran. One more shot at the grand prize. One more chance to jump start the rapture.

    Living La Vida Loca.

  17. Yes, we should never allow a discussion on the political implications of another terrorist attack on America. Maybe we need a new law forbidding it. Could somebody check into that.

    As far as Crystal’s comments. The context was that if Obama was elected and President Bush felt that the world’s policy towards Iran was about to be undermined by Obama, he may (emphasize MAY) feel he has no choice but to attack Iran before Obama takes office. Judging by the recent condemnation of Obama’s position on Iran by this same world, Crystal made a good point. It may very well be the world that insist’s Bush act on Iran before the “great accomodator” Obama takes office.

    The recent Newsweek poll showing obama up by 15 points polled 35% Republican or leaning Republican and 55% Democrat or leaning Democrat. Not only is that a biased worthless poll, it leaves out 10%…Typical Newsweek poll! They have always been in the tank for Obama!

Comments are closed.