Tue Aug 15, 2006 05:37

8/14/06 - MSNBC: Chris Mattews interviews Seymour Hersh
Add'l clips...Bush... Iran, and the bad guys....!

Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb?

“This is much more than a nuclear issue,” one high-ranking diplomat told me in Vienna. “That’s just a rallying point, and there is still time to fix it. But the Administration believes it cannot be fixed unless they control the hearts and minds of Iran. The real issue is who is going to control the Middle East and its oil in the next ten years.”

A senior Pentagon adviser on the war on terror expressed a similar view. “This White House believes that the only way to solve the problem is to change the power structure in Iran, and that means war,” he said. The danger, he said, was that “it also reinforces the belief inside Iran that the only way to defend the country is to have a nuclear capability.” A military conflict that destabilized the region could also increase the risk of terror: “Hezbollah comes into play,” the adviser said, referring to the terror group that is considered one of the world’s most successful, and which is now a Lebanese political party with strong ties to Iran. “And here comes Al Qaeda.”

In recent weeks, the President has quietly initiated a series of talks on plans for Iran with a few key senators and members of Congress, including at least one Democrat. A senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, who did not take part in the meetings but has discussed their content with his colleagues, told me that there had been “no formal briefings,” because “they’re reluctant to brief the minority. They’re doing the Senate, somewhat selectively.”

Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb?
Playlist: '60 Minutes' Ahmadinejad Interview
Description: (CBS) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sat down with Mike Wallace in Tehran on Tuesday in a rare, exclusive intervi (CBS) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sat down with Mike Wallace in Tehran on Tuesday in a rare, exclusive interview with a Western reporter. In the wide-ranging interview, the Iranian leader comments on President Bush's foreign policy, the lack of relations between Iran and the United States, Hezbollah, Lebanon and Iraq. Speaking about President Bush's failure to answer his 18-page letter that criticized U.S. foreign policy, Ahmadinejad said, "Well, (with the letter) I wanted to open a window towards the light for the president so that he can see that one can look on the world through a different perspective.
Creator: neverknwo

Playlist: '60 Minutes' Ahmadinejad Interview

Returning Home to Ruins: Shock Is Mixed With Outrage

Published: August 15, 2006

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Aug. 14 — Four hours after the cease-fire with Israel
started Monday morning, Dr. Abdel Munaim Mansour stood staring in
disbelief at the mountainous hash of rubble that was once the apartment
building where his family lived.

“We will kill every American for this!” Dr. Mansour shouted, his voice
cracking with rage. “Every Shiite Muslim will kill Americans! We will
grind them under our shoes!”

Dr. Mansour and his wife, Seneen, an elegantly dressed couple who work
at a nearby hospital, stumbled on through their old neighborhood in a
state of shock, seeming almost not to recognize the charred and shredded
landscape around them. They had returned, after weeks of exile in the
relative safety of the mountains, to the capital’s southern Shiite
district, which has been largely deserted during a month of heavy
Israeli bombardment.

Around the couple, thousands of others streamed back on Monday into the
ruined streets, where smoke and the smell of rotting flesh rose from the
rubble. Some cursed America and Israel and swore revenge; others simply
wept. Most said that before they returned, they had no idea of the scale
of the destruction in this area, which includes many Hezbollah offices.

“Why did they bomb here?” asked a 60-year-old woman in a black-and-white
head scarf who gave her name only as Umm Abdullah. “So that people would
turn against Nasrallah and the resistance?” referring to Sheik Hassan
Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader. “But that will never happen. Whatever
happens, we could never hate the resistance. They’re part of our blood,
they’re our children.”

She gazed around sadly at the ruins. “If I only had a thousand livres
for bread,” she said, about 75 cents, “I would give it to the resistance.”

A tall man in a blue shirt stepped eagerly past her, seemingly glimpsing
the vista of ruins for the first time. “All of us are Hassan Nasrallah!”
he bellowed. “Every man, every woman, every stone is Hassan Nasrallah!”

The tall man, as it happens, was Hassan Nasrallah. Not the Hezbollah
leader, he quickly explained; he simply had the same name. He works at a
bank nearby and is a distant relative of the revered cleric, he said.

After he had finished yelling, Mr. Nasrallah became polite and quiet.
“We are not against the American people, we are against American foreign
policy,” he said, switching from Arabic to French to talk to a reporter.

Not far away, Nurredin Asya, a soft-voiced 52-year-old shopkeeper in a
black gown and wire-frame glasses, was gazing up sadly at her own
apartment, on the top floor of a six-story building. It had been smashed
from above, as if a giant thumb had crushed the top layer of a birthday
cake. On the bottom floor of the same building is her minimarket — named
Hasanain, after one of her four children. Its entryway was filled with
rubble and broken glass piled high, its metal door smashed. She had
another store a few blocks away. It is now a large crater.

“Everything is gone,” she said.

It was not the first time for Ms. Asya. She is Lebanese but grew up in
Liberia, she said, and had three food markets there until 1993, when war
engulfed that country, too, and she was forced to flee. She lost
$350,000, she said.

“I am thinking to take my visa and go,” she said. Her husband is in
Virginia, where he was visiting one of their daughters when the bombing
began, and has not been able to return. But Ms. Asya said she would
rather go to Britain.

As she spoke, a young girl dressed in black walked past, her cheeks wet
with tears. She was holding a yellow Hezbollah flag. Elsewhere, people
had planted the flag on the mounds of ruin alongside the Lebanese flag.
Several Hezbollah security guards stood on street corners carrying AK-47
rifles; it was the first time they had moved openly in the area for weeks.

Ms. Asya said quietly that Hezbollah would never give up its weapons.

“You know why Hezbollah succeeds?” she said. “Because you can’t see
them. The army you can see, so Israel knows where they are and can get

“Who is Hezbollah?” Ms. Asya went on, gesturing at the residents and aid
workers in the streets all around her. “They are the sons and daughters
and parents of Hezbollah.”

A few blocks away, earthmovers and bulldozers were digging away at the
smoking ruins of a vast open area where eight apartment buildings had
been destroyed Sunday afternoon in an Israeli airstrike. The
construction crews had begun working within an hour after the cease-fire
took effect Monday. The same blast had sheared off the walls of
neighboring buildings; one woman pointed anxiously to her fourth-floor
apartment, where a red outfit belonging to her baby girl could be seen
hanging from the exposed bedroom.

At the edge of the open lot, a heavyset man in a white T-shirt caught
sight of a skinny boy and called to him, spreading his arms. The boy ran
to him, and soon they were locked in an embrace, tears streaming down
their cheeks.

Later, the man, who gave his name as Abu Ahmed Bazi, said the boy,
Ahmed, 9, had lost his parents and several siblings in the bombing on
Sunday. The boy survived only because he happened to cross the street to
buy an ice cream in Mr. Bazi’s candy shop just beforehand, he said.

“I held the boy and told him to pray to Imam Ali to save us,” said Mr.
Bazi, his face red and sweaty. “When the bombing stopped I couldn’t
believe it — he wasn’t even scratched.”
-- "A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope." (Livy cited by Machiavelli) -- Ed Kent 718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

Main Page - Tuesday, 08/15/06

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