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Boo Birds

"Takes your breath away, doesn't it?

"I have to say, I can totally imagine the crackpots and sycophants around the president (many of them, no doubt, 'consultants' and 'contractors') stoking up his grandiosity along these lines. . . .

"Here's the graf that comes after that one.

"One former defense official, who still deals with sensitive issues for the Bush Administration, told me that the military planning was premised on a belief that 'a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government.' He added, 'I was shocked when I heard it, and asked myself, 'What are they smoking ?''

"This is what I was getting at. If this is an even remotely accurate reflection of what these clowns are thinking . . . well, you can finish the sentence."

But the prospect of a military strike against Iran isn't dismissed by as much of the public as I would have thought, reports the LAT :

"Americans are divided over the prospect of U.S. military action against Iran if the government in Tehran continues to pursue nuclear technology -- and a majority do not trust him to make the 'right decision' on that issue, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found.

"Asked whether they would support military action if Iran continued to produce material that could be used to develop nuclear weapons, 48% of the poll's respondents, or almost half, said yes; 40% said no."

I wrote yesterday about the number of retired military commanders belatedly questioning the war. Apparently it's becoming big news:

"A recent surge in public criticism of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld by retired military leaders is the culmination of months of intense but largely private debate among active duty officers about how best to voice dissent over Bush administration policies, according to officers involved in the discussions," says another L.A. Times story. "A number of officers have been critical of Iraq policy -- mostly anonymously -- since the administration's early days. But the calls for Rumsfeld's resignation are an unusual step for members of the military, who are acutely sensitive to the appearance of challenging civilian leadership of the armed forces."

Slate's Fred Kaplan has more on the insurrection:

"The revolt is a reluctant one, aimed specifically at the personage of Donald Rumsfeld and the way he is conducting the war in Iraq.

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