Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 2, 2006
WAR: Soccer To 'Em

Washington Senate candidate Mike McGavick argues that Iran should be barred from the soccer World Cup.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:46 PM | War 2006 | Comments (27) | TrackBack (0)

A simple elegant idea.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at May 2, 2006 9:50 PM

It's also a bad idea. The wacky Iranian President plays populist, pandering to impoverished & fundamentalist elements of society, so the solution is to . . . ban his country from an international soccer tournament? I'm not following this.

Not to mention, Daryl & Crank, you both know there'd be a loud international voice clammoring to ban another country with a bullying President prone to making hyperbolic speeches. Unlike A-Jhad, who seems only to be talking at this juncture, that other bully has backed his words with actions.

Is this really where we wanna go?

Posted by: Mike at May 3, 2006 6:36 AM

We should ban Iran because their president is an untethered madman? Guess we won't be there either.

Posted by: jim at May 3, 2006 11:39 AM

No matter how much you disagree with President Bush, I would suggest that any comparison of him to the Iranian president is simply absurd.

Posted by: Jeff A at May 3, 2006 1:45 PM

Our president hyped and lied us into one war and is effectively doing the same thing right now. Iran is actually going to the UN at the same time the US is to get a resolution placed on us (we are attempting to get a Rule 7 resolution on them) as they are saying we already are conducting military operations in Iran. Given that we bombed the shit out of Iraq months before we claimed to have been in there this is not exactly a specious claim. Also, given the utter lack of credibility that this administration has pretty much almost anything is believable. The government of Iran, much like in this country, does not necessarily represent the interests of the majority of its population. Our saber-rattling and hostile stance with Iran are a) insane and b) really insane. Comparison seems pretty spot on.

Posted by: jim at May 3, 2006 3:33 PM

Jim seems to be rantingly a) and b) himself. Comparing Bush to Iran's president is a ludicrous and blinded comparison. The beauty of a blog is to state your unadulterated opinon for others to share or agree or trash. But there has to be a line of truth somewhere, but is obscured by Jim's narrow view of the US populace or is it a wide view of his own importance......................

Posted by: Les at May 3, 2006 6:20 PM

Jim, either you are wholly unaware of Ahmadinejad's recent statements or you are off your meds. Whichever it is, please correct the condition before responding. Personally, I see no upside to pushing Iran out of the Cup. And short of Iran developing and using nuclear weapons to attack a country other than Israel, I doubt FIFA would consider the motion.

Posted by: abe at May 3, 2006 6:22 PM

Certainly it is my opinion that this administration's posturing and stance against Iran is insane. Personally the idea of a non-supportable war after (really, during) the mess of one we have going on right now that will be far more contentious with the big boys out there strikes me as so far beyond the pail as to be insane. I realize and know what Iran's president has said. He's a pop-gun. When Bush illiterately says half as much it means ten times the amount.

Other than your fervent belief that everything this country does is right what about my statement would be incorrect? We were lied into war. Iran and the US are at the UN over these issues. We did bomb Iraq before we said we were in there. We don't have credibility in the world community. The government of Iran disproportionately represents radicals. The overall interests of this country's population are not served by this administration.

Posted by: jim at May 3, 2006 6:42 PM

"I realize and know what Iran's president has said. He's a pop-gun." A pop gun developing nuclear capabilities, utilizing 70$+ oil to buy former Soviet Bloc and Red China assistance. "When Bush illiterately says half as much it means ten times the amount." Has Bush said half as much? A pledge of genocide by a head of state is note worthy and actionable, no? Jim, what is credibility in the world community? Please consider that in the context of the do nothing, embezzling, kiddie raping UN. I think much of what current US leadership does is pathetic and foolish. But it beats any Kerry/Dean/Pelosi alternative.

Posted by: abe at May 3, 2006 7:26 PM

While it's clear I'm no fan of Bush, let me begin by saying that as a Jewish American, I despise A-Jhad, and wish nothing but ill-fortune on his shaggy head.

Ok. But other than some sabre-rattling that plays well with the impoverished/fundy crowd that elected him, what exactly has this guy done that qualifies as "insane" or even "troubling"? EXAMPLES, please. I want facts.

As to the man to whom he's being compared, we *are* talking about the guy who fabricated a cause for war, fails to take responsibility for any of his failings, and labeled A-Jhad's nation a member of the "Axis of Evil," right? Who has all-but threatened to bomb A-Jhad's nation if they don't play ball the American way, right? Who has already bombed the shit out of A-Jhad's neighboring country, right? Who seems to be possibly ramping up to a war that his nation has no logistical ability to fight right now . . . because it's still stuck in not one, but two, quagmires in countries in the same region.

We're not comparing Bush to Hitler here, folks. We're comparing him to an elected leader who uses rhetoric, zenophobia and religion in his political speeches to make his point. What am I missing?

Posted by: Mike at May 4, 2006 6:28 AM

Mike, maybe you missed my point, A-Jhad has declared his intention to wipe Israel off the map. He is developing the ability to do so. No, he is not Hitler, YET. N. Korea is an example of what happens when the nuclear genie is out of the bottle. I think you and Jim let your Bush hatred, mistrust, whatever cloud your judgment. I cannot help you with the FACTS. You and I interpret his published statements differently. You see rhetoric, I see a man declaring his intention to commit mass murder. There lies the rub.

Posted by: abe at May 4, 2006 8:41 AM

First of all, it's a sham to call Ahmadenijad an "elected leader" given the nature of Iranian "democracy". He's a mullah-selected figurehead. And, as Mark Steyn has pointed out, it's not just Ahmadenijad - his election opponent, Rafsanjani, also called for the destruction of Israel, in fact he did it several years ago. Both of them were quoting the party line dating back to Khomeini.

Second, when you come up with an example of the young George W. Bush invading the Iranian Embassy and holding 52 Iranian diplomats hostage for over a year, let me know.

Posted by: The Crank at May 4, 2006 9:54 AM

I think GWB is among the worst presidents in our history. Whether he is worse than Buchanan is a question better left ot posterity. However, I wouldn't campare even a venal cretin as Buchanan as on the same level as Ahmadenijad.

GWB manufactured a war, and has generated enormous amonts of opposition. My guess is that if Jon Stewart said what he did in Iran, he owuldnt' be around too long. Never forget that we have the COnstitutional right to vote for or against the clowns we do in fact elect. And then, because we can correct mistakes, however slowly, we can only have that President, whomever he/she is, for 8 years.

Also, to try and figure out jhust what the !@#$%^& is going on in the middle east, we are listening to the wrong people. While we should be paying attention to historians, child psychologists might make more sense. As the father of teenagers, once I learned that 60% of the region is under 25, a lot of this started making sense. Mass testosterone flexing of young adult males, in a macho culture the MIddle Eastrn Muslim World is, is the perfect breeding ground for such behavior. You don't back down when a coupple of teenage punks start bullying you (unless you are French I guess), you discipline them. The US developed nuclear weapons when faced with a world wide inferno of death; when the Japanese were facing starvation,a nd we were facing the death of 1,000,000 troops in invading an enemy we were in a death struggle with. After than, we showed the restraint nuclear weapons require. DO you think a 25 year old, with his finger on the button would stop? No. Iran must not be permitted WMD, since that region has shown a proclivity to continue to use them (so did the Europeans during WWI, but then, I don't trust them either).

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at May 4, 2006 10:13 AM


Strong commentary, as always.


North Korea "is an example of what happens when" an impoverished nation uses a non-existent nuclear device to negotiate with its neighbors and foes. I think that the US, S. Korea, and Japan should tell Kim Jong Il to stick it. Just as we should tell A-Jhad to stick it.

Iran doesn't have a nuclear weapon, and the most hawkish elements of the US & Israeli military agree that D-Day for such a device as anywhere from 5 to 10 years away.

By repeatedly stating that Iran Has Nukes, you may convince a majority of the American electorate that it's true. But it won't work on me.


First off, you're trying to put me in a position to defend A-Jhad. I will not defend him. I despise him.

Second, I've seen just as many well-researched pieces saying that picture is a Photoshop special, as I've read pieces authenticating it. I don't know, but I certainly need no additional reasons to hate the man. I'm American, and I'm Jewish. If he said the shit that he says publicly *to my face*, he'd be on the ground sucking on his bloody teeth, I can assure you.

Third, the examples you give regarding Bush set yourself up for snarky jokes. So, sophmoric humor being my Achilles Heel, I'll take the bait:

You're correct that labeling A-Jhad's as "elected leader" is a "sham." I agree. And as I've also said, comparisons between him and Bush are apt.

And, I'd offer "an example of the young George W. Bush invading" someplace . . . except he was AWOL from his military unit when the invasion occurred.

Can I get a rimshot.

Posted by: Mike at May 4, 2006 11:00 AM

Mike, N. Korea does not have nuclear weapons? Fabulous, is there anything but your hunch to back that up? You being the man of facts and all. There is a world wide consensus on NK abilities. That does not make it so. If you have anything to counter this widely held (by that I mean virtually every known body that has public expressed an opinion) I would love to read it. More importantly, "By repeatedly stating that Iran Has Nukes, you may convince a majority of the American electorate that it's true. But it won't work on me." Who says they have nukes? You need to read before you respond. I stressed Iran is developing nuclear capabilities. This headline came off Dow Jones a minute ago: DJ Iran Produces Its Own Nuclear Fuel Rods... etc etc. Would you allow a leader of state who has vowed genocide to complete development of nuclear weapons? Post Sept 11th I am inclined to take him at his word and act accordingly.

Posted by: abe at May 4, 2006 12:07 PM


I would be greatly appreciative if you would supply me with some substantiation for your assertion that North Korea has a deliverable nuclear weapon. Afterall, since it's such a "widely held" opinion, you should be able to pull up 100 links just by Googling.

Before you reply with that blogospheric favorite, "Why don't you look it up yourself," I'll note that (a) you're trying to convince me of something, so give me the facts, and (b) I can't prove a negative. That's basic logic, no?

Now . . . to this point, I'll also say, *if* North Korea has this deliverable nuclear device, why hasn't the mad & crazy Kim Jong Il dropped it on Seoul, Tokyo or Washington yet? Ever read a North Korean "news" website? You think A-Jhad's sabre-rattling is extreme, check that stuff out.

Finally, to extend on your implied argument, you seem to be saying that because Iran may develop a deliverable nuclear device in 5-10 years, and because their demogogue President says he'll drop it on Israel, then therefore the United States should bomb Iran now?

You don't think that's an "insane" plan???

Posted by: Mike at May 4, 2006 12:25 PM

It gets old when y'all on the right break out the "you hate George Bush" rhetoric. I fear his administration's policies, their utter disrespect and contempt with anyone and everyone that disagrees with them. I fear his crazy religious ideology. I fear that he and other in his administration believe in the inevitability of Armaggedon and that they are all too happy too usher it in. I fear the way this administation lies, distorts, deceives, smears and covers up. I wouldn't trust anyone in that administration with anything as dangerous as a piece of string. I believe the actions of this government have more than warranted these feelings, fears and suspicions.

Hate's not part of the program my man. Frankly, I wouldn't waste it on them.

Posted by: jim at May 4, 2006 12:46 PM

"Finally, to extend on your implied argument, you seem to be saying that because Iran may develop a deliverable nuclear device in 5-10 years, and because their demogogue President says he'll drop it on Israel, then therefore the United States should bomb Iran now?"
No, Mike I am not saying bomb them now. I am saying take the threat seriously. If dipolmatic efforts continue to bumble along without progress I think all options are on the table, should be discussed at the highest levels. I'm not sure what the best course is, but your "nothing to see here" /bush is a liar approach is tired/old/useless. I will not ask you to prove a negative, I will ask you to cite a major world figure who says the NK's do not have nukes. As I conceded in a previous post, concensus may be incorrect. But as far as I can tell you feel free to state your "gut" as fact, while expecting the rest of us to document our arguements. Here are 2 of hundreds of links:
Leading graf in the CNN piece "CNN) -- World leaders expressed concern on Thursday that North Korea will quit six-party nuclear disarmament talks and will "bolster its nuclear weapons arsenal."
It is what it is. Please stop holding others to standards you are unwilling or able to meet. What evidence do you have that the widely held opinion re NK weapons is incorrect? Gut feeling? Heard it on the subway? Feeling lucky?

Jim, well said. I know it gets old. I have the same reaction to certain statements as well.

Posted by: abe at May 4, 2006 1:28 PM

Abe, It seems to me you trust this administration more than they have earned. We are not currently engaged in diplomatic discussions with Iran regarding their nuclear program (at least according to Condie). Iran claims we are already conducting military operations inside their borders. This might be less than believable if we hadn't just done it to Iraq. This admin engages in a shoot first and be damned with the details style of diplomacy. They operate with no sense that their actions are hostile and/or offensive. When you can't provide services to the nation that we are nation building in but you can build the largest, most luxurious embassy in the history of the world in that very nation you are clearly unconcerned with real diplomatic efforts. What we do in Iran, it certainly appears, has less to do with what anyone says there and more with a pre-ordained policy that was set in motion in January of 2000.

Posted by: jim at May 4, 2006 1:39 PM

Mike - Maybe you weren't reading the site then, but let's just say I hashed through the "Bush was AWOL" nonsense at exhaustive length, back in the day; see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Posted by: The Crank at May 4, 2006 1:39 PM

Jim, time will tell. Both politics and governing are the domain of the dishonest. I think the current crowd is par for the course, at worst. The global stakes are higher than they've been since the Cold War. The demonization of the opposition, that some on the right embraced in accusing Clinton of crack dealing/murder etc., is now SOP for the Left. That cripples the debate. I don't trust anybody. But I am convinced that the World would be in far worse shape with Iran as a Nuclear power, that needs to be avoided, period.

Posted by: abe at May 4, 2006 2:35 PM


Good to see you take the claims of Iran at face value. They seem like a trustworthy bunch. Let's assume for a second that they're telling the truth, and our military has made incursions into Iranian territory. I wonder if this might be spurred by the stream of terrorists they are sending into Iraq to kill our soldiers?

Posted by: Tim at May 4, 2006 2:48 PM

I don't take their claims at face value. Likewise I do not take the claims of this government at face value either. That is the poverty of credibility that this administration has earned for themselves. We are in for what is closing in on a trillion dollars, we have created a massive mess, have little to show for it, companies attached to figures in our government have profiteered off of this war at mind-boggling rates and yet you are good with going into Iran? There is not one good thing that could come from another war that we start and likely the result of this one would be intensely bad reprecussions.

Posted by: jim at May 4, 2006 2:58 PM


Thanks for the links. I'll check them out. I assume you recognized that the last couple paragraphs of my post to you was completely in jest. I don't know or care about Bush's military performance during Vietnam. I was just cracking wise.

I wasn't trying to get a laugh at your expense though. My apologies if it seemed that way.


1. I'm holding no one to a different standard than I hold myself to. You say NK has nukes. I say they don't. Onus is on you to prove it. I don't need to provide evidence to prove my negative, and there's no way to prove a negative anyhow. I can't find any proof that Martians have taken over the White House and plan to invade Turkey either. So I guess you've got me; I must be wrong.

2. Seriously, you can't show me a link proving that NK has nukes because NK doesn't have any nukes. The CNN link you provided (from which you quoted the "lead") backs me up:

"Since 2003, the United States, the two Koreas, China, Japan and Russia have held three rounds of talks aimed at persuading the North to abandon its *nuclear weapons development* in return for economic and diplomatic rewards" (emphasis added).

Abe, I await my proof. I'm not going on "gut feeling." You are.

3. I never advocated a "'nothing to see here'/bush is a liar approach." I think you're projecting some personal notion of what those who dare to criticize Bush are all about.

I don't believe I've made any attampt here to outline what I think should be done re Iran. Suffice to say my opinion will not include bombing them. I think our "trouble" with Iran stems for geopolitics regarding China/Russia/India; oil; the petrodollar & its viability going forward; and religion. I don't think nuclear weapons have a damn thing to do with it, and while I support Israel & my own country unconditionally, I don't believe either have anything to fear from Iran in the near-to-midterm future.

Posted by: Mike at May 4, 2006 3:14 PM

Mike, grow up. We will not have definitive proof that the NK's have nukes until they detonate one. You and I are both expressing opinions. Based on what I've read I believe that have these weapons. So do the Govt of US, China, Japan, S. Korea etc. And I have made this clear in previous posts. I am not asking you to prove anything, negative or otherwise. I am asking you to state what you based your opinion on. Was it something you read? Or did you pull it out of your ass? You are entitled either way. But the game playing is tiresome. I've told you why I believe they have Nuclear weapons. Why do you think it is a North Korean bluff?

Posted by: abe at May 4, 2006 3:23 PM

Because it's completely in NK's interests to leverage all that they have into economic aid: food, energy, technology. They have little or none of either.

If they actually had a nuclear weapon, they would probably demonstrate that fact to the world by detonating one. The upside: more leverage. Downside: none. Who would actually invade them and invite one of those weapons detonated on it?

Two facts:

1. The N. Koreans have more than once lobbed a missile straight across Japan to demonstrate its military capabilities.

2. The threat, and the threat alone, of a nuclear weapons *development program* has giving this penny ante, fourth rate, third world country a seat at the negotiating table with South Korea, Japan, Russia, China & the United States. That's more of a juggernaut than the five guys carl Hubbell struck out in the '34 All-star game. The N. Koreans don't need to waste their non-existant money actually building nuclear weapons. The threat, the bluff is enough to get handouts from its enemies.

Finally, Abe, you tell me to "grow up." I don't mind admitting that I take a jocular tone in my posts, and occasionally this rises to mockery or insult. I'm sorry; just trying to keep it light. Don't right wingers always accuse leftists/liberals of being humorless? Anyway, be careful of throwing stones, Abe. 'Twas you, and not I, who upped the ante by saying, "Gut feeling? Heard it on the subway? Feeling lucky?" in response to my statement.

Posted by: Mike at May 4, 2006 3:51 PM

Mike, thank you. I was aware of both facts mentioned. I have assumed the sole reason they've not detonated is cost. These weapons are expensive, NK is broke and starving. Goes without saying I hope you are right. Jocularity is all good; it seemed to me you were clouding and/or ducking my point (bomb Iran now, Iran currently has nukes...). Hence the upping of the ante you correctly cite.

Posted by: abe at May 4, 2006 4:13 PM
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