Lately, there’s much talk about the possibility of Bush ordering a strike on Iran. People close to the president and other conservatives (some of those ‘geniuses’ also give advice to the White House) have been mulling the option of “limited air strikes” against Iran’s weapons of mass destruction. Conservative shills in the media are repeating the same rhetoric of few years ago—they’re just substituting the “q” for an “n” today.
The New Yorker’s Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has a very interesting article on this very topic, titled, Shifting Targets.
“The shift in targeting reflects three developments. First, the President and his senior advisers have concluded that their campaign to convince the American public that Iran poses an imminent nuclear threat has failed (unlike a similar campaign before the Iraq war), and that as a result there is not enough popular support for a major bombing campaign. The second development is that the White House has come to terms, in private, with the general consensus of the American intelligence community that Iran is at least five years away from obtaining a bomb. And, finally, there has been a growing recognition in Washington and throughout the Middle East that Iran is emerging as the geopolitical winner of the war in Iraq.”
As to the lack of popular support for another war against Iran, well, this is a problem, although not an insurmountable one. For starters, it’s not beyond this administration’s modus operati to manufacture an “incident” and/or “evidence” pointing to Iran; an agressive action that poses an imminent danger to us. The baiting game has already started. But, I don’t think this is even necessary. For leaders like Bush who have lost almost all political credibility there’s one last hurrah that they think might help them. After all, they’re not running for re-election, and, if the current Republican presidential field remains in a morose state—with a predictable outcome in the 2008 elections—then one more restraining element from Bush’s options will be removed.
President Bush will go down as a very bad president (possibly the worst); and, he’s aware of this, despite telling us that history will eventually vindicate him. Now, what’s left for him (and leaders in similar predicaments) but to remain stubborn and maintain a façade of principled conviction? Actually, there’s this other option, a last-chance for turning things around. That is, to bet everything he’s got left hoping the roulette of war will be kind to him. That’s why the possibility of another serious conflict is a good possibility. In a perverted sense, only something extraordinarily spectacular may save his legacy. Obviously I don't think there's such a chance, but delusional persons think differently. Of course, a war with Iran will be another very bad choice. But, bad choices and incompetence is a trademark of this administration.
The war in Iraq has indeed produced winners, namely Iran and AlQeda. Everything the neocons and several airheads in the so-called liberal media told us about Iraq was wrong, wrong, wrong! At which point, I wonder, the experts should stop being ..experts when all their predictions are wrong? [check the sidebar for a video clip about such predictions] Are we suffering from a short-memory syndrome?
Iran has a very reactionary, Old Regime-type leadership, but as a country has a rather progressive populace as compared to the rest of the countries in that region. Iran has a very young population, the majority under 30 years old, who doesn’t like the regime of the mullahs. Tehran was the only place in the Near/Middle East where there was a public demonstration in sympathy to the victims of 9-11. Did you notice something similar elsewhere over there? On the contrary!
Thus, the question is what to do here. My suggestion is that the Democrats attack this problem at its root. Expose Bush for what he’s thinking of doing and the reasons for such foolish action. De-funding the war [already the majority of Americans are either for partial or complete defunding] in Iraq is a good starting point. Congress has to assume a bigger role. The American people now understand that this administration is incapable of a liability. Fool or ignorant, equally dangerous.
I was not in favor of impeachment, because I thought it’d be a distraction, would require too much time & energy while, with the present composition in the US Senate, it would never succeed. However, I’m beginning to change my mind. Not because impeaching Bush & Cheney would succeed in removing them from office, but if this is going to prevent them from further damaging our country by attacking Iran, then it’s worth it. Keep a tight leash on these two. Our constitution provides for such checks. I hope Congress is up for it, though not holding my breath on this one. It takes political courage to be a leader, but courage without prudence is rather ineffective.
Let’s not forget that this is a very critical moment in our history. I’m not evaluating this from a sentimental view of how history will judge us. Reality check: high death toll, bloodshed, pain & suffering, spending insane amount of money. This is what's been happening in the last few years. We can’t afford to allow Bush to make another huge mistake, compound our problems, and possibly dig such a big hole that we won't be able to climb out of it.