Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Crackhead Bush and Iran

U.S. ill-prepared for another war
Gene Lyons

Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007

During the propaganda campaign preceding the invasion of Iraq, it was
still possible to delude oneself about the Bush administration’s
integrity, competence and respect for democratic institutions. Even a
skeptic of White House claims about Iraq’s arsenal of weapons of mass
destruction like me thought it made sense to vote the president
authority to use military force if Saddam Hussein refused U.N. weapons
inspections. The issue needed to be resolved. This time, there’s no
kidding ourselves. Judging by his recent address to the nation,
President Bush’s intentions could not be more ominous. To secure his
place in history, apparently The Decider intends not only to “surge”
troop levels in Iraq, but also to launch an unprovoked attack upon
neighboring Iran. That this would be a strategic blunder on a par with
Napoleon’s (or Adolf Hitler’s ) invasion of Russia deters him not.
Instead of negotiating with the Persians, as the Iraq Study Group
advised, Bush evidently means to bomb them to smithereens. Along with
the Israeli extreme right, the same neo-conservative fantasists who sold
Bush on “regime change” in Iraq have clamored for the U. S. to make war
on Iran. They see their last hope expiring with Bush’s political power,
so they’ve amped the rhetoric.

Last December, Israeli cabinet member Avigdor Lieberman, a West Bank
“settler” who emigrated from Russia in 1978, told The New York Times
that “the Iranian problem [is] the biggest threat facing the Jewish
people since the Second World War.” (Lieberman also advocates revamping
citizenship laws to eliminate most Israeli Arabs.)

Stung by Israel’s bloody, inconclusive war with Iranian-supported
Hezbollah militias in southern Lebanon, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has
compared Iran with Nazi Germany. Two weeks before Bush’s speech, Sen.
Joe Lieberman wrote a very peculiar Washington Post op-ed arguing, “If
Iraq descends into full-scale civil war, it will be a tremendous
battlefield victory for al-Qaeda and Iran.”

At the time, pairing these two mortal enemies appeared entirely bizarre.
Hadn’t Lieberman noticed Shiite and Sunni death squads butchering each
other in Iraq? Then Bush adopted the same rhetoric, aimed at blurring
the distinction exactly as he’d conflated 9/11 and Saddam.

Declaring that Iran was providing “material support” to Iraq’s
insurgents, Bush vowed to “interrupt the flow of support from Iran and
Syria... and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and
training to our enemies in Iraq.” He also announced that he was adding
an aircraft-carrier battle group to naval forces already patrolling the
Persian Gulf and equipping them with Patriot anti-missile batteries
useless against Iraqi insurgents. The next day, U.S. soldiers raided an
Iranian consulate in Iraqi Kurdistan, arresting diplomats and
confiscating computers.

Like an earlier raid on the compound of Shiite cleric Abdul Azia
al-Hakim (soon after his White House visit), the raid was conducted
without the knowledge of Iraq’s government, which promptly demanded the
Iranians’ release.

In a coordinated blitz reminiscent of October 2002’s crackpot warnings
of Saddam’s “mushroom clouds,” the selfsame White House spokesmen—Condi
Rice, Dick Cheney and national security adviser Stephen Hadley—hit the
TV talk show circuit. Exactly as it was once Saddam, Saddam, Saddam,
suddenly it was Iran, Iran, Iran.

It’s merely bitter irony that the Iraqi dictator’s last words were to
curse the “devil-worshipping Persians.” If the U. S. didn’t want Iranian
influence inside Iraq to increase, it shouldn’t have invaded at all,
much less supervised elections sure to empower Shiite religious-based
parties. (Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki himself spent years in Iranian
exile.) It’s too late now for Bush to scapegoat the Persians for
incoherent U.S. policy.

Evidence of Iranian misdeeds is laughably thin. Unnamed American
officials charge Iran with providing “infrared triggering devices” for
roadside bombs. People, that’s a TV remote.

But getting sucked into one of these tit-for-tat debates about
technicalitiesaluminum tubes, yellowcake uranium, etc. —is precisely
what these warmongering loons want. Let’s stick to the big picture: Yes,
Iran has an authoritarian religious government. Yes, like virtually
every Muslim country, it’s unfriendly to Israel. President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad’s promotion of a Holocaust-deniers convention in Tehran made
him resemble a Persian George Wallace. He also lost support in recent
elections and has no authority over Iran’s military whatsoever. The
Iranian “threat” exists mainly in the fevered minds of
neo-conservatives. Persians generally mistrust Arabs and despise
al-Qa’ida. Iran made several attempts to help the U.S. in Afghanistan
after 9/11. It hasn’t launched an aggressive war for centuries. But even
if you think I’m wrong about all that, do yourself a favor and spend
five minutes scrutinizing a world map. Iran’s population is three times
larger than Iraq’s. Its land area is twice Texas’ and five times Iraq’s.
It has a more cohesive, nationalistic population, and a mountainous
landscape. It’s precisely halfway around the world. Even if war with
Iran were inevitable, the U. S. is in no shape to fight it. This
crackpot scheme must be prevented by any legitimate political means.

—–––––•–––––—Free-lance columnist Gene Lyons is a Little Rock author and
recipient of the National Magazine Award.


Post a Comment

<< Home