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.

Monday, February 19, 2007

War is self-defeating
Gene Lyons

The longer it continues, the more self-defeating and dangerous this
misconceived “war on terror” becomes. It’s simply not possible to wage
war on an abstract noun. Like a drunk in a barroom brawl, the Bush
administration knows it’s getting hit, but not exactly whom to blame. So
now it wants to fight everybody in the joint. Judging by the
administration’s latest deeply unconvincing propaganda campaign, it’s
Iran’s turn. Unnamed “senior U. S. military officials” have made
“educated guesses” that the Iranian government smuggles bombs into Iraq
to kill American soldiers. Guesses? You’d almost think the officers
peddling this stuff hoped not to be believed. Last week, Iran was
allegedly helping Sunni extremists, its mortal enemies. Now the other
side. Actually, there are at a minimum four sides in Iraq’s civil war,
but I digress. Supposedly, serial numbers on bomb fragments trace back
to Iranian factories.

So the cunning Persian mullahs are sneaking explosives into Iraq and
stamping them “Made in Iran”? People, even George W. Bush ain’t that
dumb, although some who work for him definitely are.

Consider what the Pentagon inspector-general has called the “alternative
intelligence” stylings of former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas
Feith. Manfully defending himself on (where else?) FOX News, Feith
insisted, “Nobody in my office ever said there was an operational
relationship between Iraq and al-Qa’ida. It’s just not correct. I mean,
words matter.”

Do they? The Los Angeles Times cites this pre-war golden oldie written
by Feith and touted by Deadeye Dick Cheney: “Osama bin Laden and Saddam
Hussein had an operational relationship from the early 1990s to 2003
that involved training in explosives and weapons of mass destruction,
logistical support for terrorist attacks, al Qaeda training camps and
safe haven in Iraq... according to a top-secret U. S. government
memorandum obtained by The Weekly Standard.”

“[I ] n presenting it,” Feith claims, “I was not endorsing its

This from an administration that shipped $12 billion in cash, 363 tons
of crisp, shrink-wrapped $100 bills to Iraq, then lost it. Testifying to
Congress recently, Coalition Provisional Authority honcho Paul Bremer
couldn’t account for the money. In 2004, Bush awarded him the
Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Look, black-market arms trading is the No. 1 sport in the Middle East.
The U.S. knows that as well as anybody. The CIA helped mujahideen
fighters chase the Russians from Afghanistan by smuggling Stinger
missiles through Pakistan. Remember Iran-Contra? Ollie North and friends
were selling Israeli missiles to, yes, the Persians. Twelve billion
dollars will buy off a lot of border guards along the 900-mile frontier
between Iraq and Iran, much of it more remote than, say, the airtight
U.S.-Mexican border.

So even if some explosives did originate in Iran—and do let’s recall
that intelligence hoaxes are equally common in the Middle East—there’s
no evidence the ayatollahs knew it. The BBC reports that the Irish
Republican Army, Lebanese Hezbollah and Afghanistan’s Taliban have used
identical weaponry for years. I doubt the IRA got theirs from Iran.

Meanwhile, the two groups most eager to see the U.S. attack Iran are
al-Qa’ida and the Israeli extreme right. Bin Laden’s whole game is
suckering Americans into making war against Muslim countries; attacking
his non-Arab, Shiite enemies would give him a double triumph. Israeli
politicians like Benjamin Netanyahu, shaken by last summer’s
inconclusive campaign against Hezbollah, call Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad the “new Hitler” and warn of a second Holocaust.

The new George Wallace is more like it. Ahmadinejad has no authority
over Iran’s military. He thrives by exploiting the resentment of people
who see themselves as victims. Meanwhile, his party lost badly in recent
elections, and he was shouted down during a speech at a Tehran

Iranian reformers are begging the U.S. not to take the bait.

“We try to tell politicians in Washington, D.C., please don’t do
anything in favor of reform or to promote democracy in Iran. Because in
100 percent of the cases, it benefits the right wing,” Saeed Leylaz, a
Tehran businessman, told the Los Angeles Times. “Mr. Ahmadinejad tries
to make the international situation worse and worse. And now... he can
say, ‘Look, we are in a dangerous position, and nobody can say anything
against us, because the enemy is coming into the country.’ Exactly like
George W. Bush in Washington, D.C. They are helping each other. They
need each other, I believe.”

United Press International recently reported an exchange between Soroush
Richard Shehabi, an Iranian-American acquaintance of mine, and Bush at a
Washington reception. “I simply want to say one U.S. bomb on Iran and
the regime we all despise will remain in power for another 20 or 30
years and 70 million Iranians will become radicalized,” said Shehabi, a
grandson of one of the late shah’s ministers. “I know,” Bush answered.
“But does Vice President Cheney know?” Bush reportedly walked away


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