Thursday, February 16, 2006

Thinking Like an Idiot

Upfront, let me say that I was totally wrong about Iraq.  Before June of 2002, I was positive that the Bush Admin wouldn’t be stupid or crazy enough to want to invade Iraq; and I was wrong on both counts.  Even in the fall of 2002, I continued to believe that we wouldn’t actually do it.  That cooler heads would prevail and the Bush Admin would quietly pack away their war rhetoric.  And I was wrong about that too.  It wasn’t until Novemberish or so that I realized that it was a done deal and that almost nothing could stop the war.  It could be said in my defense that Bush had said even much later than that that the decision for war had still not been made; but I’m not one to rely on the GOP’s much used Idiot Defense to defend myself, so I’m not going to go there.

Thus said, I really really think that this Iran thing is going to blow-up in the Bush Admin’s collective face.  Because to me, the more they emphasize how dangerous Iran is, the more they’ll remind people how dangerous they said Iraq was; and now a majority clearly thinks that invasion was kind of a flop.  And if Republicans were more honest and didn’t want to cover-up for Dear Leader, that would be a strong majority; probably approaching the 85% mark.  And even worse for the Bushies, the more they emphasize how dire the situation is, the more people will remember that we can’t really take strong action; again, because of the blunder in Iraq.  

It’s kind of like a fire fighter who expended almost all his water putting out a small campfire, now insisting that they combat a raging forest-fire.  And either you think the guy’s wrong again and it’s just another campfire, or you believe him that it really is dangerous, but that you can’t possibly combat it effectively; thanks to his earlier boobery.  But in this case, the campfire is just as dangerous to fight as the forest-fire; and has been made far more dangerous due to the prior mistake.  This just sounds like a lose-lose for the Bush Admin.

And so I just don’t see how this is supposed to work for them.  Sure, the Bushies will still have much of the media on their side, so that helps.  But Bush is already fairly unpopular, in large part due to the current war, and so it would seem to me that all this works heavily against war in Iran; no matter how much the media wants to push it.  Particularly during a mid-term election year, when Republican Congressmen can no longer rely on the “I’m with Bush” platform to pull them through anymore.  But I was wrong on the last war, so I’m not going to stake too much on my reasoning on this one.  Logic can only take you so far where the Bush Admin is concerned, and sometimes, you just have to think like an idiot.

One note, there is the possibility that the Bush Admin is only talking tough to: A) Bluff Iran into submitting, and B) Distract from the world of hurt they’re now suffering from politically.  But, we are talking about the Bush Administration, and despite all of the “Karl Rove: Supergenius” talk, they really don’t seem to use these sorts of subtle techniques.  Their idea of “subtle” is using a cruise missile to crack a walnut, while loudly denouncing the walnut on all the cable news networks.  But there is the unlikely possibility that they’ve learned from their mistakes and have now taken a smarter course of action.  We can hope, anyway.

2 comments:

coturnix said...

Two weeks after 9/11 I understood that attack on Iraq was done deal.

I agree that threatening Iran is huffing and puffing and it will not happen. Let's see if that is correct.

Anonymous said...

Here are the known facts about Iran's nuclear program:

1- Iran has a legitimate economic case for nuclear power, which the US (including some of the members of the current Bush administration) encouraged. (see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A3983-2005Mar26.html and http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/GH24Ak02.html)

2- Iran's enrichment program was not clandestine, and was widely reported in the nuclear industry literature & on Iranian radio. Iran's deals with countries like CHina to make the necessary plants had been reported to the IAEA, and the IAEA had even visited Iran's uranium mines in 1992. (See Le Monde Diplomatique: "Iran Needs Nuclear Energy, Not Weapons" November 2005 - http://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache:Wv7d_FdiMH0J:mondediplo.com/2005/11/02iran)

3- While there were undeclared facilities in Iran, the IAEA reported in Nov 2003 that "to date, there is no evidence that the previously undeclared nuclear material and activities referred to above were related to a nuclear weapons program." Several other countries were caught cheating much worse with nuclear experiments than Iran (S. Korea, Bulgaria, Egypt . . .) but they just got a slap on th e wrist & no demands were made of them to totally give up their rights to a civilian nuclear industry.

4- In Nov 2004, the IAEA reported that "all the declared nuclear material in Iran has been accounted for, and therefore such material is not diverted to prohibited activities."

5- In Jan 2006, the IAEA reported that "Iran has continued to facilitate access under its Safeguards Agreement as requested by the Agency . . . including by providing in a timely manner the requisite declarations and access to locations."

6- Repeated offers of compromise by Iran that would have addressed the risk of proliferation of nukes were simply dismissed without any consideration. Most recently, Iran's Jan 2006 offer to continue the suspension of enrichment for another 2 years of additional negotiations were summarily dismissed, and not even reported in the US press though it was reported in the Iranian press (see
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HB07Ak01.html )

Oh yeah, there's also a "magic laptop" which has literally fallen out of the blue sky, and conveniently provides all the evidence of a nuclear weapons program in Iran that no one else has found after 3 years of inspections.

So, there we have it. Draw your own conclusions. Ask yourself, are nuclear weapons really the issue here or just a pretext?

As for the recent efforts to "promot demmocracy" in Iran:
Iranians don't need Rice's $75 million to see the mess that the US has caused in Iraq -- they have access to satellite TV and the Web and can watch BBC, CNN etc. all day long. And for all his faults, Iran's president has better democratic credentials than practically ALL of the US allies in the Mideast. Why not spend that $75 promoting democracy in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, or Egypt (where voters were recently GUNNED DOWN IN THE STREETS BY THE MILITARY for voting the "wrong" way)? Incidentally, we provide BILLIONS OF DOLLARS in aid and arms to these non-democratic governments whilst pointing fingers at Iran.