Friday, August 31, 2007

Not Going to War With the President You Have

As I predicted a while back, the Bush administration is ramping up their efforts to rally support for military action against Iran. Indeed, there is wide speculation that the administration will launch an all-out campaign to raise the rhetoric and hence the tensions right after Labor Day, following in the administration's belief (as former White House chief of staff Andrew Card noted in 2002 about the timing of the decision to begin banging the drums for war with Iraq), that from "a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August."

Now, I know. It's the last weekend of summer. I should be posting some light and fluffy beach-oriented funnies or something (and I had intended to), but in the end I realized that if indeed the speculation is right, and the campaign begins in earnest next Tuesday, any protests then will, like they did for Iraq, get drowned out in the media frenzy to micro-market the fear with catchy logos and booming voices across Fox News and the like.

The time for level-headed analysis is now. Before Chris Wallace and Brit Hume and the talk radio hacks turn on their mikes to make otherwise rational Americans quiver in their homes or rush out to stock up on duct tape. So what is the level-headed truth?

A report released Thursday showing a slow but steady expansion of Iran’s nuclear technology has exposed a new divide between United Nations arms inspectors and the United States and its allies over how to contain Tehran’s atomic program.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said in its report that Iran was being unusually cooperative and had reached an agreement with the agency to answer questions about an array of suspicious past nuclear activities that have led many nations to suspect it harbors a secret effort to make nuclear arms. The agency added that while Tehran’s uranium enrichment effort is growing, the output is far less than experts had expected.

“This is the first time Iran is ready to discuss all the outstanding issues which triggered the crisis in confidence,” Mohamed ElBaradei, the I.A.E.A. director general, said in an interview. “It’s a significant step.”
The Bush administration, though, which clearly has Iran in its cross-hairs is minimizing this report much in the same fashion it minimized scepticism (and there was plenty) that Iraq had WMDs.

But the Bush administration and its allies, which have won sanctions in the United Nations Security Council in an effort to stop Iran’s uranium enrichment, saw the latest report as more evidence of defiance, not cooperation.

“There is no partial credit here,” a State Department spokesman, Tom Casey, said Thursday. “Iran has refused to comply with its international obligations, and as a result of that the international community is going to continue to ratchet up the pressure.”
Now there's a part of me that thinks (hopes is more like it actually) that ratcheting up the pressure on Iran is mere sable rattling and that in and of itself is actually a good thing. Iran is not a state I trust in the least ,and their human rights record is revolting. The idea that they might get the bomb is indeed something the international community should be alarmed about and work to prevent.

But even if that's all it is, sable rattling can provoke actual conflict, and let's face it, the country can ill afford to start another war under its current leadership. Seriously. Anyone out there who believes this administration would wage a war with Iran and then win the peace with even a modicum of competence, please raise your hand. For those of you with hands raised, I'd ask, based on what evidence?

If the speculation turns out to be correct, and the airwaves are even more filled with this sort of thing

come Tuesday and beyond, I hope the overwhelming majority of Americans will stop and think hard about the likely outcome of going to war with the president we currently have, again.

Labels: Iran


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this Edward. Iran is the next phase of the Neocon agenda and they are indeed ramping up their campaign to invade over the last few months and it will increase. They know 2 things: that if they want to get this war under way they need to do it well before the elections. They also know that the only chance of Republicans getting elected in '08 is if we are in the middle of another war/invasion and the public may feel reluctant to change parties.

It's the only way to hamstring them from doing even more harm.

8/31/2007 09:22:00 AM  
Anonymous sherie' said...

Bit by bit the administration has been setting us up for this next war. Bush and cheney are completely irrational in the belief of their shitty armageddon/rapture. That's what all this ratchetting up is really about. I believe we entered the Iraq debacle not just for oil, but to provoke what they believe is a necessary conflict with Iran. It's just more lunacy and grandiosity ala Bush. What now?

8/31/2007 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

What now is indeed the question. As noted in that link about the wide speculation above, the sense is even a large majority of Americans objecting may not stop them:

They [the source's institution] have "instructions" (yes, that was the word used) from the Office of the Vice-President to roll out a campaign for war with Iran in the week after Labor Day; it will be coordinated with the American Enterprise Institute, the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Commentary, Fox, and the usual suspects. It will be heavy sustained assault on the airwaves, designed to knock public sentiment into a position from which a war can be maintained. Evidently they don't think they'll ever get majority support for this--they want something like 35-40 percent support, which in their book is "plenty."

I think Anonymous above is right. Perhaps the only chance to prevent this is to give the lame duck and his entourage something bigger to worry about, like impeachment.

8/31/2007 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Joanne Mattera said...

You're all correct. In the absence of any larger personal issues, such as impeachment, the Terror Boys will continue as they have. It's clear they're not listening to anything but the ringing in their own ears, because even a mandate from the people--via midterm elections that brought in a Democratic majority-- has made no change in their actions.

BTW, do you notice that even the republicans are pushing for Senator Sex-in-the-Toilet to step down? They don't want anything to distract them from their warmongering goal. (And don't you love how another right-wing anti-gay lawmaker has been outed for having homosex? Ah, the hypocrisy. This is the ultimate example of shit or get off the pot.

P.S. Donna Brazile for President.

8/31/2007 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Rywalt said...

You know, I'm straight, but if some guy offered me sex in the bathroom, I might go for it. You know what they say about the bird in the hand.

8/31/2007 01:14:00 PM  
Anonymous bambino said...

Didn't we kill enough innocence people in Iraq and destroyed millions of families there and here???
Didn't we learn our lesson?

Didnt we realize that it was WMD in Iraq??

How long do we have to support goverments wrong decision, which costing us so many lost, damages which will take so many years to repair, stealing our future and hand it to to the goverment?

Thank you for the link from youtube, it's excellent video.

8/31/2007 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger Joanne Mattera said...

Chris said: You know, I'm straight, but if some guy offered me sex in the bathroom, I might go for it. You know what they say about the bird in the hand.

Hmmm. Maybe you're not so straight. Talk to Senator Craig. ;-) Tweet tweet.

8/31/2007 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Rywalt said...

Well, I've said before that the only reason I'm not bisexual is I don't think I could get dates with really attractive men. Like Ed here, for example.

9/01/2007 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Barb said...

Thanks for your post. I have been following this situation and I find it all disgusting. I have hopes that we will not attack Iran....
On another note, as part of "Homeland Security" didn't Bush pass some law that stated that you can now be arrested for protesting anything he does in public? So, he could do what he wants (like always) an no one could legally organize against him...

9/01/2007 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Joanie San Chirico said...

As a mother of a 14 year old boy, the quagmire in the Middle East scares me to death. It's bad enough that we can't seem to abandon the huge mistake of Iraq, but now with Iran looming and rumors of reinstating the draft rampant, where are the Democrats that I voted for? How many more innocent lives will be lost before the people we trusted to make changes come to their senses?

I love my country, but I HATE my government.

9/02/2007 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger George said...

It's all been a weakly executed bluff, there's not going to be any war with Iran.

9/02/2007 01:01:00 PM  
Anonymous kelli said...

Ed: Here are some mixed metaphors for you to use during the final months of the Bush Cheney administration. Before it collapses like a hairsprayed beehive in August heat or something.

9/03/2007 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger said...

With George Bush about to arrive in my home town of Sydney for the APEC meetings everyone is expecting a less then warm welcome.

nicholas forrest

9/03/2007 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa Hunter said...

Has anyone noticed that when Jon Stewart goes on vacation, lots of Republicans resign (perhaps so they can avoid being the butt of his jokes)?

Instead of impeachment, maybe left wingers could simply pool resources to buy Jon a beach house in, say, Tahiti. :-)

9/04/2007 02:27:00 PM  

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