What might have been the case if this kind of progressive thinking had been practiced by “conservatives” before the long campaign of Saddam demonization? What if the so-called free world had not radicalized Iraqi theocrats with years of sanctions, lies, and bluster? What if the world’s most powerful Democracy had had the courage of its convictions? What if leaders of the United States had really believed in Democracy?
George Bush’s NeoCon base had best pay attention to George Will. Leaving Iran alone is, in fact, Bush’s only realistic option. There is no reason to believe that U.S. intelligence about Iran is in any way better than intelligence about Iraq. There is also no reason to believe anything said by Bush. And, at last, a bombing campaign –nukes or no –is unlikely to have any effect on Iran’s nuclear capability.
But, according to the Washington Post, reason, sanity and common sense have not prevailed in the Bush administion. The Post reports that despite Bush’s denials, the Pentagon is proceding apace with plans to attack Iran:
It's important to talk about war planning that's real. And it is for Iran. In early 2003, even as U.S. forces were on the brink of war with Iraq, the Army had already begun conducting an analysis for a full-scale war with Iran. The analysis, called TIRANNT, for "theater Iran near term," was coupled with a mock scenario for a Marine Corps invasion and a simulation of the Iranian missile force. U.S. and British planners conducted a Caspian Sea war game around the same time. And Bush directed the U.S. Strategic Command to draw up a global strike war plan for an attack against Iranian weapons of mass de struction. All of this will ultimately feed into a new war plan for "major combat operations" against Iran that military sources confirm now exists in draft form.There is no upside gain, only painful blowback. As Will accurately pointed out, despite Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric, the Iranian populace is overwhelmingly pro-western. Bush’s loud mouth has already undone much of that good will. A bombing campaign will most certainly turn a pro-western nation into sworn enemies. A nuclear strike, in particular, will radicalize the entire population.
Already, the U.S. Invasion of Iraq has set the stage for an Iran/Shi’ite alliance. Pledging to smash the “Axis of Evil”, Bush has, rather, created the conditions for a real “Axis of Evil”. An attack on Iran will only strengthen the rule of the Mullahs who will most certainly form an alliance with the religious majority in Iraq.
Proposals to use nukes on Iran are psychotic. But we have become accustomed to hearing about vainglorious adventures from a demagogue who lied this nation into misadventure and quagmire in Iraq. On a national scale, however, nuke talk smacks of an intoxication with imperial power. That any such thing is considered seriously by some people is evidence that nothing has been learned from the debacle in Iraq. You would call a doctor an idiot who tells you to keep on doing whatever it is that’s making you sick. Why are not “Presidents’ held to the same standard?
In the meantime, Congressman Peter DeFazio has reminded the Bush administration that any strike against Iran must be authorized by Congress, presumably in the form of a Declaration of War. Bush is not likely to get one. Therefore, any campaign against Iran will be illegal –just as was the bombing and attack on Iraq. Moreover, Iran is within the letter of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Any attack against Iran would clearly be a violation of Nuremberg Principles, insisted upon by the United States itself. Such an attack would be a prosecutable crime against the peace.
'Toons by Dante Lee; use only with permission