Axis, Annex Acquire Excess Animus

In this week’s visit to The People’s Daily, Beijing’s house organ gives us these two pieces, one simply entitled “U.S. aims its cudgel at Syria, Iran”., and the other concerning the fact that Russia presses on with development of Iran’s Besahr nuclear power station.
The American cudgel article features wonderful idiomatic translations like “axial evil” and others, but what it’s mostly about is that the thing we don’t do: nuance. Policies toward Iran (Axis of Evil TM) and Syria (what I will call the “Annex of Evil”) are, you know complicated and s**t. The Chinese, though, are clearly hip to the fact that we are trying to play it both ways: having the Europeans negotiate with Iran not to have nuclear weapons, while simultaneously trying to undermine those negotiations to justify a later military strike (you might remember this strategy with another Axis of Evil TM country.) The Chinese note, as have I, that Russia’s role in all this is quite a complicating factor.
And speaking of Russia’s role, it plans on (perhaps by 2006) delivering nuclear fuel to the Besahr nuclear power station (and Russia will retrieve spent fuel). Apparently, this is consistent with nuclear power deals, and the EU consensus is that this is not the sort of facility or materials that would advance Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions. Of course “nucular is nucular is nucular” (get your advance copy of the Congressional Record now!), and wahoos here will doubtless decide that there are no peaceful uses of atomic power, other than as engaged in by the United States, Britain, and of course, Israel.
We’ve been through this before: the slow buildup of the rhetorical “case” for military action (full-scale ground war seems inconceivable as our entire free combat capability seems pinned down in Iraq, trapped by long and dangeous supply lines that remind too much of British and Hessian supply lines in the 1770’s easily disrupted by the locals, because we didn’t bother to pacify the country-side by making friends… torture is so much fun, y’know….) The build-up will go through various incarnations. Perhaps a few trips to the UN. Visits with Berluschoni and Blair (the former with much ‘xplaining to do to his own people after the insane events resulting in the death of an Italian secret agent at American hands and something like 99% domestic opposition to his country’s presence in Iraq, the latter with better support– only 90% domestic opposition to his country’s presence in Iraq). Maybe even a not-so-carefully worded Congressional authorization for “whatever I feel like with respect to whomever I feel like” (followed by John Kerry giving a speech where he then distances himself from the “yea” vote he just cast).
The world becomes ever more complicated, even as Americans chose to elect simple “plain-spoken” folks… “people who don’t do nuance.” One of these days, this might lead to problems.