The Talking Dog

August 21, 2006, Inevitable consequences

For those of you not familiar with it, here is a link to Sy Hersh's latest in the New Yorker about the really, really special relationship between members of our government and members of Israel's government that appeared to signal two things: (1) Israel was really peachy keen on having an excuse to take on Hizbollah, and the kidnapping of the two soldiers last month served its interests to do so, and (2) the United States was really peachy keen on Israel having an excuse to take on Hizbollah to show Iran all those handy dandy new bombs that could be unleashed by us against its underground installations (of the kind it helped Hizbollah set up in Southern Lebanon). To be sure, while the United States heartily approved of what Israel was doing, and indeed, did nothing-- NOTHING-- to dissuade it from doing so, Hersh's article makes clear that Israel acted independently, and may well have undertaken to bomb Lebanon (including not strictly Hizbollah targets) all by itself. Anyway, the conclusion is that, aside from the fact that Rummy wasn't all that jiggy with the whole thing, feeling that an Israeli embarassment, or worse, an actual attack on Iran (particularly by us), would be... really bad... for the current contingent already mired next door in Iraq, it seems that Cheney wants to step up the violence for it's own sake... so... NYAH!

Well, the consequence, aside from Hizbollah leader Sheikh Nasrallah being the toast of the Arab Street, he is also this week's cover story in the Economist, which observes given the insanely ambitious goal of destroying Hizbollah set by Israeli PM Olmert and the far less ambitious goal of not being destroyed set by Hizbollah... Hizbollah won (big time)... and it's chief sponsor Iran seems to be kvelling about that...

Not that Cheney will heed the lesson, of course (that being "don't start a half-assed war against a well-armed, well-trained, well-motivated foe who has dug itself a nice easily defended position and whose goals are far less ambitious than yours")... but Iran, evidently, has, and as virtually predicted by Hersh's article, it appears that Iran is about to tell the whole U.N. Security Council to go Cheney itself rather than give up its uranium enrichment program as a precondition to talks about... giving up its uranium enrichment program.

Just remember, as we contemplate the ayatollahs with their hands on nucular nuclear weapons: Iran was at one time willing to help us hunt down Al Qaeda, but the President deemed it more important to have a bogeyman he could call "the Axis of Evil."

Oh well. Perhaps it's time we all stopped worrying and learned to love the bomb. Or something. (In the end, the likeliest scenario even if Iran does acquire the bomb is that it, and Israel, and to some extent nearby Pakistan, will end up in a regional stalemate, and may ultimately force all concerned to be better behaved.) Of course, the lunatic figurehead Iranian President, who is as hellbent on initiating Armageddon as, well, too many lunatic Americans seem to be... could seize actual power there... or lots of other bad things could happen. But still... Thanks to the Bush Administration's bogging us down in Iraq ( which the President as recently as today assures us had absolutely nothing to do with 9-11, despite years of rhetorical juxtaposition)... we don't really have very many good options.

It's a damned good thing I'm an optimist.


"It's a damned good thing I'm an optimist."

Yes, but just why are you?

Posted by Linkmeister at August 22, 2006 2:00 AM

Gee, I figured I was the only one who thinks that Iran getting the Bomb would really not change the equation in the Middle East.

Posted by gregdn at August 22, 2006 12:41 PM

Yeah, Iran getting the bomb, no big deal. The world's leading state sponsor of terror. Led by a madman with apocalyptic visions. Who has threatened to wipe Israel off the face of the map.

You leftists are dangerous.

Posted by jb at August 22, 2006 3:25 PM

Yes, leftists are dangerous. I prefer the term "progressives" anyway. Or in the case of foreign policy at this point "the vast majority of Americans", or perhaps "people without their heads up their asses."

That "leftists are dangerous" would doubtless be why Iran is making such great strides toward the bomb on George Dubya's watch, and not, say, on Clinton's (or Carter's). And indeed, why North Korea evidently got the bomb on George Dubya's watch. (And why, by the end of his term, perhaps Myanmar and Sudan and maybe Tajikstan can have their own bomb programs as well.) Not to worry: all of that is probably the fault of Democrats in Congress... or some liberal somewhere...

It would seem that if there is a country "led" by a madman with apocalyptic visions, that country is probably not IRAN ("President" Ahmandidjad no more "leads" Iran than did his "reformist" predecessor "President Khatami; the leaders of Iran are the mullahs, and from what we know, they are probably not suicidal, and indeed, Ayatollah Khamani seems pretty damned cagey and anything but crazy; we can never be as sure about that with the leadership of this country.)

The reality is that thanks to the chest-beating and testosterone-heavy but brains-light policies of the Bush Administration, we have very, very limited options vis a vis dealing with Iran and heading off its ability to complete its weapons program (though at least, if our own and Israeli intelligence are to be believed, they are still at a relatively early stage, though an important one, and we at least still have a number of years before they perfect their bomb... if we get lucky, of course.)

Posted by the talking dog at August 22, 2006 3:55 PM

Led by a madman with apocalyptic visions.

Pot. Kettle. Black.

Posted by Michael Croft at August 27, 2006 1:57 PM