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.