Tags: war

Cutting and Running...

I know, as an alledged 'blargher', I am supposed to be nothing but critical of the so-called 'mainstream media', but honestly, I'm enjoying the knife-twisting being served up by this morning's Washington Post A1 over the administration's attempt to unremember everybody of its rhetorical history. The piece opens:
President Bush and his aides are annoyed that people keep misinterpreting his Iraq policy as "stay the course." A complete distortion, they say. "That is not a stay-the-course policy," White House press secretary Tony Snow declared yesterday.

Where would anyone have gotten that idea? Well, maybe from Bush.

...followed by three examples of Bush saying that he's staying the course, a clarifying tact usually reserved for The Daily Show. Then they twist the knife further with:
But the White House is cutting and running from "stay the course."

This is an abject lesson in the hazards of bumper-sticker policy and governance. Now that he painted all criticism of his policies and suggestions for reassessment as "cutting and running", he's stuck with either "staying the course" or with trying to explain why he is "flip-flopping". His rhetoric has boomeranged on him.

Things that must remain classified...

...anything in variance to the Eternal Sunshine in George Bush's Spotless Mind.

Remember those mobile trailers that had those biolabs which could be used to make WMDs? (With even this being a severe step down from what fears were told to fear from Iraq.)

Well, um, that turned out to be untrue as well.

But hey, it's those things that makes performances starring George Bush so very popular.

Is Bush Mad?!

Fred Kaplan responds to the story by Hersh in the New Yorker in the only possible way someone could: "Is Bush out of his mind?!"

Pre-emptive war—attacking a country to keep it from attacking us or an ally—is sometimes justifiable. Preventive war—attacking a country to keep it from developing a capability to attack an ally sometime in the future—almost never is. And preventive war waged with nuclear weapons is (not to put too fine a spin on it) crazy.

In the 60 years since, the world has declared and observed a clear threshold between the use and nonuse of nuclear weapons. To violate that threshold—for a purpose that falls far short of pre-empting an imminent threat or protecting our national survival—would not only be immoral; it would incite outrage across the Middle East and the Muslim world; it would inspire vast recruitment drives by anti-American terrorists (and any resulting sequels to 9/11 would be seen, even by our friends, as just deserts); and it would legitimize nuclear weapons as everyday tools of warfare and spur many nations into building their own arsenals, if just to anticipate and match their neighbors' impending arsenals.

In short, it would be a disaster of head-spinning proportions.

Of course, Kaplan wonders if this is chess playing by either the Bush administration (play the madman, so that cooler heads are forced to opt for the policy you were gsming for -- in this case, tougher sanctions), or by military officials (to make a conventional attack look like a gesture of goodwill or to derail the Dr. Strangelovian plans in the deep of the Pentagon). Unfortunately, I'm not inclined to think Bush has suddenly learned tatical diplomacy -- he doesn't seem to plan his next move when it is his turn.

So, my answer to Jason Spalding of Just Curious at JadeCastle.com, attacking Iran with nukes would be absolutely worse than doing nothing. It will lead to everybody else to launch nuclear programs, and simply destabilize relations between every single nation in the world.

PS: Bush today said he's not planning on going to war with Iran. He pretty much said the same thing with regard to Iraq, the entire time he was planning on going to war with Iraq -- possibly going so far as suggesting to Blair that we should provoke Iraq into attacking us.

Ending the world, one mistake at a time.

One of the things you should fear when a political leader becomes unpopular, and his ideas have not only fallen out of favor with the public, but has proven to be catastrophically disasterous, is the increasing urge to gamble all or nothing in order to gain vindication. Seymour Hersh is reporting in the New Yorker than plans are being discussed to wage war with Iran. Nuclear war. From an anonymous source, he quotes that Bush sees "saving Iran is going to be his legacy." Once again, we have at the chess-table someone who has yet to master Connect Four. Of all the possible but diminishing options we have against Iran (thanks in part to the wonderful display of incompetence we gave the world in the run-up and execution of the Iraq War), the one option guarenteed to make things worse is a full-out attack.