Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Never Misunderestimate A Neocon

Seymour Hersch's article, which described plans for a U.S air assault on Iran and which described the possible use of nuclear, "bunker buster" bombs, has understandably generated a lot of "shock waves." (no pun intended)

In fact, Bush even called the article's claims "wild speculation." However, notice that in this description, the article's claims were not disputed, only called "wild speculation." Terrifyingly, if the claims were not true, wouldn't you think a denial or a clarification was in order? In short, if it's not true, why not deny it rather than calling it "speculation?" Of course, it's speculation and of course an unprovoked nuclear attack is "wild," but if there's not some truth to it, why not deny it? The answer is terrifying, especially given what we know about this "shoot first, ask questions later" administration.

I just never thought they'd go nuclear, but I've constantly "misunderestimated" their gall and the places their "messianic vision" would take them.

One point I read yesterday that resonated is that there are two factions within the Bush administration who will both push for an attack. First, the hard-line, cold warriors like Cheney will push for decisive action and "shock and awe" even after their last attempt depletes our resources and our allure in the world. To them, knowing their influence is waning and their days in power numbered, this looks like the last chance to act. Secondly, political pragmatists- who tolerate the hard-liners but whose vision is much more geared toward retaining power- will push for an attack in the face of 38% approval ratings, remembering the days when the "mission was "accomplished" and the country rallying around their flag-draped fake flyboy.

So I'm scared, to death. Why? People much smarter than me, whose opinions I trust are scared too. For example, Digby stated yesterday:

I don't think I'm a panic artist. At least I never have been. But after the last few years I have to say that Billmon's dark prediction sounds entirely believable to me. This Iran thing scares the hell out of me, and I'm not sure what anyone can do about it.

This president has asserted a doctrine of presidential infallibility. He does not believe that he can be stopped. And the way things are going I think he may think he has nothing to lose. There has been a sense of craziness in the air ever since 9/11, but it's just taken a very, very surreal turn

The post he was referring to is Billmon's excellent essay, appropriately entitled "Mutually Assured Dementia" which start out...

Maybe it's just me, but I've been at least a little bit surprised by the relatively muted reaction to the news that the Cheney Administration and its Pentagon underlings are racing to put the finishing touches on plans for attacking Iran – plans which may include the first wartime use of nuclear weapons since Nagasaki.

I mean, what exactly does it take to get a rise out of the media industrial complex these days? A nuclear first strike against a major Middle Eastern oil producer doesn't ring the bell? Must every story have a missing white woman in it before the cable news guys will start taking it seriously?

For another interesting post revealing another possible neocon motive for invading Iraq, check out this post, from Grand Moff Texan which starts out with this...

I may be spinning my wheels, but in putting together pieces of things I've been hearing over the last week I'm beginning to think that something weird may happen in the next couple of weeks.

An invasion of Iran is not possible. Iran's nukes are not the only target, they are only a pretext. The goal is what the goal was all along, apparently, and I've never heard its name before today.

Khuzestan. Perhaps the goal is not to take Iran, or take on Iran, but to spin off a part of Iran that Iran has trouble holding onto, thus redrawing the map and significantly altering the balance of power in the Persian Gulf region.

The point is, Digby is right. There has "been something crazy in the air since 9-11." Now that the public is turning on Bush and now that he's claimed that he's willing to do what no future Democratic or Republican president would do, who knows where his messianic vision will take him.

Think I'm exagerating and that this would be on the network news if it were truly scary? Well, the lead story on right now is "The Last Minutes of Flight 93," which is pretty good evidence that something crazy is still in the air after 9-11. Consider also that Congress, which has acted primarily as a rubber stamp to Bush's policies after 9-11, is just now responding to opinion polls and checking the power of the Neocons, and is also in recess for the next 10 days or so.

Each time these people have been given an inch, they've tried to take it a mile. They ignore the law, they distort the facts, they "fix" the intelligence around the "policy," they claim they talk to God, and they feel their days are numbered.

What will they do next? Billmon says we might not feel the consequences at home significantly right away, but he rightfully makes the point that we don't know this and that the results of an unprovoked nuclear attack could be devastating for our economy, our security and our national standing.

Osama, obviously cognizant of the fact that the Muslim world sits atop much of the world's oil reserves and that the West is structured to rely on this, has expressed his dream of seeing oil prices at $150 a barrel.

Bush, obviously cognizant of the fact that his vision for Iraq is not panning out, wants to reverse his fortunes and preserve his legacy, wants to return to his aircraft carrier days. Since attacking is so much easier than governing and long term vision is so much more difficult than short term "mission" planning, and since he's surrounded himself with "Machiavellian Mayberrys" and cowboy-like cold warriors, Hersch's "wild speculation" looks to be as accurate as his descriptions of Abu Ghraib.

Will Osama's dream of $150 oil prices merge with Bush's dream of "liberating" another country with firepower?

It looks dire, and nobody seems to be asking the questions as we sit on the verge of striking another country with a nuclear weapon.

I hope to God I'm wrong and that somebody will be laughing at this post in the future. (At least they'd be reading it, unlike now!)

But what if I'm not?

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