Man am I ever sorry I am not going to Iran now. The visa request is still out there and who knows, it might get approved before Christmas. I’m not sure where to start, as I feel like I’ve consumed a great deal of information about the situation today and know that more is to come.
First, let us dispose of the key question, why now? John answers:
The answer is that Iran is a convenient way for the Bush administration to get America’s attention off of the Iraq debacle, rising gas prices, Valerie Plame, New Orleans lost, Republican corruption, the massive budget deficit, and a growing number of revelations of how Bush lied to the American people in trying to sell them on the Iraq war.
more after the jump
Second, let’s all be clear on something: attacking Iran, even pinprick bombing, equals war. Going to war against Iran is crazy talk. It’s that simple. It’s nuts.
But suppose for a moment we do attack Iran, what next? Game it out. What happens? What do we do? What happens when Shi’ites erupt in Basra? When Muqtada al-Sadr’s bully boys start taking cheap shots at our boys in Baghdad? What happens to our interests in Afghanistan? (Yeah, you forgot that the Iranians have serious interests there.) What happens if we use a nuke? Think it through, ya know. Go all the way. Because there isn’t a conservative on this planet who’s answered this question sufficiently. Sorry, bombing them back ‘to the stone age’ simply isn’t an option. No sane human being wishes to ponder the consequences of turning Iran into a sheet of glass. Like I said, “it’s nuts.”
Moreover, with what army are we to do this? I’ve talked with generals and colonels about this. Real ones, not the ones who play general on their blog. There is no army for this. It’s all locked up in Iraq. Repeatedly I’ve been told, ” the generals will demand an immediate draft, a force of 500,000 to do the job right.” That’s a conservative estimate, too.
So, what do the Iranian’s want? Well, tomorrow I’ll try and tease out the complex nature of domestic Iranian politics. But if you want to cut to the chase, I’m convinced they want a deal. The evidence is there. The question is, is Bush capable of making a deal? Like Reagan did with the Soviets in ’86, who were a much, much greater threat, by the way.
Sadly, there really isn’t any precendent for this. Look at North Korea, where we outsourced our foreign policy to the Chinese. We’ve already postponed talks with Iran as well.
As to claims that Iran can have a nuke in 16 days? I think Richard Armitage knows a little more about Iran’s nuclear situation than Capt. Ed does. As Armitage says, “He said the administration could afford to be patient ”œfor a while” on Iran because Tehran would not have access to a nuclear weapon for some time, and also because the IAEA, Russians and Chinese were all putting pressure on the Islamist Republic.” (I prefer Dr. Cole’s wry humor, actually: Iran Can Now Make glowing Mickey Mouse Watches.
Still, the politics of fear have a good chance of edging out realism and patience on Iran. Why? Well, there is that little thing we call an election to be manipulated in November. Regardless, I’m not afraid. I’m not a bedwetter and I certainly don’t fear dhimmitude. That’s laughable.
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