March 2, 2005


It sounds crazy, but ... (Ray McGovern, 3/03/05, Asia Times)

"This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous."
(Short pause)
"And having said that, all options are on the table."
Even the White House stenographers felt obliged to note the result: laughter.

- The Washington Post's Dan Froomkin on President George W Bush's February 22 press conference

For a host of good reasons - the huge and draining commitment of US forces to Iraq and Iran's ability to stir the Iraqi pot to boiling, for starters - the notion that the Bush administration would mount a "preemptive" air attack on Iran seems insane. And still more insane if the objective includes overthrowing Iran's government again, as in 1953 - this time under the rubric of "regime change".

But Bush administration policy toward the Middle East is being run by men - yes, only men - who were routinely referred to in high circles in Washington during the 1980s as the "crazies". I can attest to that personally, but one need not take my word for it.

According to James Naughtie, author of The Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency, former secretary of state Colin Powell added an old soldier's adjective to the "crazies" sobriquet in referring to the same officials. Powell, who was military aide to defense secretary Casper Weinberger in the early 1980s, was overheard calling them "the f---ing crazies" during a phone call with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw before the war in Iraq.

At the time, Powell was reportedly deeply concerned over their determination to attack - with or without United Nations approval. Small wonder that they got rid of Powell after the election, as soon as they had no more use for him.

If further proof of insanity were needed, one could simply look at the unnecessary carnage in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003. That unprovoked attack was, in my view, the most fateful foreign policy blunder in our nation's history ... so far.

It can get worse "The crazies" are not finished.

Finished? Since Iraq they've done Georgia, Liberia, Haiti, the Ukraine, Palestine, Lebanon, Togo...

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 2, 2005 6:25 AM

"but need not take my word for it", well ok, because if you hadn't said that then we most certainly would have believed what you said.

Thank goodness he told us that Colin Powell called Bush and his cabinet the "crazies", because had he not told us that then we would have been left with no credible evidence of his argument.

Isn't it ironic, though, that Powell, at the end of the first term, still wanted to work with/for the "crazies."

Liberal columnists like this one have reached a point of such transparent desperation that their intepretations are mind-bogglingly based on their 3rd grade biases, not facts. It would be refreshing to hear just one blue stater to just say that he kind of hates Bush, but results are results, and for that he must tip his cap.

Posted by: Neil at March 2, 2005 8:41 AM

But..but.. they MUST be crazy! Colin Powell said it! This is what is described by logicians as 'proof of insanity'.

Posted by: JonofAtlanta at March 2, 2005 9:44 AM

Nixon and Kissenger used the "madman theory" to keep the Soviets from interveining directly in the Yom Kippur War in 1973, when things started going Israel's way and against the Soviets' client states. Unless the enemy thinks you're "crazy" enough to carry out a threat like invading Iran, they're going to treat you the same way the treated James Earl Carter's threats during the hostage crisis, with contempt and disdain.

Posted by: John at March 2, 2005 10:28 AM

Ray is probably the second most whacked ex company
man in recent memory; I know that leaves out a lot
of runner ups; Agee (but he was a KGB dupe)Stockwell, McGhee, Snepp. et al. He opened a school of liberation theology in D.C. after he
left the company.

Posted by: narciso at March 2, 2005 9:25 PM