August 17, 2005


Bush's blind spot on Iran (Robert Scheer, August 16, 2005, LA Times)

WE DON'T respect or understand any religious or nationalist fervor other than our own. That myopic distortion has been a persistent historical failure of U.S. foreign policy, but it has reached the point of total blindness in the Bush administration.

The latest exhibition of this approach was President Bush's thinly veiled threat this weekend to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities or even invade the country as a last resort, sparked by Tehran's troubled negotiations with the West over its nuclear program. [...]

[A]s the head of the only nation to have used nuclear weapons on human beings and the one currently devising the next generation of "battlefield" nukes, it would seem that Bush should be a little more careful about trying to seize the moral high ground. This is especially the case because Washington has accommodated the nuclear programs of three allies (Pakistan, India and Israel).

Mr. Scheer is certainly right that we should attack Pakistan if necessary to rid it of nuclear weapons (N. Korea, China and France, too), but the idea that America, Israel and India are morally equivalent to fascist, communist and Islamicist regimes just demonstrates why the Left is perceived to hate America.

How Bush would gain from war with Iran (Dan Plesch, August 15, 2005, The Guardian)

President Bush has reminded us that he is prepared to take military action to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. On Israeli television this weekend, he declared that "all options are on the table" if Tehran doesn't comply with international demands.

In private his officials deride EU and UN diplomacy with Iran. US officials have been preparing pre-emptive war since Bush marked Iran out as a member of the "axis of evil" back in 2002. Once again, this war is likely to have British support.

A plausible spin could be that America and Britain must act where the international community has failed, and that their action is the responsible alternative to an Israeli attack. The conventional wisdom is that, even if diplomacy fails, the US is so bogged down in Iraq that it could not take on Iran. However, this misunderstands the capabilities and intentions of the Bush administration.

America's devastating air power is not committed in Iraq. Just 120 B52, B1 and B2 bombers could hit 5,000 targets in a single mission. Thousands of other warplanes and missiles are available. The army and marines are heavily committed in Iraq, but enough forces could be found to secure coastal oilfields and to conduct raids into Iran.

Only the Axis of Good should be permitted nukes.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 17, 2005 6:45 AM

In private [Bush's] officials deride EU and UN diplomacy with Iran.

Which they shouldn't be doing, since years of said diplomacy have convinced Iran to give up her nuclear ambitions ?

US officials have been preparing pre-emptive war since Bush marked Iran out as a member of the "axis of evil" back in 2002.

Which is their job, and to fail to plan for all contingencies would be inexcusably negligent.
We also have plans to bomb North Korea back to the stone age, (a very short trip for them, to be sure), and plans to seize Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

So what ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 17, 2005 1:00 PM

"permitted" by who? We don't need permission---we're the ones who grant permission. And, of course, refuse permission for others to have them.

Posted by: fred at August 17, 2005 1:19 PM

But you lack Nuance™, man. Don’t you see? If we would just try understand and accept as equal (nay, perhaps more valid than ours) their religious national fervor, their faith in totalitarianism and their desire to kill all infidels, we wouldn’t be so bound to our ham-fisted policies of bombing and bloodshed. We're simply blinded by our desire to see people live freely in democracy. It's so sad, really.

Posted by: John Resnick at August 17, 2005 1:24 PM

Listen real close, you can almost hear the engines crank in Knob Noster Mo and Barksdale LA.

Posted by: BillMill at August 18, 2005 3:00 AM