Sunday, February 4, 2007

New war, better than the old war

It is with complete incredulity, that I watch the Bush Administration continue to pursue war with Iran. If anything is better calculated to destroy America's pre-eminent role in the world, I can scarcely imagine what it might be.

Michael O'Hare summarizes the case:

This is sounding uncomfortably familiar. The Bush team is motivating a war with Iran with the kind of hard-headed intelligence and open-eyed analysis it perfected for the Iraq disaster, but not planning for the war, with the same insouciance with which it made no particular plans for the Iraq war.
Not planning for a war is not at all the same as planning not to have a war, as the arrival of another carrier group in the Persian Gulf makes clear. Anyway, the Iranians are almost all Shi'a, so what could go wrong?

James Fallows, ever the voice of reason, writes for the Atlantic, what ought to be obvious to every rational politician in Congress:

Deciding what to do next about Iraq is hard — on the merits, and in the politics. It’s hard on the merits because whatever comes next, from “surge” to “get out now” and everything in between, will involve suffering, misery, and dishonor. It’s just a question of by whom and for how long. On a balance-of-misery basis, my own view changed last year from “we can’t afford to
leave” to “we can’t afford to stay.” And the whole issue is hard in its politics because even Democrats too young to remember Vietnam know that future Karl Roves will dog them for decades with accusations of “cut-and-run” and “betraying” troops unless they can get Republicans to stand with them on limiting funding and forcing the policy to change.

By comparison, Iran is easy: on the merits, in the politics. War with Iran would be a catastrophe that would make us look back
fondly on the minor inconvenience of being bogged down in Iraq. While the Congress flounders about what, exactly, it can do about Iraq, it can do something useful, while it still matters, in making clear that it will authorize no money and provide no
endorsement for military action against Iran.

None of this is exactly rocket science. It is clear from the opinion polls that a solid majority understands that the Iraq War is a disaster. It is not as clear, I think, that everyone understands that war with Iran is completely unnecessary and would be catastrophic in its consequences for the U.S. But, here we are.

Before the Iraq War, I do think that a lot of people were caught up in a kind of hypnotic trance, as a consequence of 9/11, and a failure to acknowledge just what an incompetent moron Bush is. But, now we have the example of that war and its corrupt, moronic execution staring us all in the face.

The great political storm, which must inevitably follow the bad consequences of bad policy -- the political theatre, which metes out the blame and draws the moral lessons, and drives people and parties from power -- rises in the land. But, even as the nation struggles to digest the moral lesson of the Iraq, Bush seems determined to drag the country and world forward toward a conflict in Iran.

Beginning this week, the Congress will hold hearings on the corruption and incompetence of the Iraq Reconstruction. The Scooter Libby trial will continue. Katrina continues to fester in memory. Those things alone would feed the political storm. But, somewhere yet another carrier group heads toward the Gulf, which may well mean nothing, but who trusts Bush?

No comments:

Post a Comment