Sunday, November 19, 2006

Terrorist Recruitment Made Easy

According to Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker, the debate inside the White House is now between those who think America should briefly bomb Iran to make a point and those who believe America should strike until the Iranian government collapses. Oh, goody.

On the one hand are those comparative pacifists who want to attack Iran so that the Iranians will abandon their plans to build a nuclear bomb that could be used to deter future American attacks. Got it? And we get bonus points because once Iran realizes that building a bomb would only antagonize America and Israel they will also stop supporting guerrilla fighters in both Iraq and Lebanon. It's an easy two-fer.
“More and more people see the weakening of Iran as the only way to save Iraq.” The consultant added that, for some advocates of military action, “the goal in Iran is not regime change but a strike that will send a signal that America still can accomplish its goals. Even if it does not destroy Iran’s nuclear network, there are many who think that thirty-six hours of bombing is the only way to remind the Iranians of the very high cost of going forward with the bomb.
Unfortunately, another argument is also coming from within the White House. This one assumes that the reason Iraq is a major fuck-up is because a handful of radicals in Tehran continue to thwart American-style democracy in the Middle East. The obvious answer: take 'em out:
The main Middle East expert on the Vice-President’s staff is David Wurmser, a neoconservative who was a strident advocate for the invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. ... unlike those in the Administration who are calling for limited strikes, Wurmser and others in Cheney’s office “want to end the regime,” the consultant said. “They argue that there can be no settlement of the Iraq war without regime change in Iran.”
Perhaps the Republicans should reflect upon this fact: Even though they lost both houses of Congress they aren't going to change anything about their foreign policy. Much of their attitude is derived from the fact that America was attacked on 9/11. So why should attacking the Iranians produce a different result? Isn't it more likely that the Iranian leadership would use an American attack to motivate their people to support even more involvement in Iraq and Lebanon? Oops, there I go again -- foolishly assuming that Republicans actually want policies that accomplish good things.

With only two more years before the next presidential election, the White House is trying to come up with a plan and a timetable for forcing, or at least frightening, Americans into voting for Republicans. Everything else has become secondary. Bombs away.

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