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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

"These guys are nuts"

Finally got this week's New Yorker and Sy Hersh's terrifying look at administration planning to deal with Iran. The nutbag quotient here is sky high -- and so are the stakes.

Start with a statement of fact: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is one frightening religious zealot. A Holocaust denier, he is a religious demagogue who believes he is on a mission from Allah to rid the world of infidels. The thought of an Iran, led by him, with nuclear weapons, is a scary one.

But, based on a five-year track record, the same statement applies to George W. Bush (minus the Holocaust denial and his mission is from a different god.) And George Bush has a track record of never letting facts stand in the way of his Messianic zeal.

The planning efforts reported by Hersh bear an all-too-familiar feel, as he notes, quoting a recent essay on the Foreign Policy Web site, entitled "Fool Me Twice." Joseph Cirincione, the director for nonproliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, noted several parallels:

The vice president of the United States gives a major speech focused on the threat from an oil-rich nation in the Middle East. The U.S. Secretary of State tells Congress that the same nation is our most serious global challenge. The Secretary of Defense calls that nation the leading supporter of global terrorism.
A certain "been there, done that" quality, don't you think?

Bush's search for a legacy other than Iraq, Katrina and the fiscal ruin of the United States of America for future generations certainly plays a role. But the sheer folly of the idea makes those failures seem staggeringly small.

Attacking Iraq, with or without nukes, will insure the emnity of Muslims -- zealot or otherwise -- until the end of time (which of course may not be that far off in this scenario). Just as al Qaeda took new strength when given a base of operations in Iraq, so too will it and Hezobollah -- Iranian-grown terrorists, let us remember -- grow after a U.S. attack on Iran.

Ahmadinejad's vow to wipe Israel off the face of the earth would come one step closer to reality with a US attack. So why are we at this point?

Because two very stubborn religious zealots are playing a game of nuclear chicken to insure their place in history. Hey, that makes as much sense as anything else that George Bush has done in the White House.

The stark, raving lunacy of this exercise could even be a factor in the decision by a growing number of generals to call for Donald Rumsfeld's resignation. Those who planned wars see the utter foolishness of the machinations of those who have not fought them -- and have decided the future of the United States hangs in the balance if this out-of-control group stays in charge.

Regime change -- on both sides -- sounds like a wise move. There are peaceful ways to accomplish that, through diplomacy and elections. And this scenario offers another reason to take the talk of impeachment seriously.

Get him before he kills us all.


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