Also at DKos.
James Glanz of the New York Times reports that Iran plans to expand its economic and military ties with Iraq.
Imagine that. Iran, a neighbor of Iraq, a country with which it fought its only modern war, has expressed an interest in being part of the solution to Iraq’s security and rebuilding equation. How dare they?
And what subversive, violent steps do the Iranians propose to cement those ties? They want to establish an Iranian national bank branch in Baghdad. Shudder. We better get more troops in Baghdad right away to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Mr. Bush says we “will respond firmly” if Iran steps up military actions in Iraq that threaten U.S. troops or Iraqi citizens.
Mr. Bush claims Iran is providing bad guys in Iraq with weapons. He’s not real clear about explaining which Iraqi bad guys Iran is giving those weapons to.
Iran’s president says his country only wants nuclear capability for peaceful purposes. Mr. Bush tells us Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons. We can’t tell for sure which president is telling the truth about Iran’s nuclear intentions, but as far as we know, Iran’s president hasn’t told us a lie yet.
Iran’s president says the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty guarantees his country the “inalienable right” to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. This is true.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has told us that our major allies are united with us in efforts to isolate Iran. This is far from the truth.
China and Russia are Iran’s energy partners. European governments are resisting American pressure to apply sanctions on Iran, citing “technical and political problems related to the heavy European economic ties to Iran and its oil industry.”
Saudi Arabia is collaborating with Iran in an effort to mediate an agreement to end the violent political crisis in Lebanon.
Saudi writer and academic Khaled al-Dakhil says that “The United States is the first to be blamed for the rise of Iranian influence in the Middle East.”
In October, our buddies in Kuwait reneged on a promise to send observers along on a U.S. led naval exercise in the Gulf. A U.S. State Department official said the Kuwaitis were being careful “not to antagonize the Iranians.”
Mr. Bush has authorized U.S. troops to kill or capture any member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard or its intelligence services believed to be working with Iraqi militias. Many in the U.S. intelligence agencies and State and Defense Departments are skeptical of this move, fearing it will exacerbate the growing conflict between Tehran and Washington.
Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh has encouraged the U.S. and Iran to resolve its differences.
Mr. Bush still asserts that he wants to solve U.S. problems with Iran through diplomacy, but he still refuses to have direct diplomatic talks with Iran.
Mr. Bush says he doesn’t intend to invade Iran. There’s one Bush statement we can believe. He doesn’t intend to invade Iran because he can’t. His ground forces are tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan. But he can bomb the bedazzle out of Iran from the air and the sea, and with each passing day it looks more and more like that’s precisely what he intends to do.
The time for dismissing suggestions that Bush has ambitions of expanding his Middle East wars into an apocalyptic global conflict as conspiracy theory is over. The time is coming–and it’s coming very soon–where Congress will have to take swift, draconian measures to slam the brakes on the administration’s train wreck of a foreign policy.
If Congress can’t curb Bush’s reckless pursuit of war without end, America will be up the proverbial creek with neither a paddle nor a canoe. The Supreme Court won’t stop him. Even if it were inclined to, the judicial system doesn’t work fast enough. The media, the supposed fourth estate or our Constitutional system, has crumbled under the weight of neo-Orwellianism. The so-called “liberal media” has become, wittingly or unwittingly, a compliant tool of the Big Brother Broadcast. Just this morning (Tuesday) I listened to MSNBC “correspondents” and “analysts” echo the administration’s propaganda on Iran, unfiltered, as if it were proven “fact.”
Don’t fall for the canard that says Bush can’t do any more damage to American power and prestige because he’s a “lame duck.” If he continues to get his way, we’ll be stuck so deep in the quicksand that a herd of elephants and a team of mules together won’t be able to haul us out of it.
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at Pen and Sword.