Pieces In Place
The Los Angeles Times reports a new breakthrough in arms talks between Iran and IAEA weapons inspectors. Which should be a good thing. Which should help ramp down tensions between Iran and the Bush Administration. But that presumes that those tensions have anything to do with reality. Which they don't.
Last October, Seymour Hersh reported that the Bush Administration had made a deliberate calculation to change the rationale for its warmongering against Iran. Realizing that the lie about Iran's nascent nuclear weapons program wasn't selling, it was decided to recalibrate and relaunch with a new marketing campaign claiming Iran is a major cause of the violence in Iraq. Of course, there wouldn't be much violence in Iraq, had Bush not launched an invason, but we're talking about catapulting propaganda, which never has anything to do with reality. And while the Times of London reported, in September, that the Pentagon had already drawn up plans for an attack on Iran, Hersh reported the relatively good news that although Dick Cheney was trying to convince Bush to support a war on Iran, Bush had yet to give the order to actually start one. As of last October. Which doesn't mean he hadn't remained belligerent and provocative, he just hadn't given the order to start another war. As of last October. And part of the reason may have been due to the fact that although both John Bolton and General David Petraeus had gone to England, to try to convince Britain to play along, Prime Minister Gordon Brown's government wouldn't. Just as Bush's usually loyal lapdog Tony Blair's government hadn't been willing to.
And while Bush Administration toadies like John McCain and Joe Lieberman are on board with the whole Iran warmongering thing, some other key players aren't. Like Bush's own puppet leaders of both the countries that are supposedly the fronts in the ostensible "War on Terror." Afghan President Hamid Karzai actually called Iran "a helper." And the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki is so unconcerned about Iran being a threat that his government has even backed Iran's right to conduct nuclear research. In October, Iraq even contracted with Iran, to build a power plant. And, of course, it was just last month that an Iranian general helped end the outbreak of violence between Maliki's forces and those of Muqtada al Sadr.
But the beat goes on. Cheney remains on the warpath. The Administration is even now trying to claim Iran is more dangerous than their fear-mongering favorite, Al Qaeda. And now, loyal Administration lapdog Petraeus has been nominated to head CentCom. And many are noting that he has always been on board with the Iran warmongering. Which his predecessor, Admiral William Fallon, never was. Which was seen as a hindrance to Administration efforts to lie us into another war. News analysts around the globe are worried. And it doesn't help that Joint Chiefs Chairman Michael Mullen claims Iran is killing "coalition" soldiers. Which calls to mind that his predecessor, General Peter Pace, also refused to play the Iran warmongering game. Which seems to have had something to do with his also having been replaced.
Now, I'm not convinced that a war on Iran is going to happen. Among other things, Bush has so devastated the U.S. military, that such a war wouldn't be sustainable. But that presumes a degree of rationality that the Bush Administration has never demonstrated evidence of having. And a bit of carpet bombing could make for grand television viewing, with little loss of American lives. The devastating loss of Iranian lives, in such a case, would be, of course, to the Bush Administration, irrelevant. But it's clear that the Administration has been working very hard, for a long time, to drum up support for a war on Iran. And the personnel to support such a war are now almost all in place. So, while I'm not convinced that war on Iran is going to happen, I'm also not convinced that it won't. It's an election year. And the Karl Rove school of political gamesmanship depends on war for wholly political purposes. Domestic political purposes. Because it's always about winning. Not about winning wars, about winning elections.