The subject is Iran and Washington has been thrown into its usual tizzy over the latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report that the Iranians are not working and playing well with others.
The subject is Iran and Washington has been thrown into its usual tizzy over the latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report that the Iranians are not working and playing well with others. Karen DeYong writes in a Washington Post article,
IAEA report comes amid tension within the administration over how
aggressively to respond to the continued Iranian defiance on a range of
issues, including its nuclear program and support for international
terrorism and violent insurgents in Iraq. Vice President Cheney’s
office and hard-liners on the National Security Council staff think the
current carrot-and-stick strategy leans too far in the direction of
I must have missed the carrots in among all those sticks as Bush readies a third Security Council resolution.
measure is expected to require additional restrictions on Iran,
including mandatory travel bans on specific government officials,
expanded prohibitions against dealing with Iranian companies and banks,
and new sanctions against companies associated with Iran’s
Revolutionary Guard. Arms imports from Iran are currently banned; a ban
on weapons exports to the country is also being considered.
It would be nice to think that someone in the diplomacy business was
actually interested in carrying out a diplomatic effort, but Dick
Cheney and his wild-eyed alter ego David Addington are too fucking
arrogant to go that route. Addington is a leftover from the
Iran Contra days of illegally selling arms to Iran in a Reagan era bait
and switch. He ought to be just getting out of prison instead of
serving as chief of staff to the vice-president. If you wonder, as I
sometimes do, who all these hard-liners are, David is a prime example;
instance, he helped to shape an August 2002 opinion from the Justice
Department’s Office of Legal Counsel that said torture might be
justified in some cases. He advocates scaling back the authority of
lawyers in the uniformed services. He consistently advocates the
expansion of presidential powers and Unitary Executive theory, nearly
absolute deference to the Executive branch from Congress and the
Absolutely lost on this
small die-hard core of extremists, is the good of the nation and where
America thinks itself to be on the business of international freedoms
and democracy in general.
George Bush was quick to say that the 2004 election had given him a
mandate to continue his personal brand of diplomacy and preemptive
warfare. Just after his 2004 reelection, the president declared with
more than a little arrogance;
me put it to you this way: I earned capital in the campaign, political
capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style. I’ve got will of
2004 lasted until 2006 and then the wheels came off. In the 2006 mid-term elections, America made it plain that they
- No longer supported the Iraq war and saw no viable way to victory
- Were unwilling to expend further military lives in its behalf
- Had lost all confidence in administration claims and administrative personnel
- Were fed up with profiteering, malfeasance, incompetence and outright lies
In the two years following that election,
- Bush’s nominee to head the World Bank has been forced to step down,
- His Attorney General has become a national embarrassment,
- Donald Rumsfeld was thrown under the bus and
- His commanding general in Iraq has said publicly that the war cannot be won militarily.
Since that wake-up call an additional thousand or more young American kids have
been killed and untold Iraqis fallen victim to whatever it is we are
trying to do over there. It’s inexplicable, certainly in terms this language-impaired president is able to enunciate.
The goal is no longer clear, except to Dick Cheney and David
Addington and even they are unable to articulate it convincingly. So
the rhetoric, unmoored over Iraq, drifts to Iran.
Repudiated in the last election, Bush has no political capital remaining. No matter. Flat broke will-of-the-people-wise, he continues to spend. It is his style. He seems not to have noticed that the country has left him.
Lonesome George’s Rottweiler, Dick Cheney, continues to haunt the
Sunday political shows, espousing inaccuracies and non-sequiturs
without so much as mild rebuttal on the part of Tim Russert or Wolf
Blitzer. Absolutely nothing suspends these zealots in their relentless
pursuit of presidential power.
For its part, Iran has continually said that it is interested only in
peaceful uses of nuclear energy, which is allowed under the
Non-Proliferation Treaty. It denies that it is working toward a nuclear
weapon. It also denies the Holocaust and Israel’s right to exist, which
Cheney and Addington use as an excuse to stomp around the Middle East
with muddy (and bloody) boots.
The un-admitted existence of an Israeli bomb is supposed not to worry the Iranians or their Arab neighbors, but that is another subject for another time. That bomb is our bomb, so all is well.
The sad fact is that Israel has become more costly than it’s worth
and would do better to seek common conciliatory ground with Palestine
than to arrest its democratically elected officials, as they did today.
Yes, it’s a shame that Hamas keeps lobbing missiles into Israel.
It’s also a shame that the single Israeli death attributed to those
missiles should threaten to unseat yet another Israeli prime minister.
If the United States and Israel had invested a mere 10% of what has been shoved across the table toward that Jewish homeland in the building of a Palestinian merchant society, those missiles and parliamentary arrests might not be happening.
But Israel has been uncompromisingly arrogant and America has been
its steady and unquestioning enabler. Yasser Arafat is dead and no
longer to blame for Palestinian intransigence. Jimmy Carter dragged
these errant delinquents to a near agreement at Camp David more than a quarter-century ago and yet America’s client-state is still on the attack, because America is unable to kick the habit of Israel addiction.
The Middle East hatred of America has no sustaining basis in
theology. The wreck the Bush administration has made of Iraq points far
more incriminatingly toward the Israeli-Palestinian deadlock than it
does al-Qaeda. The Iranian debacle is similarly based, no matter what
Cheney blusters from the deck of a navy ship.
What remains to be
seen is if a dozen zealots, totally out of control within this
administration, will unilaterally drag America further into a stupid,
useless and entirely avoidable confrontation with Iran.