A difference of one letter

Redgee likes to joke that his relatives are all in jail or the military. He told me a few months ago that he heard from them that they are being told to gear up for a war in Iran. Now with a recent New Yorker article I read, this rumor is getting some play in the public discourse.

I don’t think it’s going to happen. But since we are gearing up for midterm elections, it is about time for the Republicans to start another war.

Afghanistan, who?

Hong told me a joke today from some internet movie.

“Knock, knock”
“Who’s there?”

Iraq? Iran? With a difference of only one letter, I bet most Americans probably figure we are in Iran already.

Part of the shrill Democractic opposition

The comments to an article on Balloon Juice have an interesting thread about when most of the readers started to dislike George Bush. I started to think if I was part of the “shrill Democratic opposition” John Cole was referring to—I am not registered to either party. When did I start disliking Bush, like John Cole does now?

My turning point

To be completely honest, I never did much like him. I mean in 2000 the only voting I did was to write scripts to mess with the online polls of various news organizations—it was like calisthenics when you wrote web scrapers for a living. I didn’t vote in 2000, if I had it probably would have been for Gore, but for all the wrong reasons. The only thing I could remember about Bush at the time (other than “Bush or Chimp”) was feeling how pathetic he was next to previous Republican candidates: Dole, Bush Sr., Reagan. I felt with a recession impending, we needed a President who would be willing to tell us to think like our depression-era grandparents, not say that we should spend our way out of it.

The first problem I actually had with the guy was probably when he disappeared after 9/11. It’s because of that I never bought into Bush’s bullhorn moment. I expect a president to act at least as courageously as you or I might have done in the same situation, and he didn’t. Still the disagreement was mostly a tactical one, I never really did have high expectations of him to begin with. Given the circumstances of who we elected, I felt we got better than we deserved.

Because of 9/11, I started to follow the news regularly. I remember hearing the President’s State of the Union address on my way to visit Dave. It started as celebratory, after all, we had just won a war in Afghanistan, but my stomach clenched up as he started to talk about North Korea, Iran, and Iraq. When he got to the Axis of evil line, I nearly got into an accident.

Even though I wasn’t against the Iraq War until around November 2003, my turning point with Bush came at that moment.

7 thoughts on “A difference of one letter

  1. Glenn Greenwald has a writeup on the Iran warmongering jingoism appearing and notes, like many others have, on the Yoo interpretation of the AUMF invalidating the need of the president to seek presidential approval.

    My belief that the key, if any, will be on swaying public opinion before any operation, which is highly unlikely. Betting on a scenario that plays out like this: 1) Bomb Iran; 2) expect Iran to retaliate in Iraq; 3) use U.S. troop deaths in Iraq to mobilize the American public for war in Iran has a game theory problem. Minimax says that Iran would not response with (2)—this is no different than Saddam destroying his chemical and biological stores until he could threaten with nuclear. For instance, Iran can play the victim to the U.N., it can more heavily fund the Iraqi Shiites, it can use the bombing to get sympathy from the Arabs (I believe Iran is mostly ethnically Persian), etc. Also (3) would be hard to play up without total control of media’s portrayal of it—something not guaranteed this time, as it was just after 9/11 and Afghanistan.

    I think it far more likely they are testing the waters with a “war in Iran” story to see if the U.S. public might be willing to go with it, and if such a thing would influence the midterm election in their favor. I think the response to it is not to their liking which is why these right wingers are trying to distance themselves from it.

    BTW, Juan Cole explains why Iran’s nuclear capability is not an imminent threat. Unlike Cole, to me, it seems Iran has figured out a glaring gap in the U.N.’s non-proliferation strategy: to seek civilian nuclear power before addressing the issue of nuclear weapons. All it requires is a lot of patience, which I think Iran has.

  2. Belgravia Dispatch has a post showing the denials in the run-up to the Iraq War, when juxtaposed against what we know actually happened, and the denials today about Iran, it is pretty damning.

    Great post!

    I do not deny that the implications of a plan to bomb or nuke Iran—in fact, I find it quite believable especially given the source (New Yorker) and a careful reading of the denial actually said. My belief is that I think this is trial balloon that will fail because the country has grown too weary of starting another unfinished war. Plans to cause a retaliatory response against the U.S. to engender escalation (a la Japanese WW2), while contemplated by these idiot neo-cons, will not have the results they hope.

  3. Dan Froomkin has an excellent summary about Iran war plans. The important thing to note is how more people are noticing the lack of denial in them, the similarity to the fake denial with the run up in the Iraq war, and how, this time around, it seems the press (and even rabid neocons like Greg Djerlian) are not buying it.

    Remember “You don’t introduce new products in August” so it is important to compare this timeline with that of Iraq war.

  4. I forgot to mention this earlier. Regarding Cheney’s harsh rhetoric vs. Russia I heard last Friday, on NPR there was much discussing on whether or not that rhetoric was new, and then a passing reference to Iran.

    For instance, in the article linked above:

    Vice President Cheney yesterday accused Russia of cracking down on religious and political rights and using its energy reserves as “tools of intimidation or blackmail.”

    It was a hard slap at Russian President Vladimir V. Putin as the United States seeks Russia’s cooperation in punishing Iran…

    Russian officials reacted angrily.

    I ask you to parse this. Do we honestly think that Cheney is that stupid? Borish? Yes. Selfish? Yes. Evil? Probably. But Stupid?

    I posit that the White House is not “seeking Russia’s cooperation in punishing Iran.” They are trying to deliberately sabotage such shit so these military planners have an thinly veiled excuse for invasion.

    Saddam lets nuclear inspectors in. We pull them out so we can invade claiming we are enforcing UN resolutions as justification (rationalization) for war. We’ll do the same thing to Iran and everyone knows it.

    If I were the Republican party, I’d step up the war rhetoric up until just before the election and then make peace. This way gas prices will go down and I might be able to mitigate the loss in the House and Senate. I wonder if these guys are so smart as to do that. What is so surprising is that they have become so entrenched in their ideology that I entertain this question at all.

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