Sunday, July 02, 2006

Rogue State 

Reading Sy Hersch's new article about the coming war with Iran, one thought struck me -- how wrong we were to think that the risk of war decreased when the Soviet Union fell.
As it has turned out, the risk of a hot war actually increased -- because there was no one to hold the United States in check anymore, except for the civilized restraint of its political leader.
Then they go and elect cowardly, unprincipled leaders like Bush and Cheney. So all bets are off.
If Russia was still a world power, there is no way, today, that the United States would be planning a war with Iran -- the old Russia would just have announced that it would not tolerate any such attack, and that would be it. No attack.
Today, don't expect such rational and reasonable behaviour -- Bush and Cheney are mad, and Rumsfeld too.
In a paragraph dripping with incredulity, Hersh reports they think of themselves as great historical figures:
The President and others in the Administration often invoke Winston Churchill, both privately and in public, as an example of a politician who, in his own time, was punished in the polls but was rewarded by history for rejecting appeasement. In one speech, Bush said, Churchill “seemed like a Texan to me. He wasn’t afraid of public-opinion polls. . . . He charged ahead, and the world is better for it.”
Gad, they take themselves soooo seriously, don't they.
I am a great admirer of Churchill who, in my opinion, singlehandedly saved the western world from the Third Reich. He was a courageous man, but he was often wrong on his political judgments, from Gandhi and Indian home rule to Edward VIII, primarily because he saw the world in black and white. (Besides, it wasn't Churchill who declared war on Germany, it was that appeaser, Chamberlain.)
Actually, the more we read of American atrocities in Iraq, the more the WWII analogy is starting to fit better the other way round, isn't it, as the occupation of Iraq starts to resemble the German occupation of France.
Arthur Silber writes the plain truth about the upcoming war:
Any military attack by the United States on Iran within the foreseeable future -- even an attack using only conventional weapons -- would be profoundly immoral, and eternally unforgivable.
Remember the critical facts: all experts agree that Iran is approximately five to ten years away from having a nuclear weapon. Moreover, Iran is fully entitled to take the actions it does at present, including the enrichment of uranium . . . under the terms of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, to which it is a signatory . . . The position of the United States is an entirely unprincipled one, and one which devolves into incoherence. These central facts lead to only one conclusion: an attack on Iran would represent a blatant, naked act of aggression against a country that does not threaten us. It would not be an act of self-defense, if that term has any meaning at all: there is nothing at present or in the immediate future to defend ourselves against.
And thus, too, the recent attacks on the New York Times and on the Democratic party as "traitors" starts to make more sense now, too -- so that their likely opposition to war with Iran can be brushed aside as just more cowardly treason.

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