Monday, July 30, 2007

It's Wizard of Oz time

Hmmm... didn't the Wizard of Oz turn out to be just a little man hiding behind a green curtain?
The Washington Post is describing the situation between Iran and the United States as a new Cold War, complete with a "Green Curtain":
The Bush administration is now adapting the tactics of the last Cold War to the new one. In the 1940s, the Soviet Union lowered its Iron Curtain to shore up communism in Eastern Europe and prevent penetration from the West. The former Kremlinologists now running U.S. foreign policy, such as Rice and Gates, are trying their own version, with a Green Curtain designed to cut off the bloc of Iranian-linked radicals and protect U.S. allies in the Middle East . . .
But it sounds like they won't be finding a Yellow Brick Road any time soon:
The basic U.S. premise -- isolating regional foes behind the Green Curtain -- is in trouble even among Washington's closest allies. "The United States is trying to define the main line of confrontation as the extremist camp versus the camp of moderation, a division which does not exist," Pillar said. "It may be reflective of our rhetoric and the way Americans see the world, but it is not reflective of the realities in the Middle East."
The progressive blogosphere is suitably derisive. At Obsidian Wings, Hilzoy says:
We had the clever idea of ending several decades of successful containment of Iran by cleverly transforming Iraq from Iran's biggest regional counterweight into a chaotic failed state "led", if that is the right word, by people with close ties to Iran. In the process, we even more cleverly pinned our troops down right where Iran could get at them, and gave them every incentive to do what they could to keep us tied down there by hinting that as soon as we were finished with Iraq, it would be time to take down Teheran. We can't get out unless the Maliki government succeeds, and so even though it is led by Shi'as and friendly to Iran, we are funding and supporting it, and trying to do so without empowering Iran, which is, um, impossible. At the same time, we are trying to contain Iranian influence in the region and mollify our increasingly nervous Sunni allies by by selling lots and lots of weapons -- $20 billion worth -- to the delightful government of Saudi Arabia. But guess what? Saudi Arabia is arming -- of course -- the insurgents who are fighting against the Maliki government -- the very same government that we are trying to prop up!
This is what comes of having idiots in charge of our foreign policy.
I think this "Green Curtain" stuff is just another attempt to inflate the Bush administration's petulance and warmongering into some kind of Clash Of The Titans, so that Bush can continue to pretend to be Churchill rallying the Free World to defeat the Heathens, while Cheney plays William Stephenson.
All the Serious Beltway Pundits and Reporters will take all this Green Curtain stuff very Seriously, of course.

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