Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Bush Leads, We Follow

Observations from watching the debate about Iran?

I'm going to ask a question that's going to sound a bit dull. Bear with me. What is Iran? What do you think of when you argue the correct course of action with regard to the thing known as Iran? I don't think many people can answer that question coherently. Not that they won't try mightily. But this far into the debate, what Iran really is has fallen victim to grand the strategy that we all like to play.

When people speak of Iran today, they're quite clearly not thinking of the baby boom that threatened to reform the face of Iran. But why? That hopeful news isn't but 5 years old. What happened to that Iran? The "Axis of Evil" happened to it. Bush allied himself with the very people who the Iranian baby boomers were threatening. Bush saw an opportunity to be a "War President". His poll numbers shot through the roof, and yes, he noticed. It's politics from beginning to end and damn the consequences.

Oh, have I lost you? Did I not spell it out? Have you been asleep these past 5 years? You don't understand how Bush has allied himself with the Mullahs of Iran? That's fair if I'm explaining this to children. But I'm not. The Mullahs of Iran, the revolutionaries gone bad, were losing their grip on power thanks to two key factors: 1. People, even Iranians, want to be free; and 2. Iran wasn't our business for 20 years. A generation of Iranians grew up without the United States meddling in their affairs. It was all Iranians all the time, and if things weren't peachy, Iranians were to blame. And so this young generation of Iranians grew up watching the outside world pass them by and they started to ask why they shouldn't join it, and they were asking the Mullahs.

And then Bush came along. Bush said, Mullahs, I need you and you need me. So I will give you a gift. I will give you an enemy. I will make this thing known as the United States your enemy. I know, I know, we are the Great Satan and have been for some time. But we've not been acting like your personal Great Satan, nor speaking in the tongue toward you becoming your Great Satan. Well, that's about to change. We're going to tell you exactly what you want those baby boomers to hear. We are going to tell you that we are your enemy. In this way, you can use our own words to condemn us. You can show those baby boomers that you were right about us all along, that you knew the true nature of the beast.

"For the majority nuclear power is a nationalistic issue and there is deep resentment that the west wants to prevent Iran from making technological progress"
Is it so hard to understand? No. No it's not. What it is, is hard to accept. I'm with you on that. In fact, I'm so on you page that I resent the fact that I do accept it. You noticed, if nothing else, that I gave you a taste of what the United State's is from an Iranian perspective. You know better though, true? The United States is you, and you're no Great Satan. But can you say that you haven't been as ignorant about Iran? I don't think so. I think that for most of you Iran has lost it's humanity. I think that when most of you talk about Iran now, you imagine not THE beast, but a Mullah headed hydra. Well, maybe not a hydra, but whatever it is, it's a "thing", and it's Mullah headed, and far from human.

But I'll tell you what I'm struck by most. It's something that is truly disheartening. I don't think Bush is going to use force against Iran. It's the political calculation that decides. Everything else is secondary. If dropping a few bunker busters on Iran would improve Bush's popularity, he'd do it, regardless of whether it was justified or logical or even strategically sound. He's a war president, and because Iraq is both making that title unpopular while continuing to make it one he can't escape, he'd love nothing more than to make a "popular" war on Iran. But that's not the disheartening part. The disheartening part is that we are all to eager to follow Bush's lead and focus on Iran. Oh, we'll point to Iraq as reason enough not to entrust this commander in chief to open a new front, but the point will be that we're energized to talk about Iran, and ultimately to Iraq's determent.

There is no good news coming out of Iraq, and although a small victory--as long as Bush has every columnist and opinion maker talking about Iran, and not the bad news about Iraq--it's a victory none the less. The bad news about the real war, the war in Iraq, is getting pushed off the front pages by the imaginary war, the theoretical war with Iran.

I heard Bush answered some questions about Iran today. I didn't hear him answer questions about Iraq.

Posted by Ender.
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