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by Walter C. Uhler
Saturday, Mar. 11, 2006 at 10:00 AM
Listening to Vice President Cheney and Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad exchange threats of war while both nations hover, like vultures, over the moribund carcass of Iraq's insurgency-racked shotgun democracy, I was reminded of David Low's famous 1939 cartoon, "Rendezvous." Mr. Low, you'll recall, depicted Hitler and Stalin as bloodthirsty tyrants, tipping their hats in salutation while standing over Poland's corpse. Thus, Hitler saluted Stalin: "The scum of the earth I believe?" Stalin replied: "The bloody assassin of the workers, I presume?"
But, unlike Hitler and Stalin, who collaborated to effect Poland's dismemberment, Cheney and Ahmadinejad play 'winner take all." Thanks to the criminal dishonesty and gross incompetence of Cheney, his fellow "cabal-mate," Rumsfeld, a sycophantic Condoleezza Rice and their "Bubble-boy President," George W. Bush, the debacle crafted in Iraq by America's war party has strengthened both the position and confidence of Iran - not only in Iraq, but throughout the Middle East. Moreover, America's debacle in Iraq has emboldened Ahmadinejad -- Cheney's ultraconservative "double" -- to contemplate a clash of civilizations aimed at the eradication of Israel. Now, both bloodthirsty megalomaniacs seem ready to wage war.
For Cheney - and, thus, for Rumsfeld, Rice and their "Bubble-boy" -- the pretexts for war will be Iran's pursuit of the bomb and its "putting people into Iraq to do things that are harmful to the future of Iraq." [Rumsfeld, 7 March 2006] To be persuasive, however, they must once again count on the patriotic suspension of disbelief by the mainstream news media and widespread public ignorance of foreign affairs, both of which served them so well during the run-up to war in Iraq.
Ahmadinejad waxes confident in the knowledge that Iran's oil can be leveraged against the American economy, that virtually all Iranians will unite behind him in the event of a U.S. attack, that America's conventional military forces have been stretched to the breaking point and that an attack on Iran might ignite a Middle East explosion that destroys Israel.
Unfortunately, Cheney's pretexts appear to be seeping through. First, the mainstream media helped to "frame" Iran in the minds of countless Americans. It did so when it engaged in a feeding frenzy over allegations (never proven) that newly elected President Ahmadinejad personally held Americans hostage during the American embassy seizure of 1979. And it did so by linking those false, but viscerally felt, allegations to America's current suspicions about Iran's nuclear program.
Today, the media dutifully reports Ahmadinejad's obnoxious views about Israel, Iran's surreptitious shipments of IEDs "capable of penetrating U.S. troops' armor" [ABC News, March 6, 2006], and the worst-case nuclear scenarios propagated by officials in Bubble-boy's administration. As a result, Americans now believe that Iran constitutes their most dangerous security threat.
Yet, thanks to some excellent recent reporting by the New York Times, anyone possessing even half a brain should know that, unless it receives some enriched uranium from an outside source, Iran probably is years away from possessing the capability to build a bomb (assuming it seeks a bomb).
Moreover, after putting aside their outrage over the hypocritical gall exhibited by members of Bubble-boy's administration who complain about any other country's meddling in Iraq, Americans would do well to recall that it was Bubble-boy's chaotic "success" in removing Saddam Hussein that freed Iraq's Shiites to welcome the meddling by Iran's coreligionists.
Thus, here's a safe prediction: Were the U.S. to attack Iran, many of the same Iraqi Shiites who temporarily tolerate America's occupation of their country -- as long as the occupiers devote their attention to the Sunni insurgency - would immediately come to the aid of their cross-border religious brethren.
Consequently, neither Iran's alleged pursuit of the bomb nor its indisputable meddling in Iraq constitute legitimate near-term national security threats justifying an American attack.
Thus, if an attack occurs, it probably will be limited to missile strikes and bomb drops on selected nuclear facilities. And if the attack occurs before or during October, you can bet it's because Karl Rove has persuaded the Bubble-boy that measures greater than heated rhetoric and threats of war are required to prevent the Democrats from taking control of the House of Representatives after November's mid-term elections.
Republicans will use the threat of war, or war itself, to deflect attention from the Bubble-boy's "high Crimes and Misdemeanors," as well as his string of abysmal failures. Such failures increasingly penetrate the minds of even the most politically obtuse of Americans and, thus, jeopardize continued Republican control of the House.
Simply consider Bubble-boy's record: (1) failure to prevent the terrorist attacks of 9/11, (2) lies and deceit about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and links to al Qaeda to scare gullible Americans into supporting an illegal, immoral preventive war, (3) gross incompetence in conducting America's post-invasion occupation, (4) war crimes committed at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo (5) criminal neglect while Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, (6) illegal eavesdropping on innocent Americans in willful violation of his oath to uphold the Constitution.
Had such evil and incompetence occurred in Japan, where people truly understand shame and honor, the whole administration might have committed seppuku. But this is twenty-first century America, teeming with unshakable Bush supporters - abetted by FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the Washington Times and neoconservative "dead-enders" at The Weekly Standard -- who understand neither shame nor honor, just the inflating Bubble-boy's bubble.
Which is why honorable Americans have no recourse but to impeach, convict and remove Bush/Cheney from office -- as a prelude to their criminal indictments, trials and probable convictions.
Sentiment to impeach has gathered steam. In November 2005 a Zogby poll indicated that 51% of Americans supported the impeachment of Bush, were it proved that he lied to them in order to invade Iraq. On March 1st, Garrison Keillor called for Bush's impeachment, as did the esteemed Lewis Lapham, in the March 2006 issue of Harper's. (This writer made the case for impeachment in June 2005, see http://www.walter-c-uhler.com/Reviews/impeach.html , which he supplemented in January 2006, see http://www.walter-c-uhler.com/Reviews/Gestapo.html .)
Thus, it was no accident that the 8 March 2006 issue of the Wall Street Journal raised the issue of impeachment. Yet the thrust of the Journal article was that Democrats are wary about pursuing impeachment, having seen how swing-voting Americans rebuked Republicans at the polls for having impeached President Clinton.
Although the Journal raises a legitimate question, when it asks whether Democrats can achieve a majority in the House of Representatives by campaigning for Bubble-boy's impeachment; the entire tenor of the article would have changed, had it acknowledged the obvious: that lying to conceal a "blow job" is profoundly less impeachable than lying to invade another country.
Judging by the rhetoric of officials in Bubble-boy's administration, however, they're not counting on help from the Wall Street Journal. Instead, they appear ready to risk spreading religious war across the entire Middle East, causing an untold number of deaths and bringing forth near universal condemnation by launching a preemptive strike on Iran.
Thus, although the pretext will be one of preventing Iran from getting the bomb, you can bet the farm that if the bombs cause an October surprise - they will have been dropped to prevent any possibility of Bubble-boy's impeachment.
Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also is President of the Russian-American International Studies Association (RAISA).
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