Friday, July 20, 2007

It's the next war too

As Congress debates an end to the Iraq war, a nagging question keeps coming back: Is war with Iran inevitable? Or will Congress step back, take a deep breath, and put on the brakes before it is too late?

I've written before about my suspicions on where things are heading, and Sy Hersh has been indispensible on the subject. Now,'s Justin Raimondo offers plenty more reasons to be worried about the present course. Put simply, we have three aircraft carriers that we recently parked near Iraq (and Iran) in the relatively tiny Persian Gulf (think high potential for accident that sparks international incident). We have alleged Iranian diplomats captured and being held in Iraq under suspicion of espionage. We have accusations flying around about covert Iranian involvement in its unstable neighoring country (duh), and worse, Iranian weapons killing our soldiers. The Senate has already passed a unanimous resolution condemning Iran for killing U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Or there's the WMDs argument.

It seems like we've already watched a powder keg get set up, and are now just waiting for something to happen. The stage seems to be set for the big outrage or the incredible secret evidence or the tragically-mistaken forgery that all the wise people in Washington will agree to mean that we absolutely must, MUST attack Iran, and anyone who disagrees... fifth columnnist traitors. Remember, we've seen this play out not that long ago, and this time we have three aircraft carriers and a whole mess of troops in Iraq just sitting around right next door. And maniacs and fools who talk about how we can "do Iran" with only air strikes. Really.

As stupid as the whole concept of another war may be to most of us right now, and as we wonder how the heck we get out of Iraq without creating even more chaos, the guys still in charge are the crew that brought us the present middle eastern disaster. Will they really be deterred by the fact that their new middle eastern plans make no sense at all, and would likely result in a catastrophically bigger disaster? Or will they try to salvage the "legacy" and make a "bold move" before whatever weenie who wins the next election takes office and goes soft. These are the guys that "create their own reality," after all.

Having seen this all play out already only a few short years ago, and watching its tragic results and costs before our eyes, one would hope that there would now be enough people in Congress or counseling the President with the sense to stop this course from repeating.

If the new war actually comes to a vote before it's already fait accompli, I assume there would be quite a few more dissenters this time around (I'm looking at you, John Kerry). But can we honestly trust that 50% of Congress would be able to resist the temptation of going along with it, assuming that the big outrage is big enough or the scary evidence scary-sounding enough? The ranks of the gullible and the cynical are ever-refreshed in politics, and just like last time, for many politicians, the real questions will be 'how does it play on the teevee,' and 'will I get killed at the polls next year if the war goes really great and I was on the damned dirty hippies' side?'

And who really expects the media to do their crucial job and act the role of the skeptic and factchecker when the time comes, beyond a handful of outraged editorials, obscure reports buried on the back pages, and debates between three yelling pro war pundits and either Janeane Garofalo or Scott Ritter? By contrast, who expects that they will immediately go into breathless 24/7 hysterics and White House/Department of Defense stenography (complete with countdown clock) as soon as they catch a whiff of the next war?

To put it simply, I would not be surprised to see that the Iraq exit strategy turn out to be an Iran entry strategy, with tragic results. Now is the time to stop it.

The pieces are in place and the intention has been long known: "Anyone can go to Baghdad. Real men go to Tehran."


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