Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Saving the President’s Face

There is never a time when the nation is in greater danger than when a president feels the need to save face. In my lifetime it has happened when Eisenhower felt at risk over the spying he was doing on North Korea, when Johnson invented the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, when Reagan raided Grenada, when Clinton went to war in Bosnia, and now that George Bush’s back is to the wall in Iraq, it may be time for him to give it a try, too.

What do presidents do when their egos are threatened? They go to war. Sometimes it’s not too big a deal. Reagan probably did the best job of going to war without putting anybody at risk. Too bad he’s gone. Maybe he would have given W some mildly less insane advice than he gets from Cheney and Rove. After all, Reagan only sent troops to a tiny little island that didn’t even have a military beyond a few good ol’ boys with a popgun or two. His was a simple ruse – just send a few seals to plant a case or two of AKs in a garage for the troops to find and then send ‘em in. Have them “rescue” a half-dozen or so medical students –even if they don’t know they need rescuing – plant a headline or two in some major papers then sit back behind your smoke screen and enjoy the diversion.

Could Rove and Cheney come up with anything that cool? Not a chance! Oh no, they come up with advice like, “Nuke Iran. That’ll take the public’s mind off the deaths in Iraq, not to mention creating another helpful chaotic mess.” If W had a brain, he’d have thrown those guys to the wolves long ago. But then, if wishes were fishes, we’d all have full nets.

At least – according to the London Times and Seymour Hersh’s interview with Terri Gross yesterday – the nuclear option is now off the table in Washington. Of course, W won’t say so publicly because it would make him look weak, but word is that several of the top Pentagon brass told him that if he ordered the use of nukes in Iran they would all resign immediately. (The Navy and Air Force are all for attacking Iran, but the Army knows it’s nuts.)

Needless to say, the option of attacking Iran by other means is still high on W’s list of dandy things to do within the next year. Probably the next few months according to Hersh, who went on to say that we will soon have four – count ‘em – four aircraft carriers in the Middle East, two of which are at great danger of catastrophe if we do attack. It seems they will sail in narrow, shallow waters like The Arabian Sea and The Straits of Hormuz that don’t permit maneuverability, and the Iranians have a secret weapon that can take advantage of them and against which the Navy has no effective defense. What is it? Six hundred Boston Whalers. That’s right. Little, open, outboard powered fishing boats. Load ‘em up with explosives, tie the tiller and turn ‘em loose. Once again, guerilla style tactics will bring down our super high tech monstrosities. But not until after we have bombed Iran for no real reason except that the president needs a diversion and the neo-cons want to “advance” our empire.

How I wish the American people would recognize that BushCo has no regard for the troops or the citizens of this or any other country on earth. BushCo is working like crazy behind the scenes to set Iran up for an attack with no thought given to the number of Iranians who will be killed, the number of American sailors and flyers who will be killed, the likely loss of a couple of aircraft carriers and maybe a few cruisers and the fact that we will be left with American troops stranded in Iraq, another destroyed nation, and oil prices twice as high as they are now in this country. Never mind the number of anti-American fighters the ill-will from such an act with recruit around the world and the absolute certainty in the world’s minds that the United States of America has gone from being a guardian of freedom to an aggressor nation intent only on advancing its own interests.

Do your best to STOP THIS ADMINISTRATION. First step – back Congress in their attempt to rescind their authorization for BushCo to attack any country they wish by any means they wish. That’s the carte blanche they gave W after 911. If W wants to bomb Iran, he can do so now without first having to go to Congress. If they rescind that authorization, we will have an opportunity to influence their votes when he asks for permission to go. If they don’t, he’ll tell us about it after the attack starts. Call your representatives and back the House and the Senate in their attempt to take back the responsibility they abdicated in 2001.

Have a meaningful day.

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