Thursday, January 11, 2007

Real men want to go to Tehran. . . uh, I mean Sadr City.

W.'s speech last night was pretty depressing, wasn't it? He basically said 'I'm escalating the war because I can and the rest you can be damned.' He doesn't care about what the generals are telling him, what members of his own party are telling him -- never mind the Democratic majority in Congress -- or give a damn that he's lost the support of the American people for his personal war of choice. He's the Decider. He's the commander in chief. And that's pretty much all he's got going for him. Some in Congress are questioning whether the constitution gives them the authority stop him through the power of the purse. I'd say they'd better look into it, because I don't think he's going to quit when he gets to Sadr City. Something tells me, his estimation of what success means in the "ideological struggle of our time" includes eliminating the regime in Tehran as a threat to Israel.

What stood out to me was him saying: "Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and to our enemies in Iraq." It can only be a matter of time before he decides that strikes inside Iran are necessary to destroy those "networks." That little troll from FOX News who asked General Pace this morning if we would attack Iran -- 'and if not, why?' -- may have had a point. W. says Iran is providing weapons that kill Americans. There's only one logical response to a provocation like that.

For folks who are still wondering why he chose Admiral William J. Fallon to run CENTCOM, you need look no further than the deployment of another carrier battle group to the "Arab Gulf." He's not there to oversee the ground war in Anbar Province. As I pointed out previously, you don't need two carriers worth of fixed wing fighter aircraft to conduct neighborhood by neighborhood clearing operations. That kind of high altitude fire power would kill as many of our guys as it would theirs. No. Those carriers are there to do a job. [Once the Eisenhower gets done bombing Solmali nomads into the stone age] And it's not to send a message to Tehran, either. You don't expend that kind of money and equipment to merely convince the Iranians to sit down at the negotiating table.

While the pundocracy battles it out over the relative merits of 21,000 troops making a difference in the Dora neighborhood and whether we'll finally start going after the Shiites, W. and Cheney have got the ball rolling for a much larger escalation. When it happens, whatever the trumped up rationale is, what will Congress do?

Think the entire notion is far fetched? Whose New Way Forward plan did W. go for? The bipartisan ISG recommended talks with Iran and Syria and a pullout of US troops by 2008. He didn't give it a second thought. Former general Jack Keane and and neocon true believer Frederick Kagan recommended escalation. [Kagan says: "Anyone who thinks that it's inconceivable that there could be a military option in Iran sometime down the road I think is making a mistake] Their plan he went with. It has no chance of working, because it's more of the same (but with higher casualties) but it is very appealing to someone like W..

Since he distains nuance and regards bipartisanship as weakness, this go-it-alone strategy leaves him free to do whatever he feels like doing. Attack Iran? Who's going to stop him? He doesn't have to run for re-election and the Democrats are too wimpy to dare impeach him. But even if they tried, by the time they were able to do anything, the American people would see the wisdom of his actions. So many things have gone so wrong he's due for a little luck, right?

Maybe, a little shock and awe over Tehran is all that's needed to bring Ahmadinejad and the mullahs down. The again, maybe Iranians unite behind the mullahs to repel the infidel invaders and they send waves of troops into Iraq and also manage to block the Strait of Hormuz. That sends the Western economies into a tailspin, which brings on a world-wide depression.

And so what if it does? W. will just retire back to back to Crawford, clear some brush and wait for history to vindicate him. And even if it doesn't, who cares? As he said, we'll all be dead anyway.


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