Monday, March 13, 2006

Next On The Bush Agenda

Two stories caught my eye in the Washington Post this morning. The first one is about Iran and the second one is about Iraq:

As the dispute over its nuclear program arrives at the U.N. Security Council today, Iran has vaulted to the front of the U.S. national security agenda amid Bush administration plans for a sustained campaign against the ayatollahs of Tehran.

President Bush and his team have been huddling in closed-door meetings on Iran, summoning scholars for advice, investing in opposition activities, creating an Iran office in Washington and opening listening posts abroad dedicated to the efforts against Tehran.


In private meetings, Bush and his advisers have been more explicit. Members of the Hoover Institution's board of overseers who met with Bush, Vice President Cheney and national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley two weeks ago emerged with the impression that the administration has shifted to a more robust policy aimed at the Iranian government.

"The message that we received is that they are in favor of separating the Iranian people from the regime," said Esmail Amid-Hozour, an Iranian American businessman who serves on the Hoover board.

"The upper hand is with those who are pushing regime change rather than those who are advocating more diplomacy," said Richard N. Haass, who as State Department policy planning director in Bush's first term was among those pushing for engagement.

Gee, huddled in closed door meetings about regime change, investing in opposition activities, creating an "office" in Washington that will help sell the war to the American people - I feel like I've seen this movie before.

Oh, yeah! It was the lead-up to the Iraq war! That's right! The boys and girls in the first term of Bush 2 huddled together whispering how cool regime change in Iraq would be, created the "Iraq Group" in Vice Preznit Cheney's office to help sell the war to the American people (kinda like a presidential campaign or a new brand of soap) and sent millions over to opposition groups like Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress.

And now we get the sequel - in Iran! The boys and girls in the second term of the Bush administration are huddled together whispering how cool "regime change" would be in Iran (though they never, ever use the word "regime change" when talking about their opposition to the Iranian theocracy - you see, that phrase got overused in the first war in Iraq), they've set up an "Iran Office" to propagandize why the Iranian mullahs are the biggest threat to the U.S. ever, and they're sending out millions to Iranian regime opponents in the hopes that a good group of people can take charge of Iran after we knock off the mullahs.

The only problem is, we're filming the sequel to the Iraq war and we haven't finished the fucking Iraq war yet!!! Actually, we haven't finished the Afghanistan war yet, really, since a resurgent Taliban seems to control about half the country again, but let's leave the point out for now and simply discuss the Iraq problem.

How can the Bushies seriously believe they can build support for "regime change" in Iran (let's call it what it is, okay?) when they've so seriously fucked up the first "regime change" they tried in Iraq?

Here's the Washington Post today on how the conflict in Iraq has changed from a battle against insurgents to complete sectarian conflict:

The shifting focus of Iraq's war does not mean the fight against the insurgency has ended. Bombings attributed to insurgents have held steady. But execution-style shootings of the kind frequently blamed on Shiite militias and police have skyrocketed since mid-2005, claiming more lives monthly now than bombings, according to figures from Baghdad's morgue.

"Sectarian violence now has become the No. 1 problem in Iraq, more than the insurgency. Or on a par" with the insurgency, said Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, the U.N. envoy to Iraq. Gen. John P. Abizaid, the head of U.S. Central Command, said last week that "sectarian violence is a greater concern for us security-wise right now than the insurgency."

Wow - the insurgency has gotten worse every year for the last three years, but now the sectarian conflict in Iraq is an even bigger problem than the insurgency!!!

The Iraq war is a complete murderous mess, certainly the worst foreign policy failure the U.S. has experienced since Vietnam (if not ultimately worse than that) and the boys and girls in the Bush administration want to take their Iraq act on the road and bomb the Iranian mullahs into rubble and try the whole "regime change" thing again?

Amazing. Just amazing.

Never mentioned in all of these "Iran is the biggest danger to the U.S. ever!!!" stories, by the way, is that if the Bush administration was so concerned about the Iranian mullahs, they should have left Saddam in power.

Because when we took Saddam out, they created a power vaccuum in the Middle East that has been filled by Iran.

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