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February 5, 2006

Gulf War III

-- by John Emerson

Some time ago I explained what I thought the Bush plan was. Keep the war going forever; put in fiscal policies favoring the rich (but backloaded so that the effects will not be felt immediately); and when the shit hits the fan, use wartime powers and the Patriot Act to suppress resistance.

During 2005 nothing went right for Bush, and my predictions weren't looking so good. What that really means right now, however, is that the only way Bush can salvage his presidency is to start another war. All the domestic stuff will be forgotten once the state of emergency we're already in has been ramped up a few notches.

Iran has stepped up to the plate right on schedule, and the usual suspects within the Democratic Party are falling in line too. Wesley Clark, Kevin Drum and Amy Sullivan of the Washington Monthly, and of course, Sen. Lieberman are already on board (along with our next President, John McCain).

I do not believe that the Iran crisis is what Bush says it is. There's something there that we have to deal with, but we cannot take anything Bush says at face value.

However, I do not expect the Democrats to resist in any significant way, any more than they did three years ago. So-called moderate Democrats (e.g. Drum) say that Democrats have to "get serious on defense". What they mean is that the Democrats need to convince the voters that they're hawkish enough -- they're talking about an electoral problem as though it were a policy problem. In fact, the Democrats and their candidates have always had reasonable defense policies, and they've normally been plenty hawkish.

As for Bush's fanatical core supporters -- none of the scandals, failures, and frauds of Bush's first five years have fazed them in the slightest. To a significant extent this is because they really do not have any political policy goals except war abroad and cultural war at home. Besides war, none of the actual business of government means anything at all to them.

So I'm leaving my predictions on the table.

Wes Clark / Kevin Drum

Amy Sullivan (Washington Monthly)

McCain and Lieberman

Posted by John Emerson at February 5, 2006 7:06 AM

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Comments

Wasn't the current Iranian government very recently elected in a properly democratic election? The "spin" now is all talk about this "totalitarian regime" that has to be replaced by "democracy." So if we don't like what "democracy" produces, we get to smash the results just because we don't like it? This entire mess about Iran is based on the fact that we believe they WANT to make an atom bomb. They haven't made one, aren't even close to being able to make one, say they have no intention of making one, we just assume that's what they want to do.

Posted by: MJ at February 5, 2006 11:07 AM

As Atrios pointed out, if Iran had and used a nuclear device against the US the response would be devastating and complete. Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea know this (they’re in the same “small power bucket). I suspect the mal-administration knows that Iran would not use a nuke against American cities, and, for all their rhetoric, not against Israel either – for the same reasons.

So why the antipathy? Ever since Perry, this nation has enjoyed projecting its power via the US Navy (Japan, The Philippines, Cuba, Panama). If Iran had nukes, say, 3 years ago, I don’t think there would have been an invasion of Iraq: not even Rummey would risk a carrier task force in the Arabian sea, knowing a single nuke could take it out. Without doubt, the Fertile Crescent would be saver from US invasion if the locals had a nuke or two. They know this and want this

Posted by: shirt at February 5, 2006 11:33 AM

I don't know if Iran is a threat. Part of the reason I don't know is Bush's record of lying about national security issues.

If Bush REALLY thinks Iran is a threat to our security, and REALLY cares about the country, he would resign and get his credibility problem out of the way.

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 5, 2006 1:45 PM

Totally concur in your analysis. Very succinct.

Posted by: janinsanfran at February 5, 2006 11:23 PM

there is absolutely no threat from Iran that has not been manufactured by the neocons -- the axis of evil designation being a prime example. This should be obvious to anyone paying attention.

Posted by: Bruce at February 6, 2006 1:19 PM

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