Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Prevaricator in Chief Redux

T-shirt available here: http://www.radicalrags.com/t-shirts/political-t-shirts/anti-bush-t-shirts/

~ Wherein we all delight in watching Bush's head explode ~

My, my, my. Your Demon just has to share the day's mirth by pointing out that, for a change, someone in the mainstream media is critically addressing the Bush-Cheney rationale for war on a middle eastern country ~ this time Iran ~ which seems to be their idea of a grand farewell gesture in an administration distinguished only in its disastrous effect on foreign policy, & which may well take generations from which to recover. (Not to mention the salutary results we've obtained with Russia & China of late.)

Today's most entertainining news are two pieces in the WaPo, one an analysis of Bush's not-very-convincing position when it came to light that he may have known a National Intelligence Estimate was on the way that didn't support his belligerent campaign of war-mongering with respect to Iran.

"President Bush got the world's attention this fall when he warned that a nuclear-armed Iran might lead to World War III. But his stark warning came at least a month or two after he had first been told about fresh indications that Iran had actually halted its nuclear weapons program.

"The new intelligence report released yesterday not only undercut the administration's alarming rhetoric over Iran's nuclear ambitions but could also throttle Bush's effort to ratchet up international sanctions and take off the table the possibility of preemptive military action before the end of his presidency.
"'It's a little head-spinning,' said Daniel Benjamin, an official on President Bill Clinton's National Security Council. 'Everybody's going to be trying to scratch their heads and figure out what comes next.'

"Critics seized on the new National Intelligence Estimate to lambaste what Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards called 'George Bush and Dick Cheney's rush to war with Iran.' Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), echoing other Democrats, called for 'a diplomatic surge' to resolve the dispute with Tehran. Jon Wolfsthal, a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, termed the revelation 'a blockbuster development' that 'requires a wholesale reevaluation of U.S. policy.'

"But the White House said the report vindicated its concerns because it concluded that Iran did have a nuclear weapons program until halting it in 2003 and it showed that U.S.-led diplomatic pressure had succeeded in forcing Tehran's hand. 'On balance, the estimate is good news,' said national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley. 'On the one hand, it confirms that we were right to be worried about Iran seeking to develop nuclear weapons. On the other hand, it tells us that we have made some progress in trying to ensure that that does not happen.'"

Elsewhere in the WaPo, Dan Froomkin observes,

"By concluding that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program four years ago, the national intelligence estimate released yesterday undermined a key element of President Bush's foreign policy. It raised questions about whether the president and vice president knowingly misled the public about the danger posed by Iran. And it added to Bush's profound credibility problems with the American people and the international community.

"But to hear Bush talk about it at the White House press conference this morning, the new NIE vindicated his beliefs and makes his warnings about Iran more potent.

"It was neck-snapping spin even by Bush standards. He intentionally misread the report's central point, failed to acknowledge a huge change in his argument for why Iran is dangerous and exhibited pure bullheaded stubbornness.

"When Chicago Tribune reporter Mark Silva noted that Bush appeared dispirited and asked if he was troubled about what this would do to his credibility, Bush replied: 'No, I'm feeling pretty spirited, pretty good about life, and have made the decision to come before you so I can explain the NIE. And I have said Iran is dangerous, and the NIE doesn't do anything to change my opinion about the danger Iran poses to the world. Quite the contrary. I'm using this NIE as an opportunity to continue to rally our colleagues and allies. . . .

"And so, you know, kind of Psychology 101 ain't working. It's just not working, you know? I am -- I understand the issues. I clearly see the problems and I'm going to use the NIE to continue to rally the international community for the sake of peace.'"

(Translation: "My mind was made up for me long ago. Don't try to confuse me with the facts & inconvenient questions, you pesky gnat.")


After all, kittens, why have we taken the enormous time, trouble, blood & deficit expenditures to invade Iraq if not to establish a toe-hold in the MidEast & a strategic postion from which to bomb nutso Islamofascists to smithereens if they dare intefere with our agendas there?

If you're not depressed enough regarding missed opportunities to avert the World War III the crazed warmongering neocons continue to salivate over, read this, about Condi Rice's mysterious refusal (perhaps she's being undermined by said warmongers in Cheney's office?) to engage in diplomacy at a key moment last year by Fred Kaplan on Slate: http://www.slate.com/id/2178713/fr/rss/



Blogger Paul said...

geez......Aipac welcomed this report as justification for their lobbying for war. The report does state that Iran might eventually (2012?)have THE BOMB.
Bush's statements about Iran being dangerous because "they possess the knowledge to build the bomb" and " they might re-open their secret program" sent chills down my back and does nothing to re-assure me that this whole stupid mess is nearing the end. If he's willing to attack another country because of something they're thinking, then he's willing to do just about anything.
Remember too.... The Plan for a New American Century called for the permanent occupation of Iraq as a means to leave Saudi Arabia and still keep a foothold in the middle east. If they're still sticking with the plan, expect an attack on Iran.
The bottom line on all this Iran scare has to do with oil and the proposed pipelines running from Russia and the "Stans" to the gulf thereby undercutting the need for the pipelines built and supported by western nations. Russia is playing for keeps here and they are arming Iran to the teeth. Nothing will stop this unless we have a complete change in our foreign policy and learn to use diplomacy instead of brute force.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Demon Princess said...

Echo that, Paul, me buddy.

Although I tend to take the long (historical view) of these sorts of developments, & am not at all deluded into thinking Iran loves America (after all the perverse & underhanded meddling we've done there in the past), when I ask myself whether future generations will deplore the fact that the U.S. didn't take the "opportunity" to "stabilize" the MidEast while it was still the world's dominant superpower, I have to conclude, "NOT like this!"

Belligerent warmongering by the U.S. begets more of same: witness Putin's rise to power by hook or by crook. The perception worldwide that America, under the Bushcons, is a madhouse of stark raving idealogues hell-bent on power, with no real respect for democracy (altho happy to intone it as an excuse for whatever shocking actions it wants to take) only justifies (in their minds) the tyrannical actions of other world leaders to protect themselves & their access to resources. (Musharef, Putin, China).

It's a very scary winner-take all sort of situation, & we've PROVOKED it. Echoes of the past World Wars--except in them, if we were guilty of anything national policy wise, it was in not paying attention til the very last minute, allowing Hirohito, Mussolini & Hitler to rise. Now we're in the absurd "pre-emptive" mode, creating trouble & political justifications to invade on the slimmest of pretexts, & in a stroke of supreme irony, have allowed the Bushcon juggernaut to become everything we purport to fear & loathe ourselves.

I can never believe that could EVER be a good thing. Democracy is a fragile invention, & we, the folks who agitated for it to such great effect in the grand scheme of things, seem on the verge of letting our elected officials run amok & railroad us into unnecessary & disastrous wars. We've become the sort of people we most feared, in other words.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We better invade now. Oh my goodness. Some boats that looked like they could be Iranian (though the Iranian govt denies this entirely) got close to one of our boats. Ooooh.

Maybe it was... oh wait after a closer look... yes... it's the Swift Boat Veterans ladies and gentlemen!

I bet these kinds of things will continue happening more and more as we get closer to the general election. Get your duct tape now while you can.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Demon Princess said...

Haha, anonymous!

I'd bet with you that these manufactured "incidents" are largely aimed at influencing the election. Is there any duct tape left after 911?

11:46 PM  

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