A supine and whorish press corps engaged in largely meaningless banter with President George Bush recently as he gave his 20th conference. The event was a typical Bush activity full of smirks, off-colored gaffes, political bullying and sheer inability to understand complex geopolitical issues that resulted in his tried and tested evasions and tangential behavior. Curiously, Mr. Bush called the pres conference to talk about his opposition to excessive federal spending even as he plans to ask congress for $26 billion more to fight his two wars and his total opposition to giving a measly $5 billion for children’s insurance.
While the commander in chief behaved in his typical dysfunctional fashion he never raised any eyebrows in the media with a really alarming comment. Speaking about Iran Bush said: “I believe they want to have the capacity, the knowledge in order to make a nuclear weapon. And I know it’s in the world’s interests to prevent them from doing so. I believe that the Iranian—if Iran had a nuclear weapon, it would be a dangerous threat to world peace. We’ve got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel. So I’ve told people that, if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.”
Amazingly not ONE of the assembled journalists asked Bush what he meant about this inference to war that could be of apocalyptical dimensions. The silence was conspicuous and telling given that this was the most important statement of the entire press conference. There were no post press conference analyses and no mention of the statement the next day in many of the mainstream media.
Have the American media become so “imbedded” – or wedded if you wish – to the Bush Administration that it demonstrates such sycophantic and sniveling behavior that it could not hold responsible, ask for clarification, from a man who has his finger on the US nuclear button and literally issued a threat of global war?
Such saber-rattling should give Americans cause for concern and pause. Iran is not Iraq and with 75 million people will not be a military cake walk. Mr. Bush’s language and tone suggests that he’s become convinced about “all options being on the table” – including the nuclear one. That is a deliberate contemplation of mass murder and if carried out would make other such events mere dwarfs in comparison.
Moreover, the threat of a new American-instigated and led war is now very real. Consider this: Presidential Republican hopeful, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), has said the probability of an American attack against Iran is higher than our public debate suggests, while the rhetoric from the president, vice president and Republican candidates for president becomes so fevered it borders on irrational.
Mr. Bush’s rhetoric, the passage of a resolution by the United States Senate branding a section of the Iranian government a terrorist organization that is led by that nation’s Supreme Ayatollah, new vitriolic statements by Vice President Dick Cheney and the astounding “World War III” statement by his boss all point to a looming attack on Iran and plans for which were set in motion long before the president’s “Axis of Evil” speech.
The Senate resolution, co-sponsored by Republicrat Joe Lieberman, would make Iran’s Supreme Ayatollah a terrorist since he’s the spiritual head of the Republican Guards and the Quds Forces. Of course, with votes to be gotten in this upcoming Presidential Elections nobody even considered the deep implications of this reckless resolution. This new round of manufactured pretexts to justify and make the case for war eerily resembles the Bush Administration’s Iraq resolution of 2002 with all of its distortions and falsehoods.
It also resembles the kinds of lies and distortions that was built, packaged and manufactured around the Gulf of Tonkin resolution in Congress that dragged America into an ill-fated, unwinnable war in Vietnam. Yet this Congress with all that history available continues to be strong-armed and brow-beaten by President Bush. No wonder the American public has lost confidence in the Congress and rates its job performance lower than King George’s – a disgraceful and shameful 27 percent.
In the case for war against Iraq Bush and company used scare tactics, the national trauma of 9-11, and the need for justice or revenge. He painted a picture of “mushroom clouds” occasioned by the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and is now doing the same thing as he sells his Third World War package while demonizing Iran and paying little attention to the very serious consequences of opening up a new war in that already destabilized part of the world. To compare the present global situation of today with anything remotely resembling World War II is the height of extremism and alarmist, intemperate behavior from a president who has allowed the real enemy who killed Americans on Sept. 11, 2001 to regroup and resurge.
But back to Mr. Bush’s statement about World War III. His assertion that “if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon” is most revealing in that it suggests that Iran’s real crime is not possessing a nuclear bomb but that war is necessary to “prevent them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.”
For Mr. Bush the basis for a preemptive war with Iran is simply that nation’s “wanting to possess the knowledge to make a nuclear bomb.” It is an improvement over his Iraq justification and a new twist to his preemptive doctrine. In Iraq’s case he told the world and the American public that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). In fact, the person who said that he was “100 percent proof positive” was none other than Vice President Dick Cheney who is now spreading new Iran fear among the American populace in his typically Darth Vader fashion.
But what insanity drives ostensibly responsible people to make these dangerous statements that must be interpreted as war preparations by the United States and its potential for a wider military conflagration in this most volatile part of the world?
Any US-Iran confrontation is a very dangerous thing. Israel will definitely become involved because it is the US’s only ally in that part of the world and the one Middle East nation that can challenge it. In Iraq the Shiite majority could turn drastically on US soldiers in sympathy with their brothers and sisters in Iran. And Russia and China could be dragged into a wider conflict that could plunge the world to the brink of Bush-induced Armageddon. Such a conflict will also involve other US client nations like France and Britain.
That is why the United States Congress should act now based on the history of President Bush and his penchant for military miscalculations and presumed infallibility. Congress must not be duped into supporting a more dangerous war as it did in 2002 when it bought into Mr. Bush’s militaristic, pseudo-patriotism and jingoistic fervor. If Mr. Bush intends to wage war with Iran the American people must know the cost, consequences and other issues that were obfuscated from them in 2002 when Mr. Bush and Company launched a preemptive war against Iraq.
To fail to do so would be tantamount to an abnegation of Congressional authority and responsibility and ceding same to President Bush thus giving him effective control of two branches of government. Congress must be very concerned when the top leadership of the Bush Administration starts synchronizing their public statements about war with Iran in the context of an extremely inflammable Middle East.