Suddenly one worries if the madness that is being spouted by Kristol and Co is actually being listened to....I've got bad news for Kel: the direction of the message is not from Kristol to the White House. Kristol is one of their messengers.
It may not be entirely true that the regime change in Iran message is a message that came from the White House to Kristol directly. In fact, there need not have been a message at all. We're seeing in Kristol more of a "groupthink" condition rather than any directed talking points, though those surely were worked out somewhere in the veep's office for the benefit of the media campaign. Kristol may have even helped "tighten them up."
Kristol was (is?) the Chairman of PNAC, whose plan for global domination was seen by other "crazies" like Cheney and Rumsfeld as the one true path to a gentle and peaceful world; America would be a the helm of the good ship Leviathan. The entire, ridiculous ideology's cover is revealed for the sham it is by the advocacy for it by Cheney and Rumsfeld, two meager souls who have worked diligently for decades ensuring that mushy-headed efforts toward peace would never be brooked on their watch, a watch that has now spanned 35 years and has been spent ginning up fear and loathing in halls of the White House while dry-humping the Constitution.
No, Bill Kristol need not be listened to by anyone in the White House for them to already know the call. Kristol may have adopted some legitimate airs recently, which came from his criticisms of Bush's operation in Iraq, and some might see this as a sign that Kristol is in some way "objective" in his latest more-war pronouncements. But Kristol is hardly obejctive and his criticisms simply came from being pissed that Rumsfeld had hopelessly screwed up "the plan." He didn't have any qualms about the quality of the idea behind what has turned into an abject failure and a horrifying reality for the Iraqis who daily suffer death and destitution. But despite the atrocious failure of a giant misstep, Kristol, Krauthammer and other of the war mongers are now calling for the start of the next big, smart-bomb stride of the great experiment in "benovolent global hegemony." But what is most pronounced about the execution of "the plan" is its certain lack of benevolence. And hegemony appears to be nowhere in sight.
Indeed, it is known that Cheney was not happy with Condi Rice's heavy push for diplomacy with Iran, a push that was actually looking like it might produce some positive, i.e. non-military, outcome. This, of course, was nothing Cheney wanted, he and Rumsfeld having already decided that a bombing campaign was the only viable "solution." Rice's diplomatic effort thwarted a months-long disinformation campaign that comprised not only phoney intelligence about Iranian "nuclear weapons," but also a short effort that was trying to claim Tehran was supplying insurgents in Iraq with IED materials. No actual evidence of an Iranian weapons program has ever been found and the Tehran/IED claims quickly faded when Chair of the Joint Chiefs, General Pace, had to admit that there was no evidence for this either. Nonetheless, a diplomatic solution would not be acceptable to the likes of Cheney, Kristol, et al., and now fresher, more violent and visceral evidence of Iranian bad faith -- Hezbollah rockets landing on Israel -- is being used as the latest catalyst by which the next phase of the PNAC plan might be realised.
The failed conditions of Iraq apparently matter not to advocates of Middle East regime change. Failure there simply means, this time we'll do it right. As many had predicted, Iraq's now clear and close ties with Tehran demonstrate that, if there is a "winner" in the horrifying debacle, it is Iran. And the Iranians know it. In fact, so much has control of Iraq been lost by the White House, Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki and the Iraqi parliament are now publicly denouncing the actions of Israel. This reality fails to attach itself to regime-changers like Bill Kristol. But then reality has never been part of the equation for the neo-con global hegemonists and they demonstrate themselves to be, on some level, simpletons of the highest order. Even if it is very bad, they have a plan and they're sticking to it. The plan demands a message that the White House hardly needs to get from Bill Kristol.
There has been one notable feature during this intense period of conflict: Dick Cheney's absence during all of it. Apparently, Cheney has been off humping for campaign cash and employing the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict in just the way Gingrich had been advocating. Indeed, Cheney is once again telling America that, as far as he's concerned, this is going to be one damn long war. And there is nothing anyone can do about it, so keep on voting Republican:
Vice President Dick Cheney on Friday pointed to the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah as fresh evidence of the ongoing battle against terrorism that underscores the need to keep President Bush's Republican allies in control of Congress.The GOP electoral strategy, writ large.
"This conflict is a long way from over," Cheney said at a fundraising appearance for a GOP congressional candidate. "It's going to be a battle that will last for a very long time. It is absolutely essential that we stay the course."
I would very much like to believe that the American public have grown tired of the endless fear-mongering of Republicans, but I am not at all sure that that has happened, despite the objectively worsening conditions in many regions of the globe. Five years of the Bush administration tossing kerosene on global hot spots is being used to reinforce GOP domestic campaign strategies; that they are the ones who must handle these dangerously aroused hot spots, ones either created or abetted by them. Certainly fear is easier to conjure when there is actual fighting going on somewhere, especially when it involves Israel and it's Arab and Persian foes. But the American public must wake up to the obvious fact that, under Bush and Cheney's tutelage, war has been foisted upon world at the behest of this adminstration. The attack on Iraq has done nothing but bring things to a boil, yet now we see the likes of Bill Kristol and other public, pro-war PNAC figures telling America that Iraq is not enough, that Iran now must yield to the military might of the United States and the demands of the Bush adminstration.
I've often wonder what the neo-cons would have done, what new campaign might have been launched against Tehran had the Iranians actually said, ok, we'll stop the nuclear enrichment. With the Israeli conflict pushing the escalation potential off the scale, and claims that Iran is ultimately responsible, it would seem that question has now been answered.