Sunday, February 12, 2006

Get Ready to Kiss Democracy (Not to Mention Your Ass) Goodbye

Pentagon strategists are working on what the UK's Daily Telegraph calls "devastating bombing raids backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks against Iran's nuclear sites as a 'last resort' to block Teheran's efforts to develop an atomic bomb."

The article continues:

Central Command and Strategic Command planners are identifying targets, assessing weapon-loads and working on logistics for an operation, the Sunday Telegraph has learnt.
"This is more than just the standard military contingency assessment," said a senior Pentagon adviser. "This has taken on much greater urgency in recent months."

The prospect of military action could put Washington at odds with Britain which fears that an attack would spark violence across the Middle East, reprisals in the West and may not cripple Teheran's nuclear programme. But the steady flow of disclosures about Iran's secret nuclear operations and the virulent anti-Israeli threats of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has prompted the fresh assessment of military options by Washington. The most likely strategy would involve aerial bombardment by long-distance B2 bombers, each armed with up to 40,000lb of precision weapons, including the latest bunker-busting devices. They would fly from bases in Missouri with mid-air refuelling.

This is the scariest thing for me since the Cuban Missile Crisis, and actually scarier; I wasn't that scared during the Cuban Missile Crisis because I was only 12, and didn't know enough to be scared.

It's inexplicable to me that no one in the media or public life seems to be saying the obvious: That this is precisely the kind of dangerous (no, deadly) escalation that antiwar activists said would result from an invasion of Iraq. We were told that there would be no serious opposition to invading Iraq and overthrowing Hussein. We were told that the Iraqi people would welcome us. We were also told that the U.S. would leave Iraq after Hussein was gone, that we were not occupiers. We were told that war would not only liberate Iraqis, but be a catalyst for democracy throughout the Middle East. We were told that the invasion of Iraq would be an object lesson for other countries in the region that threatened global security. We were told they would look at Iraq and think twice about behaving aggressively toward the United States; we were told that such countries would say, "Ooops, we better be good and do what the U.S. wants us to do, because what happened to Hussein and Iraq could happen to us."

Well, that's not the way it went, and it's not like any number of people did not foresee this outcome. The invasion of Iraq has destabilized not just Iraq but that entire region; and it has empowered Iran and given it an influence it never would have had if Bush and Cheney and Rice and Wolfowitz had listened when European leaders and much of the rest of the world said Saddam Hussein had no desire, inclination, or plans to attack the U.S. -- much less the capability to do so -- and that his military ambitions could be easily managed by simply continuing inspections and targeted sanctions.

This didn't have to happen -- but it did. And because the Democrats did not say these things and did not vigorously oppose the invasion and did not refuse to rubberstamp Pres. Bush's plan to invade Iraq, said Democrats are in a no-win situation on Iran no matter what they do.

Which is more or less what John Emerson at Seeing the Forest says:

The way I read the tea-leaves, the Democrats will be blindsided. Whether they support the attack, oppose it, or split on the issue, they will lose the 2006 Congressional elections. All the liberal hawks, conservitarians, and moderates will fall dutifully into line, and two-party democracy will be a thing of the past in this country.

The only time to oppose this is now, and none of the Democrats are doing it.

Did anyone expect them to?

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