Just noodling, as Kevin Drum would say. If you care to read this post, prepare for some tangential meandering. I encourage you to follow the links, they all lead to good things.
Mainja brings our attention to this article
in the Sunday Herald:
PRESIDENT George Bush has promised that if re-elected in November he will make regime change in Iran his new target.
...A US government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that military action would not be overt in changing Iran, but rather that the US would work to stir revolts in the country and hope to topple the current conservative religious leadership.
The official said: “If George Bush is re-elected there will be much more intervention in the internal affairs of Iran.”
As near as I can tell, the source for this story is at the London Times (from July 17th) which unfortunately requires a paid registration to access. No North American coverage of this yet, much like the story of those six detainees
the Iraqi PM allegedly executed.
Now, with regards to the Herald story, some kind of increased US engagement with Iran seems more or less inevitable. They have what, about 160,000 troops stationed in two neighbouring countries (Iraq and Afghanistan) and Iran is an important player in the politics of both those countries. The 9/11 Commission is soon going to report that Iran has had stronger ties
with Al-Qaeda than Iraq ever had. Thus the Washington Post observes that the US is at a crossroads
with respect to its Iran policy.
Since May, Congress has been moving -- with little notice -- toward a joint resolution calling for punitive action against Iran if it does not fully reveal details of its nuclear arms program. ... In contrast, two of the most prominent foreign policy groups in Washington are calling for the United States to end a quarter-century of hostile relations and begin new diplomatic overtures to Iran, despite disagreements on a vast range of issues. Because the "solidly entrenched" government provides the only "authoritative" interlocutors, Washington should "deal with the current regime rather than wait for it to fall," says a Council on Foreign Relations report released today.
I recommend you read the WaPo piece in its entirety
. It's very good. The thrust is that despite Iran's being in the Axis of Evil, the Bush administration has had nothing resembling a policy towards Iran and, as a result, is basically flip-flopping between the two poles of US foreign policy: the State Department's doves and the Pentagon's hawks (and Cheney). In other words, the pre-Iraq scenario is being replayed and not just because the names sound
One argument in favour of the Iraq war, of course, was that putting 140,000 troops in Iraq would be helpful for dealing with Iran - except of course that at the time, the Iraq war wasn't going to need nearly that many because it was going to be easy. (I don't know why putting 140,000 troops in Afghanistan - where Bin Laden was - wouldn't have accomplished the same thing, but I'm not a military strategist.) As it's turned out, unfortunately, those troops are so bogged down trying to prevent a full out civil war in Iraq, they are no threat whatsoever to Iran. Indeed, the whole war turns out to have been one big favour
done for Iran by Bush and various Iraqi defectors/Iranian agents. Indeed, given the instability of Iraq, a revolution in Iran could have some extremely unpredictable consequences, including enflaming the civil strife in Iraq and dragging the US into a truly horrible and consuming mess (by which I mean, an even bigger one than they're currently in).
So what to make of the claim that a senior administration official says a second Bush administration would try to stir up another Iranian revolution? Sure. If there's another Bush administration, Powell, the least dangerous megalomaniac in government, is going to step down. His departure would almost certainly mean that the other psychopaths around Bush would be able to put yet another of their own in his place (Rice and Wolfowitz - the "brains" in this operation - are the two most likely
candidates). So, yes, just about anything could be the result and it would almost certainly involve bloodshed. That senior administration official is probably right. When they come to a fork in the road and one road leads to cooperation and the other leads to wrecking everything, these guys go the same way every time.
More recommended reading: this touching tale called President Bush Meets the Amish
Bush reportedly told the group, “I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.’’
As Ezra points out, if that's God speaking, something's getting lost in the translation.
Why in the hell would the peaceful Amish support a warmonger like Bush?