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Atrios pointed out what should be obvious to anyone but may be lost on Democrats in positions of leadership: Iran is going to be made an issue in the upcoming months.  Why is this the case?  Look at the smoke screen that was thrown up before the invasion of Iraq.  Nothing--and I mean nothing--was addressed other than the spectacle that was that vaudeville show.  How better to distract the population from the quagmire of Iraq than to preoccupy them with this silly modern political game of "he said/she said"?

So it would seem logical that Democrats would formulate an immediate response to the politicizing of the mythical Iranian crisis.  I would like to say that my faith in the Democratic Party would allow me to believe that they have crack marketing experts and political aces working on frames as we speak.  I would also like to believe in unicorns, fairies and all manner of things that have never been substantiated by what we like to call evidence.

Follow me below the fold and I will offer a bit of a frame on the issue that is destined to emerge over the next two months.

First there is one simple point that should be made over and over and over whenever Iran is mentioned as a potential threat: Yes- they are a scary regime, but we cannot deal with them because this administration has bogged down our army in Iraq.

This very simple truth should be followed up by a corrollary that will hopefully cut off any rightwinger at the knees:  George Bush and the GOP leadership had better hope there is no offensive action by Iran or its terrorist satellite groups, because the responsibility for that loss of life and property lies directly with George Bush and this GOP leadership.  It was them that pushed for a war with Iraq when Iraq was the historical regional balance of Iran.  It was George Bush that enabled the regional ascendancy of Iran by destabilizing the region while handing control of the historical regional balance to Iran-backed Shi'ites.  And it will be George Bush and his administration that bears responsibility for any act of Iranian aggression.

The simple truth is that We are not in a position to wage a successful campaign in a war we started three and a half years ago.  How could we possibly endeavor to do anything to Iran at this moment in history?

And speaking of history, this new context is a historical abberation.  Our country has faced down many enemies in our two and a quarter centuries.  We have stood down the USSR, which was the most powerful global threat to Western values ever.  When Iran has a number of nuclear weapons trained on us that is counted in the hundreds, then it will be a different story; until then, Iran with its aggregate terrorist affilitations is in no way more threatening to us than the USSR during the Cold War.  Furthermore, we have defeated the most powerful empire in history: twice.  We've incinerated entire cities when it was deemed necessary.  We have a legacy of military and diplomatic greatness that would have been formidable had this administration not squandered the global standing we gained after 9/11 as well as the entirety of our historical global standing.

We cannot fight Iran right now and that empowers Iran more than anything in its entire history.  This is directly attributable to the "flowers and candy" brigade of post war planning.  It is directly attributable to the administration that, in fact, never said Iraq was involved in 9/11 but sure allowed the insinuation to take root.  Our very inability to wage a successful campaign against a foreign threat is attributable to the tactical decisions and lack of strategy that possesses those now rattling once more the sabres of war.

We cannot afford to be led into a third war by these ideologues.

No matter of fanciful war is going to change the simple fact that six years into a GOP dominated decade we are at our weakest point in over a hundred years.  Our economy is not a source of strength as it only allocates wealth to those with wealth already to spare.  Our education system is faltering under an underfunded and tyrannical federal vision brought to us by this administration.  Our international prestige is to the point where we have spurned our oldest political ally and are called crap by our most important political ally.  We are not respected and it is our respect that has always equated to our power.

Every military endeavor, ever domestic policy, ever Presidential signing statement under this administration has whittled away American power and dominance.  We cannot allow this administration to once more take the reigns of anything, much less a war with Iran.  That is why, as proud as we are as a country, we must submit the Iranian issue to the UN and leave that body to adjudicate the issue.  We have our own messes to clean and given the magnitude of the failures this administration has heaped upon this great nation it is incumbent upon all patriots to deny them the foolishness of engaging Iran.  To not stand fast against their bloodlust is to welcome another tiger into a home already full of dangers.

We must frame this issue around the failures of this administration.  The Democrats must get off of their equivocating asses and grab the brass ring.  They simply must use clear, hard language to impress upon the public that Iran is dangerous, that we live in a dangerous world, but that this administration as well as the GOP is never going to be able to get results other than failure in this dangerous world.  Perhaps we should confront Iran in the near future; the interim between now and that future must hold a changing of the guard in Washington or we will never escape this mismanaged spiral of one failure after another.

Our way of life, in fact, is at stake.  It is not Iranians who endanger us most greatly, but instead an administration unable to prosecute successfully any policy no matter its size or implication.

And the Democrats had better do is quickly.  We all know how the GOP feels about rolling out new products in August.  August is almost over and the push for Iran is about to begin.  The Democrats must differentiate their record from the one of failure attributed to this administration; it is the weakness of the donkey that has allowed the elephant to rampage.

That must change and it must change now.  If it does not, then we are headed toward an international catastrophe that will make Iraq pale by comparison.

Originally posted to electricgrendel on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 11:03 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yar! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4democracy, Nina Katarina, hubcap, lcrp

    Be there any tips er flames fer this?

    Lobbyists need Republicans like pimps need whores.

    by electricgrendel on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 10:53:06 AM PDT

  •  What Howard Dean is saying (0+ / 0-)

    is this, as referenced in this news report of a new DNC political ad:

    "The ad opens with the words "Security Under Bush and GOP?" It features scenes of a masked man with a bazooka, scenes from terrorist attacks and police inspecting a subway train. It also shows Osama bin Laden, Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a docked ship as it claims '4 times as many terrorist attacks in 2005.' "(Washington Post, August 15, 2006).

    Senate Democratic leader Reid on Iran:

    "The international community must not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, and Iran must know that it ultimately will not succeed in undermining international peace and stability," said the letter. The letter was signed by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin of Illinois, Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, Armed Services Committee ranking member Carl Levin of Michigan and Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Joe Biden of Delaware. (Associated Press, May 20, 2006)

    "Quotes from others represent a mental laziness in themselves" - Dailykos member "Rudgirl"

    by misterblaine on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 11:04:25 AM PDT

  •  The Dems better have a... (0+ / 0-)

    strategy for what's coming.  I hope the Dems in power are talking about this already and have a 3 or 4 point strategy to combat the bullshit.  I agree that they will stop at nothing here.  Repugs are going to lose badly, so they will pull the air strikes & bunker busters out in Iran and cook the books for another war front to try to pull some Repugs back into Congress.  Iran will end up looking like Iraq on multiple steroids.  IMHO!!

    •  They do (0+ / 0-)

      Here's Nancy Pelosi on the Iranian "nuclear threat":

      "The Leaders discussed their resolve to do everything possible to protect Americans from terrorism both here and abroad. As the report outlines, the Bush Administration’s failure to remain focused on the nuclear threat posed by both North Korea and Iran has significantly increased the risk that weapons of mass destruction will fall into the hands of terrorists and greatly increase instability in two already unstable regions." (Pelosi press release, July 20, 2005)

      "Quotes from others represent a mental laziness in themselves" - Dailykos member "Rudgirl"

      by misterblaine on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 11:09:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Iran still crucial (0+ / 0-)

    It will be hard to keep us Kossacks focussed on issues like Iran amidst the excitement of election '06, but this is more important than ever.  Thanks for the beginning of the framing of this.  There was a good diary earlier comparing Iran to the threat in Pakiston and another one debunking the potential GOP iran talking points.  Hopefully we can organize all of this into a focusses and recurrent discussion.

  •  Use the word 'disasterous' (0+ / 0-)

    There hasn't been one policy (or proposed policy) of the Bush Administration that can be characterized as anything else but disasterous.
    Lately, they have been crowing about the economy, but by every measure, our economy is flat and on the edge of disaster in several sectors.
    The Bush Administration has NO VISION.
    What is their vision for the future, economically?
    More tax cuts for the rich. To what end? What's the reason for doing that? We taxed the rich MORE in the 1990s (and the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and the 1980s) and broad measures of the nation as a whole show that we are sliding backwards instead of moving forward today.
    The rich, and corporations, are investing money overseas and outsourcing jobs. That's not what Bush claimed would happen if we cut taxes. Are we supposed to put our lives on hold waiting for something to happen that evidence in the real world tells us will not happen?
    If you had a rich neighbor who said to you: give me all your money and things will get better for you, and, year after year you see things getting better for him while you wait around treading water, how soon do you question what he is doing with your money?
    If this neighbor of yours does the OPPOSITE of what he told you he would do, how soon will it be before you make up your mind that he is a liar and a fraud?
    Then another neighbor says "Look, we have to stop giving him all our money," and then you ask your rich neighbor what he thinks and he says "Oh, don't listen to him! He's going to take your money away from you!" What would you think? Put it behind you that the liar and fraud has swindled you and agree to more of the same kind of deal you've had so far?

    And this same rich neighbor says "I'm spreading peace and freedom!" and you look at what he's done and he has been spreading death, destruction, and violence! What do you do then? "Listen," he says "I'm doing the right thing. I'm the one who decides what spreads peace and freedom, and I'm not gonna stop what I'm doing."

    That's not vision. It's hallucination.

  •  MSM distortions (0+ / 0-)

    Our media is helping the Repugnicans whip up a big ole scare over Iran as a threat.

    So when the Repugs run on an 'Attack Iran' platform, the sane people that oppose it will be viewed as weak against strawman threats.

    - Israel has the right to exist, and responsibility to coexist.

    by Opinionated Ed on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 11:45:04 AM PDT

  •  Question! (0+ / 0-)

    How do you reconcile this diary with this one?

    Given that it would be hard for Iran's goals to be any more transparent, this site frequently makes me despair that Democrats may never be capable of running  a decent foreign policy.

    My own opinion, of course.

    •  Response (0+ / 0-)

      Why would you think i am anti-war?  I am all for the prosecution of war when it is required.  If it should be required against Iran, however, how are we going to prosecute it?

      What do you suggest?  That we withdraw from Afghanistan and use those forces to attack a country twice as big as Iraq, with a functioning government and one of the largest standing armies in the region?

      Should we remove them from Iraq?  Should we pull them out of Korea, Japany and Germany?  Would you suggest that we place the entirety of our armed forces in the Middle East?  What myopic view of the world would allow you to think that the only threats we as a nation face are in the Middle East?

      You would do all Democrats, and myself, a favor if you would stop conflating an anti-war position with a position intent on the intelligent prosecution of war.  It would also be beneficial if you would realize that as a nation we need to look beyond next year or the year after.  We cannot devote our resources to attacking Iran when our resources (monetary, human and diplomatic) are at their lowest ebb in 100 years.

      Do not slander Democrats as being anti-war when in fact we have never shunned war but have always shunned the haphazard and myopic prosecution of war.

      Lobbyists need Republicans like pimps need whores.

      by electricgrendel on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 01:00:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But you're not advocating the intelligent... (0+ / 0-)

        ...prosecution of war.  You're attempting to come up with talking points to prevent addressing the entire issue, even at the detriment of US security.

        Claiming to not be the anti-war party and yet opposing any military action against Iran, even in the most limited sense, quite obviously displays your true motive.

        Do not slander Democrats as being anti-war when in fact we have never shunned war

        This hasn't been true for over three decades.

  •  ElectricGrendel writes: (0+ / 0-)

    "We've incinerated entire cities when it was deemed necessary."

    ElectricGrendel, if you ever said this in a public debate in Old Europe you would be sued and convicted for the crime of hate speech. And justly so.

    It is because of sentences like yours above that "Democrats Abroad" are not invited anymore to attend the international meetings of European centre left parties.

    We have had enough of such inhuman, barbaric statements.

    "The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819

    by Ritter on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 12:49:29 PM PDT

    •  I presume- (0+ / 0-)

      I presume you meant to horrify me with an image of an obviously dead person.  I hate to inform you, but I have seen dead people and I know what incinerating cities does.  It's a horrible cost in life and property and in a perfect world we could avoid it.

      That, however, does not change the fact that as animals we are going to find ourselves in combat situations in which terrible decisions have to be made.  Perhaps in Old Europe they have discovered a way to avoid all tragedy, all war and all death.

      I would be most appreciative if this fantasy-made-real were exported to the real world.  Or at least applied to such regions within the reach of the Old World as the Balkans and Africa.

      Lobbyists need Republicans like pimps need whores.

      by electricgrendel on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 01:02:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I only thought I was done. (0+ / 0-)

      I would also like for you to explain to me how the statement of a historical truth is hate speech.  If I said that we have incinerated cities and should Dresden every last place in the Middle East, then I would most definitely be spreading hate speech.

      The truth of the matter is that every country has had to make terrible decisions during times of war.  Our having made those in the past is an indication that we are capable of prosecuting war as brutally as is necessary for the ideals we fight for to triumph.  Any notion that we do not have the temerity to take war to Iran should the occassion arise is a foolish notion and one I wished to dispel by pointing out that we have done horrible things in the past.

      Furthermore, I would like to know what entitles you to determine what is and is not human.  I would like to remind you that everything human is not contained in soft shades of pink and sighs of contented pleasure.  Life is messy and so is the state of humanity.  Barbarism is as much a part of the human soul as beauty and forgiveness.  It is, thankfully not as often, sometimes required as well.

      perhaps before you go about libeling someone you would be more careful with your words and say such things as "statements that do not conform to my rose colored view of humanity" in lieu of "inhuman".

      Lobbyists need Republicans like pimps need whores.

      by electricgrendel on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 01:08:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was just trying (0+ / 0-)

    to be kind to you. So let me repeat it: If you ever said something akin to your statement above in Old Europe you would be sued and tried in a court of law for inciting the public to commit war crimes and hence suffer the consequences of a criminal conviction.

    The other point I made is also a matter-of-fact observation: In the last two years I don't know of any international event organized by European parties of the mainstream centre left spectrum to which the US Democrats Abroad were invited to attend.

    Actually the last international panel discussion between centre left wing parties and members of the European diplomatic corps to which the US Democrats Abroad were officially invited took place in Brussels and was organized by me. The speaker was the (then) new EU Ambassador to the US in Washington, the moderator of the event the former EU Ambassador to the UN in NYC.

    We stopped inviting our American 'friends' because too many US Democrats support(ed) the invasion of Iraq. Reading your statement about deliberately incinerating entire cities confirms my doubts about your party's mental sanity.

    "The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819

    by Ritter on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 01:54:08 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for the warning (0+ / 0-)

      If what you say is true, and I have no reason to believe it isn't, then I will be sure to stay out of Old Europe.  It would appear that the horrors of war are too familiar with that part of the world and all rational and realistic approaches to language have been abdicated.  The idea that pointing out that we are capable of prosecuting war to the fullest no matter how horrible we find the means to be is somehow a hate crime is truly absurd.  War should never be the first option, but it should never not be an option in many a circumstance.

      I would also wonder about the world you envision if all forces are allowed whatever berth they desire.  Containment and diplomacy are always the first options and war should never be prosecuted unless it is the last option available to all.  You will receive no argument from me that Iraq was unnecessary, detrimental and poorly envisioned.  So would any notion of war against Iran, foregoing an initial act by that country.   With that said- it is a dangerous folly to assume that once war is decided upon that it should not be prosecuted as fully as possible: city incineration or not.  

      I also believe there is a willful misunderstanding on your part.  Glibbly raining fire down upon a city unless it is the only available option is, again, counterproductive and not my intention at all.  Should it be the only option, however, then how else should one proceed?  Should you leave an enemy's warmachine in place for fear of loss of innocent life, or should you accept your burden for those murders and move forward for a larger good?  Furthermore, it is not lost upon me that this era of assymetrical warfare means that incidences such as Hiroshima and Dresden (war crime, par excellence mind you) will vanish.  Look at what destroying the city of Fallujah did in Iraq: nothing whatsoever.  The same is not said for the acts during World War II.

      I also would like to say that I find it interesting that one having a signature line such as your own would cling to pretentions when talking about excluding Americans abroad.  Just say that you have long ago formed an opinion of America and its inhabitants and are now acting upon that, no matter what vision of the world such actions necessitate.  It's cool, I am quickly forming my own opinions regarding the residents of Old Europe.

      Enjoy the rest of your..er...night/morning?

      Lobbyists need Republicans like pimps need whores.

      by electricgrendel on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 02:13:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You write: (0+ / 0-)
    ...snip

    We've incinerated entire cities when it was deemed necessary.  We have a legacy of military and diplomatic greatness that would have been formidable had this administration not squandered the global standing we gained after 9/11 as well as the entirety of our historical global standing.

    snip...

    And you say this in the context of framing a possible Democratic Party election message towards the American people.

    Sorry, such a party message is considered inhuman and barbaric in most parts of the world. Until you renounce to praise this sort of "a legacy of military and diplomatic greatness that is formidable for a Democratic Party which doesn't squander the global standing the US gained after 9/11..." you are not invited to our events.

    Did it ever cross your mind that the outside world makes ever less a distinction between the US government and the American people?

    You are, amongst many others, the reason for this change of perception.

    Incinerating cities...

    "The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819

    by Ritter on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 02:50:09 PM PDT

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