According to McClatchy Newspapers Dick Cheney is on the precipice of convincing Bush to attack Iran. Diplomacy has gone nowhere because Cheney set a precondition that could not be met (stop enriching uranium before we negotiate over whether you should enrich uranium). There are almost no competent pro-diplomacy advocates inside the administration. All the generals who disagreed have been replaced. And the so-called opposition party is the biggest set of push-overs in the history of this country.
Do you think the Democrats will be able to stop Bush if he decides to strike Iran? If you do, you have no idea what you're talking about. It is an IGNORANT position to think that Democrats would even fight back against military strikes aimed at Iran, let alone effectively stop them. The Democrats WILL fold like a house of cards the minute the first bomb is in the air. They will rally around the flag like a bunch of trained Pavlovian dogs.
They are absolutely, positively no match for Dick Cheney. I loved those nonsense stories we read in the mainstream press about how Dick Cheney had lost his power inside the White House. I didn't believe it for a second, and I was right.
All of the increased rhetoric about Iran coming out of our so-called generals in Iraq is not a coincidence (I call them so-called generals because the only thing that allowed them to rise up the ranks and to be where they are is their loyalty to Cheney and Bush - and the fact that everyone who was brave enough to voice dissent has already been fired or resigned).
This is a surge of propaganda against Iran. I saw this movie before. And now just like the lead up to the Iraq War, we have a shift in the reason for attacking Iran. "They are about to have nuclear weapons" didn't quite do the trick, so Cheney switched to, "They are attacking our troops in Iraq, are you going to let them get away with that?"
Man, does Cheney know how to push Bush's buttons?! He knows that the idiot fancies himself a tough guy, so any argument that starts with, "are you going to let them get away with that?" is a total winner. Never fails. Interesting that Cheney has never asked Bush why he let Osama bin Laden get away with 9/11.
The changing rationale for the Iran War proves that Cheney doesn't give a damn about any of the stated reasons, just like he never gave a damn about so-called weapons of mass destruction or democracy in Iraq. He just wants war, by any means necessary.
We have a vice president who is seriously unbalanced. We have a president who is seriously unintelligent. And we have an opposition party who is seriously unprepared for the challenge. It's a recipe for disaster.
Our only two allies are - believe it or not - Condoleezza Rice and Robert Gates. The problem with Secretary Rice is that she is as incompetent as her boss. She is one of many people who remain in the Bush White House because of her intense loyalty to Bush rather than any degree of accomplishment. She has been manhandled and steamrolled so many times by Cheney that it's hard to look at her in the face. It's embarrassing.
Will anyone stand up and tell the president, "You're vice president is absolutely nuts. Stop listening to him!!!" Of course, not. The problem is you can't fit Bush's giant ego into his pea-sized brain. And to tell him he's been an idiot for listening to Cheney all along would bruise his ego and make him go the other way.
So, that leaves us with Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The last great hope for peace. Isn't that funny? Someone who in previous administrations might have been considered a hawk and a paragon of conservatism is the dove in this administration. Gates stands out as the only hope for a sane policy because he is the only person in the administration who is both sane and competent. But can he do it alone? My guess is no.
If only there were a Democratic Party that could help him apply pressure form the outside. Pause for laughter again. The degree of my disdain for the toothless Democrats is indescribable. We are about to push into a second (third, depending on how you're counting) unimaginably stupid and reckless war - and they have no idea how to stop it. They are completely incapable of fighting back. I'm not even sure they know what's going on. They seem like feckless, clueless, sad little kids running around the hall as Vice Principal Cheney yells at them.
Please, please prove me wrong. And show me how you're going to stop this war. This is what I mean by "we have no hope." Everyone reading this knows for a fact that the Democrats cannot and will not stop this attack against Iran. And that they will fall in line like sheep the minute the bombing starts. You know it, I know it and even they know it.
So, their best defense is, "Oh, I'm sure it won't happen." And they'll say afterward, "How could we have known that Bush would abuse the authority we gave him?" Sound familiar.
By the way, I haven't mentioned the pitiable Republicans in Congress yet. But they are the dumbest of them all. The whole party is hanging by a thread. Republicans might not win another national election for twenty or thirty years if they attack Iran and it becomes the mess it is bound to become.
Half of these Republicans will lose their beloved seats and their cherished power because they went along with Cheney and Bush who have said for years that they don't give a damn about popularity (and hence democracy and hence Republican seats in Congress). Yet, they continue to rubberstamp. From time to time there will be some sound and fury signifying nothing. But for the most part, they are willingly walking off a cliff.
At least the Democrats will gain electorally from the mess in Iran. It is jaded and horrible, and honestly, I think they are too daft to even understand that calculation. But as much as the country will suffer - and it will be partly the Democrats fault for not fighting back - the Democratic Party will gain seats and power (though they certainly don't deserve it). The Republicans, on the other hand, are following General Custer to their last stand. If they can't stop Cheney before he convinces the president to bomb Iran, they're done for. And I don't believe they can. I'm not sure that anyone can break the Jedi mind lock Cheney has on Bush.
Which brings us back to Secretary Gates, the last great hope. I don't see how he's going to do it without any external or internal help. His allies are incompetent and his adversaries well entrenched.
If he succeeds, no one will know and warnings like mine will seem like they were overheated paranoia. The mainstream press, the Democrats and the Republicans will all say, "See, we told you there was nothing to worry about. There is no need for alarm or action. Just sit back and hope for the best. Everything will be fine."
If he fails, then everyone will say, "There is no way anybody could have seen this coming." The few of us who totally saw this coming - like almost all of you reading this - will scream that we saw it all the way.
We wrote about it, we read articles warning about it, we listened to the experts that told us what was coming. And the mainstream will blithely ignore it and pretend that all the people who were against the war have no credibility and all the people who brought you the war have all the credibility.
Well, I am at the point where I don't really know what more we can do. We tried. And it looks like we are on the precipice of failing. Enjoy the next war, because it will be almost as good as this war, but with worse planning (the harder it is to convince the country to go to war, the more of a surprise it has to be (we had to act right away and didn't have time to consult Congress) and the less planning there will be).
We are on the edge of disaster and the country sleeps. I hope I'm wrong. I hope sober heroes win the fight in the quiet of the night.
I hope I seem like an alarmist in hindsight (like Richard Clarke was, right?). I hope people say I got all worked up for nothing and complacency was the right strategy. But I doubt it. My guess is a few people will quote this article many years from now in a futile effort to tell people, "But people did see it coming!"