Thursday, August 30, 2007 at 10:15 AM
[T]hey are also mindful that – as the most unpopular (lame-duck) president in US history – Bush has nothing to lose, but much to gain, by attacking Iran. After all, only the opinion of historians matter to him now. And nothing would do more to redeem his presidential legacy than a preemptive strike to destroy Iran’s nuclear program.
Although, if truth be told, most world leaders would welcome such a strike…if it were successful. Because they know as well as Bush does that no amount of diplomatic pressure or UN negotiations will ever stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
This is a quote from an August 16 commentary in which I challenged readers to bet against my assertion that Bush will attack Iran to redeem his presidency. Unfortunately, instead of taking me up on that bet, many of them simply e-mailed to call me everything from a “neo-con Jew lover” to a “war-mongering fool”.
But if I’m any of those things, then so is the new president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy. Because, in lamenting the patently-futile diplomatic initiative (led by the EU and UN) to rein in Iran’s nuclear program, here’s what he said on Tuesday – in the first major foreign policy speech of his presidency:
This initiative is the only one that can enable us to escape an alternative that I say is catastrophic: the Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran….This is the worst crisis currently facing the world…. For me, Iran having a nuclear weapon is unacceptable.
I suspect, however, that he would resolve this dilemma by bombing Iran. And, frankly, so would I.
Therefore, despite Sarkozy affecting Hamletian doubt about becoming as much an enabler for US-led air strikes against Iran, as British PM Tony Blair was for the US-led invasion of Iraq, I fear that my geostrategic prognosis of this situation is even more of a sure bet today than it was two weeks ago: Double or nothing?
Indeed, it was probably no coincidence that US President George W. Bush reinforced Sarkozy’s speech only hours later by laying out the just cause for war. And, in so doing, he reminded people that he’s the only world leader with the cajones to abide, unequivocally, by the Clausewitzian maxim that “war is politics carried on by other means”. Here’s a little of the drumbeat he intoned:
Iran is sending arms to the Taliban in Afghanistan to be used to attack American and NATO troops…And Iran’s active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons threatens to put a region already known for instability and violence under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust. Iran’s actions threaten the security of nations everywhere.
In fact, Ahmadinejad seems psychotically-determined to provoke an attack. After all, in addition to repeating his genocidal vow that “Israel shall be wiped off the map”, here are some of the fighting words he hurled at Bush – on this fateful Tuesday – as a rhetorical counterpunch:
You cannot preserve your power over Iraq with a few tanks, artillery and weapons. Today, you are prisoners of your own quagmire… I can tell you there will be a power vacuum in the region. We [will] fill this vacuum.
Now, given this undeniable prelude to war, unless my critics can put up clear and convincing evidence, which indicates either that Iran will end its nuclear program (since no one believes it’s being developed for peaceful [energy] purposes), or that a nuclear Iran is no threat to Israel or other nations, they should shut up.
September 2: People all over the world experienced shock and dismay when they were greeted this morning by the following explosive headline in the staid and unimpeachable Sunday Times of London:
Pentagon “three-day blitz” plan for Iran
By contrast, however, the readers of my weblog could only have regarded it as fulfillment of the prophecy they’ve been reading about in my articles over the past year – presaging this headline. Nevertheless, even I was a little surprised by how detailed and authoritative the Times was in reporting that:
The Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians’ military capability in three days, according to a national security expert….US military planners were not preparing for “pinprick [air]strikes” against Iran’s nuclear facilities….They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military.