Friday, May 11, 2007

Cheney Rattles Saber

Emerging, briefly, from his secret bunker, the Vice President had strong words to say to one of the members in the Axis of Evil.

US Vice President Dick Cheney warned Friday from the hangar deck of a US aircraft carrier in the Gulf that the United States will not let Iran get nuclear weapons.

"We'll stand with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating this region," he told thousands of sailors on the nuclear-powered USS John C. Stennis as it cruised roughly 240 kilometres (150 miles) from Iran.

There is a bit of advice which runs: never fight an ugly man; he has nothing to lose. And while the physical attributes of the Vice President and his lap-dog, our President, are not for me to comment on, the conventional wisdom can apply allegorically to the dynamic duo. The approval rating for Bush has never been lower; thus he is the ugly man who one should not fight.

Attacking Iran is immoral and stupid of course, but so was invading Iraq. And while adding a third country will no doubt spread our troops even thinner than before, I do not see the engagement taking the form of army invasion. More likely we will simply use the Air Force to bomb Iran, which, though it will be less than efficacious, will give all appearances of being so.

The only reasons for avoiding a confrontation with Iran are moral, which has already been dismissed, or practical: it may not be in the best interest of Bush and Cheney to involve ourselves more fully with Iran. In some sense the dreaded neo-cons are right: we are already fighting Iranians in Iraq, though this is not quite the same as declaring war on the country itself.

Perhaps I should say the best interest of the Republican party. But this presupposes that Bush and Cheney operate with that interest, and not their own in mind, a dubious prospect--at best. Following Buchanan, I have made predictions of possible involvement with Iran for some time now, but I shall not rest easy until Bush leaves office. Of course, then we'll have Hillary to deal with. Maybe it's time to start thinking about expatriating again.

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