Giving credit where it's due (re: Bush and the ME)

As a lefty, I was more or less certain that the warmongering Bush Admin. would use any pretense to start bombing Iran and Syria.

Instead they’ve shown admirable restraint. Good job so far.

(started in the pit under the assumption that it would get there soon enough)

Talk about your lowered expectations!


What would lead you to believe that Bush was just itching to start bombing Iran? Seriously.

Maybe if Iraq had been pacified 3 years ago, Iran would be in the bomb sights now. But it wasn’t and it isn’t.

Perhaps the generals have finally persuaded the admninistration that they are over-extended, and going to war in a new theatre is not really possible any more.

I welcome this opportunity to purchase a Pet tree frog.

Thing is, they don’t have any pretense to bomb Syria or Iran at the moment. OK, so that didn’t stop the invasion of Iraq…but at least they made up something they could sell to the masses long enough to get things started. Now that they are hip deep in hostilities, they’ll need a pretty good excuse to go adventuring somewhere else…and so far, that hasn’t happened. If Iran is dumb enough to raise the stakes by testing a nuke, or attacking either US troops or Israel, yeah, fight’s on. Otherwise, it will likely be the next President’s problem.

But even then, Iran is not just Iraq with q -> n. As you and I have both posted many times before, there are a multitude of differences between Iran and Iraq that would give even Bush pause about invading it (Iran), presumably just for the heck of it. And we know that Iran’s nuclear infrastructer is distributed such that a surgical strike isn’t practical (as opposed to the succesful strike Israel made against Iraq in the 80s) either.

This is all going the best possible way for the WH, IMO. The events unfolding have nothing to do with the US and pretty much has the entire world somewhat rebuking Israel and condemming Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria and Iran. Well, except for France, of course. But that seems to be a given. Well, maybe “French” should be substituted for “Chirac”, but that’s another issue.

I can’t see any way the US ramps up a major offensive unless one of these psychos actually uses a nuke. Israel has had a lot of practice in this arena and won’t be damaged quickly. Hezbollah, et al, have some dangerous weapons know (the ones we know of anyway), but against the IDF they’re bringing knives to a gunfight.

That and the fact Syria and Iran have yet to defy pretty much every UN resolution for 13 years. That, and the US was never at war with Syria nor Iran. Couple that with the fact Gulf I never formally ended, it was a cease-fire dependant on compliance with the terms.

This is so fundamentally different from the Iraq situation there really is no way to accurately compare the two. I could be wrong about that, but it would take a strong argument to equate them.

Next up: “Every morning I wake up and give thanks that George W. Bush hasn’t pushed the button and started WWIII yet.”

He is counting on many like you forgetting what he said in 2005: that the invasion of Iraq and it’s made up democracy was justified because the Iraq example was causing democracy to spread, and that was going to give us peace in the ME, he specifically cited Lebanon and Palestine then.

Even though many on the right would love to ignore it, IMHO the strengthening of fundamentalist power in Lebanon and Palestine was due in large part to the clearly unjustified invasion of Iraq.

Just wait until some phalangist* splinter group, or whatever, kidnaps a bunch of American teenage girls who’s only crime was a desire to spend the summer at a Bekaa Valley Bible Camp.
The potential for such mischief right now is enormous.

*I only used ‘phalangist’ because I like the word. It’s so fingery and toey. In the event, it’ll probably be someone else.

Oh, so that smoke plume I saw was Aruba? Never made the connection.

But even the most fervent liberals among us will agree that he could make a reasonable justification for some surgical strikes against targets (in Syria and Iraq) that are supplying Hezbollah, no?

If so, then we should sincerely admit: admirable restraint.

(in Syria and Iran) of course

Iran has no nukes to test, and probably will not for years. According to everything I’ve read, it has nowhere near enough fissionable material to assemble a weapon, and even if they began working flat out at separation today, it will take them a long time to get there. I’ll agree that there is some chance they might do something else completely idiotic, like launch a missile attack with conventional weapons on Israel or a US base on Iraq, but right now they’ve got a pretty good deal going with their proxy in south Lebanon providing free advertising for the increasing quality of their weapons. Hezbollah, meantime, has no significant military capability other than to terrorize random Israeli civilians, regardless whether Iran is supplying upgraded weapons or not. I say this is as far as Iran is likely go for now.

In general, I’m with the OP. Bush seems to have finally learned one or two things about where and when there is a point to committing troops. Huzzah. Took him long-efucking-nough.

No. Only those still suffering from 9/11 induced dementia could swallow such a justification as reasonable.

That and that the notion about Iraq was that it would be a piece of cake, and the population would peacefully accept the presence of an occupation. I don’t think anybody would make the claim that the Iranian public would easily accept any kind of military agression.

But wouldn’t they hold back in order to prevent the Impending Collapse of Baghdad? It’s kind of like we’ve already got them held hostage :wink:

Where’s Chris Rock when you need him? Remember, you shouldn’t ask for credit for things you’re supposed to do?

Pretense? or pretext?

In either case, it has been claimed that Syria is holding Saddam’s WMD, and that Iran is training and supplying certain Iraqi insurgent groups.

Either one of these claims would seem to be all the pretext the Administration needs to justify attacking either country.

That they have not done so could be seen as proof that their thirst for blood has been somewhat overstated.