The man in the Oval Office smiles. The great coup in the Bush administration this past week was the visit to New York by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. A man who was elected, yet rules by permission from the Mullahs in Qom, came to this country and caught nothing but flak. From the right, from the left, did not matter. He received an invitation to speak at Columbia University, and in return for accepting this invitation, was greeted with a profoundly insulting introduction by Columbia’s President Lee C. Bollinger. Bollinger, after catching flak of his own throughout the week for extending the invitation to Ahmadinejad, felt it necessary to repulse that criticism with such choice sentiments from the podium as, “Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator,” and, referring to Ahmadinejad’s statements regarding the Holocaust, “You are either brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated.” Free speech remains safe for us all.
He came to this country the latest focus of our collective rage. The left, the right, serious journalists and windbag pundits, all had the wrecking ball out for Ahmadinejad. And how has the Bush administration greeted such a fantastic mandate from the general public? By upping its war rhetoric towards Iran. The odds in Vegas are getting close on this one. Will the bombers fly over Tehran before the Texan retreats to Crawford in 2009? Even. Maybe less. This is a scary time to be on the march to war with yet another nation, especially Iran. Four times the size, two and a half times the population of Iraq, and we’re building the case for war?
At what point does the existential battle for our survival become a self-fulfilling prophecy? Iran is chasing nuclear weapons. Yes. Maybe. Probably. Bombing them won’t stop it. Iran is supplying insurgents in Iraq with weapons, technology, and support. Yes. As proxy fighters. Not the first time that’s been done in history. Proxy war is always better than a head to head fight, because it gives both sides the opportunity to exercise judgment unclouded by the revenge mentality engendered by direct confrontation. Just ask the Russians.
They say that the invasion of Iraq is the worst foreign policy mistake in our nation’s history. We make war on Iran, and the dreadful truth is that mistake is not over yet. Still being played out. Just when we need to make clear that any military action on Iran is unacceptable right now, the news networks are flooding the airwaves, protestors are marching up and down the streets, the President of Iran is subject to public ridicule. Inside the bubble, how do you think that looks? My God, we must want this.
The nukes are no longer the story. Iranians are killing Americans. In Iraq. That’s the story. That’s what Bush is going to say in the televised speech to the nation announcing cross-border raids from Iraq into Iran. There are going to be men on the ground painting targets for the Air Force and Navy boys, and it will be déjà vu all over again. There won’t be any rose petals, just like Iraq, but Iran is a fundamentally different country. Any active resistance to the regime of the mullahs will evaporate when the bombs, made in the U.S.A., begin to fall. A society that is always just a year or two away from freedom will voluntarily step back from the brink, and embrace patriotism in the name of denouncing the Great Satan. If securing the mullahs rule for fifty years or more is important to our nation’s policy, then dropping bombs will do the trick.
And what about a ground invasion? Right now, with the state of our armed forces? Impossible. So it’s obviously been considered. We cannot handle another war right now. We cannot invade, and bombing will just embolden. Were this to come to pass, there would no more evidence needed that our President has lost all touch with reality, that he may indeed be delusional. Despite Ahmadinejad’s reception, this country does not want another war. Not when we’re losing the two we’re already fighting. The only way to combat this coming conflagration is for Congress to put its foot down, tell the administration that not only will it not authorize military action against Iran, it will impeach anyone who signs the orders.
Once laughable, this coming war is deadly serious. The President of the United States wants it, and he has no more voters to answer to.