Making the Same Mistake Twice

I have no idea whether the president will order an attack on Iran. Seymour Hersh, a reporter I respect, says the Bush administration has decided it would be easier to sell an attack on the Iranian Revolutionary Guards than on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Certainly all of the negative comments about Iran that are coming from Israel, its lobby and its foot-kissers in Congress, and from the White House and the Pentagon, look remarkably like a buildup for a new war.

But as with the pro-war propaganda about Iraq, I haven’t heard anyone discuss what happens after we attack Iran, regardless of which part of the country we decide to bomb. It’s difficult to believe that anyone in Washington would be so stupid and/or out of touch with reality to suppose that we could strike the Iranians and not get struck back. But you have to remember all those "experts" who claimed the Iraqis would welcome us with flowers and dancing. That was 4,000 dead and 26,000 wounded Americans ago.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the president is voluntarily out of touch with reality. By that I mean he is totally lacking in curiosity and has no interest at all in the world around him. His interests seem extremely limited: to get Saddam Hussein, to enrich his already-rich supporters (tax cuts and contracts in Iraq), to win elections and to get his exercise.

How else can you explain a man who flies all the way to Australia and calls Australian soldiers "Austrians," and refers to the conference he is attending as OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) when it was APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation)? How else can you explain a man who has demonstrated time and again that he has no clue as to the complexities of the Middle East? How else can you explain a man who has been one of the most reckless spenders in history suddenly deciding that he is a budget warrior?

The former president of Mexico, Vicente Fox, has described the president as the "cockiest man I’ve ever met." No one at this time in human history, with all its difficult and complex problems and dangers, would be cocky if he understood and cared about the world he’s living in. I think the president is like the stereotypical old- fashioned godfather. If you aren’t part of the Bush family or the inner circle, then he flat doesn’t care whether you exist or not.

If we do attack Iran, there will be hell to pay. The country is not broken, as Iraq was by the time we invaded it. This is a country that held off the Iraqi army when it was at its peak in strength. Any attack by the U.S. or Israel on Iranian soil will instantly kill off any democratic reform movement. The Iranian people will do just what we did after the attack of Sept. 11, 2001. They will rally to the government they have.

The Iranians already have good reason to dislike us. We overthrew their democratic government and imposed a dictator on them and then trained his secret police. We assisted Iraq when it attacked Iran. We sheltered the ousted dictator and broke contracts with Iran, denying them supplies they were entitled to and, in some cases, had already paid for.

The invasion of Iraq was a mistake. Only George W. Bush could make the same mistake twice.

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Author: Charley Reese

Charley Reese is a journalist.