October 04, 2007
Do It For Iran!
George Bush is wandering around the country warning that an American exit from Iraq would strengthen Iran. He's right. So too will America's continual presence in Iraq. That's because what strengthened Iran was America's entrance into Iraq, which exposed the limits of our military, shredded our international capital, discredited our president, and turned the domestic consensus sharply against further invasions.
On the bright side, an American exit from Iraq would strengthen America, by ending our involvement in a costly military quagmire that's stretched our forces to the breaking point, and strengthen Iraq, by allowing countries like Iran to work towards stability without fearing that a stable Iraq will be the equivalent of a large US military base on their doorstep.
As a general point, it's remarkable that we're this worried about the morale of a semi-developed country whose economy is 4.5% of ours, who spends 5.2% as much as we do on our military, who's still 6-10 years away from a nuclear weapon. This is the country George W. Bush is suggesting we remain in Iraq indefinitely to foil, even as our presence creates the only conceivable set of conditions under which our troops are vulnerable to Iranian attack and incapable of launching a sustained counter-assault. It is absolutely absurd.
October 4, 2007 | Permalink
That's because what strengthened Iran was America's entrance into Iraq, which exposed the limits of our military, shredded our international capital, discredited our president, and turned the domestic consensus sharply against further invasions.
Don't forget that since it turned out Saddam Hussein didn't have even a valid WMD program (whilst NK, which we didn't invade, did), it sent a clear message to dictators that if they act against US interests they better have a WMD program in place -- the exact opposite of the message we claimed we were sending (why Woody Allen's right -- "if you want to send a message, use Western Union").
And these things were all predictable outcomes of the invasion/war (even stupid ol' me predicted them). Were "serious foreign policy thinkers" so stupid they didn't see this? Or was the Iran/Contra Team B crew running our ship of state actually wanting to help Iran?
Inquiring minds wanna know!
Posted by: DAS | Oct 4, 2007 12:42:41 PM
American presence in Iraq is helping Iran; American absence from Iraq will help Iran. To-may-to/To-MAH-to.
Or, Bush if you do and Bush if you don't
Posted by: Jamey | Oct 4, 2007 1:15:27 PM
> As a general point, it's remarkable that
> we're this worried about the morale of a
> semi-developed country whose economy
> is 4.5% of ours,
Perhaps someone is thinking about what will happen as the price of oil rises to $200 then $300/bbl (in real terms) over the next 20 years...
Posted by: Cranky Observer | Oct 4, 2007 1:24:50 PM
Man, do you have that story right! And DAS too - even though by sort of proving that Saddam had no nukes (and a greatly weakened Army), Iraq became weaker in Iranian eyes and therefore Iran could (if they wanted) becomes more adventuresome.
We've upset the applecart of Persion Gulf area stability, and now we blame the Iranians.
Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Oct 4, 2007 1:40:48 PM
"George Bush is wandering around the country" talking out of his, uh, kisser:
"You know, when you give a man more money in his pocket _ in this case, a woman _ more money in her pocket to expand a business, they build new buildings. And when somebody builds a new building, somebody has got to come and build the building.
"And when the building expanded, it prevented (sic) additional opportunities for people to work. Tax cuts matter. I'm going to spend some time talking about it," the president said.
For heaven's sake, why did US citizen elect this clueless moron to president? Twice?
I remember a time when people were concerned about their VICE PRESIDENT not having the brains for the job.
Oh, brother Quayle, where art thou now?
Come back, everything is forgotten!
Posted by: Gray | Oct 4, 2007 2:05:05 PM
Well, it's not as if the US has set a precedent for a regional power to take an active interest in the politics of neighbouring countries.
Posted by: pseudonymous in nc | Oct 4, 2007 2:18:57 PM
Here's a simple solution.
Iran should establish some colonies in Kurdistan, near Basra, and some isolated colonial settlements just outside Baghdad.
Next, we use tax incentives to get some folks from Brooklyn and Dearborn to move to these colonies.
Finally, we provide Iran with 3 or 4 billion dollars each year in subsidies and arms to keep their new colonies stable, as well as help them build colonist-only roads from Basra and Baghdad to Tehran.
Peace ensues, we all live happily ever after.
Posted by: mrs. ibrahim al-jafaari | Oct 4, 2007 3:43:56 PM
"It took them almost 30 years, but thanks to George Bush, Iran finally won the war with Iraq!"
Posted by: SDM | Oct 4, 2007 4:21:22 PM
It seems to me as though a US exit would actually hurt Iran (relative to our staying in Iraq indefinitely; either way they're still better off than they were four years ago). If American troops are really all that's standing between a bloody civil war and a massive genocidal rampage (as Bush et al been arguing), then when we withdraw, Iran loses a convenient opportunity for target practice against infidels and gains an enormous security conflagration along most of its western border. For however long it takes the situation to stabilize, Iran will be too preoccupied with Iraq to pursue its agenda of becoming the Fourth Reich (or whatever the hell we're supposed to believe they're doing). I mean, if the United friggin States can't pacify Iraq, how in the hell will Iran fare any better?
Posted by: George Tenet Fangirl | Oct 4, 2007 5:43:53 PM
I've been forced to conclude however cynical it may sound that it's all about money now. We spend 50% of our budget, $700 Billion a year on the military and that's just going to keep increasing.
Bush has convinced America that spending $190 Billion on Iraq is good but spending $7 billion a year for 5 years on SCHIP is commie pinko liberalism.
Everyone should read Major General Smedley Butler's Book War is a Racket. You can google it. It's free on the internet. I have it here
The conservative goal has been to shrink government down to a small size so it could be drowned in a bathtub.
While government has grown under Bush, that's largely because of DHS.
In the future because of Bush's reckless wars and spending we'll find it increasingl difficult to fund domestic programs. Things will have to get cut to the glee of Republicans who would rather waste money in Iraq than invest in America.
Generla Petraeus overseeing 160,000 troops makes $180,000 a year.
A senior manager for Blackwater USA overseeing a 34-man security team makes $392,375 a year
Who's overpaid and who's underpaid? If you listen to Chris Shays Blackwater is the bestest mostest greatest corp in the world perhaps even surplanting our military.
It costs us more for shoddy work to privatize.
Where are the savings? Where's the money going?
Bush has managed to enrich a specific class of people and it ain't the American working class.
We've also shifted back to a wartime economy. There's concern that abruptly getting out of Iraq will negatively immpact the economy.
But if we attack Iran it will also keep us in Iraq longer as well as increase more demand for military goods, services, and hardware.
Posted by: PoliShifter | Oct 4, 2007 7:56:14 PM
Continuing your thought, Ezra, the entire Muslim world - the roughly billion people living in predominantly Muslim countries - has about 45% of U.S. GDP, even measured on a purchasing power parity basis (and never mind Europe's and Japan's GDP). Even if the couple of dozen countries involved could actually get it together to coordinate their activities, they're just not that big of a threat. It's funny how the right wing so desperately needs an enemy to wet their pants over - to the extent that they applaud the creation of a permanent private mercenary force to combat the supposed threat. You really have to be bullshit stupid or batshit crazy to believe that's consistent with Christian values or American values.
Posted by: DCBob | Oct 5, 2007 11:51:06 AM
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