Friday, August 25, 2006

Self-fulfilling prophesy

Why, oh why would one ever even bother reading neo-con pundits like Charles Krauthammer as they beat their drums for war with Iran?

Seriously, when every prediction the man (and neo-con fellow travelers like William Kristol) has proved not just wrong, but disasterously wrong, why waste your time?

Such folk, you may recall, served as the braintrust (such as it is) behind the BushCorp™ misadventure in Iraq.

Let's take a quick peak at just how well that's going (and this is just from today's paper).

Sadr's Militia and the Slaughter in the Streets

BAGHDAD -- In a grungy restaurant with plastic tables in central Baghdad, the young Mahdi Army commander was staring earnestly. His beard was closely cropped around his jaw, his face otherwise cleanshaven. The sleeves of his yellow shirt were rolled down to the wrists despite the intense late-afternoon heat. He spoke matter-of-factly: Sunni Arab fighters suspected of attacking Shiite Muslims had no claim to mercy, no need of a trial.

"These cases do not need to go back to the religious courts," said the commander, who sat elbow to elbow with a fellow fighter in a short-sleeved, striped shirt. Neither displayed weapons. "Our constitution, the Koran, dictates killing for those who kill."

His comments offered a rare acknowledgment of the role of the Mahdi Army in the sectarian bloodletting that has killed more than 10,400 Iraqis in recent months. The Mahdi Army is the militia of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, now one of the most powerful figures in the country.

Great, an army of Shi'ite Judge Dredds. (Actually one wonders if, typing away furiously amid stacks of comics in their mother's basements, the cheetoh stained denizens of the 101st pee-stained keyboarders are actually pleased by this thought.)
Disavowed by Mahdi Army, Shadowy 'Butcher' Still Targets Sadr's Foes:
BAGHDAD -- In a dirty war where shadowy death squads claim victims daily and leaders on all sides deny blame, there's one killer to whom Iraqis can attach a name, if not a face.

Abu Diri, or Father of the Shield, is the nom de guerre of a Shiite Muslim man. Sunni Arabs of Baghdad also know him as "the Butcher." Like countless other killers in Iraq's capital today, Abu Diri and his followers dump their victims in the streets bearing bullet wounds and sometimes the smaller holes made by electric drills.

But U.S. military officers, Sunnis and even many Shiites say they believe Abu Diri kidnaps and kills Sunnis and other rivals with a zeal that has made him notorious, even in Baghdad's daily carnage.

How bad do you have to be when even the Shi'ite Judge Dredds are aghast at your violence?

British Leave Iraqi Base; Militia Supporters Jubilant:
BAGHDAD, Aug. 24 -- British troops abandoned a major base in southern Iraq on Thursday and prepared to wage guerrilla warfare along the Iranian border to combat weapons smuggling, a move that anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called the first expulsion of U.S.-led coalition forces from an Iraqi urban center.

"This is the first Iraqi city that has kicked out the occupier!" trumpeted a message from Sadr's office that played on car-mounted speakers in Amarah, capital of the southern province of Maysan. "We have to celebrate this occasion!"

Well, the British may have been Bush's lapdogs, but they ain't stupid.

But back to Krauthammer.

Why should we heed his rants about the inevitability of war with Iran?

Because, judging from their behavior, the chickenhawks of BushCorp™ still do.

The current US policy of "diplomacy" by ultimatum has no more chance of success for all that it seeks UN cover.

Iran, I must point out for any history-impaired readers, is the latest incarnation of one of the world's oldest and greatest civilizations.

And if you don't know that I can guarantee the Iranians do.

And we won't even talk with them?

But talks are only a delaying tactic while the Iranians pursue their own nulear development programs, right?


The problem is, we don't really know:
A key House committee issued a stinging critique of U.S. intelligence on Iran yesterday, charging that the CIA and other agencies lack "the ability to acquire essential information necessary to make judgments" on Tehran's nuclear program, its intentions or even its ties to terrorism.

And incredibly GOPers are using this lack of intelligence as a reason to go to war.

Quick question: Does anybody else recall any recent experience where going to war based on faulty intelligence has proved, um, unfortunate? Quick show of hands please.


And so, yeah, talking with Iran might be delaying inevitable conflict.

But it also might be delaying another disastrous engagement that might also be quite avoidable.

We don't know.

But as we talk one thing is certain. Nobody's dying.

And that's for sure.

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