Crawl Across the Ocean

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Going back at least to the run-up to the U.S. war against Iraq, and in particular since Iran was included in 'the Axis of Evil', I have occasionally encountered discussions about whether the U.S. would invade, or at least attack, Iran.

Over the years I've pretty consistently taken the 'no' side of this argument, figuring that while the Bush administration might be crazy, they at least weren't so crazy as to attack Iran. And, normally, you'd think that the disaster of the Iraq war would mean that attacking Iran was even less likely than ever. But while I still would bet against the U.S. attacking Iran, my certainty is weakening with each passing day.

Some points, regarding my increased worries:

1) Ian says, "America is damn near the most opaque nation in the world. I can predict what will happen in Africa, in Canada, in most Asian countries, far better than I can in the US, despite having grown up immersed in American culture."

And the same is true for me. For instance, I never thought that *more* people would vote for George Bush the second time around.

2) While this article is a bit too cynical even for me, it does raise the possibility that things in Iraq are actually going according to plan - at least if you are part of the Bush clan. If Bush, Cheney and co. truly have separated their ability to personally profit from war, mayhem, and the seizing of oil resources from all the human and financial damage being caused to the U.S. by the war(s) (I assume they don't care about what is happening to the people in the Middle East) then maybe attacking Iran could be seen as a plan with a positive return on investment.

3) This post by Glenn Greenwald is pretty worrying. Consider this exchange between journalist Chris Matthews and White House Press Secretary, Tony Snow:

MATTHEWS: Tony, will the president ask Congress‘ approval before any attack on Iran?

TONY SNOW, WHITE PRESS SECRETARY: You‘re getting way ahead of yourself, Chris. Nobody here is talking about attacks on Iran. . . .

MATTHEWS: Well, he did say we‘re going to disrupt the attacks on our forces, we will interrupt the flow of support from Iran. Does that mean stopping at the Iranian border or going into Iran?

SNOW: Well, again, I think what the president is talking about is the war in Iraq, Chris.

MATTHEWS: So he will seek congressional approval before any action against Iran?

SNOW: You are talking about something we‘re not even discussing...

MATTHEWS: Well, you are, Tony, because—look at this.

I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region.”

Isn‘t that about Iran?

SNOW: It‘s about—yes, it is, in part. And what it is, is it‘s saying, “Look, we are going to make sure that anybody who tries to take aggressive action. But when Bill Clinton sent a carrier task force into the South China Sea after the North Koreans fired a missile over Japan, that was not as a prelude to war against North Korea. You know how it works. . . .

MATTHEWS: My concern is we‘re going to see a ginning-up situation whereby we follow in hot pursuit any efforts by the Iranians to interfere with Iraq. We take a couple shots at them, they react. Then we bomb the hell out of them and hit their nuclear installations without any action by Congress. That‘s the scenario I fear, an extra-constitutional war is what I‘m worried about.

SNOW: Well, you‘ve been watching too, too many old movies featuring your old friend Slim Pickens is what you‘re doing now, come on.

MATTHEWS: No, I‘ve been watching the war in Iraq is what I‘ve been watching. As long as you say to me before we leave tonight that the president has to get approval from Congress before making war on Iran.

SNOW: Let me put it this way. The president understands you‘ve got to have public support for whatever you do. The reason we‘re talking to the American public about the high stakes in Iraq and why it is absolutely vital to succeed is you‘ve got to have public support. And the president certainly, whenever he has taken major actions, he has gone before Congress.

Not very reassuring, is it?

4) Finally, the U.S. seems to be stepping up not just the rhetoric, but also taking action against Iranian interests. For now, just within Iraq, but raiding a consulate is still a pretty provocative action to take. It makes one wonder what is next, or what is going on that we don't know about.

I guess we'll see what happens.


  • Heh, interesting that you call your blog "Crawl Across the Ocean," since this is precisely what a large number of my American friends have been doing since the Iraq War and in the face of the coming war against Iran-- crawling back across the ocean, emigrating to Continental Europe. (A number of my British and Australian friends-- also caught in this Bush-fueled disaster-- have been doing the same.)

    Language books on Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Dutch are flying off the shelves around here in the States. The dollar is plummeting. Even after Bush is out, the damage is so severe to our Treasury and reputation, and the existing quagmire guaranteed to continue so long-- just when our Baby Boomers are retiring to further drain the Treasury-- that there are some extremely painful years ahead for North America. (Sorry to include Canada in this b/c I really do like our neighbors up north, but our thugs here in the 50 States seem determined to drag down Canada along with us. And with our closely interreliant economies, and Stephen Harper's mind-numbing support for Bush, the USA is making sure to make Canada share our coming misery. Unless you guys join up with China's economy and make Chinese like an official language in BC or something.)

    I for one have always thought it'd be majorly cool to buy up some land in Argentina or Costa Rica or something, where it's (relatively) dirt cheap and start anew there. I speak Spanish fluently (we Americans are moving in that direction in our own borders these days).

    It always used to be idle goofing around. But frankly, I'm scared s**tless of where the US is heading these days. My buddies in Italy, Germany and France are all doing pretty well, plus getting nice long blocks of vacation instead of working themselves to death like in the US, it's enough to make me wonder why we subject ourselves to this in the US anymore. We're wrecking our country and a very nice, ancient portion of the world with this stupidity in Iraq, Afghanistan and soon Iran and Syria as well.

    By Anonymous Krazy Kat, at 12:03 AM  

  • I don't envy you. It has to be tough to be torn between loyalty to country and disappointment with what has/is being done to it. I already feel embarassed when I see some of PM Harper's pronouncements on the world stage, or consider the role Canada is playing on some issues.

    One piece of advice, if you decide to buy land in South America, don't buy in Paraguay. You don't want to end up with exiled war criminal George Bush as your next door neighbour!

    By Blogger Declan, at 9:53 PM  

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