Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Condi Stomps the Mullahs

By Philip Giraldi

"The war drums are again beating. It's beginning to look like the neocons have cranked up their useful idiots in the Bush administration for a fall offensive, target Iran. And maybe also Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinians.

The bad guys' list, which is remarkably similar to a roll call of Israel's enemies, seems to have expanded both vertically and horizontally at a time when the U.S. military is using paper clips and chewing gum to hold together its efforts in Iraq. The critique of Iran has sharpened and intensified and new friends of Iran have been discovered in Afghanistan and Gaza. Even Venezuela is accused of being a tad too close to the mullahs, criticized by the State Department for having "deepened relations" with Iran and establishing a weekly flight connecting Caracas with Tehran via Iran Airlines. Lest there be any misunderstanding, doing business or even talking nice with Iran will not be tolerated........

Last Tuesday, Rice spoke in Washington at the annual meeting of the American Jewish Committee. She said, "But perhaps of deepest concern, the leaders of Hamas are increasingly serving as the proxy warriors of an Iranian regime that is destabilizing the region, seeking a nuclear capability, and proclaiming its desire to destroy Israel." Rice also described a new "belt of extremism" that includes Hamas, the Lebanese Shi'ite movement Hezbollah in Lebanon, militants in Iraq, and "radicals even increasingly in places like Afghanistan." Per Secretary Rice, that it is "supported overwhelmingly by Iran and to a certain extent Syria, but particularly Iran, gives this conflict a regional dimension it has not had before."

Rice's problem is that she is spokesman for a worldview that has blinders on. For her, there are no degrees of bad guy, and as they are all terrorists anyway, it is impossible to talk to them. All who oppose U.S. or Israeli policy are subsumed into the same enemy, which conveniently reduces foreign policy to a simple formula that neatly lumps together a whole range of groups with different antecedents and objectives. It is a vision that guarantees failure and that actually makes more terrorists than it succeeds in eliminating, as Rice's own annual report on terrorism concedes. While Rice's ignorant message was undoubtedly reassuring to the American Jewish Committee, it should not comfort the vast majority of Americans who are not threatened by Hamas, Hezbollah, Iraqi militants, Syria, or the Taliban. Nor are Americans threatened by Iran unless U.S. policymakers and their neocon drivers make it so by firing the first shot. And there is no hope from the Democrats. Barack will do whatever it takes to make The Lobby like him, and Hillary's finger is already on the trigger. Eighty million Iranians will be obliterated as soon as that 3 a.m. phone call comes in. One presumes that John McCain will not even wait for the phone call."

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