Iran: Who’s Sorry Now?
The first bars of that old song, Who’s Sorry Now, flitted through my head as I contemplated yet another fatal Bush mistake regarding Middle East WMD, this time Iran’s. But what I find most incredible about the whole episode is that Iran, a nation much of the world viewed with suspicion, fear and loathing–turns out to have been the credible party in this fiasco. Yet again, the Bush Administration is the party utterly lacking in credibility. You know when somebody like Mahmoud Ahmedinejad bests you in the credibility game you’re just about hit bottom. Who’d a thunk it? When the Iranians protested to the world that they were not pursuing nuclear weapons but that they were pursuing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes few in the world believed them. Now, everyone except Dick Cheney does. Sometimes you’ve just got to scratch your head in wonderment at the sheer strangeness of it all.
On days like this I truly wish Billmon was still blogging. He’d have written something wonderful to match the utter strangeness of this news.
I think this news should give the dovish presidential candidates a boost. And I bet all of a sudden Hillary changes her tune and begins telling us how little faith she ever put in the Bush-Cheney saber rattling over Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities.
And I want the world (or at least my readers) to remember those Israeli intelligence analysts, prime ministers (one in particular), and pro-Israel lobbying groups braying for Iranian blood and ready to start a war at the drop of a hat, over what? A non-existent nuclear weapons program. Remember Bibi Netanyahu’s idiotic political grandstanding about “It’s 1938 and Ahmadinejad is Hitler” delivered to rapt AIPAC audiences? It was all bellicose empty rhetoric. The next time the Mosad spins a doomsday tale about an Arab state that has it in for Israel I hope everyone will stop and take a deep breath and consider whether the report is credible. While I didn’t know whether or not Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons, I always believed that Israeli reports that they would have them in months or a year were preposterous. Now we know that’s just what they were.
This report is a stake driven into the heart of the Bush presidency. He has nothing left to offer anyone–the American people, Congress, even the Republican Party. If the Republican presidential candidates don’t run from him as fast as they can they run the risk of being even more irrelevant than they have appeared till now.
And finally, I think this report has virtually guaranteed that no Republican can win the next presidential election. I could be premature in that. But it seems very unlikely. From my mouth to God’s ears, as the old Yiddish proverb says.
Finally, what’s Sy Hersh going to write about now that there’s no longer threat of war against Iran? I’m sure the Bushites will give him something new to fret over.
5 thoughts on “Iran: Who’s Sorry Now? – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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well, Richard, far be it for me to crimp your optimism, but my prediction is that this report will be news for 2 days and then forgotten, and will have as much effect as did the report of the Iraq Study Group.
I lack your faith that facts make a difference. When the facts are inconvenient they can be denied or ignored.
It didn’t take Israel long to respond to the report. According to the BBC, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak, ‘cast doubt on the report’s findings, saying that while Iran might have stopped its suspected weapons programme it had probably restarted it again.
Reports of this kind were “made in an environment of high uncertainty”, he added.’
As far as I can remember (at least since my high school years in Israel, over twenty years ago), Iran always seems to be somewhere between two and five years away from having a bomb. Always. And Iran having a bomb is always five seconds away from total annihilation. It’s like a strange mixture of The Boy Who Cried Wolf and Groundhog Day.
Richard, I admire (and envy) your education at some of the best universities in the US and Israel. Thank you for helping us understand events here and abroad. I read a great deal but your blog adds so much between the lines that I cannot find elsewhere. This donation is more like a tuition payment for a course on the Middle East that I am privileged to take. Thank You for sharing
What I find so interesting about this story is that it seems for once the “Integllegence Community” hasn’t rolled over and played dead in the face of Cheney & Co. I expect the NIE’s – like the last one on this subject to just churn out what Dick and his boys want them to say….
Jeanne: You’re the best, what can I say?
Dan: Yes, can you imagine the meeting Bush, Cheney, Rice & all the rest had a few wks ago where they hashed all this out. It must not have been pretty. A battle of the titans (not of intellect, but of wills). I’m guessing that Bush had to make a choice bet. Condi’s way & Cheney’s & he chose hers, though that may be too charitable to Condi.