Well, congratulations, Bush Administration. You’ve officially made it to the point where the first question in a press conference, from veteran reporter Helen Thomas, was “Is the U.S. going to attack Iran?”
Now, this question comes up while we’re currently overstretched militarily and financially in Afghanistan and Iraq. Of course we wouldn’t start another war, right? I mean, after all, anybody could recognize attacking Iran, even with airstrikes, would most likely immediately start an all-out war in Iraq as Iran struck back at the easiest targets.
Apparently, this Administration can’t quite see that, according to an article in The New Yorker. The article even details talk about using nuclear weapons as a tactical option.
Now, this is an article written by Seymour Hersh, investigative reporter and sensationalist extraordinaire. But the mere fact that it seems not only possible, but likely, that this Administration could be so foolish as to not recognize that its invasion of Iraq squandered any chance of a military solution in Iran says a lot about the uniformly bad decisions the President and his advisors have made since 2001.
I can be convinced pretty easily that war in Afghanistan was an effective response to 9/11. Watching as the Bush Administration did their best to bungle that option, and at least partially succeeded in doing so, is the part that keeps me from being fully convinced. (In case I’m ever tempted to think of the war in Afghanistan as a success, I just ask myself if I feel safer from global terrorism now.)
The war in Iraq? No. Our President lied to us. Our Secretary of Defense took the opportunity to test out his theories about understaffing invasions. Our Administration failed to plan for the occupation, revealing that our military probably isn’t quite big enough to garrison two full countries simultaneously. No matter how it turns out, Iraq was a tragedy of errors.
Now Iran? Without us using nukes, it doesn’t make sense militarily or politically now that we’re overstretched in two other countries. With using nukes, we take a big step across a threshold the world has avoided for 61 years, and it still doesn’t help us with the longer-term questions. Does anyone trust this Administration to make that decision wisely? (I can only pray they make the right decision, even if accidentally.)