Monday, October 22, 2007

I'm Scared

This is the type of shit that keeps me awake at night. How do we stop these madmen? Or should I just start taking sleeping pills?

AP via Yahoo! News:

The United States and other nations will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon, Vice President Dick Cheney said Sunday. "Our country, and the entire international community, cannot stand by as a terror-supporting state fulfills its grandest ambitions," Cheney said in a speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Studies.

He said Iran's efforts to pursue technology that would allow them to build a nuclear weapon are obvious and that "the regime continues to practice delay and deceit in an obvious effort to buy time." If Iran continues on its current course, Cheney said the U.S. and other nations are "prepared to impose serious consequences." The vice president made no specific reference to military action.

"We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon," he said.

Cheney's words seemed to only escalate the U.S. rhetoric against Iran over the past several days, including President Bush's warning that a nuclear Iran could lead to "World War III." [Emphasis Y|O|Y.]

Cheney said the ultimate goal of the Iranian leadership is to establish itself as the hegemonic force in the Middle East and undermine a free Shiite-majority Iraq as a rival for influence in the Muslim world.

Iran's government seeks "to keep Iraq in a state of weakness to ensure Baghdad does not pose a threat to Tehran," Cheney said. [Or, "U.S.'s government seeks 'to keep Iran in a state of weakness to ensure Tehran does not pose a threat to Washington.'" — Y|O|Y]

While he was critical of that government and President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, he offered praise and words of solidarity to the Iranian people. Iran "is a place of unlimited potential ... and it has the right to be free of tyranny," Cheney said. [Until, of course, we start dropping bombs on their heads. — Y|O|Y]

Cheney accused of Iran of having a direct role in the deaths of U.S. soldiers in Iraq and said the government has "solidified its grip on the country" since coming to power in 1979.

The U.S. and some allies accuse Iran of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons and have demanded it halt uranium enrichment, an important step in the production of atomic weapons. Oil-rich Iran says its program is for peaceful purposes including generating electricity. [Despite its vast oil reserves, Iran will become a net energy importer within the next decade. Any effort made by the Iranian government to curb consumption meets with social unrest. — Y|O|Y]

At a news conference Wednesday, Bush suggested that if Iran obtained nuclear weapons, it could lead to a new world war. "I've told people that if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them (Iran) from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon," Bush said. [I personally believe we are headed into WWIII, but I'm not at all confident on who is going to start it. This talk sounds like the Shrub is going to start it; maybe to fulfill a Biblical prophesy he has discussed with his creator. — Y|O|Y]

Bush's spokeswoman later said the president was making not making any war plans but rather "a rhetorical point." [Yeah, if anyone believes the Pentagon doesn't have multiple plans on how to conquer Iran, I have some swampland in Florida for sale." — Y|O|Y]

Also, on Thursday, the top officer in the U.S. military said the U.S. has the resources to attack Iran if needed despite the strains of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. [But, I thought the President just said we don't have any war plans. — Y|O|Y] Navy Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said striking Iran is a last resort, and the focus now on diplomacy to stem Iran's nuclear ambitions, but "there is more than enough reserve to respond" militarily if need be. [Attention all reservists...your next vacation will be spent in the desert. — Y|O|Y]

The Bush administration's intentions toward Iran have been the subject of debate in Congress. Last month the Senate approved a resolution urging the State Department to label Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization.

Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., said he feared the measure could be interpreted as authorizing a military strike in Iran, calling it Cheney's "fondest pipe dream."
I consider myself a patriot, but more and more, I'm not sure if the United States is on the "good" side anymore. I know it isn't the "United States" or even the concept of "America" which I firmly believe to be the most impressive governmental system the world has ever seen. It is the people who are steering the ship. They say that people get the government they deserve. January 2009 can't come fast enough.


John said...

We stop them by voting, and that's exactly why you're hearing this stuff: to get people scared, so that when they vote next year they're not thinking of the miserable job the current administration has done on everything - but especially domestic policy - instead looking for protection from crazed Iranians. And we stop them by making a clear case why they are wrong.

It's pretty obvious why Iran wants nukes: they look around their neighborhood, and they see us - a country that helped overthrow a popular leader, propped up a despot, and then aided Iraq when it invaded them and kills tens of thousands of their people, some with chemical warfare - and our presence in the region makes us nervous. That's not crazy. They see Israel with nuclear weapons. They hear the sabre-rattling from Washington.

I don't want them to have nukes, but I can see why they want them.

Meanwhile, some of European allies continue to trade with them, providing the money for all of this. If we don't want them to have nukes, we should simultaneously lean on our allies to stop the money flow, and work toward normalizing relations with Iran - the carrot and the stick at once. (As a nice side benefit, that would put us in a better position to lean on Iran to treat their reformers better.)

Or, I suppose, we could just drop a bomb on them, timed for ideal November 2008 election results. (Who, me, cynical?) As an ugly side effect of that, we'd pretty much destroy the country's internal reform movement, as they may have trouble with their government, but are Iranians and generally patriotic and will line up behind their leaders when their country is under attack.

RG said...

The second we attack Iran, all support the youth has for reform will disappear and nationalism will take it's place.

I'm not surprise preznit and vice-preznit are sabre rattling again - John is correct - they can't win on the issues, so they're going to scare the crap out of the the American Sheeple.

Pathetic. Just Pathetic.

evilganome said...

Can someone please explain to me why Bush and Cheney haven't been removed from office? Russia has already lined up with Iran, and I think that if we try anything that other lines will be drawn. We are unpopular just about everywhere and if we precipitate another war, I don't think the rest of the world is going to view us as "the good guys."

michael sean morris said...

You see, this is why I stopped publishing current events. It makes me sick to read even one newspaper. Between this and the Bhutto story I'm even getting afraid to turn on my computer, for fear that I'll wake up and see either of these nightmare scenarios having played out overnight.

Y | O | Y said...

This week's Newsweek cover story is about Pakistan being the real threat. Scary!

michael sean morris said...

It's funny that all these people are going on about Iraq (especially over at Joe.My.God.) but none of them have said a word about Bhutto's return to Pakistan, which is where the whole WWIII thing almost happened a year ago and may happen yet. I'm as guilty as anyone about not covering the story (I only wrote one post about it) but as I've said before, reading a paper of watching a newscast really freaks me out just now.