Never assume things can’t get worse in the Middle East. Iraq’s such a disaster that even Condoleezza Rice admits the US made “thousands of mistakes” – an underestimate, surely. Meanwhile, Palestine has been taken over by that happy bunch of pacifists, Hamas. But that’s nothing compared to what the Bush Administration has in store.
Seymour Hersh, writing in The New Yorker, says the White House plans to invade Iran to stop it from developing nuclear weapons. And while the report has been played down by the administration, it also played down Hersh’s last major exclusive -Abu Ghraib.
Some reassurance has been given by British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who described the idea as “nuts”. Yes, but so was invading Iraq without any plan for long-term stability and that didn’t dissuade them.
One of Hersh’s sources says Bush has been focusing on Iran since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 – fortunately for Osama bin Laden – and that the President thinks “saving Iran is going to be his legacy”. Well, it certainly isn’t going to be saving Iraq.Second-term presidents are always obsessed with their legacy and since Bush’s is likely to be “lame-duck president who launched a catastrophic invasion that led to the deaths of thousands of American troops and countless Iraqis”, I’d be desperately hunting for a fresh concept as well.
Of course, it shouldn’t be necessary to invade Iran in the first place, if the damned Iranians had just followed the script. If you remember, we were promised that Iraq was going to shine the beacon of democracy across the region and spark spontaneous regime change around the Middle East. And indeed Iraq is shining a beacon – it’s just unfortunate that it’s a warning beacon.
This latest crackpot nightmare is apparently part of Bush’s “Messianic” vision of his leadership and appropriately so. Sparking a conflict that might involve nuclear weapons could well bring about the end of the world. Let’s hope the American voters indulge his messiah complex – and crucify him in the mid-term elections.
Photo: by Reuters/Larry Downing