The Veep went to The Washington Institute yesterday to beat the drum for war with Iran.
The ideological struggle that's playing out in the Middle East today -- the struggle against radical extremists -- is going to concern America certainly for the remainder of our administration, and well into the future. On September 11th, 2001, we suffered a heavy blow, right here at home, at the hands of extremists who plotted the attacks from an outpost thousands of miles from our shores. Since that terrible morning, Americans have properly called this a war. For their part, the terrorists agree. The difference is they began calling it a war a good many years prior to 9/11. And they've been waging that war with clear objectives, aggressive tactics, and a strategy they want to carry out at any cost. [Iran had even less to do with the attacks of September 11 than Iraq! That was primarily a Saudi operation, and we all bloody well know it!]
They've stated their objectives. The terrorists want to end all American and Western influence in the Middle East. Their goal in that region is to seize control of a country so they have a base from which they can launch attacks and wage war against governments that do not meet their demands. Ultimately they seek to establish a totalitarian empire through the Middle East, and outward from there. They want to arm themselves with chemical, biological or nuclear weapons; they want to destroy Israel; they intimidate all Western countries; and to cause mass death here in the United States. [Okay. I have no doubt that a few thousand dedicated extremists can subdue all 300 million of the most obstreperous and heavily armed people on the face of the earth. No trouble at all. Hell, 160 thousand are subduing 25 million and it's a cakewalk! Yep terrorists will just roll right over us, we'll all don Burkas and grow beards and submit to sharia. And I will need medical attention because monkeys will be flying out of my butt...What the fuck, "leaders"? Terrorists win when people get terrified! So why is the Vice Resident whipping up fear and helping the terrorists win? Myself, I will laugh at them and their silly superstitions even as the scimitar separates my head from my torso. I am not going to let the fuckers terrify me, and I have no regard for anyone so silly.]
The tactics, of course, are familiar to all the world: suicide attacks, car bombs, beheadings, messages of violence and hatred on the Internet, and the hijackings of 9/11. And the strategy is clear, as well: Through acts of stealth and murder and spectacular violence, they intend to frighten us and to break our will; to hit us again and again until we run away. It's not easy for a civilized society to comprehend evil like that of Osama bin Laden or Zawahiri. It shocks us to hear such men exhorting other people's sons to "join a caravan" of so-called martyrs, proclaiming that heaven favors the merciless and murder is the path to paradise. [He is just talkin' like it's one big war and Iran and Iraq are the same thing. Interchangeable really. That's why he was talking about Iran and he kept referencing al Qaeda. Duh.]
The Iranian regime's efforts to destabilize the Middle East and to gain hegemonic power is a matter of record. And now, of course, we have the inescapable reality of Iran's nuclear program; a program they claim is strictly for energy purposes, but which they have worked hard to conceal; a program carried out in complete defiance of the international community and resolutions of the U.N. Security Council. Iran is pursuing technology that could be used to develop nuclear weapons. The world knows this. The Security Council has twice imposed sanctions on Iran and called on the regime to cease enriching uranium. Yet the regime continues to do so, and continues to practice delay and deception in an obvious attempt to buy time. [Gain hegemonic power? What the fuck? When did Iran start running around willy-nilly and invading the neighbors? They haven't invaded anyone since the 1800's and they are not an Arab nation. They dominant ethnic group is Persian, and Shia. They are surrounded by Arabs, who are majority Sunni, and non-arab Sunnis on pretty much all sides. the merest utterance of the phrase "hegemonic power" with regard to Iran brands the speaker a blithering fucking dipshit.]
Given the nature of Iran's rulers, the declarations of the Iranian President, and the trouble the regime is causing throughout the region -- including direct involvement in the killing of Americans -- our country and the entire international community cannot stand by as a terror-supporting state fulfills its most aggressive ambitions. (Applause.) [I have heard assertions that they are directly killing Americans - who should not be in proximity anyway - but the people asserting are not providing evidence and have a track record of lying to the point it's pathological. And declarations from Ahmadineajad are laughable. He is the Mullahs response to that Axis of Evil crap, and when the clowns in charge are gone, so is he. Nobody with any sentience of the region assigns him any relevance, save as comic relief. ]
The Iranian regime needs to know that if it stays on its present course, the international community is prepared to impose serious consequences. The United States joins other nations in sending a clear message: We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. (Applause.) [Way to ramp up the old rhetoric! That is just about a fucking declaration of war! And the Deserter-in-Chief said last week they should be denied the knowledge to make a nuke. Somehow, I think Vladimir Putin will weigh in before too long...Way to go, you warmongering fuckheads. Way to lose the cold war after the fact. Morons.]
The irresponsible conduct of the ruling elite in Tehran is a tragedy for all Iranians. The regime has passed up numerous opportunities to be a positive force in the Middle East. For more than a generation, it had only isolated a great nation, suppressed a great people, and subjected them to economic hardship that gets worse every year. The citizens of Iran deserve none of this. They are the proud heirs of a culture of learning, humanity and beauty that reaches back many centuries. Iranian civilization has produced shining achievements, from the Persian Book of Kings, to the poetry of Rumi and Khayyam, to celebrated achievements in astronomy and mathematics, to art and music admired on every continent. The Iran of today -- a nation of 70 million, a majority of them under the age of 30 -- is a place of unlimited potential. And the Iranian people have every right to be free from oppression, from economic deprivation, and tyranny in their own country. [Oh for fuck's sake. This is about three degrees from "We'll be greeted as liberators!" Would someone impeach these war criminals already??? Then indict, imprison, prosecute, convict...following the sentencing guidelines to the end...If that is the end of a rope, so be it.]
Admiral Mullen, however, is not playing along with the hattrick-of-wars scenario.
The new chairman, [of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] Adm. Mike Mullen, expressed deep concerns that the long counterinsurgency missions in Iraq and Afghanistan have so consumed the military that the Army and Marine Corps may be unprepared for a high-intensity war against a major adversary.Iran is not a strategic threat to the United States. They have an economy the size of a small European country and the defense spending of a large state's national guard. They are not going to defeat the most powerful Air Force and the largest blue water Navy in the world. We have enough firepower to kill everybody on the planet many times over. Thems the facts.
He rejected the counsel of those who might urge immediate attacks inside Iran to destroy nuclear installations or to stop the flow of explosives that end up as powerful roadside bombs in Iraq or Afghanistan, killing American troops.
With America at war in two Muslim countries, he said, attacking a third Islamic nation in the region “has extraordinary challenges and risks associated with it.” The military option, he said, should be a last resort.
But here are some more. They could shut down the Straight of Hormuz and they might even manage to sink a tanker or two. What they would be able to do is drive the price of oil to $200 a barrel. That would be a windfall to Putin.
There are voices in Iran who want democracy and openness. But they will not welcome an American attack to bring 'em Democracy! Who the fuck would? I want change here, too, but I don't want this president hanged by a foreign power who invades my country! If that were to come to pass, I would want it to be because Americans got off their fat asses and got pissed off!
Meantime, I know how to facilitate Democracy for the price of a strafing run. Build internet infrastructure and flood the place with cheap laptops. Superstition dies, and Democracy flows from information access, not from the barrel of a gun, and certainly not from bombs dropped from on high.