Sunday, September 24, 2006

Gary Hart on the Dangers of War With Iran

Former U.S. Senator Gary Hart has good reasons to be aggravated with George Bush. Bush ignored the recommendations and warnings of the Hart-Rudman Commission prior to 9/11 about the vulnerability of the U.S. to a terrorist strike. Hart gave a prescient warning about the dangers of an Iraq invasion. And now he sees the Bush Administration dragging our country into a war with Iran--and he is speaking out:
It should come as no surprise if the Bush Administration undertakes a preemptive war against Iran sometime before the November election.

Were these more normal times, this would be a stunning possibility, quickly dismissed by thoughtful people as dangerous, unprovoked, and out of keeping with our national character. But we do not live in normal times.

And we do not have a government much concerned with our national character. If anything, our current Administration is out to remake our national character into something it has never been.
...the authors of the war on Iraq have "regime change" in mind in Iran. According to Colonel Sam Gardiner (author of "The End of the 'Summer of Diplomacy': Assessing U.S. Military Options in Iran," The Century Foundation, 2006) to have any hope of success, such a policy would require attacking at least 400 targets, including the Revolutionary Guard. But even this presumes the Iranian people will respond to a massive U.S. attack on their country by overthrowing their government. Only an Administration inspired by pre-Enlightenment fantasy could believe a notion such as this.
The consequences? The sunny neoconservatives whose goal has been to become the neo-imperial Middle Eastern power all along will forcast few. But prudent leaders calculate all the risks, and they are historic.

These include: violent reaction throughout the Islamic world; a dramatic increase in jihadist attacks in European capitals and the U.S.; radicalization of Islamic youth behind a new generation of jihadist leaders; consolidation of support for Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda, and a rapidly spreading malignant network; escalating expansion of anti-American sentiment throughout the world, including the democratic world; and the formation of WWIII battle lines between the U.S. and the Arab and Islamic worlds.
Hart is a smart man and he knows what he's talking about. He points out that Bush imagines himself to be a modern day Winston Churchill (albeit without the ability to form a coherent sentence), someone who will be remembered as a great foe of tyranny. This, to me, is so absurd that it's like comparing a rusted out Chevy Nova to a Rolls Royce. Churchill not only had an incomparable skill at using the English language, he had a deep and profound understanding of history and world politics. Bush has none of the qualities Churchill had--none. It only shows the depths of Bush's delusion and arrogance that he imagines himself to be in the same category with the greatest western statesman of the twentieth century.
As I've been harping about ever since I started this tiny little blog, Bush is the most dangerous president in American history as well as the most dishonest and incompetent. If we don't stop this insane Iran venture, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to get our country back. Gary Hart is courageously leading the opposition to this madness. He deserves our support to the fullest degree.

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