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January 04, 2006

Speculation: Bush's Conference of Former SecDefs Isn't About Iraq... It's About Iran

I had to think hard about this one for a while. Plausible or just outlandish?

I've decided it's plausible. Not necessarily correct, but plausible.

With troops currently in Afghanistan and Iraq, and with accusations that Bush lied us into the war in Iraq, it makes perfect sense for the President to be on record as receiving input from former administrations on Iran. Democrats have been howling for years now that Bush should have done something on Iran or North Korea, rather than Iraq. Maybe he will try to make them put their money (or their reputations anyway) where their mouths have been.

Bogged down in Iraq (not a quagmire, but we're bogged down for the moment), and with none of the usual politics-stops-at-the-water's-edge foreign policy consensus, and with his credibility damaged by faulty intelligence on Iraqi WMDs -- it does make sense that, if Bush were going to order a strike, he'd have to seek input, and gain the blessings of, a bipartisan group of defense-policy wise men.

It would be harder for Bush to make the case himself for such a drastic (although, I fear, quite necessary) action. It would be somewhat easier if a group of graybeards from different administrations came forward to echo the solemnity of his case for an Iran strike.

No reconstruction this time. And no occupation. No nation-building, no peace-making.

Let's specify that from the outset. This is not a you-broke-it-you-bought-it situation. If the Iranian people cannot restrain their maniac rulers, we'll have to hit at their power and plunge the country into chaos and misery.

But we don't have the troops to occupy such a large country (three times the population of Iraq), not even if we didn't have so many of our boys currently committed, in one way or another, to Iraq.

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posted by Ace at 06:48 AM

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