September 21, 2006
|The "Making Sense" Filter||Iran|
Retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner (via Billmon):
When I discuss the possibility of an American military strike on Iran with my European friends, they invariably point out that an armed confrontation does not make sense — that it would be unlikely to yield any of the results that American policymakers do want, and that it would be highly likely to yield results that they do not. I tell them they cannot understand U.S. policy if they insist on passing options through that filter. The "making sense" filter was not applied over the past four years for Iraq, and it is unlikely to be applied in evaluating whether to attack Iran.
Once again, we're confronted with a choice between two equally frightening possibilities. Either everything's going according to plan — they wanted chaos and civil war in Iraq and Iraq's eventual breakup into three easy-to-dominate statelets, and they wanted chaos in Afghanistan and, for example, the truly astonishing upsurge in heroin exports that's occurred there — or they're just completely clueless, applying the logic of the compulsive gambler: trying to recoup their losses by doubling and redoubling their bet. Either way, they're out of control, and American democracy looks like so much window dressing.
Why can't it be some of both? It seems to me the administration has gotten some of the things it's wanted along with some unexpected challenges. I believe the violence in Iraq was not desired, and if our military wasn't having a horrible time recruiting we'd see significantly more troops in Iraq to minimize that violence. A success in Iraq would have made it much easier to sell to the people (another lie for) the invasion of Iran. I think this administration wants Iran so bad their mouths are watering, but they're acutely aware that going there now is going to be politically disastrous. For me, this explains the raised stress levels Bush has shown lately - he's highly conflicted with his hand on the Go To Iran button and his eye on the political fallout.
The WaPo just ran this story which to me supports the Colonel's view. Operation Iran just got underway, the Iranians know it and are now willing to suspend enrichment and negotiate. We've either just scarred the bejesus out of them, and/or Iran just made it more difficult for the administration to pull off an attack.
Iran Open To a Break In Nuclear Program
Regardless of how you slice it, these people are definitely out of control.
Posted by: Jeff at September 21, 2006 09:46 PM