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Bush's Red Queen Rules

"Don't worry, it'll be a cakewalk."

Sy Hersh has a piece in the New Yorker that details American support for the Israeli invasion. You need to read it all because there's a lot of detail and nuance, and I don't want to leave you with the impression that the quotes I've used are comprehensive. That caveat having been offered . . .
The Bush Administration, however, was closely involved in the planning of Israel’s retaliatory attacks. President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney were convinced, current and former intelligence and diplomatic officials told me, that a successful Israeli Air Force bombing campaign against Hezbollah’s heavily fortified underground-missile and command-and-control complexes in Lebanon could ease Israel’s security concerns and also serve as a prelude to a potential American preëmptive attack to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations, some of which are also buried deep underground.

[...]

“The big question for our Air Force was how to hit a series of hard targets in Iran successfully,” the former senior intelligence official said. “Who is the closest ally of the U.S. Air Force in its planning? It’s not Congo—it’s Israel. Everybody knows that Iranian engineers have been advising Hezbollah on tunnels and underground gun emplacements. And so the Air Force went to the Israelis with some new tactics and said to them, ‘Let’s concentrate on the bombing and share what we have on Iran and what you have on Lebanon.’ ” The discussions reached the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, he said.

[...]

The Israeli plan, according to the former senior intelligence official, was “the mirror image of what the United States has been planning for Iran.”
The bombing in Kosovo . . . by that most hated of right-wing bugaboos, Bill Clinton . . . was the model.
In the early discussions with American officials, I was told by the Middle East expert and the government consultant, the Israelis repeatedly pointed to the war in Kosovo as an example of what Israel would try to achieve. The NATO forces commanded by U.S. Army General Wesley Clark methodically bombed and strafed not only military targets but tunnels, bridges, and roads, in Kosovo and elsewhere in Serbia, for seventy-eight days before forcing Serbian forces to withdraw from Kosovo. “Israel studied the Kosovo war as its role model,” the government consultant said. “The Israelis told Condi Rice, ‘You did it in about seventy days, but we need half of that—thirty-five days.’ ”

There are, of course, vast differences between Lebanon and Kosovo. Clark, who retired from the military in 2000 and unsuccessfully ran as a Democrat for the Presidency in 2004, took issue with the analogy: “If it’s true that the Israeli campaign is based on the American approach in Kosovo, then it missed the point. Ours was to use force to obtain a diplomatic objective—it was not about killing people.” Clark noted in a 2001 book, “Waging Modern War,” that it was the threat of a possible ground invasion as well as the bombing that forced the Serbs to end the war. He told me, “In my experience, air campaigns have to be backed, ultimately, by the will and capability to finish the job on the ground.”
(My bold throughout.)

As I said here the Israelis fought a Rumsfeld war. They got a Rumsfeld result. In this case they fought a Rumsfeld war that would theoretically instruct Rumsfeld on the efficacy of Rumsfeldism. Everyone who thinks Don Rumsfeld or anyone else in this administration has the sense to learn from this, read the following:
The Pentagon consultant told me that intelligence about Hezbollah and Iran is being mishandled by the White House the same way intelligence had been when, in 2002 and early 2003, the Administration was making the case that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. “The big complaint now in the intelligence community is that all of the important stuff is being sent directly to the top—at the insistence of the White House—and not being analyzed at all, or scarcely,” he said. “It’s an awful policy and violates all of the N.S.A.’s strictures, and if you complain about it you’re out,” he said. “Cheney had a strong hand in this.”
The administration is still cherry-picking intel, shutting out the analysts in order to prove a proposition it has already decided must, for ideological and domestic political reasons, be true. This administration is run by the rules laid down by the Red Queen from Beyond the Looking Glass: "Verdict first, trial later!"

It is now quite clear that the adminsitration was actively contemplating yet another half-assed, half-committed, poorly-conceived war, this time with Iran. Still looking for war on the cheap.

It's beyond belief. They learn nothing. They are in denial so deep it's becoming evidence of mental illness.

There is no reason in theory that a bombing campaign can't work to disrupt Iranian nuclear plans. After all, a system of many parts, which presumably describes the Iranian nuclear effort, is fragile by nature. But that's theory. Over in reality we have a Shi'ite government in Iraq, pressed by radical Shi'ite militias, and an Iraqi Shi'ite population, all influenced to a degree by Iran. We have oil prices at peak. We have the Straits of Hormuz. We have Iranian missiles that can reach across the Persian Gulf to Saudi oil facilities. We have Hezbollah cells in the US.

We can take Iran down. But quickly? Easily? Without massive collateral damage? Without seeing Iraq explode? Without bombs going off in American malls? With Rumsfeld's famous all jets, no tanks version of war? Without increasing the size of the US military? No. No. Clearly no.

As I wrote here, this makes it 0 for 3 against Iran. Our first beating was suffered under Carter and Reagan. Mr. Bush has led us into two more defeats at the hands of the Mullahs. He's setting us up for yet another fiasco if he imagines that we can stand off in Kuwait and take Iran apart without bringing on a major war. That's not just Mr. Bush being stubborn. It's not just Mr. Bush being in deep denial. It's Mr. Bush being as crazy as the Red Queen.

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“Bush's Red Queen Rules”

  1. Anonymous Anonymous Says:

    I note the email you're using at the moderate voice is not anonymous. Perhaps you desire to fix that. Feel free to delete this comment.

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