Monday, January 23, 2006

Lileks Screedblog

On Iran:

The American left believed in Iraq’s WMDs and terrorist links in the 90s because it gave them much-needed hawk cred; it was Viagra for their dovish side. Also, it was true. But they've spent the last two electoral cycles preaching defeat, insisting that the Administration says something’s a threat, it’s a lie, a diversion tactic, an election ploy, a floorwax AND a dessert topping. Oh, they’ll suggest that Iran should have been the main target in the first place, but if the US had invaded Persia in 03, we’d be looking at huge casualties, an occupation that continued to this day (quaqmire!) and evidence that the Iranians were still years away from a bomb. Years! And we invaded on that slender pretext? Impeach!
I quote it because it is true.

Then there is this:

The Iranian situation has the creepy eerie overtones of the Iraq debate – the gathering threat, the nuclear ambitions, the frowny faces of UN diplomats preparing the thirteenth Strongly Worded Document, complete with threatened revocation of parking garage privileges.
Also true; creepy even. Back in August of '04 I wrote this:

The September 11 terrorist attacks triggered mass enthusiasm among the American people to go to war. Almost just as quickly, loud voices began to question any potential attempts to fight a war as counterproductive and, more importantly, immoral. The fact that these voices had so much resonance even early on is a testament to how much the historical trend of losing the peace had eroded American confidence. President George W. Bush vacillated on objectives, beginning with the announcement that the United States was fighting a “war on terrorism.” Since he refused to announce more clear objectives from day one, the president has had to use up almost all of his political currency in fighting two separate battles in Afghanistan and Iraq. It remains to be seen if the American people have enough confidence remaining in this war to fight any serious future campaigns.
A serious campaign seems to be on the way, and even hawks like me are exhausted. What are we going to do now?

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