As the End of Bush Days draws near, the desperation and insanity of the administration and its neoconservative policies become more and more apparent. One of the most recent examples is Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's address to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on June 3, where she once and for all crossed over to the dark side and swore fealty to Lord Cheney's quest to start a shooting war with Iran.
With Horse's Caboose Condi hitched onto the Cheney train, can Armageddon be far behind?
Condi was never part of the administration's policy team. She was the smart professor gal from Stanford who Cheney and Don Rumsfeld brought aboard to tutor the Bush kid in things like geography and history that he should have learned before he graduated from Yale and Harvard but didn't. Making her National Security Adviser gave her an excuse to be in meetings where she could whisper answers in Bush's ear (which is how he graduated from Yale and Harvard). Sticking Condi in the job also guaranteed Dick and Don wouldn't have to put up with a pesky NSA who actually wanted to influence foreign policy. When the time came to replace Colin Powell as Secretary of State, Condi was the perfect choice. They wouldn't have to cut her out of the decision loop they way they cut Powell out. Condi was never in the loop to begin with.
The Goebbels Brigade tried to make her seem like a real player on the world stage for a time. There was talk at one point of putting Condi up for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination. Rice 2008 urges John McCain to pick Condi as his running mate. At the "Run Condi Run" web site (moonfruit.com, really) you can donate to the organization and buy McCain/Rice 2008 bumper stickers and even order a Condi bobble head doll.
Rumors surfaced in summer of 2007 that suggested Condi and Cheney were locking horns over Iran policy. By October of that year though, when she told Congress that Iran was America's "single greatest challenge," it was clear that she was still Uncle Dick's good little girl.
In her June 3, 2008 speech to AIPAC, Condi began her verbal assault on Iran with the standard neoconservative misquote of a remark made by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Then she launched into a fabulist speculation on Iran's nuclear intentions.
Now, we hear Iran’s rulers say that they do not seek a nuclear weapon, only peaceful nuclear energy. Well, then why have they rejected the past offers from the international community for incentives, even cooperation on light water reactors? Why has Iran rejected, thus far, Russia’s offer of uranium enrichment in Russia? Why, as the IAEA’s most recent report shows, is Iran continuing to enrich uranium, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions? Why, as the IAEA also suggests, are parts of Iran’s nuclear program under the control of the Iranian military? And why is Iran continuing to deny international experts full access to its nuclear facilities? Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s just hard to imagine that there are innocent answers to these questions. (Applause.)
It's even harder to imagine that we could have a Secretary of State who possesses the intellectual sophistication of a slow child, and yet we do. Ms. Rice seems wholly oblivious to the nature of the competition among today's political entities; the struggle for control of the kind of power it takes to run industries and to transport goods and to transform entire regions of the world.
The international maneuvering revolves around who will control how fast the last of the planet's oil gets used, and how much the rest of us have to pay for it, and who gets to direct the world's transition to alternate energy sources. Hence, the real political leverage Iran has to gain from its nuclear program will come from a viable energy industry, not nuclear weapons. Possessing nuclear weapons would amount to little more than painting a bull's eye on its back. Using one would be tantamount to self-genocide; the retaliation would be the virtual end of the Persian race.
The "past offers from the international community for incentives" regarding cooperation on light water reactors or uranium enrichment performed in another country all involve making Iran dependent on other nations—nations the U.S. can control—in order for its energy industry to function. That's like telling the Iranians they can have a farm as long as they grows their crops in Iowa and use John Deere tractors and American labor and let us keep the seeds for next year, and if they're good little sand tics we'll let them buy some of their own food from us.
We don’t need the IAEA report to "suggest" that Iran is continuing to enrich uranium. Iran isn't keeping it a secret; it has flat out told the whole world it's continuing to enrich uranium. As a party to the UN Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has an "inalienable right" to pursue production of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. For the UN Security Council to have passed a resolution denying Iran of an inalienable right makes the Security Council in violation of the NPT and the resolution itself illegal, so someone please explain to me how Iran is "in violation" of an illegal resolution.
The IAEA report does not suggest that "parts of Iran’s nuclear program [are] under the control of the Iranian military." It says that Iran needs to "clarify procurement and R&D activities of military related institutes and companies that could be nuclear related." (Italics mine.) The distance between those two statements you could drive an armored division through. Military related industries are ideal for providing certain precision components for nuclear fuel refinery. Remember how those aluminum tubes Iraq was supposedly using for a uranium centrifuge turned out to be parts for artillery rockets?
The IAEA report states that in early April the Agency recently "requested Iran to provide, as a transparency measure, access to additional locations related, inter alia, to the manufacturing of centrifuges, R&D on uranium enrichment, and uranium mining and milling." That's all pretty innocent stuff related to the kind of uranium enrichment we already know Iran is doing. Less than two months later, when the report was released, Iran hadn't gotten back to the Agency about taking it to those additional locations. That's not surprising; this was hardly a pressing matter.
A first semester political science student at the most obscure community college in America has sufficient imagination to arrive at these "innocent" conclusions. Why doesn’t our Secretary of State?
Condoleezza Rice, Ph.D. is part of a diplomacy machine that's designed not to work. Demanding Iran give up its uranium enrichment program as a precondition to direct diplomatic talks was a head fake. Cheney's neocons made Iran an offer it couldn't accept; that way they could say they tried diplomacy even though they really didn't.
The goal of the Bush regime's foreign policy is to promote conflict, not avoid it. The neoconservatives desire nothing more ardently than to create a second Cold War with our old adversaries Russia and China, whose client state Iran is assuming the role of Eastern Europe. Rounding out the lineup for round two, Venezuela is stepping in for Cuba and Iraq is substituting for West Germany.
The neo-communists won't engage us in an arms race this time around. They'll let us be the ones who pour national treasure down a sand dune on fantastic weapons that can't win the kinds of wars we fight until we're bankrupt. One commonly hears these days that we're playing checkers and the Russians and Chinese are playing chess. A more ironically apt analogy is that they have graduated to duplicate bridge while we continue to play war.
Even more ironic is that we won the first Cold War because our economic model was superior, but in the second Cold War we're likely to find that the neocoms have become better capitalists than we are.
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes at Pen and Sword . Jeff's novel Bathtub Admirals (Kunati Books) is on sale now.