Monday, November 01, 2004

Weapons of Mass Distraction

Hey, look what Iran did!
Some lawmakers broke out with shouts of "Death to America!" after the conservative-dominated parliament after lawmakers voted to advance the nation's nuclear program, an issue of national pride that provides a rare point of agreement between conservatives and reformers.

Parliament speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel called Sunday's vote a message to the world.

"The message of the absolute vote for the Iranian nation is that the parliament supports national interests," he said. "And the message for the outside world is that the parliament won't give in to coercion."
Too bad we're a little preoccupied with what's going on next door:
For months the American people have heard, from one side, promises to "stay the course" in Iraq (George W. Bush); and from the other side, equally vague plans for gradual withdrawal (John Kerry). Both plans depend heavily on building significant Iraqi forces to take over security. But the truth is, neither party is fully reckoning with the reality of Iraq—which is that the insurgents, by most accounts, are winning. Even Secretary of State Colin Powell, a former general who stays in touch with the Joint Chiefs, has acknowledged this privately to friends in recent weeks, NEWSWEEK has learned. The insurgents have effectively created a reign of terror throughout the country, killing thousands, driving Iraqi elites and technocrats into exile and scaring foreigners out. "Things are getting really bad," a senior Iraqi official in interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's government told NEWSWEEK last week. "The initiative is in [the insurgents'] hands right now. This approach of being lenient and accommodating has really backfired. They see this as weakness."

A year ago the insurgents were relegated to sabotaging power and gas lines hundreds of miles outside Baghdad. Today they are moving into once safe neighborhoods in the heart of the capital, choking off what remains of "normal" Iraqi society like a creeping jungle.
The United States post-Cold War readiness plan allows for operations in two theaters at once. Afghanistan. Iraq. And... uh oh. Not that we here at Boring Diatribe are advocating further invasions, but the mullahs in Iran know that the Big Stick is stuck Iraq's tar baby. Bush has taken the military option off the table, and can't be troubled to understand the virtures of diplomacy and effective sanctions at this late stage in the game, leaving the game to the Europeans. We can only hope they can pick up the ball the Bushites have fumbled. Otherwise Iran will be the world's next nuclear power.
Osama's still free. Nuclear proliferation accelerates. Yeah. I feel safer.

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