Major Kong* Rides Again
According to an article by Seymour Hersh in next week's New Yorker, the Bush administration is considering the use of bunker-busting nuclear weapons against Iranian facilities as part of a military campaign to stop Iran from developing the capacity to build nuclear weapons. If true, and there's no reason to doubt Mr. Hersh's sources, then the U.S. is seemingly hell-bent on Super-Sizing the war in the Middle East. The use of nuclear bombs for the first time since Hiroshima and Nagasaki (but more importantly against a non-nuclear country in a pre-emptive or preventative war) is unimaginable, but then again, imagining the unimaginable seems to be the Bush administration's strong suit. True, the nukes we're talking about aren't intended to be dropped on cities, and perhaps they would be unlikely to result in widespread radiation (since they presumably will explode underground, or at least one hopes) but they're still nukes, even without Slim Pickens riding them down to target.
The truth is that the administration of George Bush has never wanted a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis, at least not one short of complete capitulation by the Iranians, something that no analyst believes can or will happen. The Iraq war has certainly given pause to Mr. Bush and the neo-cons in and around his administration who want a piece of the Mullahs, but perversely as the situation deteriorates in Baghdad, it seems that Tehran is beginning to look like a good diversion. The IAEA chief, Mohammad El Baradei, despite U.S. urgings to the contrary, is visiting Iran next week to meet with Iranian leaders, still hoping to salvage a compromise deal. The U.S. would hardly object to Mr. El Baradei's trip unless it wants all options to fail so that the one option left (which we constantly remind the Iranians is still on the table, not getting stale) will be war.
Imagining the unimaginable: America slept (or shopped) through the unimaginable Bush administration lies that took us to Iraq. We slept and shopped successively through Guantanamo, the horrors of Abu Ghraib, rendition, illegal detentions, the Valerie Plame leak, and most recently illegal wiretaps on U.S. citizens. We're sleeping and shopping through administration claims that Iran is building weapons of mass destruction, the preposterous claim that Iran is supplying their Sunni arch-enemies al Qaeda with arms and bombs, that Iran is the world's foremost sponsor of terrorism, and that Iran, if allowed the technology to manufacture nuclear fuel, will not only make nuclear weapons but use them against us or our allies (or just hand them over to terrorists who will). No proof required, and hey, there's a sale on at Saks!
Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, someone unfortunately known for being so far outside the mainstream to be a little wacky, delivered a speech on Iran to an empty chamber (perhaps his fellow congressmen were out shopping) on April 5th. It's worth a read. And it comes from someone who although at times wacky, wasn't wacky enough to buy the administration's arguments for war with Iraq.
Imagine the unimaginable: George Bush becoming the first president to use nuclear weapons on another state since Harry Truman, and get this, without even declaring war.
*Slim Pickens' character in Dr. Strangelove