Who is really running the US government? At a recent reception:
the president shook hands with Washington Life Magazine’s Soroush Shehabi. A grandson of one of the late Shah’s ministers, Soroush said, “Mr. President, I simply want to say one U.S. bomb on Iran and the regime will remain in power for another 20 or 30 years and 70 million Iranians will become radicalized.”
“I know,” President Bush answered.
“But does Vice President Cheney know?” asked Soroush.
The president chuckled and walked away.
So who was Bush laughing at? Mr. Soroush? the American people? our military? the disaster he has created for this country and the world? Is he chuckling because others will have to clean up after him? He acknowledged Mr. Soroush’s point by saying “I know.” Is he chuckling because, regardless of what happens, his family and friends will make a profit? Mr. Bush may think he is The Decider, but things are looking more and more like Mr. Cheney has been controlling our foreign policy from the very beginning of the Bush presidency. And the trial of Cheney’s assistant, Scooter Libby, is revealing quite a bit about Cheney’s actions and behavior. See the coverage at Firedoglake for details and live blogging. So far everyone who has testified had already told the truth to the grand jury. Only Libby is accused of lying, and the testimony of witnesses so far is damning. Why should the chief assistant to Vice President Cheney be the only one to lie? What is he hiding, or who is he shielding? The answer seems increasingly obvious.
And as Digby writes, there is another thing we know:
. . . as much as a year ago, the administration has been actively planning to attack Iran and the generals have been resisting.
. . .
I have believed for some time that the Bush administration is intent upon attacking Iran because they believe that their unpopularity will be redeemed by history for having taken great, bold steps to transform the middle east. The more Iraq looks like a cock-up of epic proportions that results in nothing more than chaos and death, the less likely it is that their “vision” will come to pass.
. . .
As they see it, the Iraqi debacle is not the product of their failed policies. Rather, it is the result of America’s failure to think big.
. . .
That is the argument that’s clearly driving Bush and Cheney today. They have nothing else. Cheney is melting down on national television. Bush in his bubble is as detached and oblivious as ever. I believe that we are at a point where the only things standing between us and the order to attack Iran are the generals.
Or, as Josh Marshall puts it:
The president’s interests are now radically disjoined from the country’s. We can handle a setback like Iraq. It really is a big disaster. But America will certainly survive it. President Bush — in the sense of his legacy and historical record — won’t.
. . .
Think of it like this. He’s a death row prisoner concocting a thousand-to-one plan to break out of prison. For him, those are good odds. The rest of us are doing three months for disorderly conduct. And he’s trying to rope us into his harebrained scheme. Like I said, his interests are very different from ours.
Speak up. We’re on the edge of the abyss.