A rebuttal to a rebuttal
The War Party
The truth is that on the most important issue of our time -- the cliff that drops into total darkness -- the only real opposition left in this country is in the Pentagon, where, according to Sy Hersh, at least some of the generals are trying to stall the march to war. Plus whatever scattered resistance is left in the intelligence agencies following the purges of the past couple of years. The people like Lauder have always existed in the US.
It is a stunning testament to the political devolution of this country that the most effective anti-war movement in America is inside the walls of the Pentagon or buried deep in the bowels of the CIA! But that is the reality, thanks in no small part to the Dems and the Israel lobby.
I had hopes once that the Democratic Party could be reformed, that progressives could burrow back in or build their own parallel organizations (like MoveOn.org or even Left Blogistan) and eventually gain control of the party and its agenda -- much as the conservatives took over the GOP in the 1980s and '90s. It's not that I discount these differences entirely -- although they're easily oversold. But compared to the fate that awaits the republic, and the world, if the United States deliberately starts a war with Iran, those other considerations start to look pretty insignificant. I mean, we're talking about World War III here, fought by people who want to use tactical nuclear weapons. I'm supposed to put that out of my mind because the Dems might be a little bit more generous about funding the VA budget??? I'm sorry, but that's fucking nuts.
In the 1950's it was the China Lobby and the bane of US policy was Madame Chang. Douglas MacArthur wanted to irradiate Manchuria.
In 1954, the Pentagon drew up plans for a series of tactical nuclear strikes around Dien Bien Phu.
In the early 1960's, it was the Cuban exiles, doing uncle Sam's dirty work from the Congo to Laos.
And in the end, nothing happened.
Bush may think he can proxy war with Iran, but Hezbollah put that dream to rest really quickly.
Yes, you can do tactical nuclear strikes on Iran, if you want to write 130,000 letters of condolence , because the US Army would be the victim of a mass Iraqi uprising.
If the United States gets froggy about an Iranian war, I can predict to the letter what will happen. A mass Shia uprising in Iraq and a move to take over the Saudi oil fields by Saudi shia.
Iran has 130K hostages to work with and there is only one solution for the US. The US can only replay Chosin if they attack Iran, and even as stupid as the Bushies are, there are limits to what we can do, and apparently, for the IDF.
There isn't going to be a Third World War, but a humiliated Israel and an emboldened Hezbollah. If you want to waste your day worrying about the unlikely, that's fine. People tried to tell Marshall how to fight WWII. But those things you don't think matter, they are the difference between life and death for many people.
It's a lot more comforting to worry about a nuclear war with Iran than some 24 year old with his missing legs, but the reality is that the war mongers will be deflected or lead to a massive defeat and that problem with the VA isn't going anywhere.
You go to work, have a nice life and can think about such things. But when a vet doesn't get his disability check, he can starve, or be homeless, today, not in some distant future.
Sure, you can throw up your hands and say woe is me, you're not paying for dinner with food stamps. You're not going to walk into traffic to commit suicide because you were humiliated one too many times at the VA. You aren't going to a divorce lawyer, because your wife left you over your third deployment.
It is a selfish thing to sit back, say all is lost and go to work in a nice office building. Because what you're saying is that people are going to die, and oh, well, not much we can do for them.
The Iranians can end our Iraqi adventure with a few phone calls. But those tiny differences, the one you don't think can really matter are life and death issues. And I've seen it close up. You want US policy to change towards Israel, we need election finance reform. Throwing up your hands about it solves nothing.
But while you're declaring a pox on both houses, you need to remember that might is all some people have. That might is the only thing that might save them. It may not be much, but it beats nothing.
posted by Steve @ 3:48:00 AM