Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Mushroom clouds over Iran

When I opened up the latest email from and read "Not only do the officials say war is really on the table, they report that the Bush administration is making plans to use nuclear weapons"—when I read that, my hair stood straight up. I thought Okay, okay, wait a second, this might not be true. Eli Pariser and the crew at MoveOn may have gone off the deep end with the power thing. MoveOn apparently has 3 million members now and maybe the leaders have gotten drunk on their ability to mobilize that many people with just email. At this point in time, after everything that's gone before, Dubya and friends are stupid enough to even think of planting mushroom clouds in Iran??

Who knows? Anything's possible. Maybe it's just a red herring created by Karl Rove. Maybe it's just a late April fool's joke. I'm hoping for a better-case scenario than finding out it's true.

This is part of MoveOn's email:
The big question on all of our minds, of course, is whether the president really is willing to wage nuclear war with Iran. After the disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq, would he really attack the much larger, much stronger, much better armed country next door with nukes?

As he did before Iraq, President Bush claims he's just pursuing a diplomatic route—but he still refuses to take nukes off the table. In the New Yorker piece, Seymour Hersh—who broke the Abu Ghraib story—quotes numerous administration and Pentagon officials who make very clear that war plans involving nukes are in the works.

Even a conventional attack would likely be a disaster. But just the threat of a nuclear attack could close off our best diplomatic options. Ironically, it would also increase pressure within Iran to create a full-fledged nuclear program—strengthening Iran's hard-liners. With most experts estimating Iran is 5 years or more away from having a nuclear weapon, there's time for a diplomatic solution.

And the consequences of an actual attack would be horrifying. The civilian deaths from a nuclear assault could be in the thousands or hundreds of thousands. According to a front-page article in the Washington Post, CIA experts believe Iran would almost certainly counter-attack through its terrorist network, Hezbollah. With 150,000 American troops right next door in Iraq, Iran would have what security experts call a "target rich" environment. Even Jack Straw, the British Foreign Sectrary, said that the nuclear option was "completely nuts."
Is there anything that would preclude a sitting president and his cabinet from being given psychological testing? I would really like to know if these people are nuts or not. Wouldn't you?