Being a lame duck has its advantages. You can move forward with ideas that aren't very popular -- Carter reinstating draft registration, for example. You can do what you believe is right and damn the consequences, because there are no consequences. At least, not for you.
So Bush can go ahead with his big troop surge idea. The people don't want it, no one thinks it'll work, but I'm sure that Bush -- like the four or five people who still support the war -- probably sees it as a bold move, a glorious gamble, maybe even manly, somehow. But to do something for principle is one thing and to do something out of pigheadedness is another. If there is a principle involved in Bush's plan to escalate the war, it's that the neocons in the White House won't admit that everything they were told about invading Iraq turned out to be true -- it's a quagmire, it's destabilizing the region, it's damaged the US reputation worldwide and earned us more enemies and no friends. It's the principle that the PNAC brain trust couldn't possibly be wrong.
So, given that the neocons clearly don't give a damn about what the hell you or I think -- or, for that matter, what anyone in the world thinks -- what's to stop them from expanding the conflict? Not much, really.
The Bush administration has been making a lot of noise about Iran. It's mostly BS, but when they fire up the noise machine, it means they've got something cooking. We're told that mortars and bombs in Iraq have come from Iran. Why this should come as a big surprise is a little beyond me. I've pointed out before that most of the rifles in Iraq come from China or Russia -- so what? In fact, it'd probably be a little weird to find someone using some sort of a weapon made in Iraq. Even Saddam's weaponry was mostly purchased abroad and not manufactured in Iraq. So the startling revelation that iranian arms have found their way into Iraq should be as startling as the fact that there's something in your house made in China.
The latest National Intelligence Estimate tells us that, yes, Iran is involved in Iraq, but that if you removed Iran from the equation, the violence would continue. Iran isn't a driving force in Iraq, iraqi sectarians are.
How long have the neocons been looking at Iran? Pretty much since day one.
Democracy Now! (emphasis mine):
CRAIG UNGER:... Richard Perle started meeting with then-candidate George Bush, and this has really not been reported much at all, but he came away with that meeting saying that Bush had agreed that if he were to be president, he would help overthrow Saddam. So, that, to me, is the first time I know that Bush seemed to have signed off on that. If you talk to the neocons today, a lot of them will say, “Well, yes, it’s a mess in Iraq, but that’s because we’ve just begun. We haven’t really started. This should be a regional war, that Iran is the real focus.”
Unger has a great piece in Vanity Fair, titled From the Wonderful Folks Who Brought You Iraq, that you should go check out. It's pretty scary. It's not extremely surprising, though. Both of our wars border on Iran. It's not hard to see that the neocons, expecting quick and easy victory, had planned to squeeze Iran between two fronts.
So, why is Iran involved in Iraq? Did I mention they share a border? Iran is experiencing a huge refugee crisis which must be straining its resources. We know that hundreds of thousands of iraqis have made their way into Iran and it's no real stretch to assume that they must be getting refugees from Afghanistan. It's in their best interests to see the war in Iraq end.
If Bush were serious about stopping Iran's interference in Iraq, he would offer to help with the refugees. He hasn't. The enemy must remain the enemy, partnership would spoil the prospects of regional war.
The inflexibility of it all is mindblowingly stupid. The plan they set in place seven years ago and involving a bunch of assumed victories that haven't happened is moving forward as if everything worked out perfectly. After being wrong about pretty much everything, they don't seem to have adjusted their grand scheme to rebuild the middle east in any way. They seem to be not only unwilling to see reality and the mess they've made, but incapable of it.
It's like a cult mindset. You put on the robes and go out to meet the prophesied return of Jesus and He doesn't show. So you go home, wash the robes, and the next time the Prophet tells you the end is here, you go right out and do it again and again and again. It's not just that they fail to see their world-building vision isn't working out at all, it's that they're completely incapable of it -- something's wrong with their heads.
So we'll go to war with Iran, come hell or high water. It makes no difference to them that they're failing in every step of their plan; if they can reach the final stage, they think it'll all fall into place. It's not logic, it's not strategy, it's faith. The neocon world-vision will happen, no matter how many failures there are along the way -- the Prophets of the Project for a New American Century have foretold it. It is written.
If the troop surge teaches us anything, it's that Bush won't stop unless he's stopped. Nothing will sway him, not the wiser voices in his own party and the Pentagon, not the will of the people, and certainly not a sober assessment of his own history. As long as Bush is in office, cooler heads will never prevail.
So Bush must be impeached. For pretty much anything you like. It's not like there aren't a freakin' menu of crimes he could be charged with. Illegal wiretaps, maybe, I don't really care. Investigate pretty much anything -- from the lead up to the war to the either election to the legality of the war itself -- and you'll turn up an impeachable offense. The only way that any serious observer would bet against it is if you gave them odds.
But impeach him. Bust Bush and Cheney, the power behind the throne, will fall too. They're joined at the hip.
We can't begin to repair the damage this band of idiots have done in the world until we're free of the band of idiots.