Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Good News is Bad

First, just to note. I'm not a golfer, but I have to respect the skills that golfers apply to their game. The pressure a PGA golf pro deals with every day is off the charts. For that reason alone, they are worthy of respect.
Then there's Tiger Woods. Nike's favorite guy has now been a PGA tour player for 11 years. He has been awarded Player of the Year honors 9 times during that period! I guess it's fair to say he has found his appropriate profession. He golfs so well that he has earned the right to NOT have a favorite candidate for president. Don't think he hasn't been approached by both sides.

Now, for some good news. The NIE (that's National Intelligence Estimate), the consortium of sixteen separate intelligence agencies in our government, have with "high confidence" concluded that the main country now in the Bush crosshairs, Iran, isn't quite the threat (and don't we hear that word MUCH more than we used to?) that we had thought. In fact, they evidently discontinued research into nuclear weapons - four years ago. So even if they decided TODAY to resume research, it would take a good long time to become anything close to a serious threat (in the WMD sense) to us or Israel. Maybe we should put up a cheer between periods at NHL games. Maybe we should be dancing in the streets.
Maybe we should hold off. The president, that guy who's so tough on children's health care, has greeted this news by saying that our policy toward Iran will not change. In October he was ranting about "World War Three", and now he's sticking with our Iran plan: threaten, sanction, make demands, even provoke an incident with our carrier groups which just happen to be poking around the Persian Gulf looking for trouble.
Evidently anything short of some kind of signing ceremony on a battleship means we cannot relax, cannot trust anyone (even ourselves), and cannot regard any country with lots of guys named "Ahmed" as anything other than a potential site of the NEXT "Shock and Awe".
Isn't there ANY time we should consider taking the side of reconciliation? Those old tactics don't even work on third rate countries who get out of line - Cuba, Sudan, Myanmar. Shaking our nukes at Iran will just unite them in opposition to us, even though their current government is unpopular. This is, remember, a nation with a very long history, triple the size and population of Iraq. Sure, we could destroy them, but that would then require destruction of others, and we just can't kill them ALL. If we tried, the world's remaining nations would certainly turn to others for moral leadership.
I don't recall any time during this interminable Bush administration in which ANYONE, let alone the president, ever said "we're sorry". Could it be that painful? We have enough gizmos and spooksats to have a pretty good idea what's going on in Iran. We could bring home the carrier groups. We could call it "God's Will". Who knows? Maybe the Persians would give us another chance before writing off the US as an implacable for. Maybe some weary sailors would reconsider flipping their votes to the "D" lever next year at election time. "Home for the Super Bowl?" Sounds like a winner.


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