Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Preparing to Bomb Iran

The marketing campaign to prepare the American people for an attack by the United States on the sovereign country of Iran is well under way. We are hearing about secret evidence that cannot be disclosed for security reasons that proves that Iran is complicit in the killing of American soldiers in Iraq. We are hearing vague talk about the need to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. (It has to be vague because Iran is years away from having a nuclear weapon and apparently we want to bomb much sooner than that.) We are also being told that we would be doing the Iranian people a favor by over-throwing their government. (Since no Iranians are asking that they be bombed or invaded we have to assume that they will come around to our way of thinking and agree that this was a good thing after the fact -- a retrospective sort of gratitude.)

As you may remember from the build-up to the invasion of Iraq this sort of public relations campaign requires a few other countries to publicly agree that a crisis is looming that may require us to go to war, after all other options are exhausted of course. Right on cue we have the foreign minister of France doing a neo-con dance:

France’s foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, sought Monday to tone down remarks he made in a radio and television interview the day before that the world had to prepare for possible war against Iran.

Attacked verbally by Iran and quietly criticized within his own government, Mr. Kouchner shifted the focus away from the threat of war and back to a call for hard negotiations as the way to force Iran to abandon key nuclear activities.

“The worst situation would be war,” Mr. Kouchner told journalists en route to Moscow. “And to avoid the worst, the French position is very clear: negotiate, negotiate, negotiate, and work with our European friends on credible sanctions.”

On Sunday, Mr. Kouchner, a Socialist known for his blunt talk, said in an interview broadcast on RTL radio and LCI television: “We will negotiate until the end. And at the same time we must prepare ourselves.”

Asked what he meant in referring to preparation, he replied, “It is necessary to prepare for the worst,” adding, “The worst, it’s war, sir.”


Lost in the off-the-cuff and freewheeling remarks about war planning was his other, less alarmist message: that France is committed to using diplomacy to resolve the nuclear crisis with Iran, that no military action is planned and that he did not believe there would be an American military intervention while President Bush was in office.

Isn't that last sentence a masterpiece? The suggestion that President Bush is less likely to go to war with Iran than his successor is breath-taking in its sheer neo-con perversity.


Patrick Moran said...

Not to quibble about words, but isn't "neocon" short for "neo-conservative"? But Mr. Kouchner is described as a Socialist. So he wouldn't seem to be a conservative at all.

While preparing the American people for an attack on Iran is a possible explanation for Mr. Kouchner's comments, another possible explanation is that the intended audience is the Iranian government and the Itanian public, so as to encourage Iran to be more accomodating in its negotiations. While such comments could be made to Iranian government representatives behind closed doors, making them publicly has the advantage of adding urgency and credibility and the added advantage of reaching the Itanian public and perhaps encouraging the Itanian public to pressure its government to make peace. Perhaps Mr. Koucher's "neo-con dance" is part of a diplomatic dance with Iran.

Dave Barrett said...

I agree with you that neo-cons don't seem to be conservative at all. They don't seem to conserve anything.
We can certainly hope that all this talk is just a negotiating tactic with Iran, but it all reminds me too much of what was said before we invaded Iraq. Remember how Congress was told that the authorization to go to war would just be used by President Bush as a negotiating tactic?