Friday, April 21, 2006

Qom on, people now

I've had a couple of emails asking why I'm not blogging the hell out of the ongoing Iran "situation."

Short answers: It's just too damn depressing, and Jim Henley (among others, but this one's both fresh and perfect) seems to have it covered in spades.

Long answer: You want an Irant? Fine -- you asked for it.

Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, I just have trouble getting my mind around the idea that even Bush could be that crazy, Cheney that evil, or Rice that stupid.

"Mr. President, we've got two failed and increasingly unpopular ground wars running in Asia. The military is stretched so thin it could hide behind Callista Flockhart. The Army's meeting its recruitment quotas by raiding special ed classes and its retention quotas by stop-lossing the poor bastards then offering them bonuses to smile and sign. Your approval ratings are so far down the toilet that Roto-Rooter can't retrieve them and here in a few months the voters are going to rout your party out of control of at least one house of Congress and maybe both, after which you are virtually guaranteed to become the second consecutive president to be served up a steaming hot Bill of Impeachment.

"Hey ... I'm just spitballing here, but maybe we ought to, you know, fuck with Iran."

Just makes no sense. It's so ... I'm at a loss for words here. There's nothing far enough beyond stupid to adequately describe the idea.

Nonetheless, it's starting to look like the big summer hit may be "Iran," by Flock of Numbskulls.

Some of the cuckoos ... er, hawks ... are taking the soothing "no problem, we'll just bomb them" line. No ground war, just nice, sanitary knights of the air stuff, albeit perhaps with NUCLEAR FUCKING WEAPONS, the godda ... whew, spiked the blood pressure there. Sorry. Anyway, yeah, Tom Cruise in his F-14, silk scarf and leather jacket. Goose gets killed in a tragic accident and we all cry but it's okay because, well, we'll just be kicking ass from up here and letting the ragheads on the ground do all the non-photogenic bleeding.

Has anyone told the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq that this is going to be a single-front aerial war? So far, most of Iraq's Shiite militia bubbas have maintained an on-off, uneasy detente with US forces and concentrated their efforts on murdering Sunnis in bulk (all the better to integrate America's territorial gift to them into Greater Iran once the Great Satan slinks home). That can change in an instant, and the change would be a quick anti-US force multiplier because it would also relieve pressure on the Sunni and Ba'athist insurgents, freeing them up to wreak more anti-US havoc too.

Oh, and let's not forget the significant Shiite minorities -- 15-20% -- in Afghanistan and Pakistan, either. Not to stretch the point of mere religious identification: Iran has been forward with aid to those minorities, of both the humanitarian and militia sponsorship varieties.

If there's going to be war, it's not going to be off in the wild blue yonder, folks. It's going to be right up in our grill on at least two already unstable fronts and in one tenuously allied country -- and we haven't even reached the issue of probable Iranian "sleeper" terror cells awaiting their go codes in the US and elsewhere.

And oh, by the way, let's not forget Iran itself: A country with three times the population of the last two (once again, still-unsubdued) opponents -- a population whose median age is less than 30 -- and a reasonably modern military that hasn't been degraded by twelve years of daily US bombing.

Shithouse rat crazy doesn't even begin to cover the state of mind required to entertain this kind of thing. Throw in the trial balloons about preemptive nuclear strikes -- on a country bordering Russia -- and it's pretty much a David Lynch production of Dr. Strangelove Meets Sybil. We're talking serious childhood trauma combined with a rigorous schedule of psychoactive drugs and BDSM sessions here.

So, back to the short answer: The reason I'm not blogging much on the Iran "situation" is that I'm not skilled enough in the rhetoric of nightmarish surrealism to communicate the apparent status of that "situation." You'll just have to settle for my sedate, dispassionate summary above.

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