All right. I'm now officially scared.
Having just read Seymour Hersh's article about Bush's Iran plan, it appears that we no longer have a case of the good guys versus the bad guys.
What we have here is the bad guy versus the bad guy - two madmen playing an international game of chicken, ratcheting up the rhetoric to appeal to their fundamentalist followers.
There's no doubt that Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is mad in the head. In fact, it might help you remember his name if you pronounce it "Ah'm mad in ee head."
He's got a uranium enrichment program going on so he can build nuclear power plants. But since he's crazy, there's a lot of worldwide concern that he's going to build a nuclear bomb while he's at it.
The U.N. atomic watchdog agency, which paid him a little visit last week, says there's no evidence that he's working on weapons. Even so, the world is feeling a little squirmy about letting Ah'm Mad In Ee Head carry on with his nuclear program. Everyone keeps asking him to quit it, but he's dug in his heels.
So that's one madman on the loose.
The other one - our very own nut job in the White House - is licking his chops over what he perceives as a stubborn challenge from Iran's president.
In last week's New Yorker magazine, Hersh provided a detailed look at Bush's response to Ah'm Mad In Ee Head. According to Hersh's sources, Bush wants Ah'm Mad In Ee Head to defy U.N. demands to quit playing with uranium.
You know why? Because our own madman wants to trot out one of our own nukes and bomb Iran's madman out of business - along with a few hundred thousand other Iranians, of course.
As one congressman told Hersh, "The most worrisome thing is that Bush has a messianic vision." Bush is waging a holy war. He's on a crusade. And so is Ah'm Mad In Ee Head.
One nut-job fundamentalist Christian plus one nut-job fundamentalist Muslim equals one nut-job Holy War.
The administration's talking heads deny this, of course. They say Hersh is in "fantasyland." That's funny. It's exactly what they said about Hersh when he broke the story about U.S. soldiers torturing prisoners in Abu Ghraib.
And so the rest of the world's people are as scared of George Bush as they are of Ah'm Mad In Ee Head. This unelected president of ours has systematically been dehumanizing Arabs. He's imprisoned them without charges. He's tortured them. He's killed them. And now he wants to nuke them.
He's like a child with a serious case of ADHD. He's lost interest in Iraq and is looking for a new toy to break. Iraq, after all, has turned out badly, so he's doing what he always does when he makes a mess of something - he's turning his attention elsewhere and starting a whole new mess.
The rest of the world prefers diplomacy, and for a good reason.
If Bush attacks Iran, he will unleash Hezbollah - Iran's strong, well organized terrorist organization. And who do you think Hezbollah's first target will be? The sitting ducks right next door in Iraq - American troops. Then Europe and Israel will go up in flames.
So now I'm officially scared. On their own, Bush and Ah'm Mad In Ee Head are frightening enough. Working together, these two could create the Perfect Storm.
Let's have a drink
There are 1,009 days 'til Inauguration 2009 - if we live that long. That means we'll break 1,000 next week. Let's drink a toast to Day 999 on Friday. At 7 p.m. on April 28 I'll be in the downstairs bar at Catherine's Restaurant, 153 West Main St., Goshen. If you plan to stop in, let me know so I can tell Steve at the restaurant what kind of crowd to expect.
Beth's column appears on Monday. Talk to her at 346-3147 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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