How well I remember, during the Nixon years, the question, "Would you buy a used car from this man?"
Why aren't we asking similar questions about George W. Bush? Would you buy a used car from the man who crashed and looted the U.S. economy and destroyed Iraq? Then how about another war? Would you buy that?
Bush has 14 months to go, and it appears that he wants to start World War III.
During the past year we've read many accounts of "war game" scenarios being played out by the military and the White House. The target is always Iran.
Iran is certainly working on obtaining nuclear power - although the country claims it will be used for peaceful purposes. Still, all the experts agree that the country is years away from having nuclear weapons.
Bush, however, has been once again rattling the cages of the dogs of war he loves so much. He said in late August, "Iran's active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons threatens to put a region already known for instability and violence under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust."
Discounting the fact that a great deal of the "instability and violence" in the region has been caused by Bush, note that words like "active pursuit," "could lead," "threatens" and "shadow" mean that Iran is far from being a current threat.
"Iran's actions threaten the security of nations everywhere," Bush said. "We will confront this danger before it is too late."
You'd think Bush would have a hard time trying to sell the world another preemptive war with a straight face - we've all seen how well the last one went. But here he goes again.
Already, a U. S. naval force - two aircraft carrier groups and half of America's warships - is stationed close to Iran.
According to some reports, the United States has a three-day plan for ending Iran's status as a "rogue terrorist nation." It calls for a massive air strike against 1,200 targets that would, in effect, take out Iran's entire military. Another set of plans I've seen targets 400 sites, only a few dozen of which are linked to the nuclear program. It doesn't matter which plan Bush might eventually use. All of them end in disaster.
Author Chris Hedges has thought through the possible outcomes. He recently wrote, "Iranian... missiles, which cannot reach the United States, will be launched at Israel, as well as American military bases and the Green Zone in Baghdad. Expect massive American casualties...The Strait of Hormuz, which is the corridor for 20 percent to the world's oil supply, will be shut down... Oil prices will skyrocket to well over $4 a gallon. The dollar will tumble against the euro. Hezbollah forces in southern Lebanon, interpreting the war as an attack on all Shi'ites, will fire rockets into northern Israel. Israel... will begin retaliatory raids....Pakistan, with a huge Shiite minority, will reach greater levels of instability... and could become the first radical Islamic state to possess a nuclear weapon. The neat little war with Iran, which few Democrats oppose, has the potential to ignite a regional inferno."
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Compare Hedges' more-or-less realistic scenario with Bush's fantasy that Iranians will be dancing in the streets and tossing flowers as they celebrate "regime change."
We know that Congress will not stop Bush. In fact, as Hedges points out, Democrats as well as Republicans contribute to the demonization of Iran.
The only time Bush has ever backed down is when he has been faced with strong, organized and vocal opposition - for example, when he tried to use his "political capital" to deconstruct Social Security. He backed down because too many people had a stake in protecting it - we all have grandparents, parents, or the hope of growing old ourselves.
We have even more of a stake in protecting the Middle East from all-out war.
F. Scott Fitzgerald said, "The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." That sounds like a perfect description of today. Look around us. Everything is OK, and yet everything is not OK. While we are reading about celebrities, people are coming back to this country limbless and with their brains scrambled.
We don't have to scratch the surface too deeply to understand that the reckoning is coming. If 9/11 was a surprise, many more will be shocked when everything comes tumbling down.
I may sound more paranoid than possessed of a first-rate mind, but I truly believe that Bush has ruined our country. He's ruined our future. It will take decades to recover from the crazed neocons who think that bombing Iran is a good place to start, but let's take out Syria, too. And that's not even throwing in peak oil, global warming and economic collapse.
There is too much blood on our hands already. Even our great-grandchildren will be dealing with the fallout from the last six disastrous years.
What can we do? Taking to the streets for demonstrations is not enough. It didn't stop Bush from attacking Iraq, and it won't stop him from bombing Iran. The loudest, strongest, most forceful and vehement opposition must start right now and be maintained at full pitch until that basest of men turns tail and runs.
In the last six years, I've watched everything I've loved and devoted my life to turn to dust. In my anger and despair, all I can do is scream. Please join me. Bomb Iran? No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No!