Monday, October 22, 2007

Dick Cheney's Diktat

Crying Wolf

I resent my current status in life (forced labor) which restricts the time and energy to write my own stuff everyday. There is so much that comes my way, that that would be 'hard work', but rewarding. I am confronted at every turn with the temptation to take the written and spoken words of others and bend them in the direction of objective historical truth. My circumstances encourage me to yield to this temptation since it also saves a ton of time in proofing. It really is a cheap way out, but why re-invent the wheel?

And speaking of wheels. . .

Dick Cheney, our current de facto president who has never stood on his own feet and run in his own presidential primary campaign, yesterday blatantly reprised Bush's doctrine of preventive war. The same ingredients which filled Bush's rationale for the use of force against Iraq announced five years ago (plus a few weeks) were the headliners in Shooter's speech before the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. These three paragraphs contained the fighting words heard and read this morning around the world:
The Iranian regime's efforts to destabilize the Middle East and to gain hegemonic power is a matter of record. And now, of course, we have the inescapable reality of Iran's nuclear program; a program they claim is strictly for energy purposes, but which they have worked hard to conceal; a program carried out in complete defiance of the international community and resolutions of the U.N. Security Council. Iran is pursuing technology that could be used to develop nuclear weapons. The world knows this. The Security Council has twice imposed sanctions on Iran and called on the regime to cease enriching uranium. Yet the regime continues to do so, and continues to practice delay and deception in an obvious attempt to buy time.

Given the nature of Iran's rulers, the declarations of the Iranian President, and the trouble the regime is causing throughout the region -- including direct involvement in the killing of Americans -- our country and the entire international community cannot stand by as a terror-supporting state fulfills its most aggressive ambitions. (Applause.)

The Iranian regime needs to know that if it stays on its present course, the international community is prepared to impose serious consequences. The United States joins other nations in sending a clear message: We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. (Applause.)
As luck would have it, minutes ago I encountered a real deal response to this unilateral and unconstitutional decree of Cheney's. Stephen Zunes is a professor of politics at the University of San Francisco, Middle East editor of Foreign Policy In Focus, and the author of Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism. Writing weeks ago, Zunes anticipates Cheney's diktat:
Indeed, the United States is obsessed with Iran’s nuclear program – still many years away from producing an atomic bomb – while we support the neighboring states of Pakistan, India, and Israel, which have already developed nuclear weapons and which are also in violation of UN Security Council resolutions regarding their nuclear programs. We blame Iran for the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq yet 95% of U.S. casualties are from anti-Iranian Sunni insurgents. We focus on Iranian human rights abuses while we continue to support the even more oppressive and theocratic Islamic regime in Saudi Arabia. We attack the Iranian president’s denial of the genocide of European Jews while remaining silent in the face of Turkish leaders’ denial of the genocide of Armenians. One of the most important principles of most faith traditions is moral consistency. Few receive greater wrath in most holy texts than hypocrites.
More's the pity that my countrymen have fallen behind the timeline posted in the upper righthand corner of these pages: a timely impeachment of our two home-grown arch-war criminals would have, by now, provided us with credible national leadership. As it is, we are left with a couple of chickenhawks, crying 'wolf'.