Friday, October 26, 2007

Bush moves ahead with plans for Clinton’s war

In what must be a great disappointment to Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), the Bush Administration stopped short of actually dropping bombs on Iran on Thursday. However, moves by the administration yesterday did take a key step toward bridging the gap between the Clinton-supported Lieberman-Kyl amendment and an all-out hot war on the sovereign state of Iran.

The move designated the Quds force of the Revolutionary Guard and four state-owned Iranian banks as supporters of terrorism, and the Guard itself as an illegal exporter of ballistic missiles. The decision thus raised the temperature in American’s ongoing confrontation with Iran over terrorism and nuclear weapons.

. . . . after 18 months in which the administration has touted the virtues of collective action against Iran by the United States and its allies, the sanctions are a major turn toward unilateralism.

Indeed, in the same report, the New York Times reiterated that Sen. Clinton has moved to the right of this administration declaration.

The United States is not accusing the entire Revolutionary Guard Corps of being a terrorist organization, a step advocated by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, who voted in favor of such a measure last month and has since come under attack from antiwar members of her Democratic party. Some conservatives in the administration had also pushed for the broader declaration.

Still, when you take this move by the White House with administration plans to attach so-called Massive Ordinance Penetrators—30,000 pound bunker busters—to B-2 bombers in the gulf, and increasingly bellicose statements from President Bush and Vice President Cheney, Clinton’s vote and continued support for Lieberman-Kyl ties her to the looming military action.

My only question, really, at this point: Does Bush let the bombs fly in the near future in an attempt to sidetrack Hillary Clinton’s march toward the Democratic nomination, or do they wait till the spring or summer in an attempt to sap some energy from the Democratic base while energizing their own?

With the predictions of Sy Hersh and others looking frighteningly prophetic, will the majority of peace-loving Democrats be forced to swallow a bit of their own throw-up as they listen to candidate Clinton try to triangulate the difference between her pro-war stance and that of the Republican candidate? With our troops again fighting armies instead of insurgents (or, more likely, both), will Republicans hint, subtly or otherwise, that in times of rapidly evolving military action, you need a manly man at the helm?

Those are the questions I have looking at the next twelve months. Whether we attack Iran—with Senator Clinton’s finessed blessing—seems, with each passing day, to be less in doubt.

(cross-posted on The Seminal)

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