Tuesday, August 29, 2006

All the options

William Edmundson, writing for the Leiter Report, discusses the "Madman strategy" of Richard Nixon, and how it relates to the current ugliness in the Middle East, where Republican shrills for the neo-cons clamour for war.

Edmundson quotes the NY Times, which reported a US official complaining about the intelligence community's insistence that there is no evidence Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons:

"When they say there is 'no evidence,' you have to ask them what they mean, what is the meaning of the term 'evidence'?"

And this from the same political party which criticised President Clinton for his duplicity about "sexual relations", and campaigns on Moral Values. (Yeah -- evil, wicked morals. But still morals.) Which is worse, lying about a bit of hanky-panky between consenting adults, or starting an unnecessary war and killing thousands?

Obviously it is the hanky-panky.

Edmundson continues:

In the same story, Newt Gingrich is reported to explain what "evidence" means:

"When the intelligence community says Iran is 5 to 10 years away from a nuclear weapon, I ask: 'If North Korea were to ship them a nuke tomorrow, how close would they be then?'"

And if peaches were tomatoes, then peach jam would taste just like napoli sauce.

Of course, if Gingrich really believed that, he would have to consider what if North Korea (or Pakistan, or China, or Russia) has shipped Iran hundreds of nukes, and they're planted all over the USA right now. Obviously the answer is, the US has no choice but to surrender unconditionally to Iran.

Of course, if Iran made such a claim, you can bet that Gingrich, like the US official, will suddenly remember just what evidence means, and start declaring that there is no evidence that Iran has nukes.

It shows you just what we've come to, when we find ourselves hoping against hope that the US president is only pretending to have the morals of a stoat.

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