Monday, February 12, 2007

Fool me twice

It has been truly sickening and horrifying to watch the rollout of the Bush Administration's apparently planned war against Iran. You literally couldn't do more than these guys have to undermine their credibility by making such a reckless and false case for war in Iraq, followed by such stunning incompetence in the execution of the war. And you couldn't have more clearly demonstrated to the press that they should not simply be court stenographers, repeating what they're told as if it had any claim on being believed. Yet it is all happening again, with vague, undocumented, and less than credible assertions getting front page play all over the place.

Isn't it a little strange that, with the U.S. troops predominantly fighting Sunnis, the Bush Administration is blaming the Iranians? I'm not convinced Bush knows that the Iranians actually support the Shiites in Iraq, who control the government there and actually are fighting against the Sunnis, but you'd think others, including the press, would keep this point more clearly in mind.

I suspect that, if the Administration wanted to make a case for war against Saudi Arabia, it could come up with something fifty times stronger than what they are throwing at the Iranians, given the Saudis' position in the Iraqi civil war and where we stand in the middle of it. How many times have American troops been attacked with Saudi-supplied weapons, which of course need not have come directly from the Saudi government?

The nightmare that happens twice can be powerful artistically - think Hitchcock's Vertigo - but it is nauseating to live through.

UPDATE: As detailed here, Michael Gordon, the New York Times "reporter" who wrote Saturday's breathless, unsourced, and undocumented front-page story, both (a) was Judy Miller's co-author on some of the most egregiously false stories from the Iraq war run-up, and (b) is an avowed public supporter of the "surge."

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