"This is the excellent foppery of the world;" this is the insanity that we live under today.
The Bush Administration is supposedly frantic with worry that Iran is about to develop nuclear weapons. A nuclear-armed Iran would be an intolerable threat to U.S. national security – we are told; it would put millions of innocent lives at risk in Israel, Europe and – very,very soon – the United States itself. Why, it's fair to say the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran is absolutely, positively the very worst thing that could happen in the world today, short of Osama bin Laden turning up in the Oval Office with an H-bomb strapped around his waist.
Now, if you really believed this to be the case, what would be the logical response? Right – you would sit down with the Iranians, talk face to face with them, negotiate and try to defuse the threat. Just as American officials did for decades with the Soviets, who really did have a nuclear arsenal. But what is the Bush Gang's response to this ostensibly overwhelming, allegedly imminent threat? An absolute, adamant refusal to talk directly to Iran about the situation.
So says Nicholas Burns, the career diplomat turned War Party mouthpiece at the State Department. Burns is spearheading the U.S. effort to draw up a draconian Security Council resolution that, in the time-honored fashion, will present Iran with impossible terms transparently designed to produce a rejection, after which the usual comic hijinks with bombs, missiles and mass death will ensue.
Bushman Burns is using Iran's rejection of an informal Security Council request that it stop its entirely legal enrichment of uranium as the trigger for a new, formal ultimatum. He's got lapdog Britain and gadfly France on board – France having no oil contracts with Iran, unlike the lucrative pacts with Saddam that undergirded Paris' heroic resistance to the last Bush-beating for aggressive war in the Middle East.
"The Security Council has no option now but to proceed under Chapter 7," Burns said today, referring not to the U.S. bankruptcy laws (wonder what chapter covers moral bankruptcy?), but to the UN article that makes resolutions compulsory and "opens the way to sanctions or even military action," as the NYT reports. So we are practically at DEFCON 1 already, despite the recent assurance from Bush's own intelligence googily-moogily, John Negroponte, that Iran is many years away from developing a nuclear weapon – that is, if they are trying to develop a nuclear weapon in the first place, an assumption for which there is no hard evidence whatsoever, and which would fly in the face of the very public fatwa against developing a nuclear weapon promulgated by Iran's supreme leader, the Ayatollah Khamanei, who actually controls the nation's nuclear program and its armed forces – not the useful idiot, President Ahmadinejad, whose bellicose comments, bad enough on their own, are wildly distorted and mistranslated in the Western press for maximum scaremongering effect.
But none of this matters. What matters is that the world be pushed to the edge of a cliff as soon as possible, teetering on the brink of a brand new war guaranteed to usher in an era of bloodshed and chaos unseen on a global level since 1945. Then and only then will the proper atmosphere of panic, dread and outright extortion be created – the only atmosphere in which the Bush Regime can revive its sagging political fortunes and thrive anew. And that's why Errand Boy Burns rejected the frantic pleas of European diplomats for the United States to hold direct talks with Iran. No, no, no, said Burns: "isolation, not engagement, is the only acceptable approach," as the NYT reports.
It is the only acceptable approach because it is the only approach that will produce an acceptable result for the Bush Faction: i.e., the imminent threat of war with Iran. What Burns means is that we cannot have direct talks with Iran, because that could lead to negotiations, and negotiations could lead to…peace. And peace don't feed the bulldog.