The Prisoner's Dilemma: Death Row Bush Gambles All on Iran

Josh Marshall makes sense about the coming war with Iran:

I've said this before. But perhaps it seems like hyperbole. So I'll say it again. The president's interests are now radically disjoined from the country's. We can handle a setback like Iraq. It really is a big disaster. But America will certainly surive it. President Bush -- in the sense of his legacy and historical record -- won't. It's all Iraq for him. And Iraq is all disaster. So, from his perspective (that is to say, through the prism of his interests rather than the country's -- which he probably can't separate) reckless gambits aimed at breaking out of this ever-tightening box make sense.

Think of it like this. He's a death row prisoner concocting a thousand-to-one plan to break out of prison. For him, those are good odds. The rest of us are doing three months for disorderly conduct. And he's trying to rope us into his harebrained scheme. Like I said, his interests are very different from ours.

Speak up. We're on the edge of the abyss.

For more on the abyss, see Untruth and Consequences: The Reality Behind Iran War Rhetoric.

IN MEMORIAM: On an unrelated note, I just wanted to add to the chorus of mourning at the death of Molly Ivins. I began reading her stuff in the 1980s, and she was a real inspiration. (That is to say, I ripped off bits of her style and attitude when writing my first political columns.) She was tough, hard-hitting, could be angry -- and got angrier as our political life darkened in these filthy Bush years -- but somehow held on to a basic humaneness, refusing to demonize or dehumanize even those whose sinister actions she condemned with such gusto and savage wit. Her death is a great loss to the national discourse.