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England Planting Its Head In the Sand

John on June 16, 2007 at 10:50 pm

This topic has already been kicked around here recently, so I know it’s not going to garner agreement. That’s okay. It’s still the most important issue of the day.

The London Times has a column titled Why We Must Break With the American Crazies. Author Anatoly Kaletsky, it seems to me, has drawn nearly all the wrong conclusions from Iraq and is now planting his head firmly in the sand on Iran:

What people are talking about in America is not whether the invasion of Iraq was legally or morally justified but why it went so disastrously wrong and whether the same blundering fanatics will launch another catastrophic military adventure, most likely a bombing campaign against Iran, to distract attention from failure in Iraq.

Yes there are indeed people in America talking about “false flag” operations and secret plans for strikes on Iran (remember operation sting?). We call those people liberals or in some cases paranoiacs. Anatole should have talked to someone a bit more stable.

the neoconservative ideologues who still run the Bush Administration have nothing left to lose politically – and in their fevered imaginations they still think they could inflict military defeat on the “Islamofascists” in what they now see as an even greater historical confrontation than the Cold War.

I love how “Islamofascists” is in quotes, as if it’s dubious whether such people really exist. Is this a greater confrontation than the Cold War? Time will tell, but I’d be willing to argue it’s as big. This is a war on Western civilization which, from the perspective of the jihadists, has been going on since 700AD. With the introduction of nuclear arms into the equation, we either win or go home.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the UN nuclear inspectorate, came out with a strikingly undiplomatic public statement, giving warning that “crazies in Washington” now seemed to be planning to repeat the Iraq disaster by attacking Iran.

ElBaradei is having about as much success negotiating with the Iranians as the rest of the world. We’ve seen this before with North Korea. It ends with a boom.

As for other motivations for attacking Iran, could it be the hundreds of deadly EFP attacks on our soldiers funded directly by Iran? The smuggling of $20K sniper rifles into Iraq? The kidnapping of British and American soldiers by members of Quds force? Could it be the threat to wipe Israel off the map? At what point does attacking Iran stop being a “crazy” idea and start to sound like sensible self defense?

As the anarchy in Iraq goes from bad to worse and Washington’s only answer is to expand the circle of its aggression, clichés about the special relationship are no longer sufficient. Mr Brown must decide whether to remain a silent but active partner in this madness, whether to retreat quietly like the Italians, Poles and Spaniards…

Here’s a clue Anatole, the circle of aggression was expanded by Iran prior to our invasion of Iraq. They have been working to undermine our efforts literally since day 1. Expanding the circle of aggression is a good thing when you’re getting shot by someone pretending not to be a party to the conflict.

As for the Spaniards, I think we know why they and much of the rest of Europe retreated quietly. It was fear. Fear in the wake of the Madrid bombings. Fear that Poland or Italy might be next. Cowardice is not a stand on principle (except perhaps in France).

…or to develop a third and genuinely courageous option. This is to positively forestall further disasters by breaking publicly with the Bush Administration and trying to develop a genuine European alternative to the suicidal American-led policies, not only in Iraq, but also in Israel, Palestine and Iran.

Run away. That’s the courageous European alternative? Tell George Bush to stick it. That’ll fix everything. Well, first you might want to take a look at how retreat is working out for Israel. They retreated from Gaza and their most extreme enemies (backed by Iran) have now taken the territory. It certainly doesn’t seem to be leading to peace.

The “Islamofascists” aren’t going to settle down and play nice because you decide to run off from their current wave of attacks in Iraq. Retreat will surely embolden the real crazies, the ones Anatole Kaletsky and his readers should be worried about.

Added: Here’s one more nation whose future rests on the decisions made by the US and Britain.

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