Aside from the boorishness of discussing more war with bread crumbs all over your chin, Bush’s pathetic simplification of our relationship with Iran–in a monologue he calls "strategic thinking"–is pretty alarming, even coming from Bush.
"The job of the president," he continued, through an ample wad of breadand sausage, "is to think strategically so that you can accomplish bigobjectives. As opposed to playing mini-ball. You can’t play mini-ballwith the influence we have and expect there to be peace. You’ve gottathink, think BIG. The Iranian issue," he said as bread crumbs tumbledout of his mouth and onto his chin, "is the strategic threat right nowfacing a generation of Americans, because Iran is promoting an extremeform of religion that is competing with another extreme form ofreligion. Iran’s a destabilizing force. And instability in that part ofthe world has deeply adverse consequences, like energy falling in thehands of extremist people that would use it to blackmail the West. Andto couple all of that with a nuclear weapon, then you’ve got adangerous situation. … That’s what I mean by strategic thought.
Okay. The Iranian issue is the strategic threat facing this generation of Americans. As opposed to, say, China? Because, while I don’t advocate bombing the shit out of either of them, I guarantee you that China’s rise is a much more direct threat to the American way of life than Iran is right now.
And Bush’s reason for focusing on Iran is truly disconcerting.
Iran is promoting an extremeform of religion that is competing with another extreme form ofreligion.
First of all, what is the "another extreme form of religion" that Bush has in mind? I presume he’s referring to Sunni Islamic fundamentalism, and not, say, Christian Dominionism or heavily-armed but usually moderate Israeli Judaism. But if I’m right, then why does he see the solution to this clash to be a focus on Iran? I mean, aren’t the Sunni extremists the ones who attacked us? Why then, when that threat is still pressing, does Bush see Iran as the generational threat here?
The answer, of course, comes at the end of that sentence.
like energy falling in thehands of extremist people that would use it to blackmail the West.
The Sunni extremists may have been the ones who attacked us. But their country, Saudi Arabia, aren’t about to blackmail us, or at least Dick has told Bush his buddy Bandar won’t do so.
Can we please start pointing out the implications of this clearly? In this passage, Bush all but concedes the War on Terror in favor of the War on Energy States that Don’t Like Us. And I think it high time to note–before the next war starts–that we’ve given up fighting the WOT a long time ago.