This is an impor­tant ques­tion — because depend­ing on how well we remem­ber the run-​​up to Iraq in 2002, we’re going to be fac­ing a pretty stu­pid reflec­tion in, say, 2012.

The lat­est news is that Nicholas Burns, US Undersecretary of State, is claim­ing a link between Iran and the Taliban, in the form of inter­cepted Iranian arms ship­ments to Afghanistan.

There’s irrefutable evi­dence the Iranians are now doing this,” Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said on CNN.

The prob­lem is that he then goes on to try to form a link between the Iranian gov­ern­ment and Taliban support.

Why is that a prob­lem? For one thing, it’s an unfounded accu­sa­tion, and we’re cur­rently liv­ing with* the effects of believ­ing the last series of unfounded accu­sa­tions to come from Washington. I real­ize that the Moron in Chief is set­ting a piss-​​poor exam­ple of speak­ing only when cer­tain, not shoot­ing off at the lips, being hum­ble and avoid­ing idiotically-​​childish pos­tur­ing bravado, but I don’t think Bush’s drunken frat-​​boy behav­ior con­sti­tutes an excuse for the rest of DC to act like it’s had a brain extraction.

The other prob­lem with Burns’s claim, though, is that it’s implau­si­ble. Iran is in fact an Islamic nation, but it’s not exactly a theoc­racy, and it is con­sid­er­ably more demo­c­ra­tic than many nations in the region. There are even protest groups there which wouldn’t be per­mit­ted to exist in, say, a Taliban-​​controlled Afghanistan. So what pur­pose would be served by the Iranian gov­ern­ment delib­er­ately sup­port­ing a mil­i­tant group which would, if empow­ered in Iran, over­throw the very gov­ern­ment sup­port­ing it?

Now the obverse of this is: Why would US offi­cials lie or stretch the truth in order to get us embroiled in another stu­pid point­less war?

The answer is obvi­ous to any­one who’s famil­iar with apoc­a­lyp­tic Christian fun­da­men­tal­ist non­sense: The damned fools want to bring about their myth­i­cal Battle of Armageddon so their lit­tle god can descend from heaven.

Crazy, right?

Okay, so please sug­gest another expla­na­tion for the behav­ior of Bush and his under­lings. What other sen­si­ble expla­na­tion is there for this appar­ently irra­tional and frankly lunatic behav­ior? This inces­sant, bel­liger­ent need to ver­bally and lit­er­ally assault the ways of life in other, sov­er­eign nations?

The very best, most sen­si­ble thing that could have hap­pened would have been to sim­ply remain in Afghanistan after it was bombed, to spend sev­eral years rebuild­ing it, pos­si­bly occu­py­ing it — as we did with both Germany and Japan after WWII — to help it become a bas­tion of democ­racy and free­dom, to turn it into a show­piece of the Middle East, a nation rich with tech­nol­ogy, indus­try, healthy and happy cit­i­zens, and a voter base absolutely fer­vently in love with the US and its allies — a base which would be com­mit­ted to giv­ing the Taliban no foothold whatsoever.

Instead we desta­bi­lized the nation, allowed the Taliban plenty of places to pop up once more and have made opium Afghanistan’s prin­ci­pal export crop. And, for an encore, we con­tinue to ignore the prob­lems in Afghanistan — which we might still be able to fix, if we ask the rest of the world, politely, to please help — and instead try to pre­pare our nation to go to war on a third front.

A third front.

In all the years I’ve paid atten­tion to world pol­i­tics, all the years I’ve been con­cerned about some dimwit, back­ward fuck­ass coun­try start­ing World War Three, I never in my life imag­ined it might be the United States which would cause it.

Against what do we think we’re fighting?


* Or, in the case of 3,000+ of our boys and girls, dying with.


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