Through Salon I picked up this piece in today’s Guardian. In it, Simon Tisdall, the lynch-pin of the Guardian’s US election coverage speculates that:
The US charge sheet against Iran is lengthening almost by the day, presaging destabilising confrontations this autumn and maybe a pre-election October surprise.
and goes on to suggest that:
The US will ask a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency on September 13 to declare Iran in breach of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, a prelude to seeking punitive UN sanctions.
It’s an alarming article, not least as a result of the suggestion that Israel might strike pre-emptively against Iran if it is not satisfied that the West is being suitably harsh with the Iranian regime. I keep wondering how long it will be before I cease to be surprised that an administration that got their information so catastrophically wrong about Iraq’s supposed posession of weapons of mass destruction could be quite so aggressive again so soon.
It is said that western culture has forgotten history, that the United States leads the pack in its amnesia, but this administration seems almost more reminiscent of the lead character in Memento. It is fixated on a few simple plot points and lacks the ability to build new memories. That loss of memory leads to simplistic attempts to defend acts that are at best morally dubious, and for which defenses it lacks credibility.
Condi Rice is characteristically bullish, quoted saying
I think we’ve finally got the world community to a place, the IAEA to a place, that it is worried and suspicious. As Kari commented, the establishment of worry and suspicion is perhaps the one area where the current administration has succeeded, but that a statement like this should slip through seems a reminder of the continuing PR implosion of the Bush junta.
Of course the United States is not going to pursue military action against Iran any time soon. Even Donald Rumsfeld recognises that the military is too hard pressed fighting on two fronts (what can we expect from an Afghan presidential election with eighteen candidates?) to engage on a third. The loose canon is, as ever, Israel. They’re not averse to acting in isolation and to a backdrop of international condemnation. They are used to finding that condemnation to be so much posturing.