Not So Quiet on the Third Front
By Dana Milbank Thursday, July 3, 2008; A03
At this rate, the October Surprise won't be very surprising.
The threats, counterthreats, and counter-counterthreats between Israel, Iran and the United States have reached new levels of hysteria in recent days. Israel openly threatens to attack Iran's nuclear program, Iran threatens to shut down oil-shipping lanes, and the commander of the U.S. fleet in the Persian Gulf, Vice Adm. Kevin Cosgriff, says this would be an "act of war" requiring an American military response.
Mullen, just back from a trip to Israel that further raised speculation about an Israeli attack, was asked whether Cosgriff's saber rattling would raise tensions with Iran.
. . . Neither did the State Department offer discouragement. Spokesman Sean McCormack, at his daily briefing, said the matter of an Israeli strike isn't "under our control." When it was pointed out that the U.S. controls Iraqi airspace, through which Israeli warplanes would travel to hit Iran, McCormack declined to answer a "hypothetical question involving military planning."
Dana Milbank is one of the few remaining reasons to bother picking up a copy of the Washington Post. His take on the current White House is fair, accurate, occasionally humorous in an administration that doesn't provide much humor unless the pres is actually speaking.
David Addington, often referred to as "Cheney's Cheney" is currently the most dangerous of the neocons left standing and he's determined to tie an Iranian strike around the neck of the next president.
There are four months to go. The CENTCOM commander (Adm. William Fallon) who judged an Iranian strike to be needless idiocy and a further destruction of our already thin military has been bounced. Now, it remains the goal of Dick Cheney, The Prince of Darkness, to goad Israel into doing what (probably) cannot be done by Bush.
Israel, it's infallibility badly bruised by its recent foray into Lebanon, should know better. But knowing better doesn't often show up in the countdown when strong nations have their weaknesses publicly displayed. My-old-man can lick your-old-man is still potent stuff in schoolyards and governments.
The only body politic with no control, no power, no credibility and no interest in sticking its too-close-to-election neck out is the witless, gutless, criminally corrupt Congress of the United States.