It’s probably just that I’ve got my tinfoil hat on too tight, but I find myself wondering if ginning up a war with Iran is part of a strategy for getting out of Iraq. The occupation is a political disaster for the administration, and the President has to know that, even if he can’t bring himself to admit that anything is wrong. He’s painted himself into a corner where he can’t withdraw substantial numbers of troops without being accused of flip-flopping and provoking the wrath of his base. But what if the troops were simply redeployed to counter a new “grave and gathering threat”, i.e. Iran? It wouldn’t be cutting and running, it’d be a strategic redeployment in the fight against Islamic fascism. It also neatly solves most of the “what army” question Tim poses. Bush can simultaneously remove the Iraqi monkey from his back and take advantage of a new round of fear-mongering and patriotic fervor as everyone rallies around the flag in the run up to war. Plus, his speechwriters have to do a minimum of editing, just change the “q” to an “n” and they can reuse their tried and true material. Normally I’d think that this sounds crazy (because it is), but I wouldn’t put much past the administration at this stage. I suspect Bush can see his presidency circling the drain, and is desperate to rescue it. I can see him thinking that this would be a gamble worth taking in hopes of salvaging his legacy as remaker of the Middle East.
-commenter Larv 0n Balloon Juice