Monday, June 30, 2008

Military Action in Iran

Dan Froomkin suggests that Dick Cheney may be trying to pick a fight with Iran before the Bush administration leaves office. I hope not, but it wouldn't surprise me either. I'm very happy to hear Defense Secretary Gates's reaction to this (at least his reaction communicated through a Democratic senator, off the record). Gates is quoted describing the consequences of military action in Iran during a luncheon with Democratic members of Congress:

'We'll create generations of jihadists, and our grandchildren will be battling our enemies here in America.'

How terrifying is that? I'm glad Gates seems to have his head screwed on straight - and apparently there are a lot of people over at the Pentagon that are adamantly opposed to the kind of covert provocation that Cheney is apparently encouraging. It got me thinking - if Obama won it would be great for him to hold onto Gates for a little while. I really like the guy - he's probably more supportive of the Iraq war than Obama or the electorate is, but since he's been in office he's probably the right person to manage any kind of withdraw - and that sort of consistency with the previous administration will probably help reassure people. It would be an affirmation of a non-"cut and run", non "Bush" defense policy. Not that Gates would have to stay on that long - clearly Obama should put his own man (or woman) in. But I really have a lot of respect for Gates.

Anyways - I didn't read Froomkin's whole article, but this one statement by Gates made me shiver.

1 comment:

Evan said...

Yeah, this is a terrifying possibility. Seymour Hersh has been writing essays in the New Yorker for some time about Bush's ambitions for Iran... here's the most recent one:

What's scary is that it sounds like Bush is really gunning to do something in Iran before he leaves office... I sure hope nothing stupid is done. Same with the NK situation now- we have this great news about agreements, and all we hear from the administration is grumbling and doubt. Of course there's room for realism when dealing with promises and agreements, but they seem intent on preserving the state of war that they've created, and preserving it for its own sake.