But like candy, there's always a price to pay for enjoying the sweetness. If I was a better writer, I'd extend this metaphor into something about a lack of teeth. I'm not a better writer. In the Bush-bashing case, it is a critique that focuses an entire system into a single man and then argues that a different single man would make everything better or at least get us headed back in the right direction. Except that Bush is simply a representative of a system and anyone else the system picks to represent it is simply a different face on the same body. In this case, the system is modern capitalism (and it's auxiliary cultural components of white supremacy and patriarchy). Changing the face is not enough: it's like giving a concentration camp a paint job. If that seems a bit strong, ask the Iraqis living under the gun.
So now the ugly ugly beast is waving its fangs over at Iran. Now, before I go any further, I don't think that the U.S. is going to invade Iran. I also know that there is dissent within the ruling class, personified in some instances by the Democratic Party, against the idea of invading Iran. This doesn't change our criticism one whit: first, the U.S. isn't going to invade Iran because the generals aren't morons. Iranian president Ahmadinejad can pretty much say to Bush's bullying "Yeah? You and what army?"
Besides that, the U.S. for all it's bluster doesn't invade countries that have a chance. Think back about the last two decades of U.S. invasions: Grenada and Panama. We used proxy armies to terrorize most of Latin America and I don't think they'd employ that strategy again in the middle east even if they could: remember Osama Bin Laden and his origins in Afghanistan. Yugoslavia and even the first Gulf war? Big coalitions. Not happening anytime soon on Iran. The U.S. is a rogue nation and a bully and, even if we're moving a bunch of big ships into the gulf, we all know that it's just bluster.
As for those Democrats in congress hedging and hawing about the idea of invading, if Iraq had gone smoother, they'd be right in line to invade. Their criticisms are about the strategy and not the goal.
Now let me go out on a real limb and advance an argument that I have and that I never thought I'd even think. I think Iran has a pretty convincing case on needing nukes to prevent war. Think about it and put yourself in Ahmadinejad's shoes. A few years ago, America's ruling regime announces three primary enemies: Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. Now you're Iran. Iraq obeys and disarms, lets the weapons inspectors in, and what does it get? Bombed, occupied, robbed, raped, and cut up. The U.S. installs its main architects of '80s Latin American Death Squad strategy, ferments strong ethnic rivalries, build a bunch of permanent bases, and starts stealing oil wholesale. North Korea? Disobeys and immediately ramps up production of a nuke. Even though the thing may not even work, what does the U.S. do? Whimper and insist on new negotiations. It's like an old Highlights Goofus and Gallant strip. Be honest: if you were Iran, who would you emulate?
Reagan wanted nukes and that sick scumbag should've been arrested. Ahmadinejad isn't even making the case, but I'd support it.
Where do the Liberal bloggers come in on this? I was reading "Crooks and Liars" the other day and they asked about Bush's Iran bluster: where's the evidence? Though they were channeling MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, they said it was the question everyone needs to be asking right now. Now they meant where is the evidence for Iran wanting to harm the U.S. This is the most psychotic response ever. If Ma Barker showed up at your door and said she needed help because there was a bank downtown that was threatening her, you wouldn't you ask for the evidence. The evidence is that Ma Barker has a history robbing banks. Now imagine that you happen to bump into Ma Barker in the bank mid-robbery and she says to you: "I know this doesn't look good, but we have to succeed, and the bank next door has been threatening me so we have to go there, too."
Iran is just another bank to these people and we have all the evidence we need: the war in Iraq is a crime on a barely imaginable scale, we need to have criminal prosecution of the criminals, and anyone who tries to change the subject to debating the legitimacy of Iran needs to be corrected sternly.