Thursday, December 06, 2007

The US' Credibility Nose Dive

Today my courage failing as the bills replace the lines
That used to give me so much hope for stories to survive
Today I felt like dying as I read those lines again
Apocalypse or jubilee, I just want to see the end
--King Cobb Steelie

It's taken a couple of days to shake out, but the verdict is in. The National Intelligence Estimate on Iran has shown what any reader of Iraq War II literature already knew: The Administration trends towards emphasizing its own specific pieces of information and elevates them in importance if it makes political sense.

The real question at this point is why? Cheney, it should be pointed out, was a very conservative member of the original war cabinet. In fact, all of his estimates of the pitfalls that the US would suffer as an occupier came to pass. (It's funny I say this as someone who orginally backed the war as a means towards an eventually democratic middle east, and if I was honest with myself, I'd say my optimism got the better of my more naturally cynical nature.)

It appears, as some have suggested, that the Cheney wing of the upper stratosphere of Langley's CIA HQ is at war with CIA and other agencies hell bent on not letting this admin use intelligence be reformed into a war drum. And this is the coup. The jig is up and the facade has again fallen - the administration has all but lost any remaining domestic or international political capital:
This just in: the Third World War has been cancelled. Iran, a founder member of the Axis of Evil, once deemed to be bent on world domination at the point of a nuclear weapon, turns out to have been about as threatening as a teddy bear. Well, an inoffensively named, non-Sudanese teddy bear, I should quickly emphasise.

There we were, all thinking that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian leader, was painstakingly fashioning a nuclear bomb to further his dreams of a new caliphate, when it turns out that he and the peace-loving mullahs of Tehran were actually busy beating their swords into ploughshares. That at least was the startling verdict of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, released to widespread shock on Monday.

The publication of this NIE may come to be regarded as a latterday, real-world, but timelier, equivalent of that famous graffito once scrawled on a bathroom wall: “Archduke Ferdinand Found Alive: First World War All a Big Mistake.”

It's over. The attention should turn from outward adventurism to introspection, which the Republicans are refusing to do at their peril.

And this is why Obama will win. Obama, I will predict right now, will win the nomination and the presidency.

Its not a longshot and its not a sureshot, but he's the face and the essence of change in the US, and really... Guiliani and friends will be no change at all.

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