I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

On deck chairs and hull breaches

George W. Bush has been under pressure on many fronts to make some changes. Well they have made some changes without really making any. The New York Times explains.
It's too soon to say how history will judge this administration, but it does look as if the first thing this president will be remembered for is the disastrous way the war in Iraq was conducted under Donald Rumsfeld, who, of course, isn't going anywhere. If there's a second thing we think history will shake its head over, it's the administration's cavalier disregard for the civil liberties of American citizens and the human rights of American prisoners. Needless to say, nobody's being replaced at the Justice Department.
So we have a new paint job on the same old wreck. The individuals who are responsible for the troubles of the administration, the country and the world are not going anywhere. Now we all know by now that George W. Bush will not take responsibility for anything and never has. The current reshuffling is just another example.
The sudden exit of Scott McClellan, the press secretary, would be meaningless under normal circumstances. But in the current context, it really does send an important message. The president is like one of those people who pretend to apologize by saying they're sorry if they were misunderstood. He doesn't believe he's done anything wrong. It's our fault for not appreciating him.

Blame the victim.
Well the polls would indicate that the victim is getting tired of being blamed so don't expect the new arrangement of deck chairs will stop the water coming through the breach in the hull.

So what's next? Mark Morford has a scary idea.
Chips down, Bush prepares a Hail Mary bet
What is the Hail Mary bet you ask?
But this time, try to make it serious. Do not rule out the use of tactical nuclear weapons. Do not rule out another massive air strike, ground troops, special forces, a strategy so intense it makes Iraq look like a jog in the park. Think of yourself as creating a masterful legacy, going down in history as the guy who "saved" the world from Iran's nukes while protecting American oil interests. Yes? Can you smell the oily sanctimony in the air? Is God speaking to you again, telling you to damn the torpedoes and kill more Muslims? You are the chosen one, after all.

Sound far-fetched? Don't think even Bush could be capable of using nukes to slap Iran? Perish the thought. All reports from underground White House sources -- most notably by way of Sy Hersh's horrifying report in a recent New Yorker -- indicate that Dubya and his remaining team of war-happy flying monkeys have been secretly laying out plans to attack Iran for months, possibly including the use of tactical nuclear weapons to get at those deep Iranian bunkers, all because Iran just celebrated its entrance into the world's "nuclear club" by finally enriching some uranium for the first time. Cookies all around!

No matter that most analysts say that Iran is far from being a true threat, that a nuclear Iran is at least a good decade away, if not longer. No matter that 10 years is a good long time to work on ways to force Iran out of the game -- via negotiation, diplomacy, sanctions -- without unleashing another river of never-ending violence.

With Bush in power, there is no waiting. There is no thought of avoiding another hideous war at all costs. To the Bush hawks, diplomacy is a failed joke. Negotiation is for intellectuals and tofu pacifists. In the Dubya worldview, the planet is a roiling cauldron of nasty threats, crammed with terrorists and hateful Muslims and foreign demons suddenly growling on our doorstep when, curiously, they really weren't there before he stumbled into power. Amazing how that works.

It is now seven months before what could be a radically influential congressional election, a vote that could very well give power back to the Democrats, who will (with any luck) waste no time launching a number of long-overdue investigations into Bush's failed war and the various scandals and lies and fiscal abuses that led us all here.

For Dubya, now is the time. One last, desperate gamble. Slam that last drink, scrunch up your face, screw the rules and let the bombs fly. What, you don't think he could do it? Don't think a nuclear attack on Iran is possible? You haven't looked into the tiny, ink-black eyes of Dick Cheney lately. You haven't seen Rumsfeld's arrogant sneer, seen Bush looking confused and lost, wondering where all his "capital" went, desperately hunting for a legacy and finding only irresponsibility and self-righteousness and death.

But hell, as we already know, that's good enough for him.
So, is Bush crazy and desperate enough to do it? I haven't seen anything that would indicate that he's not.

It's official, The hull is breached

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