Sunday, February 11, 2007
the sacred and the profane: both lie in your domain:
A few weeks ago, I found myself drunkenly arguing with a conservative journalist about the wisdom of a war with Iran. It didn't go well for me. The unshakable response went roughly as follows: It's not us declaring war on them. They have declared war on us. They attack our troops. Your position amounts to requiring soldiers in a firefight to check the nationalities of their assailants before returning fire; and so you have reached absurdity. Victory is mine.

Perhaps you find this less than compelling, yet with today's long-delayed briefing into the extent of Iranian malediction in Iraq, expect us to move from the Age of the IED and enter the Age of the EFP. It's significant that the Bush administration chose to make the unveiling of the case against Iran occur outside of Washington and outside of civilian clothes, but no less obfuscatory.

The reasons why tensions are mounting against Iran have exactly nothing with Explosively Formed Penetrators and everything to do with much, much larger strategic concerns. But the Bush administration isn't making the case it believes, which, according to Condoleezza Rice, is that Iran is the source of instability in the region and must be confronted and made to stop. Instead, it's presenting the proposition that Iran has already attacked us -- precisely in order to put its opponents in the trap of arguing against what one official at today's briefing termed "force protection." This isn't a rationale the administration isn't presenting; it is a casus belli. It's the new WMD argument -- the proximate cause that, in Paul Wolfowitz's words, the bureaucracy can agree upon for public consumption, rather than the substantive rationale for war.
--Spencer Ackerman
The Defense officials presenting that evidence of Iranian EFPs insisted upon anonymity, which, to me, makes this presentation not so much a brick in a casus belli as a journalist-abetted shot across Iran's bow.
Blogger Marilee Scott | 11:08 PM