Casus Belli Up
Somehow, the name Seymour Hersh and the word "rejection" are two things that should never be in the same sentence. Yet, this is what happened when Hersh tried to get his employer, The New Yorker, to publish a piece in which his usual impeccable sources told him this amazing story.
I'm sure that there isn't a single reader of this blog who's forgotten about the Iranian PT boat "incident" that could've easily become the Gulf of Tonkin II. Frustrated that nothing came of it, there was a meeting held in the White House presided over by Cheney. During this meeting, some tactical genius advanced the idea that we build in our shipyards vessels that resembled Iranian PT boats, load them up with Navy SEALs and...
...I can't even finish the sentence. Just watch the video. This is the part of Hersh's story that was rejected because these dozen or so harebrained schemes were also rejected. The blood, no foul, said the New Yorker editorial staff.
However, it's not nearly good enough for me that this idea during the Cheney meeting was ultimately rejected. The very thought that a neocon would even dare think of something like this, much less advance the idea at a high-level meeting at the White House...
The fact that someone in our government, and I can perfectly imagine Cheney himself advancing the idea, would think to put Navy SEALs in harm's way, practically guaranteeing their deaths so we can have our war with Iran makes me quiver with rage in so many ways and on so many levels. They would've killed members of our armed forces in yet another ginned-up rationale in going to war with yet another country, a war that they cannot even legitimately start. And it would've been cynically timed to coincide with Bush's visit to the Middle East.
What I cannot understand is what Hersh is talking about when he claims that Americans would have been in favor of retaliation against Iran. I don't number myself among this phantom demographic and I imagine that I could speak for a large percentage of my fellow liberals in saying that it would've taken one mother of an attack in order to get me to sign on for another Bush war in another oil-rich Persian Gulf nation.
It's complete, ladies and gentlemen. Our seat of government has finally become like the war room in Dr. Strangelove, a room full of madmen who have to have their war no matter what, even if our perceived enemies will not be obligingly belligerent.
Even if Kevin Drum hadn't have thought of this, I would've:
"The U.S. was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in U.N. colours," the memo says, attributing the idea to Mr. Bush. "If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach."
Number one question: Why hasn't this government been impeached en masse and why is the New Yorker, of all places, providing interference for Cheney's office for seriously proposing the killing of Navy SEALs to illegitimately provoke a war with yet another oil-rich country just because it was rejected?