Holy Shi’ite!


In Oceania, more rumbles about war with Iran.

Cheney to the people of Oceania: “You’ve got to go where the oil is. I don’t worry about it a lot.”


Laugh if you want at the possibility of an attack on Iran by Israel or the U.S. or both, but even more American families may be crying in their biers.

The Guardian (U.K.) says this morning that Dick Cheney is winning an internal White House battle on whether to go to war with Iran. Under the headline “Cheney Pushes Bush to Act on Iran,” Ewen MacAskill and Julian Borger write:

The balance in the internal White House debate over Iran has shifted back in favour of military action before President George Bush leaves office in 18 months, the Guardian has learned.

The shift follows an internal review involving the White House, the Pentagon and the state department over the last month. Although the Bush administration is in deep trouble over Iraq, it remains focused on Iran. A well-placed source in Washington said: “Bush is not going to leave office with Iran still in limbo.” . . .

The vice-president, Dick Cheney, has long favoured upping the threat of military action against Iran. He is being resisted by the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, and the defence secretary, Robert Gates.

The Vise President is of course the real power of the White House (“Cheney as Furor,” June 25). And there have been other signs of such a mad move, as I noted July 13 (“A Different ‘Gut Feeling’: Israel Attacking Iran”).

Martin Gensler, a former aide to the late, great Paul Wellstone, tried to restore my sanity by chiding me for mere speculation. Yes, there’s more than a whiff of conspiracy theorizing and paranoia at work here, but others, including Seymour Hersh, have written about the possibility of our attacking oil-rich Iran.

Don’t forget that Bush’s pappy has deep ties with Saudi Arabia, the home of Sunni Muslims, and that Iran is ruled by the Sunnis’ bitter enemies, the Shi’ite Muslims. We’ll go far to protect such Sunni regimes as Saudi Arabia and the booming United Arab Emirates. And Cheney has a lot at stake personally. For most of the Bush regime, Cheney’s been literally on the payroll of Halliburton, which is moving its headquarters to Dubai. You have to protect your investments.

In any case, haven’t we always been at war with Iran? The winners supposedly get to write the history, and aren’t we winning the war in Iraq?

Paul Craig Roberts, the Reagan-loving economist who’s a stout critic of the Iraq war, examines that point this morning on in “A Free Press or a Ministry of Truth?,” with the help of Orwell, and also riffs on the creepy idea of a war with Iran:

In recent weeks Americans have been fed a series of reports from official sources that Iran is arming both Iraqi insurgents and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Experts, both within the government and without, who have been made more attentive by the Bush Regime’s false charges of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, have disputed the news reports.

But the reports keep on coming. As I write, the latest story is that the U.S. military “discovered a field of rocket launchers near a U.S. Army base south of Baghdad armed with 34 Iranian-made missiles.” Can you imagine? The insurgents went to the trouble of lugging powerful missiles within striking distance of a U.S. base and just left them there unfired to be discovered by the Americans. To further serve Cheney’s plan to attack Iran, the media report states: “Earlier this month, U.S. commanders stepped up the charges [against Iran], claiming that senior leaders of Iran’s special forces and of the Lebanese Shi’ite Hezbollah militia have trained Iraqi fighters and provided other support.”

Notice that none of the explanations fed to Americans over the years have ever mentioned, even as a faint possibility, that the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq might be the cause of the violence in Iraq.

Applying the principles of Ingsoc in a doubleplusgood way, the Students for an Orwellian Society (SOS) try to make things clear, at least when it comes to the current war:

War Is Peace

Oceania (commonly called the US and Britain) is at war with Afghanistan Iraq.

Oceania has always been at war with Afghanistan Iraq.

Actually, there are a couple of problems with that. We’re at war with both of them. And we’re more like Freedonia than Oceania.

Fifty-one years before 1984, Zeppo‘s big brother, Groucho, proudly proclaimed that Freedonia was “Land of the Spree and the Home of the Knave.”