FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

What Was Bush Thinking?

by DAVE LINDORFF

 

With President Bush, it’s a bit like those old Clairol ads. You find yourself asking, “Does he or doesn’t he?” But instead of using hair coloring, you’re wondering if he thinks before he opens his pretzel trap.

Iran’s recent election is a case in point. Right on the eve of the first round of voting, when it looked like the most mainstream, secularist candidate, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, would win against several other much more conservative candidates, Bush jumped into the fray, calling the Iranian election a sham, and urging Iranians to vote for Rafsanjani.

At that point, a very predictable thing happened in a country that has suffered mightily over the years thanks to a CIA-backed coup that overthrew its elected democratic government and installed the hated Shah Reza Pahlevi–people who had not intended to vote came out enmasse, and handed a victory to the most anti-American candidate on the ballot, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the pro-cleric mayor of Tehran.

Of course there were many domestic reasons for people to vote for Ahmadinejad, who among other things promised both a better economy than the reformist current president Mohammed Khatami had delivered, and a restoration of Iran’s greatness. But certainly no small number of Iranian voters were brought out and encouraged to vote for Ahmadinejad by anger at Bush for his interference in their election and for his sleight of their country.

On its face, this was a truly stupid move by Bush. But I wonder. Was he being stupid like a fox?

We know the president wants another war. The one in Iraq is going badly, and he’d clearly like another one to divert attention from the mess he created there. Iran would be just fine for that purpose–especially if he confined his attacks against Iran to just aerial bombardment, killing Iranians with minimal US casualties.

And what better way to get a war going against Iran than to get the most anti-American candidate possible elected to the country’s presidency?

With a modicum of care and good luck, he could manage to have goad Iran into some pretext and have US attacks on the country start just at the height of the 2006 off-year congressional election campaign, and then use jingoism as he did in 2002 to win even more Republican House and Senate seats.

I hope I’m wrong. The Bush administration, with the connivance of most of the Democrats in Congress, have caused enough death and suffering already. But this administration is so craven, and it is in such political hot water in Iraq now, that I’m quite ready to believe this was all stage managed–if not by Bush himself, then by his coterie of neocon advisers.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

February 21, 2017
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
Finance as Warfare: the IMF Lent to Greece Knowing It Could Never Pay Back Debt
CJ Hopkins
Goose-stepping Our Way Toward Pink Revolution
John Wight
Firestarter: the Unwelcome Return of Tony Blair
Roger Harris
Lenin Wins: Pink Tide Surges in Ecuador…For Now
Shepherd Bliss
Japanese American Internment Remembered, as Trump Rounds Up Immigrants
Boris Kagarlitsky
Trump and the Contradictions of Capitalism
Robert Fisk
The Perils of Trump Addiction
Deepak Tripathi
Theresa May: Walking the Kingdom Down a Dark Alley
Sarah Anderson
To Save Main Street, Tax Wall Street
Howard Lisnoff
Those Who Plan and Enjoy Murder
Franklin Lamb
The Life and Death Struggle of the Children of Syria
Binoy Kampmark
A Tale of Two Realities: Trump and Israel
Kim C. Domenico
Body and Soul: Becoming Men & Women in a Post-Gender Age
Mel Gurtov
Trump, Europe, and Chaos
Stephen Cooper
Steinbeck’s Road Map For Resisting Donald Trump
February 20, 2017
Bruce E. Levine
Humiliation Porn: Trump’s Gift to His Faithful…and Now the Blowback
Melvin Goodman
“Wag the Dog,” Revisited
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima: a Lurking Global Catastrophe?
David Smith-Ferri
Resistance and Resolve in Russia: Memorial HRC
Kenneth Surin
Global India?
Norman Pollack
Fascistization Crashing Down: Driving the Cleaver into Social Welfare
Patrick Cockburn
Trump v. the Media: a Fight to the Death
Susan Babbitt
Shooting Arrows at Heaven: Why is There Debate About Battle Imagery in Health?
Matt Peppe
New York Times Openly Promotes Formal Apartheid Regime By Israel
David Swanson
Understanding Robert E. Lee Supporters
Michael Brenner
The Narcissism of Donald Trump
Martin Billheimer
Capital of Pain
Thomas Knapp
Florida’s Shenanigans Make a Great Case for (Re-)Separation of Ballot and State
Jordan Flaherty
Best Films of 2016: Black Excellence Versus White Mediocrity
Weekend Edition
February 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
David Price
Rogue Elephant Rising: The CIA as Kingslayer
Matthew Stevenson
Is Trump the Worst President Ever?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Flynn?
John Wight
Brexit and Trump: Why Right is Not the New Left
Diana Johnstone
France: Another Ghastly Presidential Election Campaign; the Deep State Rises to the Surface
Neve Gordon
Trump’s One-State Option
Roger Harris
Emperor Trump Has No Clothes: Time to Organize!
Joan Roelofs
What Else is Wrong with Globalization
Andrew Levine
Why Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban?
Mike Whitney
Blood in the Water: the Trump Revolution Ends in a Whimper
Vijay Prashad
Trump, Turmoil and Resistance
Ron Jacobs
U.S. Imperial War Personified
David Swanson
Can the Climate Survive Adherence to War and Partisanship?
Andre Vltchek
Governor of Jakarta: Get Re-elected or Die!
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Destruction of Mosul
Norman Pollack
Self-Devouring Reaction: Governmental Impasse
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail