FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

What Was Bush Thinking?

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

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).

Weekend Edition
November 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jonah Raskin
A California Jew in a Time of Anti-Semitism
Andrew Levine
Whither the Melting Pot?
Joshua Frank
Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty
Nick Pemberton
The Revolution’s Here, Please Excuse Me While I Laugh
T.J. Coles
Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza
Rob Urie
Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America
Paul Street
Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fire is Sweeping Our Very Streets Today
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s New President, Other European Fools and the Abyss 
Pete Dolack
“Winners” in Amazon Sweepstakes Sure to be the Losers
Richard Eskow
Amazon, Go Home! Billions for Working People, But Not One Cent For Tribute
Ramzy Baroud
In Breach of Human Rights, Netanyahu Supports the Death Penalty against Palestinians
Brian Terrell
Ending the War in Yemen- Congressional Resolution is Not Enough!
John Laforge
Woolsey Fire Burns Toxic Santa Susana Reactor Site
Ralph Nader
The War Over Words: Republicans Easily Defeat the Democrats
M. G. Piety
Reading Plato in the Time of the Oligarchs
Rafael Correa
Ecuador’s Soft Coup and Political Persecution
Brian Cloughley
Aid Projects Can Work, But Not “Head-Smacking Stupid Ones”
David Swanson
A Tale of Two Marines
Robert Fantina
Democrats and the Mid-Term Elections
Joseph Flatley
The Fascist Creep: How Conspiracy Theories and an Unhinged President Created an Anti-Semitic Terrorist
Joseph Natoli
Twitter: Fast Track to the Id
William Hawes
Baselines for Activism: Brecht’s Stance, the New Science, and Planting Seeds
Bob Wing
Toward Racial Justice and a Third Reconstruction
Ron Jacobs
Hunter S. Thompson: Chronicling the Republic’s Fall
Oscar Gonzalez
Stan Lee and a Barrio Kid
Jack Rasmus
Election 2018 and the Unraveling of America
Sam Pizzigati
The Democrats Won Big, But Will They Go Bold?
Yves Engler
Canada and Saudi Arabia: Friends or Enemies?
Cesar Chelala
Can El Paso be a Model for Healing?
Mike Ferner
The Tragically Misnamed Paris Peace Conference
Barry Lando
Trump’s Enablers: Appalling Parallels
Ariel Dorfman
The Boy Who Taught Me About War and Peace
Binoy Kampmark
The Disgruntled Former Prime Minister
Faisal Khan
Is Dubai Really a Destination of Choice?
Arnold August
The Importance of Néstor García Iturbe, Cuban Intellectual
James Munson
An Indecisive War To End All Wars, I Mean the Midterm Elections
Nyla Ali Khan
Women as Repositories of Communal Values and Cultural Traditions
Dan Bacher
Judge Orders Moratorium on Offshore Fracking in Federal Waters off California
Christopher Brauchli
When Depravity Wins
Robby Sherwin
Here’s an Idea
Susan Block
Cucks, Cuckolding and Campaign Management
Louis Proyect
The Mafia and the Class Struggle (Part Two)
David Yearsley
Smoke on the Water: Jazz in San Francisco
Elliot Sperber
All of Those Bezos
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail