And Iran, Iran So Far Away...

American intelligence now suggests that nuclear warheads lobbed out of Iran using missile technology pose an imminent threat to targets within an 800 mile radius. We're talking as far south as Cairo, as far north as Warsaw, and as far east as Calcutta (three cities I'd like to visit someday, provided they don't have radioactive half-lives and roaches the size of a Volvo). The scenario also suggests that next-gen missiles will be able to carry these warheads almost 2,200 miles, which means a shit sandwich for supper in places like China, Russia, and the vast majority of Western Europe (including dutiful Great Britain).

Forgive my cynicism, but is this intelligence, or "intelligence?" Because the whole thing just seems too credible and too well timed.

The mouthpiece? The outbound Colin Powell, who is not only trusted implicitly even by most doves, but presumably has zilch to gain politically by trumping up a cassus belli and teeing up Junior's next goose hunt.

If I were a bastard cynic, I'd consider that perhaps the administration is floating a balloon to see how the notion of turning Teheran into a Wal-Mart will play in Topeka. They didn't produce any hard and actionable evidence, so it won't be hard to back down if it doesn't play. Then they can wait until this nation of "complacent patriots" forgets the painful lessons of Iraq -- as they inevitably will -- and off we'll go again.

But since I'm not a bastard cynic, I'll assume the intelligence is genuine. Which begs the question: why so late? Why did we take our eye off the b-...

Oh, yeah. Now I remember.


Blogger The Termite said...

Eric Alterman calls Powell's Iran gambit what it is: "a fitting end to a tragic failure."

Does anyone doubt that this man could have mopped the floor with Bush in the 2000 Republican primaries and gone on to trounce Al Gore in the generals? How is it possible not to imagine that he would have executed clearer, saner and stronger policies than the man-child he's "carried water" for (Alterman's words) for the last four years?

November 19, 2004 at 9:12 PM  
Blogger The Termite said...

For more of the same futile speculation, see Todd Purdum's article in this Sunday's NYT, "Imagining How Powell Might Still Have A Job."

November 21, 2004 at 3:58 PM  

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