Saturday, September 22, 2007

The debate about whether or not Bush is likely to attack Iran

Bloggers are starting to weigh in on whether or not they think Steve Clemons is right when he explains why Why Bush Won't Attack Iran at, which I posted about here, followed by another post expressing my doubts that Clemons is right because of Cheney’s and the neoconservatives’ influence on Bush.

However, Jim Lobe knows a lot more than I do. He’s the Washington Bureau Chief of the international news agency Inter Press Service. He has also written for Foreign Policy In Focus,, Alternet,, Asia Times, and other internet news publications. Lobe is best known for his stiff criticism of U.S. foreign policy, American militarism and particularly the neo-conservatives, their worldview, their relationship to other political tendencies, and their influence in the Bush administration.

On September 20th, Lobe posted Notes on Clemons' Salon Analysis. Apparently he’s also Steve Clemons’s friend since they went backpacking together in the Pacific Northwest this summer. I don’t think that affects his objectivity.

Here’s what he has to say about Clemons’ post: “I think Steve’s analysis, which should be read carefully and in full, is very sound, although I’m not quite as persuaded as he appears to be that Bush fully understands or absorbs some of the potential costs of a military attack.”

Lobe adds some of his observations and concerns, which are well worth reading. Lobe stresses the influence Cheney exerts over Bush: “I agree very much with Pat Lang’s analysis of Steve’s article in which acknowledges that Steve’s ‘discussion of the ongoing argument within policy circles …is reasonably accurate,’ but that ‘it is also irrelevant (because) (o)nly the decider will decide. He will decide with the help and advice of his pal, ‘just plain Dick,’ … [emphasis mine]

“Moreover, his [Cheney’s] neo-conservative backers, who have been pre-occupied for the past three months with ensuring that the Surge not be compromised by Congress, have yet to launch the kind of orchestrated campaign that led up to the Iraq war….Obviously, some seeds have already been planted – although not yet systematically cultivated — over the last two months…. With the Surge debate out of the way, I expect that those seeds to be vigorously watered and fertilized.”

(photo: Stanford Blog)

No comments: