These Are Not The Right Leaders

The Newark Star-Ledger’s chief political correspondent tries out the “can’t trust this bunch to run a pig farm much less a war” narrative:

Trouble is, the Bushies don’t seem to know how to orchestrate the mix of diplomatic pressure, economic sanctions, military threats and — but only finally — force. For example, they seem hell-bent on repeating the mistake they made in Iraq of not waiting for the International Atomic Energy Agency to reach a judgment on Iran’s nuclear capacities and intentions.

It may be seen as surprising that the voices of reason and restraint in this Iran question, as Hersh reports it, are the generals. But it shouldn’t be. After all, it was George Washington who warned against the dangers of a standing peacetime army, and Dwight Eisenhower who alerted us to the danger of the military-industrial complex. Having seen it, they know the horror of war.

And what about the neocons, our home-front heroes — Cheney, Rumsfeld, the civilians they’ve recruited like Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz and Stephen Hadley — who orchestrated the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war and foreign regime change?

They should never again be allowed anywhere near the instruments and agencies of the American government.

I have to say, having run through a few different ideas for talking points on Iran with people over the past week, I’m the most fond of this one. It’s nice and simple, it keeps the focus on the incompetence, it ties in the ongoing Miserable Failure in Iraq, and does it all without minimizing the threat Iran possesses, a threat we ignored, by the way, while we fecked off adventuring toward Baghdad.