Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Iran So Far Away

The political blogosphere is buzzing with news and information about the increasingly sharp confrontations between the U.S. and Iran, not only in Iraq and not only with guns. Riffing on a great Anthony Shahid article in the Washington Post, Josh Marshall has a good summary and editorial:

Over the last five years we've overthrown both governments and in each case, though to differing degrees, created a power vacuum into which the Iranians have been free to extend themselves. Read Shadid's narrative of events and you see that if the US government were in the pay of Iranian agents they would have been hard-pressed to find a series of actions and policies better crafted to increase Iranian prestige and power in the region and decrease ours. We took out hostile powers to their east and west and then took the regional hegemonic power -- i.e., us -- and weakened it dramatically, greatly enhancing, at least in relative terms, their power...

And here we come back to the recurring theme of the Bush presidency: the president's perverse effort to be the beneficiary of his own incompetence and policy disasters.

And Iran's power is waxing. And we're supposed to rely on the approach of the White House, the guys who created the terrible situation in the first place, to solve the consequences of their latest screw up. It's like a perpetual motion machine of calamity and self-justification.

And we're caught on the gears.