Yesterday, in front of yet another military audience, President Bush gave a speech about Iran that can only be described as extreme sabre rattling.

(And let me just say as a personal aside that, as the son of a Naval officer, it offends the heck out of me that Bush continues to use military audiences as a prop for his speeches. Bush’s family used its political connections to get him into the Texas Air National Guard to avoid active duty service in Vietnam, and then he skipped out on even completing that. His Administration has presided over one of the worst-run wars in our nation’s history, a war that we most assuredly didn’t need to fight. His Administration has treated its wounded veterans poorly. He is forcing his reserve and national guard personnel to serve second, third, fourth, and deployments without sufficient time between each. Desertions and suicides among active duty personnel are up at 50 year highs. And this man has the temerity to use our brave veterans as back-drops for his desperate efforts to continue his disastrous policies? To say that this enrages me exposes the inadequacies of the language.)

Can anyone listen to this speech–or even read excerpts of it–and not think that Bush and Cheney are absolutely determined to fight yet another war, this time with Iran? We have had reports that Cheney believes that war with Iran is necessary, and that he doesn’t “trust” a future Administration to “deal with it,” and that he has been maneuvering Bush to begin one. With this speech, it is clear that Cheney is winning his bureaucratic battle. And I can’t say strongly enough how much this terrifies me.

Folks, the military is now so close to collapse that even the Joint Chiefs are saying that we have to draw down the forces in Iraq starting next year at the latest, like it or not. Almost all the experts believe that any military action against Iran would only make the situation there worse, not better. The terrorists that we really need to go after are in Afghanistan, not Iraq or Iran. Bush and Cheney have proved over and over again that they are utterly incompetent at running a war. And now they want to begin another one? I am petrified, to be honest.

And any commentators and other folks who are trying to comfort themselves by thinking that Congress will stop these war mongers are fooling themselves. First of all, the Democrats have proven again and again that they are craven cowards when it comes to stopping Bush from his insane war mongering. But second of all, Bush and Cheney believe–and have put forth their various theories to bolster their beliefs–that the “War on Terror” means that they can fight “the enemy” wherever that enemy is, even on U.S. soil (hence the arrest of Jose Padilla without charges, a U.S. Citizen on U.S. soil, who was slapped in a military prison).

So bear this in mind: Bush believes that as Commander in Chief, it is his duty to go after terrorist wherever they are. His speech yesterday makes it clear that he believes that they are in Iran. He has also made it clear that he believes that Congress’ 2002 vote to “authorize the use of military force” (AUMF) gives him the authority to use military force for the entirety of the “War on Terror.” Congress telling him otherwise now is not going to stop him. The only thing I can imagine stopping him is a huge public outcry, or the military command flatly telling him no. And I frankly can’t imagine either of those two things occurring.

So I’m terrified that sometime in the next 12 months, we’re going to be at war in Iran. I wish I were wrong. But I honestly don’t think so.

Can no one stop these insane maniacs?

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