I've decided that the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is a secret admirer of GWB. Why else would he model so many of his own behaviors after Bush's? Besides, it's hard not to like someone who thinks and acts like you do. Check out these comments by a Philadelphia journalist, who wrote them after attending a dinner in Ahmadinejad's honor while Ahmadinejad was visiting New York last week--and see if you don't think I'm right. The comments were made about Ahmadinejad, but you can just as easily cut to Bush, simply by replacing the words "U.S." and "America" with "Iraq," and there is no denying certain similarities:
"He really believes what he says, and knows less about the U.S. than he thinks."
"This is a man of overweening self-confidence who believes his own rhetoric. He badly misunderstands the American system, but is certain that he gets it. He prefaces every meeting with a long religious prologue calling for justice and peace and friendship, yet his words increase tensions."
Both men want to be the bigshot in the driver's seat, even while their grasp on the realm of hemispheric affairs is positively cretinous, and neither of them even knows how to drive; meanwhile, the headlock between them is taking the rest of us straight to the gates of Armageddon. Because Iraq, as David Bromwich pointed out on today's Huffington Post, has become tiresome to George W. Bush. So he wants to bomb Iran.
Nobody knows exactly when. "I'm an October-November man," Bush recently confided to his biographer Robert Draper.
"The dates can only be guessed, writes Bromwich. "November for the triggering incident, December for the trip to the U.N., February for the ultimatum, perhaps March again for the strikes. The repetition would suit his taste for boyish acts of defiance....After two wars and a proxy war, none of them yet successful, a lesser man might shrink from further dealing in blood; but in February, Bush was prepared: "I'm not afraid to make decisions."
Even the sages repeat their mantras over and over again. This time, though, there just aren't words enough for the moral squalor of it all.
Soon the Decider will decide again, warns Bromwich. "It is going to happen unless the lawmakers, the media, and those corporations that know they will find a war with Iran the reverse of profitable, overcome their lethargy and admit that this is really happening and decide to stop him."
I suppose you could say that one failed strategy deserves another. But the logic still stuns. It must be something about the viral nature of war, but I find myself wanting to put on fur ear muffs, dress in ceremonial whites, and "recede into [my] own glittering mist," as Arthur Schlesinger once wrote about Marilyn Monroe.
"The problem with that," says my ho-hum alligator muse, his gaze definitely disapproving, "is that you're no poofy platinum blonde, and you'll never really make it as a feather-boa queen."