by J Scott Christianson, Columbia Daily Tribune Columnist
As the Bush administration focuses its eye on Iran, I’m determined not to make the same mistakes that I did with Iraq. The last time President George W. Bush was beating the drum for war, I read books by Scott Ritter and others who knew that Iraq had no WMD stockpiles. I listened to the BBC and other media outlets that questioned the real motivation for war, and I believed that we needed a plan to get out before we got in.
America is known as the land of second chances for good reason, and with regard to Bush’s Iran policy, I’m not going to make the same mistakes twice. No more questioning, no more facts, no more cognitive dissonance for me. Perhaps I was not born with the mental capacity to reconcile the facts with our government’s actions. After all, we can’t all be John Boltons or Condi Rices.
This time, whatever action Bush takes, I’m behind him. Special forces in Tehran, airstrikes against oil tankers, carpet bombing, tactical nukes or full-scale invasion, I’m behind him 100 percent.
Yup, it’s time to get my war on.
But mindlessly following the administration is not as easy as you’d think. It seems like every day I run into another person whose mind has been clouded by living in a “fact-based” reality bubble. Just the other day, I got stuck having lunch with one of these jokers who just wouldn’t shut up.
“Think about the history of the U.S. involvement in Iran,” he started out. “In the ’60s and ’70s we supported the shah without question, selling him all the military hardware he could buy. In fact, he spent so much on the military that the public was living in abject poverty. Eventually it got so bad that the citizens rebelled against the shah and our support of his terrible regime.”
I rolled my eyes, hoping he would change the subject.
“So we shifted our support to Saddam,” he continued. “And when Saddam attacked Iran, we not only backed him, but we also provided information about Iranian positions so that he could effectively target his chemical and biological weapons against the Iranian military and citizenry.”
OK, I’ll just have to change the subject myself. “I sure like these potatoes,” I said.
Rudely ignoring the fact that the subject had changed, he continued: “Iran then went to the United Nations to ask for assistance and…