Tuesday, February 27

Tonkin Toys

A couple of weeks ago I noticed something odd about Bush's latest news conference: his sudden rhetorical fixation on protecting the troops. He used a permutation of the phrase "protect the troops" seven times in a half-hour of Q&A. Initially, it merely sounded like he had glommed onto a talking point and didn't want to let go.

Digby has a more sinister interpretation. "So, when president Bush used the phrase 'protect our troops' followed by everyone from Gates to Rice, my antennae were way up; it was obvious that it was a potential cassus belli for an attack on Iran," Digby writes.

Like you, I haven't yet read Seymour Hersh's latest on the administration's Middle East shenanigans. I'll wait till my copy arrives in the mail Thursday. But you don't need to read the details of the administration's latest strategic flip-flops to arrive at a conclusion about the administration's tactics. Bush is looking for his Gulf of Tonkin excuse to attack Iran.

This is where the moral monstrousness of Bush stands out in bold and italic. He sends hundreds of thousands of our military people in harm's way, with insufficient armor and paltry numbers of boots on the ground. Then he uses their vulnerability as bait to draw Iran into military conflict.

To Bush, our military people are mere Tonkin Toys, to be expended as a way of getting his desired war with Iran. He will get his confrontation, whether manufactured or not.