Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Once more with feeling

Mr. Rogers is shaking his Iranian Threat pom-poms again, this time on the Jack Lessenberry show.

Lessenberry listened to Mike's golly-gee explanation of the Iranian Threat, then neatly skewered Rogers' faulty logic (and flip-flopping history) in an essay titled Howling Wolf. Several important points that bear repeating:

1.) Rogers has demonstrated that political pressure easily trumps his FBI/House Intel experience that he so often references. Why should we listen to him this time?

Here’ s something else you may not have known about Mike Rogers, who represents a large district that sprawls from Oakland County past Lansing. Exactly five years ago, he came back from the Middle East and announced he had changed his mind and was no longer in favor of a military attack on Iraq.

Information from Saudi and Israeli intelligence agents had convinced him it wasn’t
necessary, he said. He held that position for about six weeks. But then he changed his mind again.

I imagine he, like other congressmen, was under great pressure from the White House. Well, we know how all that turned out. We were told Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. But it wasn’t true, and now we are stuck in a quagmire, with no end in sight.

2.) Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it
The congressman thinks we can put adequate pressure on Iran and prevent them from getting nuclear materials by imposing sanctions. Maybe. But I was in elementary school when we were told we’d overthrow Fidel Castro through sanctions. I am a member of AARP now. The sanctions are still in place, and Fidel is still there. What if it did come down to military action against Iran?
How grimly ironic it would be if our failure to see the truth in Iraq were to blind us about the truth in Iran.

3.) Even if we could all agree that invading Iran was a swell idea, we don't have sufficient troops (or cash) to execute that plan. An honest assessment of our military will show you active duty service members who are heading back for their third -- or fourth! -- rotation in Iraq, and National Guard and reservists who have served multiple year-long deployments. Allowing political gamesmanship to stretch our military this thinly does a grave disservice to our troops and their families, not to mention our nation's security.
The fact is that we now have fewer men in uniform than at any time since before Pearl Harbor. There are insufficient troops to send to Iran, even if the nation were in the mood to do so. Mike Rogers, a veteran himself, must know that. He also knows the story of the little boy who cried wolf once too often.

Three cheers for Lessenberry! Let's hope that other mainstream media folks will start making these points, instead of blindly quoting Mr. Rogers on the "threat" of Iranian WMD.

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