"All of the super-serious and responsible pundits may be drowning in angst over the fact that we cannot leave Iraq because it is so very vital that, before we leave, we stabilize that country and turn it into a beacon of democracy, or at least avert even worse violence. But however laudable that goal might be, that is not the goal of the people controlling our actual strategy in Iraq. Stabilizing Iraq in order to leave is not what they are interested in.
What they seek -- by their own acknowledgment -- is a conflict with Iran and Syria, and they want to stay in Iraq because that is how that goal can be achieved. Joe Lieberman published an Op-Ed at the end of last year declaring that America's real enemy in this "war" is Iran. Charles Krauthammer and John Podhoretz last year both proclaimed -- excitedly -- that U.S. war with Iran was inevitable, and that (according to Krauthammer) it would be less than a year away.
On their Fox television show this weekend, Wall St. Journal pundits Paul Gigot and Bret Stephens warned of the grave threat posed by Iran (which, needless to say, was compared to Nazi Germany), and the even greater danger of the "U.N. path," which is too "slow and toothless."
And Fred Hiatt's Washington Post Editorial this morning said this: "Military action against Iran would be a desperate and probably ineffective measure. Barring an emergency, the Bush administration should not undertake it." With U.S. forces extremely active in two of Iran's neighboring countries, and the belligerent rhetoric and provocative actions escalating on both sides, nothing is easier than imagining an "emergency" which would "justify" the "military action against Iran" to which Hiatt is plainly receptive.
These are not fringe figures, even if they ought to be. These are the people who have driven the Bush administration's foreign policy since its inception. Their advocacy, in almost every case, foreshadows what the Bush administration does. And they are, with increasing explicitness, pining for war with Iran, and our occupation of Iraq -- militarily, strategically, and politically -- is what enables that conflict."
"McCain is clearly the most unfit of the three leading Republican candidates for President: until you think about the other two. Then it's harder to say.