'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

My Local Scaife Rag Comes Out For Withdrawal 

The Pittsburgh-Tribune Review just ran an odd 250-word pro-withdrawal editorial that positively compares the paper's new position to that of Jack Murtha.

It's something of a big deal because the Tribune Review is a prototypical cog in the rightwing slime machine -- it probably participated in the Murtha smear a few months ago. The Trib is owned by Richard Mellon Scaife, a delightful fellow whose hobbies include funding the "Arkansas Project" and calling The Nation's Karen Rothmyer a "fucking communist cunt".

This paper habitually regurgitates undigested White House talking points: it calling for withdrawal means something is up. There was a lot of talk about this sort of thing, even among Republicans, in the fall, which led many commentators, including me, to speculate that BushCo might announce some sort of fake withdrawal during the State of the Union address. I wonder if such an idea is back on the table.

Alarmingly, Scaife's paper argues that it may be necessary to strike Iran and such an attack requires a withdrawal from Iraq:

That said, the world situation has changed dramatically since November. The nuclear saber-rattling of neighboring Iran is heading for a showdown. To meet that threat should diplomacy fail, the United States must begin the six- to nine-month logistical process of drawing down its Iraqi force and repositioning it to respond, if need be, to the Iranian threat.

The above implies that the troops in Iraq will be needed to invade Iran, which is nonsense -- the US is considering an airstrike on Iran not a ground invasion; however, such an airstrike probably would necessitate a withdrawal from Iraq. If the US bombs Iran -- with it's own bombs or with Israel's -- Iraq will explode. The US's unlikely alliance with Iraqi Shiites will be over, to say the least, and the occupation of Iraq will become untenable unless perhaps the bombing of Iran is accompanied by a massive air campaign in Iraq as well. Needless to say what I am discussing here is absolute madness -- it is very frightening that the chatter about an attack on Iran seems to be becoming increasingly serious.

It will be interesting to see if the Weekly Standard runs a piece like the little note in the Pittsburgh-Tribune Review.

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