Thursday, May 24, 2007

Intimidation tactic?

To add to the entry from yesterday about the whole CIA-in-Iran thing, Kevin Drum seems to be convinced that it's an attempt to intimidate the Iranians.

I do think that's possible, but I think it's less likely than the idea that the Bush administration was quite serious about this "black ops", which subsequently got shut down by the CIA through the strategic leak. Not only are these black ops deals more in keeping with how this crew works, but I don't see the point of trying to intimidate this way. From a foreign policy point of view, all you're going to do is make the Iranians twitchier and make them adhere even more closely to their government, because the CIA--an organization about as popular as Bubonic Plague in the third world--is after them.

Drum implies that it might also be a way of keeping conservatives restive at home. Sure, it's also possible. Why does Bush even need to bother, though? He faces no elections, and the Republicans in Congress aren't going to get enough votes from this sort of thing to benefit them. It might help Bush's successor, but if that guy wants to stand a chance, he'll need to run as far from Bush as possible, so it won't help him, either.

Maybe it's Rove trying to implement some master plan. Good luck with that.

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