More on that in a moment, but first let us turn to his latest wisdom from Pat Buchanan. Having failed to date at his multiple predictions for when exactly the US is going to get around to mounting that all-out attack on Iran, Mark is now pondering August. It works about as well as any date, I suppose.
But here's the real meat of the Buchanan piece that Mark is so eager to endorse:
One recalls that it was in August 1964, after the Republicans nominated Barry Goldwater, that the Tonkin Gulf incident occurred.
Twice it was said, on Aug. 2 and Aug. 4, North Vietnamese patrol boats had attacked the U.S. destroyers Maddox and Turner Joy in international waters. The U.S. Senate responded by voting 88 to 2 to authorize President Johnson to assist any Southeast Asian nation whose government was threatened by communist aggression.
The bombing of the North began, followed by the arrival of U.S. Marines. America's war was on.
As Congress prepares for its August recess, the probability of U.S. air strikes on Iran rises with each week. A third carrier, the USS Enterprise, and its battle group is joining the Nimitz and Stennis in the largest concentration of U.S. naval power ever off the coast of Iran.
And Tonkin Gulf II may have already occurred.
In Baghdad, on July 1, Gen. Kevin J. Bergner charged that Iranians planned the January raid in Karbala, using commandos in American-style uniforms, that resulted in the death of five U.S. soldiers.
... Another explanation comes to mind. Iran is not initiating, but is responding to U.S.-inspired attacks inside Iran, in the Kurdish north, the Arab southwest and the Baluchi southeast of its country. Was Karbala an attempted kidnapping to exchange U.S. soldiers for the five Iranian "diplomats" we are holding?
Has Bush secretly authorized covert attacks inside Iran? Are U.S. and Israeli agents in Kurdistan behind the attacks across the border to provoke Iran? On July 11, Iranian troops clashed with Kurd rebels inside Iran, and the Iranians fired artillery back into Iraq.
Why is Congress going on vacation? Why are a Democratic-controlled House and Senate not asking these questions in public hearings? Why is Congress letting Bush and Vice President Cheney decide whether we launch a third war in the Middle East?
Or is Congress in on it?
I'm assuming that Mark either believes this himself or at least deems it (like Russian conspiracy theories) to be "plausible" in his increasingly fevered mind. Explanations like this for Soviet aggression were a regular staple of Cold War propaganda by the Russians and their useful idiots. Every Soviet act, no matter how vile, was always just a necessary and justified reaction against the evil imperialism of America. If memory serves, there used to be a name for such people: blame America firsters. Glad to see that Buchanan is so eager to embrace such "alternate explanations" in his desire to preserve the regime in Tehran at all costs.
As Mark asserts a bizarre claim that assumes that the press is somehow overly credulous of the administration (and I'm not sure where this sentiment seriously exists outside the fever swamps of Media Matters), he acts as though there is no rational basis for testing the claims that are made by our government when in fact that there are many. There were when it came to Iraqi WMDs as well, though in that case the overwhelming majority of the public evidence from multiple governments, multiple administrations, the relevant field experts, et al was that Iraq had WMDs. According to press reports of what Iraqi foreign minister Naji Sabri told the CIA as well as the various WMD investigations, this was the opinion of the Iraqi leadership as well. All of this information is easily available to Mark now and his refusal to look for any information, even from safe anti-war sources, speaks more to his willful ignorance than anything else.
One question that Mark has steadfastly refused to answer is what exactly Iran would have to do for him to regard military action against it as justified. If he believes that Iran is justified in its actions against the US in Iraq because of unknown US collusion in Iran's various rebel groups and our detention of their "diplomats" in Irbil, I would be very interested to hear him say it. After all, in Shea's world America is an unjust torture state bent on exporting secular messianism that will likely lead to the rise of the Antichrist. Who can blame the mullahs for calling us the Great Satan? I don't mean to suggest that Mark actually believes this, but I find it quite illustrative of the gap between his rhetoric and his policy preferences. For instance, he wants Bush and Cheney tried for war crimes but apparently doesn't favor their impeachment. If anyone has a possible explanation for this gap between rhetoric and reality, I would love to hear it.