During last night's "speech of speeches", President Bush laid out his "new way forward" in Iraq, which in a disturbing turn of events, included threatening the nations of Iran and Syria.
"Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity – and stabilizing the region in the face of the extremist challenge. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.These direct threats fall in line with a Power Point presentation released by the US government yesterday as a companion piece to Bush's speech.
We are also taking other steps to bolster the security of Iraq and protect American interests in the Middle East. I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region. We will expand intelligence sharing – and deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies. We will work with the governments of Turkey and Iraq to help them resolve problems along their border. And we will work with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the region."
In the presentation, the White House explains the "new way forward", and includes "Key strategy shifts." These "shifts" include "increas[ing] operations against Iranian actors" and "Deployment of security assets to the Gulf region." Conspicuously missing from these "shifts" is any sort of diplomatic plan to work with Iran and Syria (as the Iraq Study Group suggested), which according to senior administration officials, "was not accidental."
With the revelation that diplomacy with Iran seems to be on the brink of coming to an end, arrives the news that United States forces raided the Iranian Embassy (considered to be Iranian soil) in Iraq last night.
"US forces accompanied by military helicopters on Thursday stormed the Iranian consulate in the Kurdish city of Arbil, arresting five Iranian employees, a Kurdish security source said. In addition to the arrests, US troops confiscated documents and computers, while Kurdish security authorities cordoned off all roads leading to the building."The whereabouts of the 5 arrested are currently unknown.
President Bush, in less than 8 hours, has positioned the United States on the brink of war with Iran without any Congressional or popular support, the necessary troops to engage in such action, nor the resources necessary to fight a nation with a conventional army that would surely respond with force.
If Bush is on national television admitting mistakes, and attempting to find a way in which we can win the war we're already in - what makes him, or anyone else for that matter, believe the United States can handle another front.
If Bush really wants to make amends for mistakes already made, the first step is to not repeat them all over again.