By Scott Patterson
Illustration by Jennifer Kearney
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, November 14, 2005
"Gimme blood. Gimme blood. Gimme blood pollution." Wow, are those lyrics to a Steel Dragon song or a good summary of President Bush's terms in office? I'm having a hard time distinguishing between the two.
The Bush administration's foreign policy stance has been wanting over the past six years. First, it tells the international community to shove it, causing enormous rifts in alliances dating back decades.
Next, it illegally invades a sovereign nation on unfounded claims that said nation poses an imminent threat to the national security of the U.S. Now it engages in an unwinnable war against terrorism.
I have seen some strange things in my lifetime, but nothing was able to prepare me for the amount of hypocrisy and flat-out stupidity that has been injected into my life thanks to this administration. It's like going to the hospital and having them administer you ridiculous amounts of "stupid juice" intravenously.
I seriously thought I had hit bottom. But then Iran showed me that the pit goes deeper still. Iran showed me that even intelligent leaders can be just plain dumb.
At an anti-Zionist rally held a couple weeks ago in Tehran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, standing side by side with Mahmoud Al-Zahar, the most senior Hamas member in all of the Israeli and Palestinian territories, boldly declared to an audience of 3,000 students that "Israel must be wiped off the map."
He went on to assure that there was "no doubt the new wave (of attacks) in Palestine will soon wipe off this disgraceful blot from the face of the Islamic world."
Such comments from the Islamic world come as no surprise. The fact that most of Israel's neighbors truly feel this way is no secret either. Ever since Israel usurped someone else's territory to form its own nation in 1948, fierce, violent wrangling has ensued.
Up until now, however, the fervent dislike both sides of the Israeli issue hold toward one another has maintained its "you understood" form. Put more bluntly, everybody knows everybody hates everybody, but nobody, especially not heads of states, declares it publicly.
William Bennett's comments about black babies, the crime rate and abortion were blown out of proportion. President Ahmadinejad's were not. He crossed the line. He plunged himself headfirst into the fire and brimstone that is political incorrectness.
Maybe the mistake fermented out of a dearth of political experience. Maybe he was just trying to rally his base. Maybe he knew what he was doing all along. In any case, the ill-advised comments will most certainly come back to bite him where it counts.
What's even worse, he couldn't have picked a worse time to "rally his base." Credibility is everything in politics, both internationally and domestically. At a time when Iran is attempting to exercise its "inalienable right to uranium enrichment for peaceful nuclear energy purposes," credibility is essential to proving that such claims are genuine.
Despite Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency and 2005 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei's assertion in November 2003 that there is "no evidence" to support the claim that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, the U.S., not surprisingly, continues to insist that Iran seeks to enrich uranium with the aim of building a nuclear device.
Whatever Tehran's true intentions for pledging an "irreversible" resumption of uranium enrichment may be, calls made by the country's president for the destruction of Israel are hardly the way to convince the world that the Iranian stance is sincere.
Moreover, with the trigger-happy gunslinger we have at the reins of our propaganda-spitting crazy train, not only may Iran lose its inalienable right to uranium enrichment, but Iran may also become Vietnam III.
Aggressive threats to Israel, no matter how warranted they may be, could potentially lay the groundwork for Operation Iranian Freedom. What's more, such a scenario is not so far-fetched. After all, there is oil in Iran, isn't there?
The moral of the story is this: The Bush administration lies through its teeth, and everyone knows it. Unfortunately, however, if states like Iran continue to make such untimely, idiotic mistakes, the administration's policies will gain undue justification, further allowing the Bush administration to make more outlandish claims of threats to our national security. Claims another 2,000 American soldiers don't want to hear.
Scott Patterson is an international studies senior. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.