Countdown to a Showdown
What Better Way to Dispel Denial?
The following excerpts are from a Newsweek magazine article published
on January 23, 2006 and the follow-up article published on January
25th. It was marked up and sent to us on by
one of our more faithful cooperators. They were originally called
to our attention on the eve of the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel,
time to publish it on that day.
Now, eleven years later the Countdown to Showdown is almost completed.
When you read the quotes below you will see that to the Iranian powder
keg a more serious one has been added - the North Korea powder keg. All
else remains the same - living in denial and swamped by mostly modified
news reports which are enhanced by "an apparent desire for apocalypse
in some quarters".
happens, those who survive
will look back and see the warnings - so many of
them - that were somehow
lost from view in the numbing rush of 24/7 news. They will
remember that Iran pushed ahead with a nuclear program it claimed was
peaceful, although no one (not even some of those who defended its
right to do so) really believed that was the case. People will recall
the growing sense of urgency as threats were leveled against the
mullahs, sometimes from unexpected quarters. Who had thought the French
would be the first to say publicly they'd use limited nuclear strikes
to retaliate against terror attacks and protect access to vital natural
resources? Who could have mistaken Israel's seriousness when Defense
Minister Shaul Mofaz told a conference in Herzliya that his country
"must have the capability to defend itself, with all that that implies,
and this we are preparing"?
If all this sounds alarmist, well,
should. The risk of fatal errors grows every day. Add the influence of
messianic fanaticism in Tehran, Jerusalem and, yes, Washington--an
apparent desire for apocalypse in some quarters--and it's hard to have
confidence in common-sense solutions defusing this nuclear crisis.
(Might the Vanished Imam figure in negotiations? Or the Second Coming?
One shudders to think.) It seems we can't even trust the
self-consciously secular rationalists of France. When President Jacques
Chirac, 73, said last week that the alternatives of "inaction or
annihilation" were unsatisfactory, and a third way could be limited
nuclear strikes, he may have been playing to a domestic audience. Or he
may have been dreaming about his legacy. He might have been just an old
man trying to prove he's still got some juice. But Chirac is a
commander-in-chief with the authority to launch some 300 warheads, and
you shouldn't wave those kinds of things around unless you're ready to
where do things go
from here? As the historian Barbara Tuchman pointed out half a century
ago: "Men will not believe what does not fit in with their
suit their pre arrangements." They will march off
to wars as if
the conflicts were divinely preordained instead of badly misjudged;
they will blame fate - or bad
Countdownintelligence - instead of their own
ignorance. History is full
of examples, the Iraq invasion of
2003 being only the most recent. The question before us now is how to
keep Iran from being the next."
articles at: Countdown to a
Showdown - Newsweek Politics - MSNBC.com - Part I and Part II
Originally published on July 16, 2006- Feast of Our
Lady of Mt Carmel -
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