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Expanding the War to Iran: Another “Urban Legend?”
Leon Hadar | January 26, 2007
IRC Right Web

Rejecting the notion that the United States was planning to attack Iran and Syria, White House Spokesman Tony Snow called it a myth or an “urban legend.” “I want to address [a] kind of a rumor, an urban legend that's going around,” Snow told reporters at a White House briefing two days after President George W. Bush vowed to go after Iranian terrorist networks involved in Iraq violence. “What the president talked about in his speech on Iraq strategy is defending American forces within Iraq,” Snow insisted.

In his January 11 televised speech on U.S. policy in Iraq, Bush had accused Tehran and Damascus of fueling the insurgency in Iraq and expressed disagreement with proposals, including from the Iraq Study Group (ISG), to negotiate with both countries as part of an effort to reach peace and stability in Iraq. He said: “We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We'll 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.” Bush also announced that he would dispatch another aircraft carrier battle group and deploy Patriot antimissile batteries in the Persian Gulf.

Generally speaking, an urban legend is a widely circulated, folklorish story—often based on exaggerated or distorted fact—that is believed to be true by many who repeat it.

So, let's see. Many reports circulated in Washington and elsewhere in 2002 and early 2003 that, notwithstanding Bush's stated commitment to deal with Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction (WMD) through diplomatic means, the White House was already considering plans to militarily oust Saddam Hussein. It seems that Bush et al. would characterize such “pre-invasion preparation” speculation as urban legend. After all, Bush and his advisers denied the reports—much in the same way they are challenging the current reports on the possibility of U.S. preparations to attack Iran.

I suppose that when it comes to Washington, DC, something that is urban legend-esque ceases to be a legend only after we read one of Bob Woodward's post-mortems in which we end up discovering that those who had been accused of “spreading rumors” were actually telling the truth. We might then learn that the press secretary who had dismissed these facts as nothing more than “rumors” was probably just out of the loop. (“Out of the loop” is what “insiders” call a government official who doesn't have access to information about what the Decider and his Vice are really planning.)
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Anonymous said…
Professor, do you ever get the feeling you're being lied to?
Leo Strauss said…
Who says the regime hates Hollywood? They've got the sequel marketing memo down cold . . .
Anonymous said…
Dr. Hadar,

I have to be honest with are a brilliant man, and well "in the know", but I get depressed reading your blog.

I feel there is practically nothing I can do to stop the Bush Administration and the cotiere that surrounds it from getting us into a war with Iran if they really want to. I agree with others, who think, subtle international pressure and the carrot and stick approach would really work with the Iranian voters. Is Israel such a big a deal for the people of Iran, that they are willing to throw away a future of prosperity to attack her and reap certain nuclear devastation? I really think not. The Persians, from what Ive read, are not nearly as hot-headed as that.

Aside from walking in a war protest march (Ive never been to one, but will go to all of them if I feel we have attacked Iran on some flimsy premise), writing the White House and the Vice President and complaining (about 2 or 3 things), and talking to others, there is so little I can do. I voted for Peroutka last time around. Ive donated to The Minutemen, a pain in W's side. I'll donate to any common sense Republican or Democrat if one emerges in the primaries.

But right now, all we can do is pretty much gripe. As a conservative (an old school conservative), thats kinda against my personality type.

Any other ideas about dissuading the hawks and the "rapture revs" on this Doc?
Well... it seems to me that the opposition to the war has placed at least some constraints on the Bush administration's ability to advance its ambitious agenda. But I agree that perhaps things will have to run their course, so to speak. In a way, if you apply a system-based analysis here, it would suggest that great powers that face no challenger will continue to move ahead and try to gain more and more.. until at some point they run out of power and/or face a rising challenger. It will probably happen in this case sooner or later.
Anonymous said…
Doc - It would be nice to think that doing Iran can be prevented, but as you've probably noticed the propaganda campaign has already begun - witness all these breathless stories on cable (not just fox) about Iranian bomb breakthrus and these rumors of Iranian ambushes, etc. If you listen to Tony Blair - he has already adjusted his grammar significantly when discussing Iran.

Why do you think Condi Rice has to hide from Iranian related questions?

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