Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Here we go again

Yet another conspiracy involving Israel - Iran-Contra II?.

Actually there is nothing much to this story. Mid-level DOD official Larry Franklin gives sensitive documents to Jewish group. Not kosher, but not quite the Israel-takes-control-of-Washington-to-Destroy-the-World hysteria of Juan Cole:
Franklin's movements reveal the contours of a rightwing conspiracy of warmongering and aggression, an orgy of destruction, for the benefit of the Likud Party, of Silvio Berlusconi's business in the Middle East, and of the Neoconservative Right in the United States. It isn't about spying. It is about conspiring to conscript the US government on behalf of a foreign power or powers.
Cole seems to go off the deep end these days over anything to do with Israel.

And news that there's been contact between Iranian opposition groups and various US officials should hardly be surprising. Really, quelle horreur.

Sure, some people in the Bush admin have been gunning for the Clerical regime in Iran. Its no Big Secret. But Bush's actual policy, while being confrontational, has not been determined by that group. This idea, promoted by Juan Cole and others, that Bush is causing mayhem in the Middle East and about to invade Iran at the behest of Sharon is nonsense.

There is a tremendous amount of dot-joining going on but I think it pays to be a little skeptical. The chief source of the juicier parts of the Marshall-Rozen-Glastris article is Manucher Ghorbanifar about whom they themselves write:
Since the late 1980s, Ghorbanifar has been the subject of two CIA "burn notices." The agency believes Ghorbanifar is a serial "fabricator" and forbids its officers from having anything to do with him.
Yet again I am puzzled by the need of the more heated opponents of Bush to couch their critique within a conspiracy framework. You can you can just disagree with someone, ya know.

They should take a deep breath and have a read of Martin Kettle in The Guardian - Let's stop Bush-bashing and listen to what he has to say. For some it may be a novel idea - deal with the real Bush not the fantasy/conspiracy one. But maybe there's a fear that without the fantasy the criticism will be less convincing.

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