Influencing Tehran

Matthew Yglesias has an important post on the nature of Iranian influence in Iraq, and why our policy towards Iran is only making Iraq worse:

Petraeus and Crocker both seem committed to a “blame Iran for problems” approach to their hearings. In this context, it’s worth looking at this in the broader context of US-Iranian relations. Iran is adjacent to Iraq. The United States has no diplomatic relations with Iran, and the U.S. government has branded Iran a member of the “axis of evil” and suggested that we are aiming to overthrow the Iranian government. Under the circumstances, it would obviously be hugely irresponsible of Iran to just let us consolidate an Iraqi regime that’s to our liking.

This is, simply put, a fight the Iranians can’t back down from. It’s the difference between us worrying about Iranian influence in Iraq (cause for concern) and us worrying about Iranian influence in Canada (panic!). The Iranians, in short, are never going to stop backing different Iraqi factions and trying to advance their interests there. Under the circumstances, there are basically three realistic options we could pursue. One would be to simply leave Iraq and acknowledge that, in practice, it’s difficult for any outside actor to manipulate Iraqi events precisely to the outside actor’s liking (just ask the United States). Another would be to attempt a rapprochement with Iran on a higher level, which would lay the groundwork for US-Iranian cooperation in Iraq. A third would be to combine the two.

I think it’s clear that developing a rapprochment with Iran is essential for advancing American interests in the Middle East as a whole. A re-opening of diplomatic ties with Iran would mean that we could work in tandem on our common interests (nuclear proliferation, anti-al-Qaeda activities, Iraqi political stability), while at the same time making the Iranian government less hostile to pro-American attitudes, which could only help the pro-democracy movement within that country. Frankly, our current policy towards Iran is just bafflingly stupid.

UPDATE (James Joyner): We’re in agreement on this one. Just as we have every right to work to minimize Iranian influence in the region, Iran has every right to work to expanding its regional influence and otherwise achieve its interests.

It may be that the goals of the US and Iran in Iraq are mutually exclusive. But it’s silly to pretend — as we have on a bipartisan basis since 1979 — that we’re more likely to achieve our goals by refusing to talk with the Iranian regime.

UPDATE (Dave Schuler):No argument from me on this. It’s what I’ve been arguing for years. IMO the hard part is that Iran and the United States each has to recognize that the other has legitimate interests in the region.

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Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.

Comments

  1. Steve Plunk says:

    Why is it “bafflingly stupid” to treat an enemy as an enemy? They sponsor terrorism around the world. They are repressive with their own people. They finance and arm Iraqis killing our troops. They threaten Israel with destruction continually. In short they are not worth anything but contempt.

    When will they make overtures toward a better relationship? When will they step up as a civil member of the international community? When will they start working toward peace and stability in the region?

    Our current policy is what it is based upon what they are. It’s far from “bafflingly stupid”.

  2. Alex Knapp says:

    Steve,

    Why is it “bafflingly stupid” to treat an enemy as an enemy?

    Crack open a history book and consider why Iran is an enemy. It’s because we made them one. Look up “Operation Ajax”, in which American and British intelligence operatives caused the overthrow of Iran’s democratic government and replaced it with the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who, with our support, brutally cracked down on his enemies, including Ayatollah Khomeini. These are the events that led to the 1979 revolution. But for our actions, Iran would likely still be a democracy today.

  3. Michael says:

    Why is it “bafflingly stupid” to treat an enemy as an enemy?

    Because sometimes even our ideological enemy’s goals are aligned with ours. History is filled with example of this, even American history has multiple examples of the USA working with an ideological enemy to reach a common goal.

  4. Dave Schuler says:

    I agree with Michael

    Because sometimes even our ideological enemy’s goals are aligned with ours. History is filled with example of this, even American history has multiple examples of the USA working with an ideological enemy to reach a common goal.

    on this rather than Alex. Alex, I think you’re buying into the present Iranian regime’s foundation myth but the truth is somewhat more complex.

    Did we make them our enemy or do we make a convenient enemy? How great was the American involvement in the overthrow of the Mossadegh government? The British? Would Mossadegh have endured without whatever interference with Iranian affairs that we provided? Or would what have replaced him (other than the Shah) have been better for the Iranians than the Shah was? Not to mention better for us.

  5. Bithead says:

    I think it’s clear that developing a rapprochment with Iran is essential for advancing American interests in the Middle East as a whole. A re-opening of diplomatic ties with Iran would mean that we could work in tandem on our common interests (nuclear proliferation, anti-al-Qaeda activities, Iraqi political stability), while at the same time making the Iranian government less hostile to pro-American attitudes,

    I’m with Plunk here.

    At what point have the Iranians been anything but intransigent on any subject that has come up with the west?

    The reason for that unbending nature is not what we have done or not done. Nor is what we do or not do at this point going to change thing one.

    The bottom line is, they’re not looking for conversation, and they’re certainly not going to back down,or soften their positions being driven as they are by what they consider commands from God on the matter. They’ve been showing us the same hand for nearly 40 years now. Apparently the message still hasn’t gotten through.

  6. Wayne says:

    One can argue history but the end state is how Iran will act in the future. Will they be our enemy regardless of what we do? Probably and that is what we need to deal with. The assumption that if we give them a big hug that everything will be fine is asinine. Would an attempt of rapprochement work? Maybe but I doubt it. To consider retreat, rapprochement or both as the only options tells a great deal about that person thought process. There are many more viable options.

    As for historical examples, there are many where soft diplomacy worked, many where hard diplomacy worked and many where diplomacy of any kind didn’t work. Some regimes won’t take no or yes for an answer. Is Iran one of them? Only time will tell.

  7. Alex Knapp says:

    How great was the American involvement in the overthrow of the Mossadegh government? The British?

    The British more than us, I suspect, but there’s no question that the Shah received a substantial amount of American support after the Coup. And there’s no question that American actions vis a vis Iran after the Revolution have only exacerbated the government’s animosity towards us (supporting Hussein in Iraq, etc.).

    My point is that the United States has created the dangers that Iran poises to our interests, and certainly Iran is much more inimical to American interests now than it was during the days of the Mossadegh government.

    History doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and America simply cannot move forward in the international arena unless we are willing to strip off our idiotic “America has never done anything wrong, ever, except maybe slavery” view of history.

  8. Alex Knapp says:

    Wayne,

    One can argue history but the end state is how Iran will act in the future. Will they be our enemy regardless of what we do? Probably and that is what we need to deal with. The assumption that if we give them a big hug that everything will be fine is asinine.

    It doesn’t have to be a big hug. Good lord. I’d say if you want a good model of how to approach Iran, then look at our approach to China. Nixon’s opening of diplomatic relations with China was one of the smartest foreign policy movies in the post-World War II era. Since then, our improved trade relations and cultural ties have led to a steady liberalization of China. Is it perfect yet? Of course not. But it’s moving in the right direction precisely because we are not isolating them and encouraging the rest of the world to do the same.

  9. Michael says:

    Will they be our enemy regardless of what we do? Probably and that is what we need to deal with.

    Why must Iran be our enemy? What prevents our co-existance other than our insistence that the USA be the only hegemony in the middle east?

    Israel is one, but Iran has never out-right fought Israel, and has only used the issue to bolster their support in the middle east at the expense of US influence. If we made it possible for Iran to gain favor in other countries without them pushing the Palestinian cause, they’d forget about the poor Palestinians as quickly as every Arab country has.

    Other than that, Iran is anti-communist, they’re anti-Al Qaeda, they haven’t been outwardly aggressive to their neighbors, they export oil, etc. What exactly do we have to fear from Iran?

  10. Tlaloc says:

    Take the following list of “enemies” of the US:
    1) Cuba
    2) China
    3) USSR/Russia
    4) Iran

    Two we engaged (China, Russia) diplomatically. Two we refused to (Iran, Cuba). Of the two engaged diplomatically both have moderated greatly and our relations with them are substantially less acrimonious. Of the two we refused to engage diplomatically neither has significantly moderated and our relations are as bad as ever.

    Now this is of course a correlation and not a causality, but it should give the anti-diplomacy group pause.

    This is a text book case of “do you want to take the route that makes you feel ‘manly’ or the one that actually will get results?”

    Now can you be too diplomatic? Sure. I’m unhappy with China recieving favored trading status. Seems like that’s a benefit we should hold out for those who are much closer aligned to our views. At the same time we should certainly trade with them.

  11. Anderson says:

    Americans are historically kind of nuts about their “enemies.”

    An “enemy,” to an American, has to be destroyed.

    The idea that you work sometimes with your enemies, chat with ’em, make nice when possible, does not seem to be on our national radar. It’s too insincere and diplomatic and European.

    This is part of our national character, I think, going back to the Puritan fathers and the godly vs. the ungodly.

    There is no contradiction between “Iran is our enemy” and “we have to work with Iran to achieve an acceptable outcome in Iraq.” If anything, Iran’s being our enemy makes it *more* necessary.

  12. Steve Plunk says:

    So it’s clear reasonable people can disagree on what is the best approach. That’s far from “bafflingly stupid”.

    Anderson’s statement is somewhat true for the United States by is doubly true for the Iranians. When was the last time we threatened the destroy Iran? When was the last time they threatened to destroy us? Do we sponsor terrorism in Iran? Does the United States base it’s distrust of Iran on religion like Iran bases it’s hatred of the United States on religion?

    I find it amazing that some see us as the unreasonable player in this mess. It is in our national interest to make peace with the Iranians and we would if they would allow it. They are the party who wants to continue this nonsense, not us.

  13. Bithead says:

    I find it amazing that some see us as the unreasonable player in this mess. It is in our national interest to make peace with the Iranians and we would if they would allow it. They are the party who wants to continue this nonsense, not us.

    Indeed, that does seem an insurmountable ‘if’.

    And as for not being agressive to it’s neighbors, you might ask abot the war they ahd with Iraq. You may also want to ask what all those centrefuges are for, particularly in light of comments from Iran’s government about wiping Israel off the face of the map.

  14. Dantheman says:

    Steve,

    “When was the last time we threatened [to] destroy Iran?”

    Umm, the 2002 State of the Union. Remember the phrase “Axis of Evil”?

    And, of course, overthrowing a government to re-install one’s choice of puppet (the Shah), while not quite destroying the country, also can lead to hurt feelings.

  15. Wayne says:

    I agree with Steve that Iran has conducted violent acts against U.S.

    Each case has its differences. Dealing with China and Russia has been a back and forth deal. They have shown some ability to give concessions on their part at times as well. I thought opening relations with China was a good idea but the jury is still out on that decision. I suspect it will be another 20 years before we know if it was a good decision. They could end up like Japan did before WWII and build the economy up then the military. Once done they may attack us with a military that U.S. basically paid for. Many thought before WWII that Japan wouldn’t risk economic prosperity by attacking U.S. This was true for a while but many things change given time. Hopefully this doesn’t happen with China.

  16. Dantheman says:

    Also, “It is in our national interest to make peace with the Iranians and we would if they would allow it. They are the party who wants to continue this nonsense, not us.”

    Not really. Iran tried to stop it in 2003, only to be not taken seriously by the Bush Administration.

  17. Michael says:

    And as for not being agressive to it’s neighbors, you might ask abot the war they ahd with Iraq.

    Iraq started that war, and I don’t think Iran made any territorial gains because of it. Iraq was clearly the aggressor there, and it happened that they were backed by the US at the time.

    You may also want to ask what all those centrefuges are for

    Enriching Uranium, they’ve been quite candid about that.

    particularly in light of comments from Iran’s government about wiping Israel off the face of the map.

    Not exactly new rhetoric from Iran, and I don’t think Iran is suicidal enough to start launching nukes at Israel.

  18. Alex Knapp says:

    Steve,

    I find it amazing that some see us as the unreasonable player in this mess. It is in our national interest to make peace with the Iranians and we would if they would allow it. They are the party who wants to continue this nonsense, not us.

    On several different occasions in the past decade, the government of Iran has presented overtures to the United States to re-open diplomatic relations. On EACH OF THOSE OCCASIONS, the United States has refused.

    Bithead,

    And as for not being agressive to it’s neighbors, you might ask abot the war they ahd with Iraq.

    You mean the war that began when Iraq invaded Iran in 1980?

    You may also want to ask what all those centrefuges are for, particularly in light of comments from Iran’s government about wiping Israel off the face of the map.

    According to the National Intelligence Estimate, Iran is not currently producing nuclear weapons. Additionally, the comments re: Israel were made by Iran’s President, who holds very little power in the Iranian political system.

    Wayne,

    They could end up like Japan did before WWII and build the economy up then the military. Once done they may attack us with a military that U.S. basically paid for. Many thought before WWII that Japan wouldn’t risk economic prosperity by attacking U.S.

    Japan’s primary incentive for attacking Pearl Harbor was to wreak signficant damage on the American Navy, which was, at the time, engaged in an active blockade of oil traffic to Japan. Japan was definitely not one of the good guys in World War II, but they attacked us because we were interfering with their oil supply.

  19. John O says:

    Iran has been violently attacking US interests with impunity for 30 years. And people wonder what exactly we have to fear from Iran?

    How about a nuclear armed Iran closing the straights of Hormuz. Or threatening Israeli or European cities with obliteration. Or arming Hezbollah or some other terrorist proxy with nuclear weapons. Or providing Hugo Chavez with nuclear and ballistic missile technology?

    Iran has no right to expand its influence in the region through terrorist proxies.

    It simply baffles me that so many on the left refuse to see that our goals and those of the mullah’s are mutually exclusive. We cannot co-exist with them in the long run.

    Yglesias should have added a fourth option: confrontation. It’s inevitable.

  20. Tlaloc says:

    Iran has no right to expand its influence in the region through terrorist proxies.

    But of course we do…

    It simply baffles me that so many on the left refuse to see that our goals and those of the mullah’s are mutually exclusive. We cannot co-exist with them in the long run.

    Even assuming you were right the question is what is the best way to remove the mullah’s from power? We’ve had decades of saber rattling and fighting through proxies. It didn’t work. A military option is simply not possible in the near future, thanks in large part to Iraq. On the other hand during those periods when we haven;t been kicking the hornet’s nest the people of Iran have shown a significant amount of frustration with the Mullahs.

    Just like with Iraq the best option is not to interfere but to let the natives take care of the issue themselves. If people really desire freedom and democracy they will find a way to get it. We should only get involved when/if things spiral completely out of control (ala WW2).

  21. John425 says:

    Michael doesn’t think Iran is suicidal.

    When Ahmadinenutjob was asked about the possibility of many Muslims killed if Israel was hit by a nuke, he replied that “Allah will sort out his own”.

    Russian Cold War documents note that Castro begged the Russians to give him missile cotrol during the embargo and he wanted to launch a first strike against us. Fortunately for us, even the Russians weren’t that crazy.

    Yes, Virginia- there ARE idiots who are suicidal. Just ask the victims of suicide bombers.

  22. sam says:

    Anderson’s statement is somewhat true for the United States by is doubly true for the Iranians. When was the last time we threatened the destroy Iran? When was the last time they threatened to destroy us?

    C’mon. There might be legimate reasons to be concerned with Iran, but that last isn’t one of them. That threat is roughly equivalent to the ant floating down the river on his back with a hardon yelling “Raise the drawbridge! Raise the drawbridge!”

    As Atrios once put it, “Try something like that, and you die, bitches!” And they know it.

  23. Michael says:

    When was the last time we threatened the destroy Iran?

    Explicitly? I don’t think we have.

    When was the last time they threatened to destroy us?

    Explicitly? I don’t think they have.

    Do we sponsor terrorism in Iran?

    We sponsored Iraq in the Iran/Iraq war. There have also been rumors and unconfirmed reports of US-backed guerrillas and Kurdish separatist groups operating in Iran.

    Does the United States base it’s distrust of Iran on religion like Iran bases it’s hatred of the United States on religion?

    Mostly, yes, I think we do. If it weren’t for the fact that Iran was an Islamic Republic, I don’t think we’d have quite so much issue reconciling with them. They certainly seemed willing to reconcile with President Reagan at one time.

  24. C.Wagener says:

    The U.S. has tried to approach Iran diplomatically several times in the past 30 years. Can anyone give an example of Iran responding favorably to this?

    Sometimes coexistence just isn’t viable. I am always amazed by Americans who say they’re for “peace”. As opposed to what? I’m for crime free living. That doesn’t mean I’m for unilaterally disarming, getting rid of police etc.

  25. sam says:

    The U.S. has tried to approach Iran diplomatically several times in the past 30 years. Can anyone give an example of Iran responding favorably to this?

    See Dantheman’s post above and follow the link he povides.

  26. Bob says:

    I would propose a similiar list of enemies.

    1. North Korea
    2. Viet Nam
    3. Germany
    4. Japan

    We went to war with each of those – two clearly initiated hostilities with us despite prolonged diplomacy during the 1930s. NK & VN initiated hostilities with a proxy.

    We ultimately fought two to surrender, one to stalemate and will apparnetly see it implode in not too distant future. We actually only resolved one diplomatically and that didn’t turn out so well for our ally.

    This is a text book case of “do you want to take the route that makes you feel ‘manly’ or the one that actually will get results?” Indeed!

  27. anjin-san says:

    And as for not being agressive to it’s neighbors, you might ask abot the war they ahd with Iraq.

    Poor typing and even poorer thinking Bit.

    Iraq invaded Iran. We backed Iraq. Gosh, wonder why they might have an attitude twoards us… how many Iranians died in that war? Hundreds of thousands? More?

    Were you one of the folks using that clever line “Iran is between Iraq and a hard place” back then while the bodies piled up?

    We manage to do business with China, a brutal communist dictatorship that shoots monks and executes people who attempt free speech. We did business with the Soviet Union. Refusing to talk to other nations is just plain stupid.

  28. Anderson says:

    And as for not being agressive to it’s neighbors, you might ask abot the war they ahd with Iraq.

    Classic. Thanks for defending that poor innocent lamb, Saddam Hussein.

    Nice to know someone’s speaking up for him on the right; I’m so busy keeping my Ward Churchill and Michael Moore shrines dust-free, I just don’t have time to sing Saddam’s praises like I used to.

  29. Steve Plunk says:

    Lively debate. Clearly opposing views on how best to deal with Iran. I wonder if they can have the same debate in their country?

    Dantheman, the “axis of evil” speech, as it has come to be known, did not call for the destruction of Iran but it called for Iran to change, to move away from terrorism. Iran must also be serious about reconciliation, empty gestures are rightly rebuffed.

    It appears some still imagine the Iranians think the way we do in the west. The cultural differences are such we may never be able to see eye to eye or really understand their motivation. Others disagree but we have a more secular government than the Iranians. The religious influences in their government have pushed them into many outrageous positions and statements.

    They have called for the destruction of the United States, explicitly. They have called for the destruction of Israel, explicitly. They are arming people who kill American soldiers and Iraqi civilians. They are working toward nuclear weapons in order to dominate the region through force. Even with those facts we are somehow considered just as bad because we removed a tyrant and are trying to bring democracy to a people?

    Michael, I firmly disagree with your assessment of religion being a reason for our unwillingness to reconcile. We are too diverse a country and have too much experience with minority religions to think that way any more. I don’t care if they worship Beelzebub as long as they quit killing people and take peace seriously.

  30. Anderson says:

    I don’t care if they worship Beelzebub as long as they quit killing people and take peace seriously.

    Perhaps they feel the same way about us?

  31. Tlaloc says:

    John425:

    Michael doesn’t think Iran is suicidal.

    Take a good long look at Iran’s history. They’ve been eminently rational as far as how they deal with the world. That’s not to say I agree with everything they’ve done, but all of their plays have made a hell of a lot of sense given their position. That’s not exactly what you expect from a suicidal nation.

    Bob:

    I would propose a similiar list of enemies.

    1. North Korea
    2. Viet Nam
    3. Germany
    4. Japan

    Different world, Bob. The last half century has made a huge difference in geopolitics. In fact, since WW2 can you think of a single major world conflict that has been settled militarily? As in, one side utterly capitualtes and the other side is clearly victorious?

    Steve:

    Michael, I firmly disagree with your assessment of religion being a reason for our unwillingness to reconcile. We are too diverse a country and have too much experience with minority religions to think that way any more.

    The one thing you said I agree with. It isn’t the religion, never has been, witness Saudi Arabia. It’s the money. And the power. Iran decided they didn’t accept western exceptionalism (read: we get to steal everything they have if we damn well feel like it). Since the vast majority of our foreign policy is based on precisely that they have to go. So we forment some coups. We give their enemies chemical weapons and egg them on to attack. We call them Evil in major speeches to a world audience.

    And gosh, then we sit back just *so* surprised when they end up not liking us. It’s just weird!

  32. anjin-san says:

    They are working toward nuclear weapons in order to dominate the region through force. Even with those facts

    A recent NIE says otherwise. Show proof please. So far your “facts” sound like hollow slogans. Like the ones used to justify the Iraq war…

  33. John O says:

    Tlaloc,

    With what proxies have we engaged Iran?

    To in any way equate our efforts at securing our interests with the mullah’s behavior is in keeping with the worst aspects of the moral equivalence so often practiced by the Left: Democracies have legitimate interests; authoritarian governments do not — they only have understandable ones which we may or may no choose to accommodate, depending on our own interests.

    I agree with you that we should concentrate our efforts at removing the mullahs from power. That is the key. The problem is that we are rapidly running out of time. A nuclear Iran is a nightmare soon to become reality. Can’t you see this?

    Those who argue Iran is rational need to explain how/why the Buenos Aires and Khobar Towers bombings are rational actions, in Iranian interests.

    Those who suggest the mullahs desire a stable Iraq are correct — but why can’t they accept the reasons why the mullahs cannot countenance a stable democracy on their border. They prefer instability to democratic accountability, which their actions should make abundantly clear.

    As for “interven(ing) only when things spin completely out of control,” I would simply ask you which is preferable: To initiate a significant loss of life on the part of your enemy and spare many of your citizens much pain, or to wait until a massive death toll, on both sides but particularly for your enemy, is unavoidable? It baffles me why American liberals consistently choose the latter.

  34. Bithead says:

    You mean the war that began when Iraq invaded Iran in 1980?

    So, Saddam was the bad guy? Funny how that keeps shifting.

    Actually, you should, as the sayng goes, crack a history book. The attack was a defensive move on Saddam’s part, a preemptive strike against an Iran which was about to attack HIM.

    I don’t care if they worship Beelzebub as long as they quit killing people and take peace seriously.

    Perhaps they feel the same way about us?

    Demonstrably, no, that’s not the case. this is about the expansion of Radiacal Islam.

  35. Dantheman says:

    Steve,

    “Dantheman, the “axis of evil” speech, as it has come to be known, did not call for the destruction of Iran but it called for Iran to change, to move away from terrorism. Iran must also be serious about reconciliation, empty gestures are rightly rebuffed.”

    And within the year, we were making preparations to invade another member of the Axis of Evil, who hadn’t threatened America. Somehow, actions speak far louder than words.

  36. Bithead says:

    A recent NIE says otherwise

    LOL!!! So now, suddenly, the intel folks are credible? Pardon me a moment.

    (Sound of door closing, followd by loud yet muffled laughter, and someone slapping the wall, hard)
    (Door opens)

    Ahem.

    After years of bitching about NIE inaccuracy, the anti-war left is not well served by using it as a source to back it’s arguments.

  37. Grewgills says:

    The attack was a defensive move on Saddam’s part, a preemptive strike against an Iran which was about to attack HIM.

    Do you actually believe that?

    LOL!!! So now, suddenly, the intel folks are credible?

    and your credible source for your assertion is?

  38. Michael says:

    Michael, I firmly disagree with your assessment of religion being a reason for our unwillingness to reconcile.

    A mere 2 paragraphs below:

    Others disagree but we have a more secular government than the Iranians. The religious influences in their government have pushed them into many outrageous positions and statements.

  39. anjin-san says:

    LOL!!! So now, suddenly, the intel folks are credible? Pardon me a moment.

    Actually, the intel folks have always been credible, even if Bush did throw them under the bus in an attempt to make the war look like an intel failure instead of a Bush failure.

    The Bush admin cherry picked the intel and pressured the intel community to present reports that showed what they want see. Some of this pressure worked. One more way Bush has damaged our country.

    Really Bit, at least try to present intelligent arguments…

  40. Bithead says:

    Actually, the intel folks have always been credible, even if Bush did throw them under the bus in an attempt to make the war look like an intel failure instead of a Bush failure.

    (Track announcer..) “And he’s spinning out of control!”

    We’re really to take that you’re not doing what you falsely accuse Bush of doing? Sorry, no sale.

  41. anjin-san says:

    Not looking for a sale Bit.

    Look, you are doing your job, which is to be afraid & wet yourself every time Cheney mentions Muslims and says “boo”. You are good at being scared. Its a skill of sorts, I suppose.

    It’s a job that runs against the grain of the American character, so you can be sure the administration values your services as it goes about the business of transferring wealth from our country to the middle east…

  42. Bithead says:

    No, Anji.

    My most serous advice to you is buy more bubble wrap.