Former CIA Middle East officer Robert Baer in Time:

“Strengthening the Administration’s case for a strike on Iran, there’s a belief among neo-cons that the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] is the one obstacle to a democratic and friendly Iran. They believe that if we were to get rid of the IRGC, the clerics would fall, and our thirty-years war with Iran over. It’s another neo-con delusion, but still it informs White House thinking. And what do we do if just the opposite happens — a strike on Iran unifies Iranians behind the regime? An Administration official told me it’s not even a consideration. ‘IRGC IED’s are a casus belli for this Administration. There will be an attack on Iran.'”

Somewhere along here the Bush administration has gone from wilfully ignorant to batshit crazy. The lesson going back at least to World War II is that bombing doesn’t make the bombed population love the bombers, it unites them behind their leaders, no matter how evil.

Speaking of wilful ignorance, Rick Perlstein corrects some right-wing lies about Vietnam here. More here if you need a refresher course.

Of course, the spectacle of a right-wing president tying his foolish war to a liberal president’s foolish war is bound to make one look around for alternatives. I have said, and will say, a lot of harsh things about dogmatic libertarianism, but one question libertarians — unlike conservatives — can be counted on to ask is, “Is this war really necessary?” The other day the Cato Institute’s Jonathan Logan put it this way:

“President Bush’s strategy for Iraq amounts to playing for time and hoping for a miracle. Bizarrely, the president has now invoked the Vietnam analogy in an effort to shore updomestic support for the war by reminding us that bad things happened after we left. This is true. It is also worth remembering that U.S. soldiers stopped dying after we left, and that the ‘dominoes’ that were to have fallen didn’t fall. The United States won the Cold War just a decade and a half later. Our defeat in Vietnam did not prevent victory in the Cold War, and defeat in Iraq will not ensure defeat in the struggle against terrorism.”