GOP Needs Iran

Via the New York Times:

Some in G.O.P. Say Iran Threat Is Played Down

Some senior Bush administration officials and top Republican lawmakers are voicing anger that American spy agencies have not issued more ominous warnings about the threats that they say Iran presents to the United States.
Well, of course they are! How does the CIA expect the GOP to win an election without 'ominous warnings' coming out, at least three times a day, about impending nuclear war? Does the CIA want the Republicans to run on, like, issues or something?
Some policy makers have accused intelligence agencies of playing down Iran's role in Hezbollah's recent attacks against Israel and overestimating the time it would take for Iran to build a nuclear weapon.

The complaints, expressed privately in recent weeks, surfaced in a Congressional report about Iran released Wednesday. They echo the tensions that divided the administration and the Central Intelligence Agency during the prelude to the war in Iraq.
Oh, right... The Iraq war. That was the last time the intelligence community gave the Republicans exactly what they wanted. Look how well that turned out.
"Analysts were burned pretty badly during the run-up to the war in Iraq," said Representative Rush Holt, a New Jersey Democrat who sits on the House Intelligence Committee. "I'm not surprised that some in the intelligence community are a bit gun-shy about appearing to be war mongering."
And now BushCo. wonders why they won't play the same game again. If you make somebody the scapegoat for your failures, they're not going to volunteer for that roll again.
"When the intelligence community says Iran is 5 to 10 years away from a nuclear weapon, I ask: 'If North Korea were to ship them a nuke tomorrow, how close would they be then?" said Newt Gingrich, the former Republican speaker of the House of Representatives.

"The intelligence community is dedicated to predicting the least dangerous world possible," he said.
That's because the best way to ensure the least dangerous world for America is to prevent another Republican lead catastrophe like the war in Iraq.
"It reflects a certain way of looking at the world - that all evil is traceable to the capitals of certain states," said Paul R. Pillar, who until last October oversaw American intelligence assessments about the Middle East. "And that, in my view, is a very incorrect way of interpreting the security challenges we face."
Mr. Pillar hits the nail on the head. Republicans don't like gray area. Republicans don't like the idea that governments aren't in control - even for the bad guys. Mix those two things together in a hostile electoral environment and you're bound to get Republicans bleating about how the intelligence agencies aren't giving them what they want.

In the end, Republicans know that the only way they can win elections is by scaring the crap out of the electorate. Voters won't come to the polls to vote for the party that let New Orleans drown, prevented any raise of the minimum wage, and tried to kill popular programs like Social Security for their domestic policy. As much as Iran need the United States to be the 'Great Satan' to absorb all the dissatisfaction within Iran, the Republicans need Iran to be the 'New Russians' to keep control of the House and Senate.

It's really rather fitting in a way...

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