Originally posted by Carol AHi Segovius.
Right *now*, the administration wouldn't be able to get support from the public for any pre-emptive activities in Iran or anywhere else, imo.
BUT...as someone mentioned, if there IS a significant terrorist attack in the next few months, that could change everything. For one thing, it would increase the chance of Bush getting re-elected. It would definitely change the opinions of many wrt pre-emptive strategies of some kind.
I have been fascinated by Iran for years. I've read SO many articles over the last seven years, about the youth of Iran, and how totally differently oriented they are compared to the ruling clerics. The Iranian govt. seems to have supported anti-US terrorist activity for years. But the people themselves seem to yearn for freedom from theocratic tyranny.
I could be *completely* wrong/naive in my impression about all this. You would certainly know better than I. I did run across the following comment from a blogger visiting Iran. I thought it was interesting:
Hi Carol - Madrid went horribly wrong, looks like I'm heading for Edinburgh !
Will mail you with full horrendous details heh !
I think wherever there is a totalitarian ruling class (theologically based or otherwise) it always causes a percentage of the population to swing to the other extreme and creates a polarised society.
Often the rulers try to neutralise or exterminate this 'opposition' (as in Iraq, Taleban Afghanistan or Saudi) but Iran has not done this so you get the liberal attitudes you point to. This is progress.
You have to realise that Iran is not by nature a radicalised Islamic state and Iranians are far from this in the main as people (horrible generalisation but I'll go with it), your observations are proof of this.
The reason that things developed as they did in Iran were purely down to the US bolstering of the Shah - an appalling despot who really did systematically abuse his people on many levels and much ant-US sentiment can be traced to this meddling.
In fact the situation is similar to Iraq where the US courted Saddam who turned into an oppressor of his people causing a swing to extremist Islam as a counterbalance.
Anyway, even Bush is not stupid enough to attack Iran, as someone said above, it would be a very bad mistake. They can't even sort out the rag tag Ba'athists and guerilla wannabees in Fallujah - and that's after decades of sanctions. Iran would take 'quagmire' to 11.
If Bush makes any move (and you get the feeling it's the only card he has to play - actually war has always
been his only card) it will be Syria - anything else would be the action of a deranged madman.....uhh....err.......