Joe Klein: Bush Move to Stop Iranian Terrorists is Saber-Rattling

Not surprising, but the Time magazine contributor and "Swampland" blogger slapped around President Bush for moving to empower the federal government to freeze assets held by the terrorist-sponsoring Revolutionary Guard Corps of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Yet two weeks ago, Joe Klein slammed President Bush for not confronting U.S. ally Pervez Musharraf about terrorist sympathizers that work covertly against U.S. interests from within the Pakistani military.

Here's Klein's August 15 post, after which I add more commentary:

More saber-rattling from the Bush Administration. I remain convinced that Bush won't bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb-bomb Iran--the military and much of his party in Congress would go nuts; senior Republicans have told me that bipartisan impeachment hearings would be inevitable--but that doesn't mean Bush won't continue to try to provoke the Iranians into some sort of military mistake. So far, the Iranians have been pretty clever about this, keeping their assistance to Shi'ite militias in Iraq fairly covert and low key, not rising to the bait.

The most distressing aspect of this latest Bush provocation is that it doesn't help the case of Haleh Esfandiari and the other Americans being held prisoner, outrageously, by the Iranians.

One final, contradictory point: the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is pretty damned close to being a terrorist organization, active throughout the middle east. They are a real problem. Too bad the Bush Administration has zero credibility in the world and can't deal with it.

But don't expect Klein to slap a Kucinich bumper sticker on his car anytime soon. In an August 1 blog post, he thought that Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) pronouncement that he'd bomb or invade Pakistan without prior coordination with the Musharraf government "was just right":

Finally, on Pakistan, what Obama is proposing is the precise opposite of what Bush has done. It is clear that not only is General Musharraf incapable of controlling his tribal areas, but also that there are elements of the Pakistani military and intelligence services that are actively Salafist and support the jihadis, quite possibly including the Al Qaeda leadership. Bush has chosen to do nothing about this.

Let's see, bombing or invading an ally in a difficult political position, an ally whom we cannot afford to lose in the war on terror, is perfectly acceptable to Klein, but freezing the financial assets of a terrorist-sponsoring nation working at the highest levels on down to kill our soldiers in Iraq, eh, not so much.

It's hard to believe Klein is interested in American lives and American security when his talking points only serve to bash President Bush and Republicans while boosting liberal Democrats hoping to recapture the Oval Office in '08.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is a writer living in New Carrollton, Md.