Hey all, I'm off to Sendai in a little over an hour, but thought I'd give people a chance to respond to spyder's question from comments awhile back, "Who are we actually at war with in Iraq????" I want to broaden the question a bit: can anyone discern any rhyme or reason to Bush administration foreign policy? They seem to be pretending they haven't done a 180 on North Korea or on regional negotiations over the future of Iraq, but they're also amping up the threat posture on Iran. So is this just Condi winning out over WAAGNFNP wannabe Cheney in recent months, or what?
My own personal conspiracy theory is that they want to degrade Iran's military capabilities before their term is out, now that it looks like they won't get the client state they hoped for out of Iraq. And that short of that they want to keep Sunnis and Shiites off balance and at each other's throats, so the Middle East doesn't get its act together like East Asia seems to have done and tell the U.S., "Thanks but we don't need imperial overlords anymore. You can stop trying to Americanize the British Empire." So all the noise and misinformation is not about incompetence or insanity but a way of hiding the real strategy. Which can be summed up as YT's approach to the morning commute in the first chapter of Snow Crash.