Via a comment by redpesto, my attention is drawn to one Andrew McCarthy writing for the National Review's The Corner. From what I've read elsewhere, the Iranian government building raided in Irbil may not have been an officially designated consulate but the Iranians presence was certainly fully authorised by the Kurdish authorities. McCarthy, however, accepts that it was a consulate.
[T]he raid on the Iranian consulate in Iraq's Kurdish region has to be welcome news. We would certainly regard that as an act of war if the tables were turned.Hurray for acts of war!
To fully understand where McCarthy is coming from, I'll first go back to quoting something I wrote before Bush made his speech. It concerns the anonymously leaked claims that the Iranians are aiding both sides of the sectarian conflict in Iraq in order to provoke instability.
If he [Bush] goes on record with these claims, I'll be extremely surprised and I'd still want the captured documents made available to independent experts for translation and corroboration before giving any weight to them. It is, however, far more likely that he will insinuate that the claims are true without actually saying so directly. Frothing warmongers will then complain that he didn't go far enough, that he should have made the case explicit, that he should have published the captured intelligence, without considering possibility that he didn't do any of these things for the very good reasons that the intelligence doesn't actually exist.Hopefully, we're now all up to the speed with the fact that Bush made no explicit reference to these claims and have understood the implications of that omission.
But what did McCarthy make of Bush's speech? He was underwhelmed. While welcoming Bush's words, he did not think Bush went far enough.
Under the Bush Doctrine as articulated in September 2001, it [material support for America's enemies] is supposed to be met with a vigorous American response because we deem rogue regimes to be just like the terrorists they abet. Patently, in the case of Iran and Syria, we have not done that. In turning away from the Bush Doctrine in this most essential of its potential applications, we have turned away from the blueprint for winning the war — not the Battle of Baghdad but the War on Terror.Froth, froth, bomb, bomb, kill kill.
In the raging sectarian warfare, Iran promotes jihadists of both Sunni and Shiite stripe. Plainly, it sees its interest in a destabilized Iraq.
Actions, the old saw tells us, speak louder than words. Given our actions, and what they imply about our sentiments, it’s going to take a lot more than last night’s rhetoric to make an impression on Iran and Syria.
If I could be bothered to wade through all the bile, I'm quite sure I could find many more examples of this sort of war drumming in other neo-con publications today. It's not that McCarthy is involved in some deep dark conspiracy (at least, I very much doubt he is), just that his own prejudices make it easy for the Bush administration to manipulate him.
Sometimes, for all that I try, it is simply impossible to avoid saying I told you so. But it's not that difficult to predict this sort of thing when exactly the same tactic was used before the invasion of Iraq.