Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

What we are witnessing (through rips in the curtain of official secrecy) may be an example of what the Germans call the flucht nach vorne ? the "flight forward." This refers to ta situation in which an individual or institution seeks a way out of a crisis by becoming ever more daring and aggressive (or, as the White House propaganda department might put it: "bold") A familiar analogy is the gambler in Vegas, who tries to get out of a hole by doubling down on each successive bet.

Classic historical examples of the flucht nach vornes include Napoleon's attempt to break the long stalemate with Britain by invading Russia,the decision of the Deep South slaveholding states to secede from the Union after Lincoln's election, and Milosevic's bid to create a "greater Serbia" after Yugoslavia fell apart.

As these examples suggest, flights forward usually don't end well ? just as relatively few gamblers emerge from a doubling-down spree with their shirts still on their backs.

But of course, most gamblers don't have the ability to call in an air strike on the casino. For Bush, or the neocons, or both, regime change in Iran not only may appear doable, it may also look like the only way out of the spectacular mess they have created in Iraq.


the whole article is worth reading

according to my opinion the Bush administration/neocons have two options :

  1. surge and try to maintain "status quo" until next elections, then leave the Democrats with the mess just to blame them that they "stabbed America in the back" when they were about to win...

  2. escalate and thus give new options for the next elections.

But the the following events might not be dictated by RATIONAL elements. Billmon is right in making those historical parallells. It's often the way it goes...
by oldfrog on Sat Jan 13th, 2007 at 06:12:20 AM EST
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Thanks for bringing that up and for the link. But I still think that the contemplated attack on Iran, much more than the invasion of Iraq, is mostly for Israel's benefit. So maybe the main determinant of how this goes is whether the "traditional" US foreign policy elite will be able to overcome the neocons:
A titanic power struggle is being waged within the policy elite or power elite, or more simply the U.S. ruling class. The clash is taking place over the war on Iraq, U.S. policy toward Israel--and ultimately over the best way to run the U.S. empire. The war on Iraq is shaping up as such a disaster for the empire that it can no longer be tolerated by our rulers in its present form. The struggle is as plain as the nose on your face; nevertheless it draws little comment...

This struggle is in no way hidden and definitely not a secret conspiracy. It is out in the open, as it must be, since it is in great part a battle for the hearts and minds of the American public. This fact makes the absence of commentary about it all the more chilling. The fight among our rulers sets the neocons against other very important elements in the establishment: the senior officer corps, represented by Jack Murtha and Colin Powell; the old money like Ned Lamont; the oil men, like James Baker (With Baker against the war, how then can oil be the only reason for the war?); those who want to see the American imperium run effectively, like Lee Hamilton and Robert Gates of the Iraq Study Group; many in the CIA, both active duty and retired; policy makers like Zbigniew Brzezinski who has long opposed the war which he has ascribed to the influence of certain "ethnic" groups; and even former presidents Gerald Ford who kept his mouth shut and Jimmy Carter who has not and whose frustration with Israel and the neocons is all too clear in his book "Palestine, Peace Not Apartheid."

Clash of the Elites

A bomb, H bomb, Minuteman / The names get more attractive / The decisions are made by NATO / The press call it British opinion -- The Three Johns
by Alexander on Sat Jan 13th, 2007 at 02:49:16 PM EST
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