A bad policy is one that is so structured that it cannot even exploit advantageous opportunities. By that definition, America’s policy in the Middle East is a magnitude more than bad. This week showcased the cul de sac into which Americans have been lead by the Bush White House.

Given a more rational order of things, this should have been a good week for American foreign policy. Iranian elections struck a heavy blow at the rightwing populism of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In the Iranian setting, he is proving to be even worse than he seemed at first. His attempt to straddle the contradictions of social and cultural repression and economic expansion – not that these are always in contradiction with each other, but, in Iran’s present case, they certainly are – has failed; his primitive notion of economics to begin with has fatally limited him; and his appeal to a core base has alienated the rest of the country. So Ahmadinejad, like Bush, is becoming a leader/minority.

However, this good news for the Americans can’t get past the American media filter. Since it has been decided that Iran is a dictatorship, run by mad mullahs (as distinguished from the sweet, kindly mullahs that the U.S. has been appealing to, in the Islamic Republic of Iraq, to overthrow the democratically elected leadership), the press can’t even recognize the election. To do so would, after all, put in question the democratic swindle – which was underlined by a mad Blair appealing to dictatorial Gulf emirates to march, oh so democratically, against Iran, even as he was bowing to the Saudi princes and suppressing investigation into the astonishing briberies that have accompanied the British attempt to litter the Middle East with the weapons of mass destruction. This is a familiar pattern – having long ago decided on an absolutist program of hegemony in the Middle East, the U.S. (and, as always, Blair should be viewed as an American subaltern, his rank somewhat below an under undersecretary in the Department of Agriculture) has frozen itself into a posture in which it is impossible to accept anything but total victory – the emplacement, everywhere, of U.S. dominated allies in the Middle East - or defeat. The odds are heavily on defeat.

A sane U.S. foreign policy would recognize a few things. One of them is that the U.S. does not have the moral upper hand on the nuclear issue in the Middle East. Israel practically announced what everybody knows this week – it has a reserve of atomic weapons. How did it get those weapons? Nuclear proliferation happened, here, illegally. The criminal culprit was – the U.S.A. In fact, the powers that managed to get nuclear materials to Israel in the sixties were breaking U.S. domestic law as well. There is a plaque to James Jesus Angleton in Israel, as well there should be. That crazy as a bedbug CIA man handled the Israeli “account’ at the agency, and decided unilaterally to supply the country with atomic weapons. One of the loopier decisions of the D.C. right. Iran may not go for building nuclear weapons – for all the Sturm and Drang, there’s no evidence that they are. If they want to, of course, they have access to Pakistan – with whom they had a very cordial meeting, this week, in the course of which Pakistan announced its aid to Iran’s energy program. This is the same Pakistan that U.S. administrations have tied themselves to now since the seventies, and received, in return – a base to organize jihadism as an international force, a secret service that set up the Taliban and aided Al Qaeda, and a government that has set aside a reservation for Al Qaeda and the Taliban for the last three or four months, reproducing the conditions in Afghanistan in 2000, as Al Qaeda prepared for its big adventure.

But of course, this happens invisibly right before our eyes. The agent of invisibility is language – Pakistan becomes democratic because the U.S. papers call it democratic, Iran becomes a tyranny because the U.S. papers say it is a tyranny, and so on. Currently, the Bush administration’s notion that the Badr brigade represents ‘moderates’ is going down like chocolate milk in the media. By moderate, we are not exactly sure what is meant: do they mean that when Badr brigade members take out the drill, plug it in, and insert the whirling drill bit in the eye socket of some kidnapped Iraqi, that the militia man only pressed down very gently as the liquid eye matter is scattered over the victim’s cheeks and chin? Or is it that the Badr brigade lets the man freely scream as the drill bit plunges into the brain, instead of using tape over his mouth as those bad, bad Sadr people do? LI, moral relativists that we are, doesn’t see the vital, freedom loving part of the Badr program. But of course, we are so morally confused that we think the Vice President was inciting genocide for floating a memo suggesting that the U.S. ‘eliminate’ the Sunnis in Iraq, thus competing with Ahmadinejad for the ‘morally depraved’ part of the competition in the Mr. Rebel in Chief contest. Of course, it may be that this is soft genocide, a moderate position in which certain Sunni children will be allowed to live, as long of course as they agree to the flat tax, but LI is such a blame America firster that we find this unacceptable. Imagine!

This week is no doubt a foretaste of things to come. 2007 should be an even more disastrous year for the U.S. in the Middle East. As we’ve consistently said over the past two years, the chance of the U.S. attacking Iran is low. The Bush administration is surprising – it has explored whole new dimensions of fucking up – and it could surprise us about this issue. After all, the Nixon administration decided, in spite of the evident unpopularity of the Vietnam war, and knowing that they had lost it, to encroach into Cambodia and Laos. But Cambodia and Laos didn’t produce oil, or buy the latest air defense missiles from Russia. Besides which, there is the financial question. In the next couple years, there are about 400 billion dollars in privatization projects on the table in the Middle East, according to the WSJ. And nobody wants these babies fucked up. The Carlyle group is already very heavily into trying to become financier and buyer. What would fuck up the privatizations is an inflamed populace, which might not, to begin with, like the idea of foreign countries buying their water, power, telephone, and other firms. Baby Bush might not want to listen to Daddy, but other people in his administration are looking forward to whoring themselves out in the private sphere for big bucks after their ripoff service with the government is done. These people are going to restrain Baby Bush’s tantrums, we think.