Bush’s State of the Union address was largely a pep-rally speech for his chauvinistic lower-middle-class electoral base. (Some commentators
were impressed by Bush’s lack of "bashfulness.") But its triumphalism alarmed international public opinion and apparently even the Bush regime’s closest
international ally, the British government, which has good reason to fear being dragged by its reckless big brother into new adventures.
Immediately after Bush’s craw-thumping, his new secretary of state, Condoleezza Rica, toured Europe reassuring Washington’s imperialist allies that the truculent U.S. president was not planning an assault on Iran. But the international press at least (we cannot know what the government heads thought) was not reassured. Most of the big papers stressed her ominous
qualification that the U.S. was not preparing an attack “at this point in time.”
Bush was obviously emboldened by the setback that the Iraqi elections represented for the Sunni resistance to the U.S. occupation. But out in the wide world, it is all too evident that the vote in Iraq by no means stabilized the situation in the country, and may end up creating new problems for the occupiers, in particular because of the historic ties of the Shiite clerical victors to Iran.
What aroused fears in Europe and in the Middle East in particular was rhetoric reminiscent of the Bush administration’s propaganda build-up for launching the
invasion and occupation of Iraq, this time directed not just against Syria, a relatively small country, but against Iran, which has a population three times
that of Iraq and a far more extensive and rugged territory.
Bush’s speech, moreover, was preceded by accounts of preparations for U.S. attacks on Iran. A respected journalist, Seymour Hersh, reported in The New Yorker magazine that U.S. special operations teams had been operating inside Iran for six months. In the Jan. 19 issue of the British Independent, Rupert Cornwell reported: "The warning signs are aligned, as the stars
in the heavens portending a great event.
"There are stirrings in Congress and intensified contacts with exile groups from the Middle Eastern country in question. Once more, President George W.
Bush is warning that he has not ruled out the use of force to make sure that a regime linked to terrorism does not acquire weapons of mass destruction.
"Most sensationally of all, a highly regarded magazine [The New Yorker] carries a detailed, only partially denied report that U.S. special force units are
already carrying out missions on the ground inside that country, pinpointing sites that could be hit by air-strikes or commando raids.
"Back in mid-2002, all these things were happening, as Washington prepared to demolish Saddam Hussein."
Moreover, Cornwell noted, the U.S. rulers are involved in political operations similar to those that preceded the assault on Iraq: "The familiar precursors of
‘regime change’ are visible. The Pentagon is working with an Iranian exile group based in Iraq. In the U.S., exiles are forming organizations of their own,
most notably the ADI or ‘Alliance for Democracy in Iran’, which wants the Iranian people to hold a referendum to restore the monarchy, overthrown in
1979, under the former Shah's son, Reva Pahlavi (a resident of Washington's Virginia suburbs)."
In his speech, Bush projected the U.S. as the ally of the Iranian people rising up against their rulers: "And to the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you."
The implication is, of course, that the U.S. will liberate Iran the way it ‘liberated" Iraq.
Most commentators argued that Iran would be too big a piece to bite off. But the sort of aggression that the United States launched in Iraq by its nature tends to spread, as the U.S. war in Vietnam did to Laos and Cambodia.
The Middle Eastern peoples have reason to fear because they know how blind the arrogance of the American rulers can be. And Washington’s past and present European allies know from their own experience how reckless a declining imperialist power can be. When they were on the downslide, as the U.S. is now, they carried out their own adventures, such as the invasion of Egypt in 1956 and the Algerian war.