President Bush announced today that he has authorized US forces in Iraq to confront Iran militarily. "I have authorized our military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran's murderous activities," Bush said in a speech to US war veterans in Reno. Simultaneously, US forces raided a hotel in Baghdad and detained ten Iranians who according to a U.S.-funded radio station included members of an Iranian negotiation team.
This move comes amidst a campaign by the White House to escalate the rhetorical war between Washington and Tehran, in which the President has taken concerted new steps toward war. This flurry of rhetoric has largely rung hollow in the halls of Congress, as members are away for summer recess.
While Congress has been gone, the harshness and frequency of the rhetoric from both sides has steadily increased. Last week the Bush administration announced its intention to designate the IRGC as a terrorist entity, an unprecedented move. This week in Reno, the President reiterated accusations that Iran was smuggling weapons into Iraq while chastising the Iraqi prime minister for his diplomatic relations with Iran. Left unchallenged, all these steps point in one, undeniable direction: War.
When I was 18 in high school in 1979-80, we thought we were going to fight Iran. A generation has passed and war with Iran is still on the table. Think it is a swell idea? So theologians, with all your views of predestination, total depravity, original sin, virgin birth, substitutionary atonement, and whatever other theories of God, what will you do? Is there ever a point in which theology deals with the real world?