On Wednesday evening shortly after the President's speech, a professor and keen observer of military affairs (sometimes the two are not mutually exclusive) from another university e-mailed to say, "You heard it here first. . . . Watch in coming weeks for 'disrupting networks' in Iran to be (very thin) cover for initiating hostilities against Iran, rather like 'disrupting sanctuaries' was in Cambodia." Now, from today's Boston Globe, there's this:
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice refused yesterday to rule out cross-border US military action against Iran, a day after President Bush pledged in a major speech to "seek out and destroy" Iranian and Syrian networks providing weapons and training to anti-American forces in Iraq.
My colleague is not the only one worried about the Cambodia precedent, according to the Globe story:
Senator Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican, compared the idea of pursuing Iranian networks to the secret 1970 expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia.
"Some of us remember 1970, Madame Secretary, and that was Cambodia, and when our government lied to the American people and said we didn't cross the border going into Cambodia. In fact we did," he said. "So, Madame Secretary, when you set in motion the kind of policy that the president is talking about here, it's very, very dangerous."
It's time for the checks and balances in our constitutional system to start working.