Worse Than We Thought

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THE PLANK FEBRUARY 12, 2007

Worse Than We Thought

Boldly taking a break from
"girls gone wild" cover stories (sigh), Newsweek has a surprisingly good piece on America and Iran.

Anyway, am I missing something or is the following paragraph very disturbing?

In a pattern that would become familiar, however, a chill quickly followed the warming in relations. Barely a week after the Tokyo meeting, Iran was included with Iraq and North Korea in the "Axis of Evil." Michael Gerson, now a Newsweek contributor, headed the White House speechwriting shop at the time. He says Iran and North Korea were inserted into Bush's controversial State of the Union address in order to avoid focusing solely on Iraq. At the time, Bush was already making plans to topple Saddam Hussein, but he wasn't ready to say so. Gerson says it was Condoleezza Rice, then national-security adviser, who told him which two countries to include along with Iraq. But the phrase also appealed to a president who felt himself thrust into a grand struggle. Senior aides say it reminded him of Ronald Reagan's ringing denunciations of the "evil empire."[My italics]

Eh? Really? Iran and North Korea were included because of Bushian nostalgia and the desire to make people think war with Iraq wasn't already a sure thing?

Oh well, at least it's reminiscent of this great Onion article in which a Stalin nightmare is the cause of some major geopolitical events:

"It sounded like a very frightening dream," Roosevelt said. "To make him feel better, we agreed to let him take control of Poland, Czechoslavakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Eastern Germany. That seemed to make him rest more easily.

--Isaac Chotiner

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