Tyrone: This Seymour Hersch guy says we're going to be bombing Iran by summer.
John: You know, you would have heard about this sooner if you went to the political blogs I link to on my blog --
Tyrone: I have a life.
Tyrone: How can they possibly sell this? The American people aren't that stupid!
John: To paraphrase P.T. Barnum, "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people."
Tyrone: They'd have to start up a draft, and they couldn't do that by summer --
John: No, it'll be targetted bombings.
Tyrone: But what's the sell?
John: Hmm. Well, if there's a terrorist attack, they'll track it to Iran, and justify it that way.
Tyrone: Would people fall for that?
John: Bud, 19 September 11 hijackers --15 Saudis, 1 Egyptian, I forget the rest. Draw the line from that to Iraq.
John: Now, if there's NO attack, then they'll trot out the nuke threat and also, there'd be a certain symmetry to the map. "Look, we freed Afghanistan. Look, we freed Iraq. Look what big pile o'theocracy is right in the middle of the two."
(/begin rampant paranoia)
Tyrone: I say that then, they'd have to suspend American elections, because the public would smarten up.
John: So suspend them. Claim it's just a delay, you can't secure the polling places, trot out a terror alert.
Tyrone: People will catch on.
John: You've got to remember, the right-wing media and blogosphere will buy ANYTHING the President says for at least a week. They've got wiggle room. All they need is some wiggle room to pull it off.
Oh, and here's the beautiful part -- bring the National Guard back from Iraq. You win points for drawing down numbers there, and "re-assign" them to "terror patrols" here in the States. People will be so giddy at the returning troops ...
Tyrone: First, fuck you for using the word "blogosphere." Second, the amount of thought you've put into how to take over a country is kind of disturbing.
John: I always wondered just how hard it would be, really, to be a supervillain. And I've decided, frankly ... not so hard.
(/end rampant paranoia)
Tyrone: Okay, Dr. Doom, back to reality for a second. If we bomb Iran, then the North Koreans would start lobbing nukes.
John: Why do you say that?
Tyrone: They'd be the last of the 'Axis of Evil' nations, what've they got to lose?
John: Yeah, but by that point, the U.S. has no game. We're stretched razor thin as it is, and there's no WAY anyone's going to back a play in Iran. Solo there.
Tyrone: So instead of tossing nukes --
John: -- which would be suicidal, they instead take their million-man Army -- two million boots-on-the-ground, baby -- and march into South Korea. Can't use nukes to stop the troops, you'd be vaporizing friendly South Koreans.
Tyrone: Yeah, but what does China do?
John: If I were running it?
Tyrone: Sure. Fine, from your space fortress.
John: Chinese banks own a third of the US current deficit, around $650 billion. All in all, 86% of the deficit is owned by Asian central banks. If I were China, I'd trigger a US financial crisis at the same time I let North Korea do all the hard conquering work. Then China steps in, "rescues" a newly unified Korea, and declares it a protected territory, or whatever the hell Hong Kong is. End-game: America is financially crippled, still the main object of hate for the Muslim world, militarily overstretched, and politically paralyzed. China sews up the loose geographic tail ends of an Empire, maybe they unite Asean plus Three with India and go on to run the next frikkin' century without even trying.
Tyrone: You should come up with a boardgame about this stuff. It's like Risk, but more interesting.
John: It's exactly like Risk. Except, you know how every game of Risk has that one dumb guy --
Tyrone: There's really no need to finish that sentence.
John: If you say so.