Sunday, February 05, 2006


Many have commented, lamentingly, how the Iranians seem to be playing a subtle game of chess.

After all, the game was invented, probably, in Persia.

And obviously chess is beyond the capability of the Bush administration, which appears to be playing the far-less-sophisticated checkers.

But I think that may be wrong.

They may be playing chess, but Bush is playing poker.

The world, in its complexity, is not very much like rigidly-constructed chess at all. Modern Game Theory, after all, uses Poker as its archetypical game for human interaction -- not chess!

If Levian is right, Iran may have been suckered into betting all its chips on the seemingly strong Dead Man's Hand, when Bush in fact is holding better cards.

It's a reverse-bluff.

Aren't the maxims of Sun Tzu essentially, "when strong, appear weak; when near, appear far"?

Just how strong is Bush's hand?

He's got a Good Cop, Bad Cop, Worse Cop thing going now:
MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel likened Iran's nuclear plans on Saturday to the threat posed by the Nazis in their early days, as top U.S. officials urged a tough line to stop Tehran from making an atomic bomb.

U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman applauded Merkel and urged the world to take the Iranians seriously.

"From the writings of Hitler during the 1930s and Mein Kampf to the polemics of bin Laden in the 1990s, there is ample evidence that sometimes when people write and say that they hate you and ... they want to destroy you, in fact they mean it and will try," he said.

His Republican colleague John McCain said economic sanctions should be imposed on Iran even if that meant bypassing the United Nations. He said military action must also remain an option if Tehran does not bow to international demands to halt its nuclear activities.

Rumsfeld described Iran's Islamic leaders as extremely dangerous and said they could not be permitted to acquire the world's deadliest weapons.

"The Iranian regime is today the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism," Rumsfeld said. "The world does not want, and must work together to prevent, a nuclear Iran."
Add Bush to those four cards (Merkel, Lieberman, McCain, Rumsfeld), and it's a Royal Straight Flush.

We just need the will to play the cards rather than fold.


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