MORE WARS?….This isn’t up yet, but it appears that Time magazine is planning to run a story tonight about the Bush administration’s plans for a second term. Here’s the press release they emailed:

During a private Aug. 19 conference call with Capitol Hill aides from both parties, sources say, senior Pentagon policy official William Luti said there are at least five or six foreign countries with traits that “no responsible leader can allow.”

….A Pentagon spokesman declined to release a transcript of the call, saying Luti was stating “well-established official policy,” not advocating pre-emptive strikes. The U.S., he added, has many other policy options at its disposal. They would presumably include measures like supporting opposition groups in suspect states, Time reports.

Luti, of course, was largely responsible for the worst of the bad intelligence that supported the Iraq war, so he’s in a perfect position to gin up more intelligence to back up whatever war he and the Bush team think we ought to fight next.

And I don’t doubt that he will. For all their comforting talk about “other policy options,” the Cheney/Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz/etc. axis has a long history of advocating military action as the first and best option for dealing with countries they think pose some kind of threat, and they haven’t given the slightest indication that our problems in Iraq have caused them to rethink the limits of military power to accomplish their goals. They are every bit the true believers today that they were two years ago.

In other words, anyone who thinks they won’t find excuses for further military action in a second term just isn’t paying attention. A vote for Bush is a vote for more wars, and with this crew in charge it’s unlikely they’ll turn out any better than Iraq has.

UPDATE: Commentless Matt Yglesias asks “Bill Luti and what army?” That’s a pretty good question, but while it’s true that there are no troops available for the next 12-18 months, it’s quite possible that some will indeed be available after that. And it wouldn’t take a big terrorist attack to convince the American public that we need to occupy, say, Syria. What it would take is some alarming intel about Syria’s intention to use WMD. I’d say that Bill Luti is in a pretty good position to supply that.

Of course, this all begs the question anyway. Bush’s whole appeal is based on his military toughness, so if he’s not planning to use military action in his second term, what’s the point of voting for him? It’s not like anyone thinks he’s a brilliant diplomat or anything.