Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Going "Nucular" in Iran?

In a press conference today, President Bush responded to questions about the newly released National Intelligence Estimate on Iran with this: "Iran was dangerous. Iran is dangerous. And Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon. I think it is very important for the international community to recognize the fact that if Iran were to develop the knowledge that they could transfer to a clandestine program, it would create a danger to the world. And so, I view this report as a warning signal that they had the program, they halted the program. The reason why it's a warning signal is they could restart it."

Instead of letting out a big sigh of relief over the fact that Iran has abandoned its nuclear weapons program, indeed that it had done so more than four years ago, back in 2003, Bush attempted to turn the tables, essentially posturing that he was right all along about the threat from Iran. This is especially alarming given that his administration knew back in August that intelligence estimates on Iran were in the process of being re-evaluated. Still he continued to warn of a potential World War III if America did not maintain its aggressive foreign policy position, leading many Americans to expect that we would soon be bombing Iran.

Now it all seems to be just another of Bush's cheesy political ploys--a power play in the run-up to the 2008 election or a chance to bolster his legacy as the "War President"--remarkably and tragically similar to the fake intelligence that led us into the Iraq quagmire. Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us? I don't think so. This might have worked in the fictional world of George Orwell's 1984, where thanks to "newspeak," black was white, up was down, and left was right, but like the book's Winston character, after our brains stop flopping around in our heads, we realize that this latest gaff is so transparent that any shred of credibility left in this presidency is now completely gone. The legacy? How about "Worst President Ever."

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