Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bush: Threat of World War III if Iran goes nuclear

Is President George Bush really THAT delusional? This story is from Reuters News:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush warned on Wednesday a nuclear-armed Iran could lead to World War III as he tried to shore up international opposition to Tehran amid Russian skepticism over its nuclear ambitions.

Bush was speaking a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has resisted Western pressure to toughen his stance over Iran's nuclear program, made clear on a visit to Tehran that Russia would not accept any military action against Iran.

At a White House news conference, Bush expressed hope Putin would brief him on his talks in Tehran and said he would ask him to clarify recent remarks on Iran's nuclear activities.

Putin said last week that Russia, which is building Iran's first atomic power plant, would "proceed from the position" that Tehran had no plans to develop nuclear weapons but he shared international concerns that its nuclear programs "should be as transparent as possible."

"The thing I'm interested in is whether or not he continues to harbor the same concerns that I do," Bush said. "When we were in Australia (in September), he reconfirmed to me that he recognizes it's not in the world's interest for Iran to have the capacity to make a nuclear weapon."


Stepping up his rhetoric, Bush said a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a "dangerous threat to world peace."

"We've got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel," he said. "So I've told people that, if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."

I'll be honest, I don't really know if President Bush is planning an attack or not here. I don't know if Bush will back up these threats with a military strike against Iran--I'm pretty sure that Vice President Dick Cheney wants to attack Iran, and the PNAC neocons want to attack Iran. What worries me here is that a U.S. attack against Iranian nuclear facilities could bring us into war with Russia--can you now say World War III?

Matthew Yglesias has a great analysis of Bush's statement:

Two points. One: This is inane. World War III? Against Iran? Really? Because Iran seems a lot like a medium-sized middle income country with few military capabilities rather than a near peer-competitor of the sort against which you might fight a world war.

Two: Note where Bush has placed the goalposts here. Not preventing Iran from having a nuclear weapon. Preventing Iran from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon. I'm not sure what the significance of that switch is, but it seems significant.

Where is this country heading under this insane administration?

Here is the YouTube video of Bush's WW III statement:

Hat tip to TPM.


Jude's BlogLoggin said...

I find my self with nervous apprehension on the rumors of war with Iran. So many issues need to be explored by this administration before we fall into the knee-jerk trap as we did with Iraq.

Eric A Hopp said...

Hello Jude: You're telling me. I can't say whether President Bush's rhetoric is just rhetoric, or if Bush is starting to lose it here. President Bush is under a huge amount of stress here. His administration has embroiled in scandal after scandal here--the U.S. attorney scandal, domestic spying scandal, intelligence failures, Valerie Plame. He has sent the U.S. into two wars, which we are losing now, and is being pressured into a third war by Vice President Cheney. His job approval rating is now at 24 percent, according to Zogby. How much more pressure can Bush take before he lashes out in total fury? I can't say.

Now I know that the Bush administration is trying to use fear to maintain American support for its current confrontational policy with Iran, and to continue the war with Iraq. But we've had almost seven years of this constant fear mongering by this administration--it is getting rather dull and tiring to be constantly exposed by this fear for political reasons. Could it be that this constant dullness is causing the Bush administration to ratchet up the fear mongering in order to maintain the PR-grip on the American public?

I've also included your link to my blogroll.