Thursday, April 20, 2006



"Wild speculation"

That's how President Bush dismissed reports in the New Yorker that the White House was considering using nuclear weapons in Iran. But that wasn't what he was saying today. In a press conference in Washington, Bush was asked explicitly whether the "options" for Iran "include the possibility of a nuclear strike", Bush replied chillingly

All options are on the table.

Now, that's not saying "we're going to nuke Iran", but its very definitely not ruling it out either, and the only way it can be construed is as an implied threat of first use.

So much for "speculation".

(Hat tip: Billmon)

7 comments:

Ever time monkey boy opens his mouth, the price of petrol goes up 5 cents.

Posted by Bloodrage : 4/20/2006 07:12:00 AM

It helps to look at the full quote to get an indication of what someone is saying and Bush goes on to say -

"We want to solve this issue diplomatically and we're working hard to do so. The best way to do so is, therefore, to be a united effort with countries who recognize the danger of Iran having a nuclear weapon. And that's why we're working very closely with countries like France and Germany and Great Britain. I intend, of course, to bring the subject of Iranian ambitions to have a nuclear weapon with Hu Jintao this Thursday. And we'll continue to work diplomatically to get this problem solved."

That is indeed not saying "we're going to nuke Iran".

So go talk about a rush to war if you like but why not talk about what is actually happening now, which is a diplomatic process via the UN. That's sort of what many who opposed the Iraq war were demading. But now that that is what happening it suddenly becomes much less important than the wild speculation.

Any US military action would follow the failure of the diplomatic path. And guess who are the main obstacles to a united UN front? Russia and China. Like with Darfur, trade has been put first. So maybe it's not the US that should get the attention of those opposed to military action against Iran.

Posted by neil morrison : 4/20/2006 08:05:00 AM

neil morrison: Any US military action would follow the failure of the diplomatic path. And guess who are the main obstacles to a united UN front? Russia and China. Like with Darfur, trade has been put first. So maybe it's not the US that should get the attention of those opposed to military action against Iran.

Even if China and Russia are not being particularly helpful, which may or may not be the case, they are not the countries that are threatening to take military action against Iran. The US is the country threatening military action, therefore it is rightly the target of those opposed to military action.

Posted by Anonymous : 4/20/2006 08:52:00 AM

No US president has every ruled out any military option, including 'nukes'.

Posted by Anonymous : 4/20/2006 12:24:00 PM

true - it is helpfull to get the full quote, it is far to easy to get the wrong idea without the full context.

Theres only one small problem, well, large problem really.

That is that actions speak louder than words.
We have heard so much bald faced lies and distortions of meaning from the bush administration that, in my opinion their record speaks far louder than their press releases.

But i suppose everyone deserves a second chance.

And on the issue of obstacles in the UN. China, Russia and the US are pretty much in the same club.
If the US really is commited to a diplomatic process then good on them. Although im not holding my breath.

Fraser

Posted by Anonymous : 4/20/2006 01:15:00 PM

Bush on December 31, 2002:

BUSH: You say we're headed to war in Iraq, I don't know why you say that. I hope we're not headed to war in Iraq. I'm the person that gets to decide, not you. And I hope that this can be done peacefully. We've got a military presence there to remind Saddam Hussein, however, that when I say we will lead a coalition of the willing to disarm him if he chooses not to disarm, I mean it.

Posted by stephen : 4/20/2006 04:23:00 PM

Nice interview with Scott Ritter which nails the US administration's position on Iran:
http://www.sdcitybeat.com/article.php?id=4281

Posted by Huskynut : 4/21/2006 12:57:00 PM