Gauging seriousness

Various bloggers are suggesting that perhaps Bush & Cheney aren't panting and lusting and whining and scratching at the door to start a war with Iran. Patrick Poivre d'Arvor of French TF1 Television interviews Bush:

Poivre: "So to a certain extent, you did contribute to giving greater power to Iran, because it no longer is facing its hated enemy on the other side. So now is there a true threat in Iran, and are you ready now to invade Iran as you did with Afghanistan and Iraq? So it is indeed true that Vice President -- is it true that Vice President Cheney has a plan for that?"
Bush: "I don't know where you're getting all these rumors -- there must be some weird things going on in Europe these days -- because I have made it abundantly clear, now is the time to deal with a true threat to world peace -- that's Iran -- and to do it diplomatically and peacefully. And that's what I'm going to spend a lot of time on with President Sarkozy. But of course we want to solve these problems peacefully. . . ."

You see, when the President is unable to answer serious questions seriously, or even to acknowledge plain and obvious facts, I just can't help but be suspicious as to what he's up to. Of course the US has, by removing a "hated enemy" of Iran from their Western border, made Iran more of an expansionist threat (Iran is still a "regional power" as compared to the US being a "hyper power," several levels more powerful. "More of a expansionist threat" does not mean a "serious expansionist threat.") The idea that the US has, whether accidentally or not, aided and abetted the growth of Iranian power is not a "rumor," it's a fact.

Reporters from the RTL and N-TV German television networks then had an interview with Bush.

Question "Do you think that the nuclear threat that Iran poses right now is larger than the threat Iraq posed about five or six years ago?"
Bush: "I think they were both dangerous. I think both of them could have been solved diplomatically. Saddam Hussein chose to ignore the demands of the free world and Security Council 1441 -- which, by the way, Germany voted for initially. And I think they're both dangerous. And I think therefore the lesson of Iraq is that we can work together and solve questions peacefully now. . . ."

But Saddam Hussein did NOT "ignore the demands of the free world and Security Council 1441." Saddam Hussein, in December 2002, turned in a 12,000 page document detailing all of the weapons that Iraq possessed at the time. It was met with considerable scorn, skepticism and derision, but there was never any proof that anything in that document was even questionable, let alone that it was in any way inaccurate. And in response to another question:

"I've committed our troops into harm's way twice, and it's not a pleasant experience because I understand the consequences firsthand. And so I owe it to the American people to say that I've tried to solve this problem diplomatically. And that's exactly what I intend to do."

Actually, I got the impression that Bush enormously enjoyed sending soldiers off to war.

Minutes before President Bush's solemn announcement that the US military were in action against Iraq he vigorously pumped his fist and declared: "I feel good". [Mirror]

"There are some who feel like that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is bring them on," Bush said. "We've got the force necessary to deal with the security situation."

And "firsthand"? In November 2003 "Mr Bush spent two hours having dinner with about 600 stunned US troops at Baghdad airport before leaving Iraq." Bush snuck in, remained at the Baghdad airport and snuck out. All of his following visits have been equally surreptitious.

Granted, his wife Laura thinks that she's endured a harsh lot in life, apparently right alongside the troops:

ANN CURRY: Do you know the American people are suffering… watching [Iraq]?
LAURA BUSH: Oh, I know that very much, and, believe me, no suffers more than their president and I do when we watch this. And certainly the commander-in-chief who has asked our military to go into harm’s way.

Nah, the idea that Bush & Cheney won't attack Iran is a bet that I won't put any money on. It seems entirely plausible they will and no, I can't believe for one minute that Bush takes war with anywhere even close to the seriousness that it requires.

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