Bush and Cheney: All Dressed up and no Place to Go

Chronique de Rodrigue Tremblay

The leader whose thinking process most resembles
[Adolf] Hitler's is our own president. —Like Hitler,
(George W.) Bush's ideological beliefs have blinded
him to reality, and like Hitler, he seems impervious
to advice that conflicts with his beliefs.

Charley Reese
When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by
conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from
them, then he is always stirring up some war or other,
in order that the people may require a leader.

Plato, (428/427-348/347 B.C.), ancient Greek

If the war is enlarged in the next 20 months to
include Iran— if that happens—for the next 20 years
the United States is going to be bogged down in a war
which spans Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and
then you can forget about American global leadership.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor to
President Jimmy Carter

For many months, the Bush-Cheney administration
and its Neocon allies in Congress
and in the media
have been inching toward a fresh new war against Iran,
possibly using nuclear weapons, under the same flimsy
pretext that it had used, in 2003, to launch [an
illegal war of aggression
against Iraq. The military gear had been positioned,
with three full armadas in or around the Gulf of
Hormuz, and the propaganda machine
was running full time to persuade the American people
that a state of perpetual war was in their interests.
But something happened on the road to war. On December
3, Michael McConnell, Director of the [National
Intelligence Council,
dropped a political bomb. His Office —in close
collaboration with the [Central Intelligence Agency
and the other fifteen U.S. Intelligence agencies,
regrouped under the umbrella of the [United States
Intelligence Community (IC),
headed by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI),—issued
a devastating report
about the veracity of the claims made for months by
the Administration that Iran was actively engaged in
developing a nuclear arms program. The [National
Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report
said, "We judge that in the fall of 2003, Tehran
halted its nuclear weapons program....We assess with
moderate confidence Tehran has not restarted its
nuclear weapons program as of mid-2007." The Director
of the US National Council issued also a most unusual
statement, saying that "the decision to release an
unclassified version of the key judgments of this NIE
[report] was made when it was determined that doing so
was in the interest of our nation’s security. The
Intelligence Community is on the record publicly with
numerous statements based on our 2005 assessment on
Iran. Since our understanding of Iran’s capabilities
has changed, we felt it was important to release this
information to ensure that an accurate presentation is
available." In other words, even if the Intelligence
Community felt that the disclosure would undermine a
key Bush-Cheney policy, they were ready to go public
with the damaging report for the sake of national
The very claim of a nuclear Iran has been used by
President George W. Bush to push to the limit, at the
United Nations and in Congress, to obtain some cover
for a bombing campaign against Iran. In fact, as
recently as October 17, the American president had
used the [apocalyptic term of a possible "World War
even raising the specter of a nuclear holocaust, to
draw the darkest picture possible if Iran was not
prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons, thus ending
Israel's nuclear monopoly in
the Middle East. Vice President Dick Cheney has also
claimed that Iran had a "fairly robust new nuclear
program," and that had to be stopped by all means.
Indeed, for months, the person in the Bush
administration who most wanted a hot conflict with
Iran has been Vice President Dick Cheney.
Well, it turns out that both Bush and Cheney knew, at
least since last August, that the Director of National
Intelligence had concluded that Iran had abandoned its
nuclear arms program as far back as 2003, four years
earlier. The report had the effect of pulling the rug
out from under any plan for a preemptive attack
against Iran that the Bush-Cheney administration
intended to implement in the near term. This was good
economic news. Immediately, the price of oil
receded from its lofty level around $100 a barrel, an
indication that the market had factored in some
probability of supply disruptions early in 2008.
Left naked, Bush is now uttering lies and absurdities.
First, there was his claim that he had "only learned
of the new intelligence assessment" the week before,
when it is a fact that the President is briefed every
morning by the Director of the United States
Intelligence Community (IC). Quickly, National
Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and Senator Jay
Rockefeller, (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate
Intelligence Committee contradicted him. Hadley said
that "Bush was first told in August or September about
intelligence indicating Iran had halted its weapons
program." And Senator Rockefeller confirmed that "the
president knew, even as he was saying 'World War III'
and all that kind of stuff." And, second, Bush
professed about not being deterred by mere facts: "The
[National Intelligence Estimates that Iran has no
nuclear weapons program] doesn't do anything to change
my opinion about the danger Iran poses to the
world—quite the contrary." I don't know which of these
two statements undermine the most President Bush's
credibility, if there is any left.
Where does all this leave the warmongering Neocon
crowd? They are scurrying in all directions with
op-eds in far right media to discredit the U.S.
Intelligence Community, trying to rekindle the flames
of war against Iran. This a crowd that revolves around
the pro-Israel Lobby in the U.S., led by the [American
Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC),
and by some Washington-based pro-Israel "think-tanks"
such as the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). They have been
pushing for an illegal attack against Iran, using
nuclear arms, for years. They have all the reasons now
to be displeased. They have used their enormous
influence within the Bush-Cheney administration and
within the leadership of both Congressional parties to
attack Iran, and all these efforts seem to have been
made for nil.
Indeed, the [Israel Lobby, led in Congress by Sen.
Joseph Lieberman (Ind-Conn.),
has been strongly influencing some prominent so-called
Bush Democrats to
join in the war frenzy against Iran. As its point-man
in Congress, Senator Joe Lieberman (Ind-Conn)
has been calling for the [U.S. bombing of Iran every
other week,
dutifully doing the round of Sunday morning public
affairs TV shows. The Neocons have not been deterred
by the fact that bombing another country without
provocation is an international crime of high order.
According to the Nuremberg Charter,
it is even a crime punishable by death.
So far, all U.N. resolutions about sanctions against
Iran have been specifically framed under Article 41,
which entails "measures not involving the use of armed
force." It is most doubtful that China and Russia, two
Security Council members, will ever accept a
resolution that would impose sanctions against Iran
under U.N. Article 42, which allows the use of
military force "to restore international peace and
stability," now that official American intelligence
assessments state that there is no Iran nuclear arms
program. The United Nations is not going to serve as
cover for military operations against Iran.
And the U.S. Congress, especially the non-neocon
Democrats, will be increasingly reluctant to give the
Bush-Cheney administration a blank check to launch a
war against Iran. Last September, the U.S. Senate came
very close to handing the Bush-Cheney administration a
blank check for military strikes against Iran, when [75
Senators voted in favor of the so-called
Kyle-Lieberman non-binding resolution.
Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), along with Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), voted in favor of
the resolution. This was counteracted last November 1,
by 30 U.S. Senators,
none of them Republican, led by Senator Jim Webb, from
Virginia, who sent a letter to President George W.
Bush stressing that the Administration did not have
the legal authority to attack Iran without
congressional approval.
In the past, [Senator and presidential candidate
Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)
->http://snipurl.com/1dunt] has even accused Bush of
playing down the threat of a nuclear Iran and has
called for swift action at the United Nations to
impose sanctions on the Iranian government. Similarly,
[House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) ostensibly
capitulated to Bush,
->http://www.antiwar.com/pat/?articleid=10701] after
having attended AIPAC's annual meeting, stripping from
a war finance bill the provision that would have
forced Bush to go to Congress before launching an
attack on Iran.
Now, with the NIE report officially out, it will be
increasingly difficult for the Democratic leadership
in Congress to pussycat with the Bush-Cheney
administration regarding any future unprovoked
aggression against Iran.
Last February, [Admiral William Fallon, the head the
Central Command (CENTCOM), expressed strong opposition
->http://ipsnews.net/print.asp?idnews=37738] to an
administration plan to increase the number of carrier
strike groups in the Persian Gulf from two to three,
and he vowed privately there would be no war against
Iran as long as he was chief of CENTCOM. And last
June, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei said that an attack
on Iran over its refusal to freeze programs that could
make nuclear weapons would be "an Act of Madness.''
For the time being, cooler-headed individuals have
prevailed over the ideologues and the warmongers. As a
result, the [planned Bush-Cheney-Lieberman war against
has been sidetracked. With the subprime financial
crisis scheduled to pick up steam in the first half of
2008, it is good news that a fabricated geopolitical
crisis has so far been avoided. The main question now
is to ask whether Bush and Cheney have the gall to
ignore the official intelligence report and invent new
lies to justify a war against Iran. Stay tuned for
more on this incredible saga.
- source

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