We learn from the Washington Post that President Bush is miffed. Miffed that news sources would print articles about his administration’s plans for dealing with Iran. From the article (quoting the President):
“I know here in Washington prevention means force,” he said in response to an audience question after a speech at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. “It doesn’t mean force, necessarily. In this case, it means diplomacy. And by the way, I read the articles in the newspapers this weekend. It was just wild speculation, by the way. What you’re reading is wild speculation, which . . . happens quite frequently here in the nation’s capital.”
Why would he say this? The fact is, his military planners are indeed constructing plans should an invasion of Iran become “necessary.” He has already invaded one nation, Iraq, which he said belonged to the “axis of evil,” because he was convinced they might have weapons of mass destruction. I don’t think the news articles could properly be called “wild speculation” given these facts. The President has so far failed to explain why it was so urgent to invade Iraq, who were complying with weapons inspectors, and who had no nuclear technology, and yet it is not so urgent to invade Iran, who have stated clearly that they believe they have a right to nuclear weapons, and are within at most years of developing them.
At the same event, the President demonstrated that he doesn’t understand how a Democracy works:
With some students inside the small hall wearing red signs protesting his policies, Bush said he welcomes dissent. “I get protested all the time,” Bush said to laughter, then called it a “great thing” in a democracy. “The protests really don’t bother me. I hope that’s not viewed as cavalier, but it’s just the way I feel.”
Those students are his constituents. This President is using his citizens’ heartfelt attempts to tell him their disagreements as window dressing. The arrogance.
3 Replies to “President Bush Calls Talk of War with Iran Speculation”
Of course the students’ protests don’t bother him. He isn’t bothered at all by the opinions of the American people. And, quite frankly, I’m surprised they were even allowed near him (and that he was allowed to read the papers).
“…Iraq, who were complying with weapons inspectors,..”
well, they weren’t really complying when they kicked the UN inspectors out in 1998 and didn’t even begin to think of re-admitting them until August 2002. The inspectors didn’t get back until late November 2002…and the Iraqi dossiere release of 12,000 pages to supplement that return was also found to be incomplete by Hans Blix (who otherwise was sympathetic to the Iraqi efforts)
besides – “complying with weapons inspectors” wasn’t all Iraq was called on to do as their repeated UN-cited violations of numerous cease-fire provisions makes clear.
…and I’m not sure what the President could have done, short of announcing a complete revesal in policy, in acknowledging the protesters that would have satified you. I can’t recall any politician of significance (give me a break, it’s late) – not Bill or Hillary Clinton, John Kerry or Al Gore – who has admitted that protesters bothered him or her or suggested that they shouldn’t be allowed to protest….acknowledging the rights of protesters while refusing to be swayed by them is the American way
You are correct to point out that Saddam Hussein could not by any stretch of the imagination be described as properly compliant with UN requirements. I should have said that, with the threat of imminent violence, he did seem to be allowing inspections to go on with much greater freedom than in the past. That was, in my understanding at the time, one of the big justifications for the Iraq War resolution: it would make us look serious so Saddam would have to change his tune.
It seemed to be working. Then we went to War, in my opinion, prematurely, irresponsibly, and unnecessarily. It is this I worry about with Iran. There are worrisome things happening in that nation, and we are right to be paying attention and trying to achieve a good outcome. We will not achieve such an outcome through a war with Iran. News reports indicate that we are beginning to plan for such a war, and, while I do understand that we must plan for eventualities that may never occur, this planning does represent a step toward a more aggressive attitude with Iran. If this is for the purpose of threats and intimidation, so be it–not every diplomatic tactic is nice and pretty. But if it is for the purpose of actually going to war, then it is misguided. And it has all happened before.
As for the protestors, I don’t mean to suggest that a politician ought to change their mind on the fly whenever a group of people disagrees with them. Rather, a group of people who disagree ought to be taken seriously, as a sign that perhaps an idea bears more consideration. The President’s low approval rating indicates that many of his constituents don’t like how he’s doing his job.
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