Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Oops! New Iran Intelligence Report Undermines the Bush-Cheney Rhetoric

George Bush, an old baseball hand, swings and misses—again. 

For several months now, Bush, Cheney and Company have been verbally assaulting Iran and its nuclear ambitions. Most famously, Bush invoked the spectre of World War III as he tried to increase the pressure on the very bellicose Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 

Now, thanks to a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), we find evidence that "undercuts much of the foundation for that approach," to quote a New York Times analysis today.

In a word, "Oops!" 

As Times analyst Steven Lee Myers notes on page one, the new report "certainly weaken[s] international support for tougher sanctions against Iran." 

Not surprisingly, it also puts the administration on the hot seat again, forcing officials "to untangle the confusion caused by its own statements and findings…," Myers wrote. 

Given the Bush-Cheney track record in international affairs, it's time for these guys rethink the errors of their (continuing) ways. Three strikes and you're out, Mr. Bush.


Dan Paden said...

Mercy. God knows I have little love for the Bush administration overall, but the reaction to this report has really surprised me.

In the first place, do you really have so much confidence that the report is accurate? Try googling "past national intelligence estimate errors" and see what you come up with. Personally, I found enough within ninety seconds to make me take everything they say with a grain of salt.

If--thankfully!--Iran really did stop work on nuclear weapons in '03, how is it that you can ignore that this was almost certainly done out of fear over what happened to Iraq? The same thing happened in Libya, after all--Qaddafi was just more open about it. If there are failures connected with administration policy, this doesn't strike me as being one of them.

Moreover, do you seriously think that Iran isn't still the menacing presence on the Middle Eastern scene that it has been since Jimmy Carter botched it? (And, come to think of it, have you gotten over the fact that it was almost certainly Jimmy Carter's disastrous term, including his Iran debacle, that gave us eight years of Reagan? Yes--you characters were responsible for Reagan...:) )Are you really going to seriously quibble with the idea that a nuclear Iran--and the report did say, if I have it right, that it would be relatively easy for Iran to resume its work on nuclear weapons--would be a threat to world peace?

Dan Paden said...

This one happened to get a place on Drudge--at first glance, it sure looks like one of the authors of this NIE thought that Iran was determined to develop nuclear weapons as recently as six months ago.

There's more circulating out there, more that was available last night, material that casts doubt on the biases of the three people writing the report. Can you see why it's not necessarily a slam-dunk that Bush has been wrong about this?