A Snag In The Campaign For War With Iran

Is Cheney Wailing?

A new assessment by American intelligence agencies concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains on hold, contradicting an assessment two years ago that Tehran was working inexorably toward building a bomb.

The conclusions of the new assessment are likely to be major factor in the tense international negotiations aimed at getting Iran to halt its nuclear energy program. Concerns about Iran were raised sharply after President Bush had suggested in October that a nuclear-armed Iran could lead to “World War III,” and Vice President Dick Cheney promised “serious consequences” if the government in Tehran did not abandon its nuclear program.

The finding also come in the middle of a presidential campaign during which a possible military strike against Iran’s nuclear program has been discussed. The assessment, a National Intelligence Estimate that represents the consensus view of all 16 American spy agencies, states that Tehran’s ultimate intentions about gaining a nuclear weapon remain unclear, but that Iran’s “decisions are guided by a cost-benefit approach rather than a rush to a weapon irrespective of the political, economic and military costs.”

“Some combination of threats of intensified international scrutiny and pressures, along with opportunities for Iran to achieve its security, prestige, and goals for regional influence in other ways might – if perceived by Iran’s leaders as credible – prompt Tehran to extend the current halt to its nuclear weapons program,” the estimate states.

I have always believed the Iran scare was mostly a red herring by the cynical Bush Administration (not the Cheney cabal however) to take the focus off of IRaq and and that the only way there would be war with Iran would be if a pretext was concocted via the Iraq Debacle. I think that is more true than ever.

Thus, being firm on the Kyl Lieberman is admirable but being firm on NOT funding the Iraq Debacle is MUCH MORE important. It is one of the principal reasons I am displeased with Senator Jim Webb’s actions on these issues.


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  1. the Bush administration in the position of having to say they don’t believe their own intelligence if they are going to refute the assessment. WMD’s anyone, nah….can’t trust the intelligence.

  2. I get it. I get it.

    You’re a funny guy – I’ll give you that.

    I’ll say yet again. I too am displeased that Senator Webb does not support defunding. We simply disagree as to whether his is a principled stance or one wherein he is capitulating to the President.

    To me there is a big difference here for the long term implications of Senator Webb’s life in the Senate. As someone who is primarily interested in progress on the issues, I would rather deal with an ‘honest’ Webb (IMO) than a disingenuous typical pol.

    That said, I sure hope Cheney is wailing. Wailing and crying all the way out the door without the opportunity to bomb Iran. I Hope Beyond Hope this will be the case.

  3. Man this really brings back a few John McCain Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran moments for me.  Today has provided me with a measure of relief I’m not often used to receiving since I woke up and it was 2002 and everything had turned to mush.  It isn’t everything but it’s a little bit of something.  And just in case anyone forgot, here’s the extra special John McCain answering an axis of evil true believer question.

    • nocatz on December 3, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    that’s the headline on MSNBC/WNBC


    • oculus on December 4, 2007 at 1:39 am


  4. intelligence agents tell Bush plus to back off. Chavez failed in his attempt for president for life. In Pakistan Musharaff has arrived at at somewhat of a compromise, maybe!

    Life goes on.  Is Cheny wailing, probably not. Probably planning to enter the presidential race   AFTER the  primaries. After all has every one forgotton that he chose himself for VP? why not P?  Putin just declared himself prime minister for life (only if he can’t pull off the president gig). So what else is new.

    So much for democracy.

  5. from all sides of our government? It does seem to come down to the geopolitical considerations of permanence in Iraq with no resistance from Iran. Back off, disregard the history that has gone before vis a vis Iraq and us and Iran and the designs we have on you. Have trouble separating Cheney cabal, from Bush, they differ? Defunding would actually put the Iran threat in a better perspective as it would not be tied to whose funneling support to who. Iran and Iraq are as entwined as our murky history and intension’s with both these nation states are.    

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