Saturday :: Apr 8, 2006

Hersh: Bush Ready To Bomb Iran So That He Can "Save" It

by Steve

There’s been a rash of stories lately about Bush Administration war gaming for an Iranian preemptive bombing campaign. Knowing the usefulness of strategic disinformation as this administration does, I have chalked up some of these stories to a futile effort to scare the Iranian leadership into a stronger commitment to negotiations. As I have said numerous times before, Bush had a chance in the months after 9/11 to make a strategic opening to Iran when they had a moderate elected leadership, and he blew it when he stupidly uttered the “Axis of Evil” schoolboy taunt in the face of repeated offers by the Iranians to help us.

But we now need to take seriously these rumblings, and wonder if our long-held suspicions about the groupthink and macho mentality in this White House will merge with their desire for a way to avoid a thrashing in the midterm elections. Seymour Hersh is reporting in the New Yorker that the Bush Administration is planning to launch a massive bombing campaign against the suspected Iranian nuclear facilities, using bunker-busting nuclear warheads, as early as this spring. Think about that for a moment, and the fact that they have already briefed several senators on their plans, including the only Democrat who would not think this was borderline insane with 130,000 American targets inside an already-splintering Iraq.

A government consultant with close ties to the civilian leadership in the Pentagon said that Bush was "absolutely convinced that Iran is going to get the bomb" if it is not stopped. He said that the President believes that he must do "what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would have the courage to do," and "that saving Iran is going to be his legacy."
One former defense official, who still deals with sensitive issues for the Bush Administration, told me that the military planning was premised on a belief that "a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government." He added, "I was shocked when I heard it, and asked myself, ‘What are they smoking?’"
Bush actually thinks it is his chance to "save Iran", just as he has saved Iraq,and that this is a matter of guts? Let's revisit our concerns over this man's mental stability, shall we? And let's also remember who it was who destroyed our ability to track what Iran was doing when he himself blew up Brewster-Jennings.

And can at least one reporter, or activist this weekend pin down Joe Lieberman and ask him directly if he has been involved in any such briefings? Better yet, shouldn't Harry Reid be on the phone to Lieberman wanting to know the same thing?

Hat tip to Judd Legum at ThinkProgress

Steve :: 10:59 AM :: Comments (49) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!