Sunday, April 23, 2006

Why those thinking and/or hoping (here and here) that Bush will keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons are wrong...

1) He's so focused on Iraq that everything else takes a back seat to 'finishing the mission'. For example, he's okayed domestic huge spending increases, not because he necessarily likes all that spending, but in order to avoid having the 'guns or butter' debate that crippled LBJ - so he agrees to everything Congress wants, and in turn, they agree to keep funding the war effort in Iraq. He's also concerned that Iran will, if Bush puts real pressure on them about their nuclear program, increase their mischief in Iraq, further imperiling his dreams. Maybe once Iraq is 'dealt with' he can/will turn his attention elsewhere, but that ain't happening anytime soon.

2) There are no more hawks in his administration. Wolfowitz left. Rumsfeld is more concerned with revamping the military than with actually using it. Rice is so enamored with her positive press there is no way she would jeopardize it by advocating military action against Iran.

3) Bush is so haunted by the deaths in Iraq that he can't bear to order our troops into another conflict. Remember, Iraq was supposed to be easy. Bush, while not necessarily the sharpest tool in the shed, can figure out that if we've lost over 2,000 lives in what was supposed to be an easy war, the casualties are likely to be far higher going after Iran.

4) Bush really does need others to validate his feelings, and, right now, he has no allies in the world encouraging him to 'not go wobbly'. Blair has ruled out helping the US in a military assault against Iran. Bush's good buddy Putin is actually selling Iran the weaponry that makes our job harder.

5) Bush is afraid of the repercussions of attacking Iran. Going after another Muslim country will inflame Muslims worldwide. Bush is afraid that other countries - potentially even Russia - might be drawn into the fight, turning it into a much wider and more dangerous conflict.

6) The constant attacks from the left have taken their toll. We'd like to think otherwise, but the months and months of hearing "Bush lied, people died" has, as it would with anyone in the White House, had its impact.

7) Bush doesn't know who to trust when it comes to deciding just how much of a threat Iran poses, so he's doing the worst thing and doing nothing. What he ought to be doing is, in the absence of confirmable evidence to the contrary, taking the most pessimistic view towards Iran's capabilities, intentions and progress.

8) He's thinking Iran with a bomb might be the same as North Korea having one. Unfortunately, North Korea's mad leader wanted a nuclear bomb to keep the United States and South Korea from throwing him into the street... Iran actually intends to use theirs.

9) He hopes Israel will do what he can't do.

10) He's hoping to run the clock out on his Presidency and dump this off on the next guy, just as Clinton dumped Bin Laden, Iraq and North Korea off on him.