Bush plays the nuclear card

US President George W. Bush on Tuesday raised the specter of a “nuclear holocaust” in the Middle East if Israel’s arch-foe Iran gets atomic weapons, and demanded that Tehran end support for extremists in Iraq.

“Iran’s actions threaten the security of nations everywhere, and the United States is rallying friends and allies to isolate Iran’s regime, to impose economic sanctions,” he told the American Legion veterans group.

“We will confront this danger before it is too late,” vowed Bush, who has pressed for tougher international sanctions and said he hopes for a diplomatic solution but has repeatedly refused to rule out the use of force.

Bush, whose speech was billed a defense of US efforts in Iraq, also said Tehran must starve Shiite fighters in Iraq of weapons, equipment and training whether or not Iran’s leaders know about such operations and have given their blessing.

“Either way, they cannot escape responsibility for aiding attacks against coalition forces and the murder of innocent Iraqis,” he said, as the White House warned in a statement that Iran must act “at once.”

Bush also strongly defended US-led efforts in Iraq and especially his decision in January to send another 30,000 US troops there, describing the unpopular conflict as the central front against Iran and Al-Qaeda.

“The most important and immediate way to counter the ambitions of Al-Qaeda and Iran and other forces of instability and terror is to win the fight in Iraq,” he declared.

Bush said there were “unmistakable signs” that the US troop “surge” was paying off with lower levels of violence and local efforts at quieting bloody sectarian conflict and downplayed the failure by the government in Baghdad to post concrete progress on national reconciliation.

“Iraq’s leaders aren’t perfect, but they were elected by their people,” he said. “And leaders in Washington need to look for ways to help our Iraqi allies succeed, not excuses for abandoning them.”

Shortly before Bush spoke, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran and neighboring countries were ready to fill the “power vacuum” emerging in the Middle East as US power in Iraq wanes.

“You (the United States) cannot preserve your power over Iraq with a few tanks, artillery and weapons. Today, you are prisoners of your own quagmire. You have no choice but to accept the rights of the Iraqi people,” Ahmadinejad said.

“I can tell you there will be a power vacuum in the region. We are ready with other regional countries, such as Saudi Arabia, and the people of Iraq, to fill this vacuum.”

The United States has expressed its discomfort over the increasingly strong relationship between Iran and Baghdad.

Some Western analysts have argued that Iran has been the chief beneficiary of the US invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, helping Tehran to boost its influence in the region.

Ahmadinejad also scoffed at the notion of a US attack on his country dismissed a warning from his new French counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy, as a symptom of inexperience.

“There is no … possibility of such an attack by the United States,” Ahmadinejad told a news conference marked by his characteristic defiance.

“Even if they take such a decision, they cannot implement it,” he said.

Sarkozy used a keynote foreign policy address on Monday to say the threat of sanctions coupled with an offer of dialogue was the only way of avoiding a “catastrophic alternative: an Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran.”

“He only recently came to power and wants to find a place for himself in the world,” Ahmadinejad said of the French president. “He is still inexperienced, meaning that maybe he does not really understand the meaning of his own words.”

The United States accuses Iran — OPEC’s number two oil producer and owner of the second largest proven gas reserves in the world — of seeking to make nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian energy drive.

Iran insists that the drive is entirely peaceful and that its growing population will need nuclear power as fossil fuels start to run dry.

Tehran’s refusal to suspend uranium enrichment — a sensitive process that can be used both to make nuclear fuel and nuclear weapons — has already seen it slapped with two sets of UN sanctions.

Washington has been pushing for tougher measures, but Ahmadinejad said Iran was now cooperating so well with the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), that more UN sanctions were unlikely.

“Not one member of the IAEA has cooperated as well as Iran. So from our point of view, Iran’s nuclear case is closed. Iran is a nuclear nation and has the nuclear fuel cycle,” he said.

A deal reached between Iran and the IAEA last week sets out a detailed timetable for Tehran to answer outstanding questions about its atomic drive, but does not tackle the key sticking point over whether Iran should suspend uranium enrichment activities.

The US envoy to the IAEA, Gregory Schulte, has dismissed the plan as having “real limitations,” and claimed that Iran “is clearly trying to distract attention from its continued development of bomb-making capability.”

Schulte insisted that the United States would continue pushing for a third round of sanctions, which diplomats said Washington wanted to happen in September.

Comments

  1. Carl Nemo

    SEAL, I respect and understand your views concerning Bushco launching a “strategic” nuclear attack against Russia or China as a no-go, but when it comes to launching a pre-emptive attack against Iran using Tomahawk missiles with RDX armed warheads or possibly “bunker-busting” nukes on a theatre basis I have to disagree.

    It would be my hope that honorable men; i.e, officers would not comply with such directives, but if it’s contained to theatre; ie., a Middle East engagement, they’l probably perform as efficient “button men” when given the order, regardless of how much they squirm concerning the mindless, insane command that comes from Der Fuhrer’s bunker…!

    I’m calling it that they will follow orders and attack Iran in spades regardless of the military and economic fallout concerning this monstrous action.

    There’s an article posted this date relative to comments from an LSO officer based on one of our carriers. I cannot discount the commentary. It seems genuine and well stated. All I can say is Americans the world best get ready down below because if we think the invasion of Iraq based on cooked intelligence, courtesy of the Wolfowitz-Feith-Cheney pipeline was bad, then it will have been a cakewalk compared to the price we shall pay for attacking Iran with no other provocation other than being ordered to do so by Israel.

    http://readerrant.capitolhillblue.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=28973#Post28973

    Carl Nemo **==

    p.s. Get ready for $120 bbl oil and $10 dollar gasoline at the pumps and a total and absolute crash of the capital markets and a host of the worlds phony-butt fiat currencies excluding the Euro which is the only currency they will then accept for their oil; ie., either Euro’s or gold bullion…!

  2. SEAL

    Klaus, I don’t have acces to any specific or inside information anymore. My information comes from “buddys” I know over there or mostly in the states. And they would not reveal any classified info. I do know that Iran is spending millions for all types of military hardware. Within that they have acquired some ground to air missiles and would like to get their hands on all of that sort of thing they can. Most of what they are buying is Russian made with Chinese a strong second. It comes from several sources.

    I look for them to buy all the “shoulder fired” ground to air rockets they can. They know what kind of war it would be if it happened. No way could they acquire enough of a missle defense to have much impact on on our air strikes if we launched them. But you would find them popping up out of the attic as you flew over with a shoulder fired rocket to pop you in the nose and kill you before you could react. “Iranbo.”

    But, as I have repeatedly said, I see no way we would attack them.

  3. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    Seal, I have read that Iran has recently gotten some advanced air-defense systems, and anti-aircraft missles. I just wondered if you know much about that?

    If Bush takes on Bombing Iran, this could and very likely be his Stalingrad.

    The problem with the Chimp Administration dumbing down its recruting standards for human fodder to shore up the manpower needs of the military is
    to me very ‘Volkssturm-Lite’.

    Nancette and Hairy Reed vainly engage in little Pavlov Jack-in-the-Box retorts that they’ll re-double their efforts at non-binding resolutions, and they are so
    damn hollow. It is just amazing how they are so afraid of their own shadows.

  4. SEAL

    I am a military commander and strategist with over 30 years experience. I’ve already gone through the reasons why our military cannot attack Iran and the reasons I’m allowed to give why Bush could not launch a preemptive nuclear strike at anyone on two previous occasions. Obviously some of you do not believe me or you did not see it. I will not go through all the details again but it is the military that will stop Bush. They will disobey the order if he gives it.

    The only order they might obey would be conventional air strikes in Iran but I seriously doubt that due to the obvious after affects from a military point of view. They will not initiate a war that is a no win conflict and suicide for the troops, orders or no orders. They would say “Mr. President we cannot do that because > Iran would undoubtably retaliate by, in part, attacking our forces in Iraq. We have no real ground forces or equipment to send to support. The Iraqis would rise up against us in mass. We would be fucked on the ground. Our only salvation would be our air power and that would eventually save the ground but our losses would be enormous and we could not invade or defeat Iran. We would lose Iraq and be forced to withdraw from the country. All we could do is fight our way out with rear guard action and continue to bomb them to hold them at bay.

    Iran would not attack Isreal because they know the Isrealis would nuke them. The other Mid East countries would stay out of it unless attacked which Iran would not do. They are not stupid, they know the rest of the world, the UN, would be screaming and come down on us until we stopped. It is even possible China and Russia would send troops to Iran to defy us to bomb them.

    Attacking Iran is not militarily possible, we cannot do it, and the admirals and generals would tell Bush that. They would also point out that congress would have to declare the war before they could act. That would be their “legal” out to disobey.

    I think that all this fear feeding about Bush nuking Iran or otherwise attacking them should stop.