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.
President Bush is, quite reasonably, appealing to history to salvage his legacy since his prospects don't look good in the short term. Despite current efforts to put the best possible face on conditions in Iraq, the news continues to be bad.
For example, last week, one day's news reported the assassinations of two Iraqi governors, as well as the admission by U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker that southern Iraq was plagued by "a lot of violence." In northern Iraq, a truck bomber killed 45 people, and others died elsewhere.
Alberto Gonzales is resigning as U.S. attorney general, and here is what critics of all stripes are saying: He was blindly, brainlessly loyal to President Bush, gave atrocious advice, was an incompetent managerial mangler and klutzy in his own self-defense.
His legacy includes a Department of Justice that's demoralized and in disarray, argue some detractors who also aver his mistakes have been grievous to the point of costing him any hope that history will someday trot to his reputation's rescue.
It seemed as if Alberto Gonzales was the last person in Washington to realize that his resignation as U.S. attorney general was both inevitable and overdue.
His credibility with Congress was shot and even fellow Republicans made no secret of their relief at his departure. Going back to his days as White House legal counsel, he was associated with a lengthening list of Bush administration legal missteps -- the ill-fated military commissions, opting out of the Geneva Conventions, the terror memos, the rationalization of extra-constitutional powers for the president.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he would resign Monday, after a scandal-tainted tenure marred by critics' claims he was incompetent, hid the truth and may be guilty of perjury.
Gonzales, an architect of contentious US "war on terror" legal tactics, was also at the center of a row over firings of federal prosecutors, was the target of a barrage from Democrats and lost the confidence of many top Republicans.
He was the latest confidant to leave President George W. Bush, 17 months before the US leader himself exits the White House after his second term.
President George W. Bush insisted Saturday his new war strategy in Iraq showed promise but needed more time to bear fruit as the White House fought to rebuff calls for a withdrawal of US troops.
"We are still in the early stages of our new operations," Bush said in his weekly radio address. "But the success of the past couple of months have shown that conditions on the ground can change -- and they are changing."
In a clear jab at critics demanding a drawdown of US troops, Bush added: "We cannot expect the new strategy we are carrying out to bring success overnight."
Throughout the war in Iraq, President Bush has firmly dismissed comparisons with Vietnam, and his aides were careful not to mention that still-raw conflict in defending his policies.
Bush administration political appointees have a proven track record of meddling in the work of the government's career appointees, suppressing findings that conflict with GOP dogma and rewriting reports that might upset the party's socially conservative base.
They seem to have surpassed themselves over at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which does the laudable work of researching ways to keep Americans from getting killed in their cars.
President George W. Bush on Wednesday warned that a hasty withdrawal from Iraq would trigger a bloodbath like the one in Southeast Asia after the US defeat and retreat from Vietnam.
"Three decades later, there is a legitimate debate about how we got into the Vietnam War and how we left," Bush said in an effort to turn on its head the analogy by critics who liken the Iraq war to the Vietnam quagmire.
The White House is so worried that the increasing number of protestors who show up at Presidential events might intrude on the delusional world of George W. Bush that they have a manual that details how to keep dissent away from the President.
It even details how to throw dissenters out of Presidential rallies.