Bush to Attack Iran Before Leaving Office?
A thinly-sourced report by the Jerusalem Post claiming that President Bush had told the Israeli government that he plans to attack Iran before leaving office has been flatly denied by the White House.
The White House on Tuesday flatly denied an Army Radio report that claimed US President George W. Bush intends to attack Iran before the end of his term. It said that while the military option had not been taken off the table, the Administration preferred to resolve concerns about Iran’s push for a nuclear weapon “through peaceful diplomatic means.”
Army Radio had quoted a top official in Jerusalem claiming that a senior member in the entourage of President Bush, who concluded a trip to Israel last week, had said in a closed meeting here that Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were of the opinion that military action against Iran was called for.
The official reportedly went on to say that “the hesitancy of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice” was preventing the administration from deciding to launch such an attack on the Islamic Republic for the time being.
So, we have an anonymous top Israeli official passing on third hand information from an anonymous member of Bush’s entourage about what may or may not have been said in a meeting. And a White House denial.
Hmm. Of course, if the president was planning on attacking Iran but wanted to keep it secret until after the election, he’d have to deny that. And, if he wasn’t planning anything of the sort, he’d deny it, too.
My sense remains that, whatever Bush’s views on what is “called for” in the case of Iran, we’re incredibly unlikely to actually do anything.