March 7, 2006


We won't let Iran go nuclear, warns Cheney (Alec Russell in Washington and Anton La Guardia, 08/03/2006, Daily Telegraph)

The Bush administration yesterday forced Russia to abandon a compromise proposal over Iran's nuclear programme as it stepped up the pressure on Teheran.

In the most hawkish rhetoric from a senior US official in months, the vice-president, Dick Cheney, said Iran would not be allowed to have nuclear weapons and hinted at the use of force if it pressed ahead with its nuclear programme.

"The Iranian regime needs to know that if it stays on its current course the international community is prepared to impose meaningful consequences," he said.

"For our part, the United States is keeping all options on the table. We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon."

As Fred Barnes details in his very fine book, George W. Bush is so fascinated by and admiring of the strike on Osirak in 1981 that when he visited Israel as a governor he asked if he could meet with the squadron that flew the mission and thanked them personally. Anyone who doesn't get that he'll launch similar strikes against Iran if they continue to develop nuclear weapons just hasn't been paying attention for the past seven years.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 7, 2006 11:30 PM

Indeed, and I expect he will do his successor the favor of doing the deed himself.

Posted by: curt at March 8, 2006 12:20 AM

Hey, I'd like to see it, but only if it works. I'm sure the Iranians have learned the lesson of Osirak, and it won't be nearly so easy this time. Any strike has to do more than set them back by X months, spread some radioactive debris around, and tick them off. So wouldn't it have to be done along with a decapitation strike? And if we do that, how are we going to make sure the junior mullahs don't just step right in and continue with business as usual? This is a tougher problem than Iraq....

Posted by: PapayaSF at March 8, 2006 1:21 AM

Instead of all this useless and irksome talk, Cheney should just invite the Iranian president to join him on a hunting trip.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at March 8, 2006 2:44 AM

I watched Cheney's speech on C-SPAN, and it was excellent. My only quibble with it was when he talked of the 'international community'. I imagine the Iranian regime breathed a collective sigh of relief when our Vice-President threatened that the 'international community' was running out of patience, instead of the 'United States'.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at March 8, 2006 5:28 AM

Anyone who doesn't understand that when GWB says he is going to do something, he means it is so stupid they have to remember to breathe.

Posted by: Mikey at March 8, 2006 8:05 AM

No, it ddoesn't. They're years away and we can just keep bombing periodically.

Posted by: oj at March 8, 2006 8:28 AM

Why would they be "years away" when there's no secrets to building one? We did it in the 1940's in a couple of years when no one knew if it was even possible.

Posted by: Rick T. at March 8, 2006 9:11 AM

When did we build cars?

Posted by: oj at March 8, 2006 9:16 AM

They're not years away, granted, from 50s era bombs, but still.

Posted by: Sandy P. at March 8, 2006 11:42 AM

With no delivery capacity.

Posted by: oj at March 8, 2006 11:48 AM


Iran is reported to have just test-fired a Shahib 4 (a derivative of the Russian SS-5); the 4000km range would allow it to strike Western Europe.

Posted by: Mike Earl at March 8, 2006 11:52 AM

And? What's secular Europe to us?

Posted by: oj at March 8, 2006 12:07 PM

According to the Dems Bush will strike Iran to divert attention away from his Katrina/Dubai Ports/spending/immigration/ethical problems.

Posted by: AWW at March 8, 2006 12:43 PM

Militarily, they aren't too relevent to this, but it'll be interesting to see if they're forced to come out in favor of direct action against Iran. I can't see how they square that with their stance on Iraq, but perhaps we can expect the press will fail to notice.

Posted by: Mike Earl at March 8, 2006 12:45 PM

"I watched Cheney's speech on C-SPAN, and it was excellent."
Fred, IMHO he's never made one that wasn't.

Now's the time for Hollywood to remake Dr. Strangelove featuring Peter Boyle as the V.P. and riding the big one down into Terhan waving a shotgun.

Posted by: Genecis at March 8, 2006 2:30 PM


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