Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Bush: I would understand if Israel decided to bomb Iran

Haaretz reported yesterday (Monday November 20) that Bush told French president Chirac in a recent conversation that his administration "would understand" if Israel decided to launch an attack on Iran. It is a remark that French officials passed on to Israelis in discussions during the past few days, and the Israelis passed it on the Haaretz. The French officials told the Israelis they thought this would not be a good idea. In fact (according to the Haaretz account) the French officials said it would be a catastrophe that would (1) only set back the Iranian nuclear program by two years at most; (2) ensure Iranian exit from the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty; (3) probably trigger a broad Iranian military response that would target more than just Israel; (4) cause enormous uproar in the Arab world; and so on.

The funny thing is that this Haaretz item doesn't seem to have been picked up by any US news organizations, but it was picked up by Al-Quds al-Arabi on its front page this morning (Tuesday November 21), adding to the above-outlined information the following: Rice subsequently made more ambiguous remarks about the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran, telling European diplomats the US lacks the necessary intelligence to launch such an attack itself; Iran announced further progress in its nuclear program; and the White House denied the existence of a US intelligence report that said there is no evidence of any secret Iranian nuclear-weapons program. The latter report had been referred to in a New Yorker article by Seymour Hersch.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you understand Iran if it hit back ? or would that be terrorism?

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fascinating thing about virtually (if not literally) all the Iraq news lately (English language and Arabic as report on this an other blogs is the “regionalization” of the Iraq issue: Iran and Syria; US, Sunni Arab states et al; Israel threats to Iran and vice versa, etc. Yet in all of this regional reporting, one is hard pressed to find any reference to Turkey except in regard its concerns about Kurdish nationalism spilling over the border.

Can it be that the state that borders Iraq, has various economic relations with Iraq, as recently as 85 years ago controlled Iraq and all the other Sunni states via the Ottoman Empire, etc, has nothing to say or contribute to the regional discussions? I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I am skeptical. Turkey must be involved in some significant way that is not being reported. What do you thinker Badger?

12:03 PM  
Blogger badger said...

anon. 1: I guess by that time it wouldn't matter much whether he understood or not...

anon. 2: you've really got me there. I see your point. It is a suspicious silence. I guess one reason why you don't hear anything is that people in the West who understand Turkish are about about as numerous and influential as people who understood Pashto when they took over Afghanistan. Know any helpful guides through Turkish political literature? I'm not being any help, but I'm thinking...

12:40 PM  
Blogger helena said...

Badger, just for the record I blogged about this the day it came out.

Anyway, super work you're doing here.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Rosemary said...

Are we maybe seeing Condi and Bush following a separate agenda (separate from the Baker group)?

Also wonder where Cheney is in this picture? Last I think I heard was that he was visiting the Saudis.

I agree there is a suspicious absence of anything from or about Turkey.

4:15 AM  

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