Monday, October 22, 2007

Administration Continues Its Iran War Roll Out--Cheney Uses Media To Send A Message

The Iran war roll out continues uninterrupted. Last week President Bush talked about World War III, yesterday Vice President Cheney gave a speech announcing that the United States would not allow Iran to obtain a bomb. The AP reported that Cheney told an audience at the Washington Institute for Near East Studies

"Our country, and the entire international community, cannot stand by as a terror-supporting state fulfills its grandest ambitions. . . .
We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon."
The New York Times quoted
David Makovsky, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute who moderated a panel discussion before and after Mr. Cheney’s speech, said the vice president also seemed to draw a new red line when, instead of saying it is “not acceptable” for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, he said the world “will not allow” it.

“The first is a condition,” Mr. Makovsky said. “The second is a commitment.”
More after the break.

Caren Bohan of Reuters reported on Cheney's use of the phrase "serious consequences"
Analysts who attended the think-tank forum where Cheney spoke were struck by his tough line toward Iran, especially in light of Bush's recent comments.

"The language on Iran is quite significant," said Dennis Ross, a peace mediator under former Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton. "That's very strong words and it does have implications," referring to Cheney's warnings of serious consequences for Iran.
The BBC further reported
Given the nature of Iran's rulers and the trouble it is causing in the Middle East, Mr Cheney said, the US and other nations could not "stand by as a terror-supporting state fulfils its most aggressive ambitions".

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

"The United States joins other nations in sending a clear message - we will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon."

There has been an escalation of criticism of Iran by the US administration over the past few weeks, the BBC's Sarah Morris in Washington says.

Last week, President George W Bush warned that a nuclear Iran could lead to another world war.

Mr Cheney's speech comes a day after the resignation of top Iran nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani.

Correspondents say his departure is a sign that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's tougher stance towards the West may be gaining influence within Iran.
You are probably wondering why I included extensive but complimentary quotes from four of the most important news organizations. The quotes are intended to illustrate something interesting. Although they were clearly written by four different writers, the four stories are pretty much interchangeable. Yesterday the AP, Times, Rueters, and BBC were in full stenographer mode. The White House must have been delighted with the coverage. There is very little chance that a foreign observer could misinterpret Cheney's threat.

I have to admit that the AP story does end
The Bush administration's intentions toward Iran have been the subject of debate in Congress.

Last month the Senate approved a resolution urging the State Department to label Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization.

Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., said he feared the measure could be interpreted as authorizing a military strike in Iran, calling it Cheney's "fondest pipe dream."
Of course, that ending merely emphasizes that some Democrats think Cheney is obsessed with Iran.