Monday, April 10, 2006

Contingency Plans, Iran, & Seymore Hersh

I heard an interview with Hersh on NPR on the way home today. He was talking about an article he recently wrote in the New Yorker. Hersh went through this extremely lengthy and tedious attempt at an explanation as to why actually discussing and figuring out how you would carry out one of your options is way beyond just a contingency plan.

After hearing Bush refer to the article as wild speculation, Robert Siegel asked Hersh if he thought president Bush would go to war to keep Tehran from getting nuclear weapons. Here's his response

" Absolutely, I think there's no question and ... I hope the president ... and I.. it was... it's great news that [the president] said it's wild speculation, maybe he's changed his mind in the last few days. But as of last week I can tell you there were many people high up in the military and civilian beaurocracy who really don't know ... what he'll do ... but think he's ... prepared to go to war."
Never mind that the answer subtly attempts to re-form the question to "is the president definitely going to war?" -- what a slippery answer! I know it because last week some unnamed sources told me that they didn't know what he'd do, but they think he's prepared to go to war???

Wow. Nothing like a smoking gun.

Not being prepared to go to war invites your foes to call your bluff. Being prepared to go to war does not mean that you will go to war. But you can't go to war if you are not prepared to go to war.

I suppose if the president just said... "well, Dick, we could bomb 'em", that constitutes a contingency plan. Apparently any further discussion of just excactly how feasable that would be and why -- which one would assume would include discussions of what we would do and how ... goes "way beyond that".

I guess they think you can just sketch this stuff out on a napkin the night before your attack right after a decision has been made.

Hersh also expressed worry that our intelligence in Iran might be worse than what we had in Iraq. Iran might not be capable of producing a bomb... and they might not mean to. So maybe we should just leave 'em alone. So what's all this planning stuff? We have time to talk to them.

Yeah. They seem like reasonable people.

Folks, we're not talking about Portugal here. We're talking about Iran. What we do know is that the country sponsors terrorism, trains terrorists, whose president has a vision of Islam reigning supreme in the world, of wiping a whole country off the map, and the typical two-sided talk we've heard from people like, oh, Saddam Hussein... Ho Chi Min... Kim Jong Il ... I mean, do we really need to see this movie again?

Well, it's just a little test run on the uranium enrichment. A small amount. Hersh asks, do we really need to go all hard line on them over that?

Well, Seymore, excactly when do you think we should go hard line, if ever? When Irainian missiles are in the air?

Quick, get out the napkins, we need to go beyond our contingency plan!

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