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Seymour Hersh talks to Fresh Air

BoomSeymour Hersh talks to Fresh Air about the latest developments between Iran and the United States. You can read his whole article here: The Iran Plans: Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb?

Do you believe that the Bush administration is planning a major attack on Iran? Would it be justified?



I really doubt it. Strategically, I think it's just a bit o' the old tuff talk, designed to put pressure on the Iranian president, a "wild card" even to the people and the mullahs--also to get people thinking about the possibility of an Iran with nukes.

Politically, at this stage, people are war-weary. In 2001, they might have made a better case for invading Iran than Iraq and stoked public and perhaps international sentiment in favor of regime change. Like I said in an earlier post, Iran is not the paper tiger Iraq was, invasion-wise. It's a much different nation. Even air strikes might look gratuitous especially with U.S. elections looming. However, I am quite certain the adminstration is not overly concerned with any elections. All their eggs, their perceived legacy, is remaking the Middle East.

Be that as it may I just can't see justifying some kind of "pre-emptive" strike with Iran, too, without severe political consequences for republicans. Does this make sense?

It does make sense, Bar. And this wouldn't even be pre-emptive (as nobody is saying Iran is a looming threat poised to attack), but a preventative strike. The difference being we may have beaten Saddam to the punch (theoretically), but this would be beating somebody who may or may not punch sometime in the very distant future. Big difference and much harder to sell.

But I don't think it's a bad idea to talk tough on these issues. I think it would be INSANE to follow-through, but to tell the Iranians we're ready to go to the mats on this just seems like a good bargaining chip. Kennedy did the same with the Russians during the Cuban Missile crisis, all the while working some backdoor deals allowing all parties to save face. Sadly, I don't think this current administration is as savvy.

I dunno, Bush & Co. have shown extremely poor judgement to date, especially in military matters. Would they really open up a war on 2 fronts?

The answer: If they thought they could get away with it, they might.

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