No, bombs haven’t started bombarding Iranian nuclear sites but if that does happen we have a name for it: WWIII. At least that is what President Bush would call it.
President George W. Bush said Wednesday that he thought
Russia still wanted to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. But
stepping up his own rhetoric, the president warned that for Tehran to
possess such a weapon raised the risk of a “World War III.”
That comment, made during a 45-minute news conference, came as
reporters probed for the president’s reaction to a warning Tuesday by
President Vladimir Putin of Russia against any military strikes on Iran
to halt the nuclear work it has continued in defiance of much of the
world. Iran says the program is purely peaceful.
“If Iran had a nuclear weapon, it’d be a dangerous threat to world
peace,” Bush said. “So I told people that if you’re interested in
avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested” in
ensuring Iran not gain the capacity to develop such weapons.
“I take the threat of Iran with a nuclear weapon very seriously,” he said.
The United States has said it is pursuing a diplomatic approach to
Iran, including the threat of a new round of United Nations sanctions,
but has refused to rule out military action to halt Iran’s nuclear
program, which it believes might be used covertly to develop nuclear
But in Tehran on Tuesday, Putin said, “Not only should we reject the
use of force, but also the mention of force as a possibility.”
Asked Wednesday about photos that showed a seemingly cordial meeting
in Tehran between Putin and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bush said he
was loath to read too much into photographs and wanted to hear Putin’s
own “readout” of the meeting.
The thing that causes the most alarm for me is that President Bush
still insists on trusting the Dark Lord of Communism. This is the guy
who is orchestrating a bloodless coup in his country and is backing
Ahmadinejad in his nuclear ambitions.
I have not looked into Putin’s eyes like President Bush has so I
cannot say how dreamy they are but I have paid attention to the
politics of the region. Putin and the other not-so-ex-communists are
eager to restore the prestige that was lost back to Mother Russia. The
easiest way to do this would be to knock the current hyper-power off
its pedestal and is there a better way to do that then to challenge it
with Iran? What, you think there’s at least a billion better ways to
try to become great again? You don’t understand communists then.
They truly believe that their ideology is the only way and they will
do whatever it takes to make sure that happens. They will support a
regime whose puppet, Syria, was recently bombed for coming too close to
making a workable nuclear weapon. But maybe there’s still hope for the
Bush, seeking to explain his relationship with a man
whom he once said he viewed as a trusted ally against terrorism - but
who has since led his country in steadily more authoritarian directions
- said that he and Putin “don’t agree on a lot of issues.”
Still, he said, it was vital to maintain an open and candid relationship that allowed each man to speak his mind.
The president nonetheless acknowledged American frustrations at trying to influence Russia.
“In terms of whether or not it’s possible to reprogram the kind of
basic Russian DNA, which is a centralized authority,” Bush said,
“that’s hard to do.”
The best he could do, the president said, was to try to make it
clear that it is in Moscow’s interests to have good relations with the
West, and an open and democratic government.
Iran by itself is going to be a tough situation to handle. It is
only going to get tougher as countries like Russia and China (at some
point) begin to seriously undermine American foreign policy objectives.
As a country we need to be a little less trusting of “friends” who work
to have absolute power over their citizens. BigT