Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Going All In

Bush makes flat statement:

"The world's free nations will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.

The Shia and Sunni extremists represent different faces of the same threat. They draw inspiration from different sources, but both seek to impose a dark vision of violent Islamic radicalism across the Middle East. They oppose the advance of freedom, and they want to gain control of weapons of mass destruction. If they succeed in undermining fragile democracies, like Iraq, and drive the forces of freedom out of the region, they will have an open field to pursue their dangerous goals. Each strain of violent Islamic radicalism would be emboldened in their efforts to topple moderate governments and establish terrorist safe havens."

So will this be the son's "Read my lips..." moment? The document whose release was heralded in this speech, the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism only states that:

"We will continue to create and strengthen international will to interdict material support, akin to our efforts in the Proliferation Security Initiative – a global effort to stop shipments of WMD, their delivery systems, and related material. We will build international cooperation to financially isolate rogue states and their terrorist proxies. We also will continue to expose the vehicles and fronts that states use to support their terrorist surrogates."

With respect, this simply isn't going to stop anyone who's already committed to developing a bomb and, like Iran, has the material means to produce one.

Additionally, might one read perhaps too much into Bush's formulation that we will not permit Iran "to develop a nuclear weapon?" It seems to me to leave open the possibility that the Mullahs in fact already have gotten their mitts on a weapon from outside...

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