Bush threatens to confront Iran over alleged support for Iraqi insurgents
· US president accuses Tehran of arming militants
· Speech aimed at shoring up support for ‘surge’
Ed Pilkington in New York
Wednesday August 29, 2007
George Bush yesterday ramped up the war of words between the US and Iran, accusing Tehran of threatening to place the Middle East under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust and revealing that he had authorized US military commanders in Iraq to “confront Tehran’s murderous activities”.
In a speech designed to shore up US public opinion behind his unpopular strategy in Iraq, the president reserved his strongest words for the regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which he accused of openly supporting violent forces within Iraq. Iran, he said, was responsible for training extremist Shia factions in Iraq, supplying them with weapons, including sophisticated roadside bombs. Iran has denied all these accusations.
Mr Bush referred specifically to 240mm rockets which he said were made in Iran this year and smuggled into Iraq.
“Iran has long been a source of trouble in the region,” he said.” Iran’s active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons threatens to put a region already known for instability and violence under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust.”
Well, where to start? The boldface type is mine, the rhetoric the president’s. But the wording is exactly organized around buzz-words, “authorized US military commanders in Iraq to “confront Tehran’s murderous activities” and “shadow of a nuclear holocaust.”
Holocaust is not likely to be missed or misunderstood by American Jews or AIPAC.
This is precisely the kind of rhetorical ramping up we witnessed prior to the ‘case’ for invading Iraq.
Where is the Congress in all of this? Are they going to be faced with an accomplished military incursion into Iran by a ‘nothing to lose’ president? Do they have a preemptive opportunity? The United States has fought a rising number of wars, ‘undeclared’ by Congress as the Constitution requires.
Now, as Iraq has proven, there is everything to lose. I wish (and it is a small wish in the current crises) the man could manage to pronounce nuclear properly.