Sunday, April 06, 2003

Late Night Food for Thought

First, from No More Mister Nice Blog:

I've been worried about this [Iran] ever since I saw the following on page 276 of David Frum's Bush White House memoir, The Right Man:

The war on terror, by its very nature, yielded few spectacular victories. For the most part it looked like a combination of police work and counterinsurgency in remote corners of the earth: Mindanao, Yemen, Kurdistan. Yet Bush kept at it. As he promised in his September 20 speech to Congress, he did not relent -- and neither did he succumb to the temptation to lunge into rash adventures in pursuit of a triumph for the cameras. His strategy in Iraq and Iran was judicious, deliberate, unhasty -- and certain. (emphasis mine)

"In Iran"? What does that refer to? What did Frum know (he published his book in January) that we don't?

And, from the New York Times:

WASHINGTON, April 5 — Shortly after Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld issued a stark warning to Iran and Syria last week, declaring that any "hostile acts" they committed on behalf of Iraq might prompt severe consequences, one of President Bush's closest aides stepped into the Oval Office to warn him that his unpredictable defense secretary had just raised the specter of a broader confrontation.

Mr. Bush smiled a moment at the latest example of Mr. Rumsfeld's brazenness, recalled the aide. Then he said one word — "Good" — and went back to work.


Yet this week, as images of American forces closing in on Baghdad played on television screens, some of Mr. Bush's top aides insisted they were seeing evidence that leaders in North Korea and Iran, but not Syria, might be getting their point.

"Iraq is not just about Iraq," a senior administration official who played a crucial role in putting the strategy together said in an interview last week. It was "a unique case," the official said. But in Mr. Bush's mind, the official added, "It is of a type."

Digby has some comments too.