Sunday, June 03, 2007

Guardian/New York Times El Baradei's remarks re Cheney's crazies raises US ire

My current guess is that Cheney recognizes that now is not the time to attack Iran: it's simply too crazy as El Baradei says, and would have just too many obvious (domestic) repercussions, not least might be $100 or $200 oil. For the moment they're going to have to be satisfied with the destruction that they are causing in Iraq and Lebanon and Palestine and the tension they are provoking with Syria and Russia. It's interesting that Rice has gone to the trouble of highlighting El Baradei's remarks. I wonder if it's her way of fighting back against Cheney.

Chris wrote to Guardian Letters::
2nd June,2007

Dear Sir,

When Mohamed ElBaradei speaks "against the views of ``new crazies who say 'let's go and bomb Iran.''' , he speaks for most of the world. We all know whom he is talking about. We have all read the lunatic Cheney comments and the threats from the insane NeoCons who drove US/UK into the war in Iraq which has already cost nearly a million lives.

Condoleezza Rice speaks for herself and these neoCons and the utterly discredited Bush administration. She might claim to live in her daydream world but the rest of us do not, except perhaps for a small coterie living in or around Downing Street.


Rice: U.S. Not Preparing for War Vs Iran

Saturday June 2, 2007 2:46 AM

AP Photo MF807, FS809, DO814


AP Diplomatic Writer

MADRID, Spain (AP) - The U.S. is not preparing for war against Iran and Vice President Dick Cheney supports that policy, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says, taking a swipe at a U.N. official who says he's worried about ``crazies'' who want to start bombing.

``The president of the United States has made very clear what our policy is. That policy is supported by all the members of his Cabinet and by the vice president of the United States,'' Rice said Friday.

``The president has made clear that we are on a diplomatic course,'' she said in regard to U.S. opposition to Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Rice, in Spain at the close of a European visit, was asked about the comments of the chief of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency. Mohamed ElBaradei was quoted by the BBC as warning against the views of ``new crazies who say 'let's go and bomb Iran.'''

Cheney is frequently the administration's most hawkish voice on Iran, but Rice said she did not know to whom ElBaradei referred. The United States does not rule out military action but says there is no plan or intention to attack Tehran.

Cheney has not publicly advocated an assault on Iran, but he used the deck of an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf last month to warn Tehran that Washington would prevent the Islamic republic from dominating the Middle East.

Also stepping up pressure on Iran was President Bush, who demanded Friday that Iran ``immediately and unconditionally'' release four Iranian-Americans detained for alleged espionage and provide information about a former FBI agent missing in the country.

``I strongly condemn their detention at the hands of Iranian authorities,'' the president said in a written statement.

Rice was clearly annoyed by ElBaradei's remarks, which were part of an interview the International Atomic Energy Agency head gave for a documentary. The remarks were posted Friday on the BBC Web site.


New York Times

June 2, 2007
Rice Plays Down Hawkish Talk About Iran
MADRID, June 1 — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sought Friday to minimize any sense of division within the Bush administration over Iran after the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency delivered a pointed warning against what he called the “new crazies” pushing for military action against Tehran.

“The president of the United States has made it clear that we are on a course that is a diplomatic course,” Ms. Rice said here. “That policy is supported by all of the members of the cabinet, and by the vice president of the United States.”

Ms. Rice’s assurance came as senior officials at the State Department were expressing fury over reports that members of Vice President Dick Cheney’s staff have told others that Mr. Cheney believes the diplomatic track with Iran is pointless, and is looking for ways to persuade Mr. Bush to confront Iran militarily.

In a news conference on Friday, Ms. Rice maintained that Mr. Cheney supported her strategy of trying to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions through diplomacy. A senior Bush administration official separately denied that there was a deep divide between Ms. Rice and Mr. Cheney on Iran.

But, the official said, “The vice president is not necessarily responsible for every single thing that comes out of the mouth of every single member of his staff.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about any divide within the administration.

The reports about hawkish statements by members of Mr. Cheney’s staff first surfaced last week in The Washington Note, an influential blog put out by Steve Clemons of the left-leaning New America Foundation. The reports have alarmed European diplomats, some of whom fear that the struggle over Iran’s nuclear program may evolve into a decision by the Bush administration to resort to force against Iran.

In interviews, people who have spoken with Mr. Cheney’s staff have confirmed the broad outlines of the reports, and said that some of the hawkish statements to outsiders had been made by David Wurmser, a former Pentagon official who is now the principal deputy assistant to Mr. Cheney for national security affairs. The accounts were provided by people who expressed alarm about the statements, but refused to be quoted by name.

“The vice president and his staff fully support the president’s position on Iran” a spokeswoman for Mr. Cheney, Megan McGinn, said.

During an interview with BBC Radio broadcast Friday, Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said he did not want to see another war like the one still raging in Iraq four years after the American-led invasion there.

“You do not want to give additional argument to new crazies who say, ‘Let’s go and bomb Iran,’ ” Dr. ElBaradei said. “I wake up every morning and see 100 Iraqis, innocent civilians, are dying.”

Dr. ElBaradei, who has urged Western powers to consider allowing Iran limited uranium enrichment on its own territory, is already facing criticism from Bush administration officials who say he should stick to monitoring Iran’s nuclear program and leave diplomatic policy to the six countries that have banded together to confront Tehran’s ambitions.

But several Western European officials echoed his concern, and said privately that they were worried that Mr. Cheney’s “red line” — the point at which he believed Iran was on the brink of acquiring a nuclear weapon and a military strike was necessary — may be coming soon. “We fully believe that Foggy Bottom is committed to the diplomatic track,” one European official said Wednesday, referring the State Department. “But there’s some concern about the vice president’s office.”

Dr. ElBaradei told the BBC that one could not “bomb knowledge.” Asked who the “new crazies” were, he said, “Those who have extreme views and say the only solution is to impose our will by force.”


No comments: