The following exchange between a reporter and GW Bush took place during today’s [28 July 2006] “press availability”:

Q “Thank you. Mr. President, and Prime Minister Blair, can I ask you both tonight what your messages are for the governments of Iran and Syria, given that you say this is the crisis of the 21st century?”

PRESIDENT BUSH: “Want me to start? My message is, give up your nuclear weapon and your nuclear weapon ambitions. That’s my message to Syria — I mean, to Iran. And my message to Syria is, become an active participant in the neighborhood for peace.” [Note 1]

The White House asserts that Iran intends to build nuclear weapons, but it has never asserted that Iran has a nuclear weapon. This is a White House transcript, not a Doonesbury strip. Will the White House issue a clarification? Or will it trust that prospects are better if the public imagines that Teheran has a nuclear weapon, or nuclear weapons? Or will it simply observe that everyone knows that Bush doesn’t talk straight so no one will pay any attention to it? But people have to wonder: does Bush think straight? Has he been led to believe that there is a possibility that Iran has a nuclear weapon? Has he been told about some Israelis’ having insisted that once Iranian specialists solved key problems in learning how to build a nuclear weapon the game was already lost? [Please look at my discussion of those Israeli assertions earlier on this blog: ISRAEL PUSHES WHITE HOUSE TO CONFRONT IRAN, 14 January 2006.]


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