GW Bushs stock answer-book has been filled with phrases to use when asked certain questions. When interviewed on 11 August 2005 by Israeli Television Channel 1 he was asked what the United States would do if diplomacy failed to make sure that Iran does not have a [nuclear] weapon, Bushs declared aim. This exchange followed:
THE PRESIDENT: Well, all options are on the table.
Q: Including the use of force?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, you know, as I say, all options are on the table. The use of force is the last option for any President. You know, weve used force in the recent past to secure our country. Its a difficult — its difficult for the Commander-in-Chief to put kids in harms way. Nevertheless, I have been willing to do so as a last resort in order to secure the country and to provide the opportunity for people to live in free societies. [Note 2]
In designing a strategic approach toward Iran, what place is there for threats of force?
The threat of force—US military force—anchored the UN Security Councils call in Resolution 1441 for Iraq to admit UNMOVIC and IAEA inspectors. Even many who believe GW Bush was reckless to disregard the inspectors and launch war acknowledge that Saddam Hussein accepted inspection on UNSC terms because Washington threatened war if he did not.
On the other hand, the phrases all options and its equivalents have been used in the past as a coded reference to mean even nuclear weapons. Was that GW Bushs intent?
German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder responded directly to Bushs 11 August interview. The Irish Times reported that
Take the military option from the table. We know from experience that its for the birds, he bellowed to a crowd . . .
Mr. Schröder said that no one was interested in letting Iran become a nuclear power, but that the ongoing dispute must be resolved by developing a strong negotiating position through peaceful means and not through military aggression.
For that reason I can definitely rule out that a government under my leadership would participate in that, said the German leader. [Note 3]
At the time of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharons April 2005 visit to Crawford commentators drew parallels between Iran in 2005 and Iraq in 1981, when on 7 June 1981 Israeli aircraft attacked Iraqs Osarik nuclear reactor which Israel believed was a key element in a nuclear weapons program. The New York Times wrote of Sharons spreading photographs of Iranian nuclear sites over a lunch table but said Sharon had given no indication that Israel was preparing to act alone to attack Iranian nuclear facilities. The Times noted that Vice-President Cheney had spoken of that possibility publicly in January 2005. [Note 4]
Under what circumstances, if any, given Irans ongoing interest in the nuclear fuel cycle, could US threats to use force against Iran be credible? meet approval of major EU states? of the UN Security Council?
[Note 1] Thomas Schelling, The Strategy of Conflict (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1960).
[Note 2] Israeli Televsion Channel 1, Varon Deckel, Interviewer. Crawford Texas, 11 August 2005. http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/08/20050812-2.html.
 Derek Scally, Schröder raps Bush on Iran military threat, Irish Times, 15 August 2005.
 David E. Sanger, Sharon Asks U.S. to Pressure Iran to Give Up Its Nuclear Program, The New York Times, 13 April 2005. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/13/international/middleeast/13nuke.html
[Political Design 2005.08.16 Post A08. Front Door Index: http://www.learnworld.com/DESIGN/uncategorized/❄-iran-ii-use-of-force/ Permalink: http://www.learnworld.com/DESIGN/uncategorized/❄-iran-ii-use-of-force/]