QUESTION: Dana, can I follow on that? This weekend, The New Yorker magazine came out with an article claiming that this summer the president, or at least the White House in general, asked the Joint Chiefs to redraw plans to attack Iran. Is that true?
PERINO: Look, you know, I’m glad you brought it up. Every two months or so, Sy Hersh writes an article in The New Yorker magazine and CNN provides him a forum in which to talk about his article and all the anonymous sources that are quoted in it.
PERINO: Look, the president has said that he believes there is a diplomatic solution that we can use to solve the Iranian problem. And that’s why we’re working with our allies to get there.
QUESTION: That’s what he said before we went to Iraq, too.
QUESTION: But what’s the — can you answer as to the substance of whether or not the White House asked? I mean, if it’s not true, then you can say Sy Hersh is wrong and CNN was wrong to air it. You can say it.
PERINO: We don’t discuss such things.
PERINO: We don’t discuss such thing. What we have said and what we are working toward is a diplomatic solution in Iran. What the president has also said is that as a president, as a commander in chief — and any commander in chief would not take any option off the table — but the option that we are pursuing right now is diplomacy.
QUESTION: But the article very specifically said that this summer in a video conference, a secure video conference, with Ambassador Crocker, the president said that he was thinking about, quote, hitting Iran, and also that…
PERINO: I’m not going to comment on that. One, I don’t know. I wouldn’t have been at that type of meeting. I don’t know. I’m not going to comment on any possible — any possible scenario that an anonymous source continues to feed into Sy Hersh. I’m just not going to do it.
QUESTION: Why should anybody believe that the president wants a diplomatic solution. He said that before he went to Iraq. PERINO: Because he’s sought a diplomatic solution in Iraq, and Saddam Hussein defied the U.N. Security Council 17 times.
QUESTION: Well, the history we’ve learned since suggests otherwise.
PERINO: That the president didn’t — that Saddam Hussein defied 17 U.N. Security Council resolutions?
QUESTION: No. The president was intent on going to war in Iraq in any case.
PERINO: No, the president has pursued a diplomatic option. He went to the U.N. Security Council, and then we proceeded.
QUESTION: Would he consult — would he tell Congress before he attacked Iran — before he attacks Iran?
PERINO: We are pursuing a diplomatic solution with Iran.
The underlying theme in Sy Hersh's latest article about BushCo's More!And!Bigger!Wars! is not really a discussion amongst Village Insiders whether or not it is a good idea, but how to get it done.
Having been told in no uncertain terms that the Iranian Nuclear ambitions are years away from being realized, the marketing strategery has shifted from counter-proliferation to counter-terrorism.
From the "mushroom cloud" scenario, to the "they're killin' our boys" victimization. Bottom line, they have come to realize the winners in our invasion and occupation of Iraq has been Iran, and they feel the need to soften them up a bit.
Norman Podhoretz, the "Godfather of neoconservatism, met privately with President Bush and begged him for 45 minutes to attack Iran, and is convinced he will do it.
The Senate recently passed the Kyl-Lieberman amendment which gives BushCo a "sense of the Senate" nod and wink to pursue Iran militarily.
So the table is set. The Decider is resolute and the big money boys who really run things are slavering in glee. I have no confidence that congress will stop BushCo from hammering Iran, and even less confidence in our chattering classes to investigate and demand answers. Here is one possible outcome that I came across via Wolcott who led me to Arthur Silber's most disturbing predictions:
...one of the standard objections to the likelihood of an attack on Iran is that it will put American troops in Iraq in grave peril. If you make that objection, I have only one thing to say to you: Wake the hell up. Of course it will put American troops in Iraq in grave peril. A great many of them will probably be killed. But -- and please try as earnestly as you can to get this -- the administration is counting on exactly that happening. [Added, to clarify: this must be true, given the logic of the situation, at least implicitly. In individual cases, it might also be true explicitly, in the sense that a particular person is consciously aware of what must happen.] I'm sorry to be rude, but honest to God, how stupid are some of you? Imagine that 500, or a thousand, or even several thousand, American soldiers are killed in a single engagement, or over several days or a week. What do you think would happen?
The administration would immediately blame "Iranian interference" and "Iranian meddling." They do that now. Every major media outlet would repeat the charge; almost no one would question it. Pictures of the slaughtered Americans would be played on television 24 hours a day. The outrage would grow by the minute. Within a day, and probably within hours, certain parties would be calling for nuclear weapons to be dropped on Tehran. Almost everyone would be baying for blood, and for the blood of Iran in particular.
No one, and certainly no prominent politician, would dare to remind Americans that we have no right to be in Iraq in the first place. They won't say that now. Who would point it out after 800 Americans have been killed? And what Democrat would dare to oppose the tide, especially with a presidential election looming? Not one. Everyone with a national voice would be demanding the destruction of the current regime in Iran. No one would oppose such a course.
And Congress would begin impeachment proceedings in this atmosphere? Please tell me you're kidding.
This was Sibler's reasoning against the possibility of stopping BushCo with impeachment. Here we are again wondering around as if we were underwater, seeing all this happen and all of our loudest protestations fall muted, as they die on our very lips.