Hey, Iran, them Jews is my friends!
For just a couple of days, we have to try to put aside George W. Bush‘s needless saber-rattling. After all, deadlines are almost upon us for an Iraqi constitution and the start of the Gaza disengagement.
But Bush just won’t let up. On nationwide Israeli TV Thursday evening, he threatened Iran, reinforcing the siege mentality of Israelis—as if Jews, with our history, needed any more such reinforcement.
Yaron Deckel of state-run Channel 1 crowed to Bush about the coup of conducting the POTUS’s “first interview granted to Israeli TV.”
Live from Crawford! It’s the Deckel and Schmeckel Show!
If people like Bush and Ariel Sharon didn’t have their fingers on the triggers of nuclear weapons, you could snicker at Bush’s performance on Israeli TV. Another reason to be serious is the looming start of the Gaza disengagement. But for all you magpies out there, here’s an excerpt from the White House transcript of Bush’s ranch-style dressing down of Iran:
Q: As a believer, Mr. President, what do you say to Jewish believers who think that God sent them to settle in the biblical Israel and they will not obey any decision of elected government?
Bush: Well, you know, there are admonitions in the Bible that does talk about the role of government relative to man. And Israel is a democracy and democracies are able to express the will of the people. The Prime Minister is expressing what he thinks is in the best interests of Israel and the people will decide, ultimately, whether or not that decision makes sense.
Bush didn’t elaborate on them there “admonitions,” so there’s no way of knowing exactly what the fuck he was talking about in the first sentence of his reply.
But Deckel and schmeckel did get around to the topic of Iran, and on that Bush was clear (or at least clearer):
Q: You mentioned Iran and I wonder, Mr. President, how imminently is the Iranian threat? There was a release lately of the U.S. intelligence that they won’t have any capability in the next 10 years. Is this your latest information, Mr. President?
Bush: My latest information is that the Iranians refuse to comply with the demands of the free world, which is: Do not in any way, shape or form have a program that could yield to a nuclear weapon. And the United States and Israel are united in our objective to make sure that Iran does not have a weapon. And in this particular instance, the EU 3—Britain, France and Germany—have taken the lead, been helping to send the message, a unified message to the Iranians.
Look, in all these instances we want diplomacy to work. And so we’re working feverishly on the diplomatic route. And, you know, we’ll see if we’re successful or not. As you know, I’m—
Q: And if not?
Bush: Well, all options are on the table.
Q: Including use of force?
Bush: 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, we’ve used force in the recent past to secure our country. It’s a difficult—it’s difficult for the Commander-in-Chief to put kids in harm’s 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.
Liar. The use of force to invade Iraq was the first option, as we long suspected but now know.
As I first wrote on April 30, what became known as the Downing Street Memo (thanks to Michael Smith of the Sunday Times in London) revealed that the head of British intelligence told Tony Blair in July 2002 that Bush had decided to invade Iraq and that “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”
Too bad we’ll never hear Bush go on national TV in this country to admit that, yeah, “the intelligence and facts was fixed.”