Thursday, August 17, 2006

"Iran is not a crisis"

A group of 21 retired US generals, diplomats and national security officials have will release a letter today arguing that the Bush administration's hard line on Iran is counterproductive and harmful to national security. One of the letter's signatories, Lt. General Robert G. Gard, stated his belief that the current US policy is serving as a prelude to military action in Iran as opposed to a means to spur negotiation, a sentiment you may have heard expressed before.

Here's a report on this group from yesterday's Los Angeles Times:

Seeking to counter the White House's depiction of its Middle East policies as crucial to the prevention of terrorist attacks at home, 21 former generals, diplomats and national security officials will release an open letter tomorrow arguing that the administration's "hard line" has actually undermined U.S. security.


Retired Army Lt. Gen. Robert G. Gard, one of the letter's signers and a former military assistant to Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara in the 1960s, said the group was particularly concerned about administration policies toward Iran, believing them to be a possible prelude to a military attack on suspected nuclear sites in that country.


"It's not a crisis," Gard said in a telephone interview. "To call the Iranian situation a 'crisis' connotes you have to do something right now, like bomb them."


He noted that the Bush administration's
unabashedly pro-Israel stance during the recent conflict with Hezbollah was an indication that the White House may accede to such assessments.

"This administration is clearly so beholden to Israel that it raises the concern we might go along" with a military strike, Gard said.

I suppose Bush's apologists will tell us that this group of former high level Pentagon and foreign service officials "hate America" or some other such insult to our intelligence. That's pretty much to be expected at this point. They, and apparently over 60% of the US public, are "with the terrorists", right?