Serious leakage in The New York Times where we learn in a more on-the-record sense than before of a split pitting Condoleezza Rice “against the few remaining hawks inside the administration, especially those in Vice President Dick Cheney’s office who, according to some people familiar with the discussions, are pressing for greater consideration of military strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities.” Thus far, Rice continues to have the upper hand, and rightly so.
The one thing I would observe about this is that even if neither President Bush (listening to Rice) nor Supreme Leader Khameini (listening to the Iranian version of Rice) want war, there’s still a very dangerous situation. You have a lack of institutionalized diplomatic relations between the two countries, and almost 200,000 American soldiers and unknown numbers of Iranian personnel of various sorts in countries bordering Iran. There’s a lot of scope there for provocations, incidents, and incidents and other problems of various sorts. Add in to the mix your Cheneys and your Ahmadenijads trying to push everything toward escalation and there’s no telling what could happen.
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