Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) recently warned that the Bush administration is building a case against Iran. “This whole concept of moving against Iran is bizarre,” he said. When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) warned last week that President Bush does not have the authority to launch an attack against Iran without congressional approval, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino responded that she was “puzzled” because Reid seemed “to be fanning [the] flames where there’s no fire.”
That’s not the view of Richard Perle, a leading neoconservative proponent of the Iraq war. Speaking at a conference this weekend in Israel, Perle suggested Bush would attack Iran before he leaves office:
“Would this president do it? I think that until the day he leaves office, this is a president that, if he is told, ‘Mr. President, you are at the point of no return,’ I have very little doubt that this president would order the necessary military action.”
“I’m not convinced that we have a lot of time. Given the peril that would result, its astonishing to me that we do not now have a serious political strategy with Iran,” he said, adding he thought regime change is “the only significant effective way” to deal with the Iranian threat. “If we continue on our current course, we have only a military option. So what I’m urging, and this should have happened a very long time ago, is that we make a serious effort to work with the internal (Iranian) opposition,” Perle said.
Perle is reported to have once said, “The first time I met Bush 43 … two things became clear. One, he didn’t know very much. The other, that he had the confidence to ask questions that revealed he didn’t know very much.”