Well, THIS is ominous...
However reluctantly, Defense Secretary Robert Gates seems to be joining in with the faction calling for war with Iran
Just a couple of days ago, the Jerusalem Post and NBC News reported that Bush administration officials said that President Bush and Vice President Cheney wanted to attack Iran before the end of Bush's term, and that only the hesitancy of Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates prevented such an attack. The White House denied the report, in much the same way that President Bush often denied reports that he was planning to attack Iraq.
But now, it looks like Gates is joining the sabre rattlers:
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday questioned whether the United States could have productive talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without first stepping up pressure on Tehran. Gates, who a week ago spoke publicly in support of enhanced U.S.-Iranian engagement, said Washington may have had an opportunity to open useful discussions with Iran in 2003 and 2004 while the country was governed by the less hard-line Mohammad Khatami.
"But what we have now is a resurgence of the original hard-line views of the Islamic revolutionaries," Gates said in response to lawmaker questions at a Senate defense appropriations hearing. Gates' comments came at a time when dealing with Iran has become a central issue in the November presidential election campaign.
It looks like Gates is now on board with the White House “get McCain elected by forcing a confrontation with Iran” strategy. Not surprisingly, Joint Chiefs chairman Michael Mullen is also pushing for confrontation. More surprisingly, House speaker Nancy Pelosi has joined the “obliterate Iran” faction.
Meanwhile, chief UN nuclear watchdog Mohamed El Baredei, the man who was right about Iraq's nuclear program, reiterated his assertion that there is no evidence that Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon.
(cross posted at Liberal Avenger) (via appletree)