“To be quite honest, I’m a little concerned that it’s Iraq again,” Senator Rockefeller said during an interview in his office. “This whole concept of moving against Iran is bizarre.”
Mr. Rockefeller did not say which aspects of the Bush administration’s case against Iran he thought were not supported by solid intelligence. He did say he agreed with the White House that Iranian operatives inside Iraq were supporting Shiite militias and working against American troops.
I think it is useful to consult Senator Rockefeller’s speech in support of the invasion of Iraq from October 10, 2002, and the applicability of its logic to Iran today:
But it is equally clear that doing nothing and preserving the status quo also pose serious risks. Those risks are less visible, and their time frame is less certain. But after a great deal of consultation and soul-searching, I have come to the conclusion that the risks of doing nothing — for our citizens and for our nation — are too great to bear.
There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. And that may happen sooner if he can obtain access to enriched uranium from foreign sources — something that is not that difficult in the current world. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.
When Saddam Hussein obtains nuclear capabilities, the constraints he feels will diminish dramatically, and the risk to America’s homeland, as well as to America’s allies, will increase even more dramatically. Our existing policies to contain or counter Saddam will become irrelevant.
Americans will return to a situation like that we faced in the Cold War, waking each morning knowing we are at risk from nuclear blackmail by a dictatorship that has declared itself to be our enemy. Only, back then, our communist foes were a rational and predictable bureaucracy; this time, our nuclear foe would be an unpredictable and often irrational individual, a dictator who has demonstrated that he is prepared to violate international law and initiate unprovoked attacks when he feels it serves his purposes to do so.
Senator Not-a-rock-afeller. This is the “leadership” we deserve?