Just in time for his Middle East "Duuuude, Where's my Legacy?" charm offensive (and yes, I’m sure it will be very offensive), Dubya’s pissing contest with Iran gets dialed up a notch. From today’s New York Times:
President Bush chastised Iran on Tuesday for committing a “provocative act” by confronting United States Navy warships in the Persian Gulf over the weekend. The Pentagon released video showing Iranian speedboats maneuvering around the American convoy.
“We viewed it as a provocative act,” Mr. Bush told reporters in the Rose Garden, just hours before he left for a weeklong trip to the Middle East. “It is a dangerous situation, and they should not have done it, pure and simple.”
Of course, this is all Iran’s fault. The Bush Administration has never, ever, never made any provocative statements about or gestures towards Iran. Like when the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran was released in early December, for example.
U.S. President George W. Bush defended his administration's hard line on Iran yesterday, warning that the regime in Tehran remains a serious threat despite a new U.S. intelligence report showing the country halted its nuclear weapons program four years ago.
"Iran was dangerous. Iran is dangerous and Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon," Mr. Bush said. "Iran had a hidden, covert nuclear weapons program. What's to say they couldn't start another covert nuclear weapons program?"
Or when this anonymous report turned up on ABC’s blog ...
The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com.
The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, say President Bush has signed a "nonlethal presidential finding" that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions.
Or how about this post-inaugural interview with David Gregory of MSNBC?
Gregory: About Iran, will you rule out the potential for military action against Iran if it continues to stonewall the international community about the existence of its nuclear weapons program?
Bush: I hope we can solve it diplomatically, but I will never take any option off the table.
Nope, definitely nothing provocative about any of those statements. Iran is such a bully.