Is there a single Democratic leader willing to say he or she would rather believe the IAEA and responsible reporting rather than the Cheney faction's fixing of the intelligence around the policy by use of their media noise machine?
Wes Clark has left the building.
Matt Stoller: Can we handle a nuclear Iran? Can we live with that?Mind you, Stoller's as bad, buying into the framing that a nuclear Iran is already on the horizon.
Wes Clark: I don't think so. The reason is, there are three reasons. Number one is that I think a nuclear armed Iran would use its clear deterrent to promote conventional or unconventional aggression against other states in the region and believe it could sit back with its nuclear power and not be threatened in return. I think the second reason is you never know how these nuclear capabilities might be smuggled abroad or used in some way. Maybe the way we saw the Israelis strike at this nuclear depot in Syria is an indication of that and apparently that came from North Korea. And the third reason is that once Iran gets a nuclear weapon lots of other countries will want them and the more countries that have them the greater chance a nuke will be used and kill hundreds of thousands of people and so no I don't think you can tolerate a nuclear armed Iran. But I think the right course of dealing with it is to directly engage Iran in dialogue.
The IAEA have found zero evidence to date of an Iranian nuclear weapons program and every time the U.S. tells them "look there" they do, and reply "we found zip". Those are the only facts. Maybe that mini-popinjay A-jad (thanks, NRO, I needed that valuable shorthand) and every other Iranian official is actually telling the truth? The IAEA were correct last time (Iraq) and Bush, Hillary and the rest were dead wrong. Doesn't that give any of these people pause as they accept the framing yet again? At the very least, the IAEA's findings mean a few "ifs" and "maybes" would be circumspect in discussing the matter. Yet somehow the "assessment" (aka "guess") of Iran wanting a nuke - for no other reason than that the hawks would want a nuke if they were in the Iranians' shoes - has gained mainstream acceptance.
And do even get me started on Clark's lazy acceptance of the Syrian nukes meme that was so vigorously pushed by Cheneyite shills in the media. It's crap, pure and simple.
I have to agree with one of Matt Yglesias' commenters - Clark has sold his integrity along with his endorsement of Clinton, in return for the promise of a cabinet sinecure.
Update Both Arthur Silber and Avedon Carol see the way the wind is blowing, and are sounding depressed as hell about it.