Thursday, December 06, 2007

"Staying The Course" Again

By Cernig

Bush has said that there will be no immediate change in the United States’ approach to Iran in the wake of the new NIE that says it doesn't have a nuclear weapons program. His position is that the Bush administration had already offered to talk to Iran, though on the condition that Iran suspend its current enrichment program first, and he is citing the two United Nations Security Council resolutions calling for that suspension to bolster his argument.

But here's the thing: the UNSC voted for those resolutions based on U.S. assertions - in turn based on the 2005 NIE which we now know was wrong - which said Iran did have an active weapons program.

So the resolution votes were a mistake based on incorrect claims and keeping the demand for a suspension of enrichment as a precondition of talks which would have as their aim a suspension of enrichment is likewise a mistake.

Nuke expert David Albright hits the nail on the head when he tells the NYT today that:
“Bush has made a big mistake, and he’s not responding in a way that gives confidence that he’s on top of this,” ... “He isn’t able to respond because he’s not able to say he’s wrong.”
But we shouldn't be surprised by this. An inability to admit mistakes and a bullheaded stubborness in "staying the course" even when the course is obviously badly off course are two of the defining characteristics of the Bush presidency. Unfortunately, that means his administration will keep making unforced mistakes and sailing into avoidable policy disasters.

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