No amount of intelligence is likely to get Bush to back off.
The unanimous conclusion of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies that Iran ceased pursuing a program of nuclear weapons in 2003, has dealt a severe blow to the Bush-Cheney agenda of forcible regime change in Iran. For several months, the rhetoric emerging from the White House escalated to the point that many observers predicted Bush would attack Iran before he leaves office.
But although the new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) makes it more difficult to carry out his agenda in Iran, Bush is trying to publicly undermine its conclusions. “I have said Iran is dangerous,” he declared, “and the NIE estimate doesn’t do anything to change my opinion about the danger Iran poses to the world — quite the contrary.” Will Bush provoke an incident with Iran and then respond in “self-defense”?