Skip to comments.BUSH LINKS DEATHS OF AMERICANS TO IRAN
Posted on 02/15/2007 2:06:19 AM PST by XR7
WASHINGTON | President Bush on Wednesday accused Iran of contributing to American deaths in Iraq and said, I intend to do something about it.
But he insisted that he wasnt looking for another war in the Middle East.
Bush also acknowledged that he doesnt know whether Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or other top Iranian officials have authorized the shipment of sophisticated roadside bombs to Iraq. The munitions, known as explosively formed penetrators, are one of the deadliest weapons used by Iraqi insurgents.
Bush outlined the circumstantial evidence against Iran at a White House news conference dominated by questions on Iraq. He defended his handling of the war as about a dozen House Republicans spoke out against his plan for more troops.
The presidents recent focus on Iranian involvement in Iraq has raised new concerns that the Iraq conflict could spread.
When he announced a troop increase in Iraq on Jan. 10, Bush warned Iran and Syria that U.S. forces would seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.
Some members of Congress have pushed back against that remark, warning that Bush could be posturing ahead of planned attacks against Iran.
Bush rejected that assertion Wednesday. He said he lacked the authority to order such attacks, and insisted that he would have to first consult Congress before launching strikes against Iran.
Bush has butted heads for months with Ahmadinejad over Irans alleged efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. After praising diplomatic efforts that have secured a preliminary agreement through which North Korea would abandon its nuclear weapons program, Bush said he intended to press similar multilateral diplomacy with Tehran.
But he said he saw no benefit in one-on-one talks with Iran, as were recommended in December by a congressional study group headed by former Secretary of State James Baker and former House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Lee Hamilton.
If I thought we could achieve success, I would sit down, Bush said. But I dont think we can achieve success right now and, therefore, well want to work with other nations.
Some Bush critics have warned that the same kind of intelligence failures that preceded the war with Iraq no stockpiles have been found of its alleged chemical and biological weapons could be leading to a new confrontation with Iran.
Bush lashed out against such charges.
The idea that somehow were manufacturing the idea that the Iranians are providing IEDs (improvised explosive devices, or roadside bombs) is preposterous, Bush said. My job is to protect our troops. And when we find devices that are in that country that are hurting our troops, were going to do something about it, pure and simple.
U.S. officials have been trying for days to tamp down fears of war with Iran even as they pressure Tehran to behave, but Bushs comments Wednesday left ambiguity about his intentions.
Although he said he favors a peaceful resolution and isnt trying to provoke Iran, he didnt rule out military action.
He also seemed to shrug off the lack of evidence tying top Iranian officials to the weapons shipments. Bush said the munitions were sent to Iraq by the Quds Force, an elite unit with close ties to the top levels of the Iranian government.
Whats worse: that the government knew or that the government didnt know? Bush asked.
Whether Ahmadinejad ordered the Quds Force to do this, I dont think we know. But we know that theyre there.
Democrats on the Senate Armed Services Committee emerged from a classified briefing Wednesday and said they wanted more information about Iran. The committee chairman, Sen. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, said it was unclear to him precisely what the administration knew about the Tehran governments ties to the weapons found in Iraq.
Bushs first news conference of the year came as House lawmakers debated a nonbinding resolution denouncing his plans to send more troops to Iraq. The president said that lawmakers have every right to criticize his strategy as long as they continue to fund it.
Backers of the resolution opposing the troop increase predicted that about two dozen House Republicans would support the measure when it came to a vote Friday. Almost all Democrats support it, ensuring its passage.
With the resolution headed for passage, Bush focused his attention on the next flash point: his request for $174 billion to fund the war through 2008. The additional funding would push the wars total cost to more than $500 billion.
Congress will consider the next installment for Iraq next month when it takes up Bushs request for $99.6 billion in emergency funding for Iraq and Afghanistan. The rest of the Iraq money is in the presidents proposed 2008 budget, which probably wont face votes until summer.
Although Bush seemed resigned to the likelihood of a rhetorical rebuke from the House, he warned against any effort to restrict war funding. Congressional Democrats have said that funding restrictions could be the next step.
They have every right to express their opinion
I think you can be against my decision and support the troops, absolutely. But the proof will be whether or not you provide them the money necessary, Bush said.
start killing them
Someone needs to stand up to the tyrants! Thank you President Bush, for keeping us safe!!!
...and just who are the twelve? I heard Ron Paul was one, but I thought he was out of Congress. We are at war and negativism in the form of a non-binding resolution isn't what the country needs right now. So why the posturing by those who really ought to know better?
Of course, not.
First of all, it would not be another, it's still the same, and it would not be a war, just a continuation of a "cleaning up" action.
And second, we're not looking for it, but a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.
Two words! PARKING LOT!
Ron Paul is still in Congress, still with an (R) after his name, still a nut.
Why shouldn't they go on record? At least we'll know who stands where for the next elections, especially some Republicans... and even better, some "Blue Dog" Democrats that got elected recently in "red districts" - we may finally find out what the price on the tag was ;-)
Try doing anything like striking back at Iran. These are American kids being killed.
We've started to hunt Iranians in Irag......why do you think Mookie Sadr and his bad boys have fled to the mothership.
Why does it matter if they authorized it or not? Any other president would have rained fire on them by now. Do we now need a video for everything?
All I can say is call me when the President decides to finally act, until then, like I said, "talk is cheap." In the meantime Iranian weapons and operatives continue killing more Americans and Iraqi's.
Maybe Jimmy Carter has some suggestions. His dealings with Iran were such a rousing success.
"Blue Dog" Democrats"
My Blue Dog voted for the resolution. He frequently gets a call and/or letter with my sentiments. It does no good. I can't wait until he runs again.
Maybe they could quietly go on record, you know double secret on the record. No, probably not. I never have been confused about who stands for what, even without the posturing.
Maybe they could quietly go on record, you know double secret on the record.
Not everyone is like you. And yes, they are on "double secret probation" :~)
I'll certainly agree on double secret probation, and the question for me, is how my single female dem congressperson voted. Up till now she has supported the reddest of states in a manner I would put as exceptional, especially considering her party. Anyone know what the nay dem vote was, or are they sticking together on this one.
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