Hugh Hewitt shares some interesting, but disturbing, information about Iran. He says he was talking with a highly respected proliferation expert who has some dire predictions about Iran’s development of nukes and what our options are. I thought it was fascinating that the Iran issue played such a relatively minor role in the presidential campaign.
I suspect that John Kerry didn’t emphasize it — though it was among his laundry list of anti-Bush complaints — because, as with everything else, he really didn’t have a clue as to his true position on it. But more importantly, he didn’t have a clue as to the American people’s dominant feelings on it and didn’t want to risk staking out a position. President Bush, as I see it, had a different set of concerns with Iran and making it a campaign issue.
I have no inside information, but I strongly suspect that President Bush is sure that something has to be done to prevent Iran from developing nukes. In fact he said as much. I applaud him for not shying away from the issue and his firmness about it, to that extent. He is also aware that Iran is doubtlessly fomenting a great deal of the insurgency violence and chaos in Iraq and would eventually have to be dealt with on that basis alone, irrespective of its acquisition of nukes. But the problem for President Bush is one of timing and resources. We can’t afford to be taking on another serious military task with the manpower requirements now existing in Iraq, which is what makes Hugh Hewitt’s report so troubling.
If for no other reason I would think that we would begin to accelerate and escalate our attack against the Iraqi insurgency, as well as redoubling our efforts to train Iraqi soldiers and police to shoulder a greater portion of the burden. President Bush’s second term promises to be even more challenging than his first, given the impending problems with Iran and North Korea, compounding our existing efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. But I can’t think of a man better suited for the job.
And while he’s at it, he’s planning on an ambitious domestic agenda as well. He made clear in his press conference that he does not intend to bide his time or to be a lame duck. He intends to approach his second term with the same intensity and ambitious goals as he did the first. This presidency could be markedly different from others in that respect alone. The next four years are going to be extremely significant.