Bush’s Plain Talk to Iran (and other nations)

February 23, 2005

Today President Bush stated in no uncertain terms that Iran, not the United States, is to be blamed for any lack of progress on its failure to discontinue its nuclear weapons program. According to the New York Times, Bush said:

The reason we’re having these discussions is because they were caught enriching uranium after they had signed a treaty saying they wouldn’t enrich uranium. They’re the party that needs to be held into account, not us.

Good for President Bush.

And, surprise, surprise. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder said:

We absolutely agree that Iran must say no to any kind of nuclear weapon, full stop.

Careful not to allow this news to be received in a favorable light to Mr. Bush, the New York Times hastened to add, in this “news” story:

Underneath the warm public words lay the tense reality that Mr. Bush did not give Mr. Schroder or the French and British what they have repeatedly sought: direct American participation in the talks with Iran.

Tense? How do they know that? Was Mr. Bush or Mr. Schroder shaking, trembling, angry, agitated, unsettled? Or does this depiction just fit the template the Times intends to convey? And, by the way, why would our refusal to participate in these conferences cause tension — implying somehow we are not team players? Why does the liberal press always blame us for any differences of opinion with our allies? Why didn’t they come down on the recalcitrant French, German and Russians for failing to join the action against Iraq — at a time when they agreed with us that Iraq possessed WMD? Why weren’t we entitled to feel “tense” about that? Oh never mind if you’re looking for an end to their double standards.