Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bush's Terror-Fighting Strategy Focuses on Iran

John D. Mckinnon, The Wall Street Journal:
As the five-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks approaches, the Bush administration is spotlighting an explicit terror threat: the danger that Iran could someday supply terrorists with nuclear weapons.

The possibility of weapons of mass destruction falling into terrorist hands was central to both a new terror-fighting strategy the White House issued yesterday, and to a speech Mr. Bush delivered. In both cases, the White House is arguing that the reason to worry about terrorists wielding such weapons is the prospect that Iran, with its oil wealth and potential nuclear capability, might cooperate with them.

Terrorists armed with nuclear weapons "would blackmail the free world and spread their ideologies of hate and raise a moral threat to the American people," Mr. Bush warned. "I'm not going to allow this to happen, and no future American president can allow it either."

Mr. Bush's speech was part of a White House campaign that began last week to defend its strategy in the war on terrorism, amid mounting attacks from Democrats. While Democrats are emphasizing the unpopular three-year-old war in Iraq, the White House is seeking to connect the Iraq conflict to other disparate fronts in the war on terrorism, particularly the extremist Iranian regime. Indeed, much of the language used to attack Iran paralleled the case the White House made for war against Iraq four years ago.

"Most troubling is the potential WMD-terrorism nexus that emanates from Tehran," argues the White House's new 23-page "National Strategy for Combating Terrorism." The plan makes the case that the U.S. is adapting its response as the terrorist threat has evolved.

In yesterday's speech to military officers in Washington, Mr. Bush quoted extensively from recent threats by terrorist leaders across the Middle East -- as well as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's call for "a world without the United States and Zionism" and his claim that "the anger of Muslims may reach an explosion point soon." Mr. Bush repeated his pledge that "the world's free nations will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon," without offering any new details on how the U.S. will do so. READ MORE

Iran ignored an Aug. 31 international deadline to suspend uranium enrichment, and the U.S. is seeking United Nations Security Council sanctions.

For their part, Democrats sought to keep the attention on the still-worsening situation in Iraq. Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California and Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic congressional leaders, released a new report yesterday saying that the U.S. is "bogged down in Iraq with its military stretched thin" and as a result finds itself "less able to fight and win the war on terror."

Write to John D. McKinnon at
It is encouraging that the president is finally reminding the American people of Ahmadinejad's threat of creating "a world without the United States." See the graphic prop Ahmadinejad used when he spoke those words. The mainstream media failed to report this at the time.