Fears grow over Iran
Tony Blair has declared himself at odds with hawks in the US Administration by saying publicly for the first time that it would be wrong to take military action against Iran.Of course you will never guess who is in favor of it.
But there are deep fissures within the US Administration. Robert Gates, the Defence Secretary, who has previously called for direct talks with Tehran, is said to be totally opposed to military action.
Although he has dispatched a second US aircraft carrier to the Gulf, he is understood to believe that airstrikes would inflame Iranian public opinion and hamper American efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. One senior adviser to Mr Gates has even stated privately that military action could lead to Congress impeaching Mr Bush.
Condoleeza Rice, the Secretary of State, is also opposed to using force, while Steve Hadley, the President’s National Security Adviser, is said to be deeply sceptical.
The hawks are led by Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, who is urging Mr Bush to keep the military option “on the table”. He is also pressing the Pentagon to examine specific war plans — including, it is rumoured, covert action.That's right it just Cheney and his fellow inmates in the neocon lunatic asylum.
I have felt for some time that there must be people within the administration and close to it who have been trying to short circuit Cheney's influence. In that group you would probably find the likes of George HW Bush and James Baker III. Up to this point they have not been too successful. With the insanity of an attack on Iran I'm willing to bet they are working over time. If they ever needed to succeed it is now.