Bush on Iran: First, we’ll talk. Then, I’ll bomb you.

So President Bush has just

By Andrew Hammond

So President Bush has just announced that he’ll meet with Iran to talk about their nuclear program. On the surface, everyone should be ecstatic. And many (including the entire European continent) are. But what’s really going on?The New York Times article by David Sanger, a great reporter out of their Washington Bureau, has this to say: “And while the Europeans and the Japanese said they were elated by Mr. Bush’s turnaround, some participants in the drawn-out nuclear drama questioned whether this was an offer intended to fail, devised to show the extent of Iran’s intransigence.”Sanger’s news analysis reinforces what I heard from Retired Air Force Colonel Samuel Gardiner at an International Security Workshop I attended in April. Gardiner predicted that the Bush Administration would dial up the diplomatic effort over the summer not to change Iran’s behavior, but to demonstrate to the American people and the world that Iran won’t respond to diplomatic pressure, which supposedly makes it easier for the White House to present military intervention as the only viable option for dealing with Iran. In other words, it’s setting Bush up to say to Iran and the world, “Well, I tried talking and that didn’t work, so I guess I’ll have to invade your country instead.”