Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Jerusalem Post Article on Potential U.S. Military Attack

The Jerusalem Post originally published an article at this url (www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1210668683139&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull) on May 20 with the headline "Bush intends to attack Iran before the end of his term." The article read:

"US President George W. Bush intends to attack Iran in the upcoming months, before the end of his term, Army Radio quoted a senior official in Jerusalem as saying Tuesday.

"The official claimed that a senior member of the president's entourage, which concluded a trip to Israel last week, said during a closed meeting that Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were of the opinion that military action was called for.

"However, the official continued, 'the hesitancy of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice' was preventing the administration from deciding to launch such an attack on the Islamic Republic, for the time being.

"The report stated that according to assessments in Israel, recent turmoil in Lebanon, where Hizbullah de facto established control of the country, was advancing an American attack.
Bush, the officials said, opined that Hizbullah's show of strength was evidence of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's growing influence.

"They said that according to Bush, 'the disease must be treated - not its symptoms.' In an address to the Knesset during his visit here last week, Bush said that 'the president of Iran dreams of returning the Middle East to the Middle Ages.'

"'America stands with you in firmly opposing Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions,' Bush said. 'Permitting the world's leading sponsor of terror to possess the world's deadliest weapon would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations. For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.'"

Curiously, upon re-accessing the same url (www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1210668683139&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull) the article had been changed to a report of the White House denying the claims articulated in the previous article. The new article reads:

"The White House on Tuesday flatly denied an Army Radio report that claimed US President George W. Bush intends to attack Iran before the end of his term. It said that while the military option had not been taken off the table, the Administration preferred to resolve concerns about Iran's push for a nuclear weapon 'through peaceful diplomatic means.'

"Army Radio had quoted a top official in Jerusalem claiming that a senior member in the entourage of President Bush, who concluded a trip to Israel last week, had said in a closed meeting here that Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were of the opinion that military action against Iran was called for.

"The official reportedly went on to say that 'the hesitancy of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice' was preventing the administration from deciding to launch such an attack on the Islamic Republic for the time being.

"The Army Radio report, which was quoted by The Jerusalem Post and resonated widely, stated that according to assessments in Israel, the recent turmoil in Lebanon, where Hizbullah has de facto established control of the country, was advancing an American attack.

"Bush, the official reportedly said, considered Hizbullah's show of strength to constitute evidence of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's growing influence. In Bush's view, the official said, 'the disease must be treated - not its symptoms.'

"However, the White House on Tuesday afternoon dismissed the story. In a statement, it said that '[the US] remain[s] opposed to Iran's ambitions to obtain a nuclear weapon. To that end, we are working to bring tough diplomatic and economic pressure on the Iranians to get them to change their behavior and to halt their uranium enrichment program. '

"It went on: 'As the President has said, no president of the United States should ever take options off the table, but our preference and our actions for dealing with this matter remain through peaceful diplomatic means. Nothing has changed in that regard.'

"In an address to the Knesset during his visit here last week, Bush said that 'the president of Iran dreams of returning the Middle East to the Middle Ages.'

"'America stands with you in firmly opposing Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions,' Bush said. 'Permitting the world's leading sponsor of terror to possess the world's deadliest weapon would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations. For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.'"

4 comments:

hass said...

White House takes exception to story saying Bush plans Iran attack
By BEN FELLER , Associated Press

Last update: May 20, 2008 - 9:30 AM

WASHINGTON - The White House on Tuesday denied a published report in Israel that said President Bush intends to attack Iran before the end of his term in January...

http://www.startribune.com/politics/19097534.html?location_refer=Nation

Carah Ong said...

Thank you for posting the Washington Post link. AP is running the White House "denial" story in several papers. What I find curious about the whole episode is that the Jerusalem Post, which ran the originally story, changed the article on its website.

Plutonium Page said...

Hi Carah,

Think Progress has a bit more here (video included).

I think it's strange that the JPost changed the story, too. Good catch on your part.

: smintheus :: said...

I've seen several news organizations do that - update the content radically while retaining the original link. It's not clear that they always (or ever) do that in order to cover their tracks. I think it's typically just a sign of how clueless they are about archiving material on line, and keeping various versions distinct.