Steve Clemons

Why Bush Won’t Attack Iran


MP3 here. (44:54)

Steve Clemons, director of the Strategies Program at the New America Foundation and author of the influential blog TheWashingtonNote, discusses his view that the president is seeking a “third option” and is not yet on board with Dick Cheney’s plan to bomb Iran.

Clemons also breaks the story that in a personal discussion with former South Korean President Kim De-Jung on Tuesday he was told that the current South Korean Foreign Minister has informed him that their government believes there is no merit at all to the recent claims that the North Koreans have been working with Syria on nuclear technology and that this is an effort by the neoconservatives to derail the six-party talks.

Steven Clemons directs the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, which aims to promote a new American internationalism that combines a tough-minded realism about America’s interests in the world with a pragmatic idealism about the kind of world order best suited to America’s democratic way of life. He is also a Senior Fellow at New America, and previously served as Executive Vice President.

Publisher of the popular political blog The Washington Note, Mr. Clemons is a long-term policy practitioner and entrepreneur in Washington, D.C. He has served as Executive Vice President of the Economic Strategy Institute, Senior Policy Advisor on Economic and International Affairs to Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and was the first Executive Director of the Nixon Center.

Author: Scott Horton

Scott Horton is Managing Director of The Libertarian Institute, host of Antiwar Radio for Pacifica, 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles and KUCR 88.3 in Riverside, podcasts the Scott Horton Show from, and is the Editorial Director of He’s conducted more than 4,500 interviews since 2003. He is also the author of Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan (2017).

5 thoughts on “Steve Clemons”

  1. Clemons just doesn’t get it.

    Bush is totally on board with Cheney. EVERYTHING done in the last few weeks, including the Petraeus/Crocker testimony, the Israel Syrian air attack, and the movement of troops to the Iranian border in order to “scare up” a “Tonkin Gulf incident” clearly show that the only “third option” Bush is looking for is how to get the war started and not get impeached – not that he has to worry. Democrats like Clemons are too gutless to impeach him anyway.

  2. Richard Steven Hack wrote, EVERYTHING done in the last few weeks…clearly show that the only “third option” Bush is looking for is how to get the war started and not get impeached…

    I think the record is more mixed than that. In particular, while there’s certainly a lot of anti-Iran rhetoric coming out of the White House, it’s nowhere near enough to prepare for an unprovoked attack on Iran.

    OTOH, they wouldn’t need to prepare the American populace for an attack to the same degree if they staged a provocation from Iran.

  3. US airstrikes could happen with no populace prepartion. Policy locks in the war machine. People are brought along as needed. What US invasion has ever required American populace support? Certainly the last 60 years, communicating to the American people is at best an after thought.

    The desire to use the war machine knows no bounds – not even a rational plan to “win”. A normal person would certainly be “gun shy” given where we are in Iraq, but these are not normal people.

    My general sense of Clemons is he cottons to chess games; but the US has not mastered the game. Military prowess is not about smart strategic thinking – it becomes visceral and the guys in charge seem to lack a sense of natural limits.

    I believe it will show beyond any doubt who runs all branches of our government, Big business and “news” propaganda media.
    You will be glad you did read it. BUT angry at exactly who really runs the USA.

  5. I have seen madness since 911 with no common sense or rationality.
    The media has been setting the stage for some time on Iran’s meddling in Iraq in its Republican guard and harboring Al-CIA-Qiada and the making of munitions and delivering them to Iraq. Then there are the possibilities of false flag operations we are famous for. Should this develop into another war it will come out of pressure from Israel and the war mongers we have in place not to mention the military complex no matter how mad this might be.

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