That’s the report from the Jerusalem media, but the administration is saying it’s false.

Who’s telling the truth?

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.

Here’s the thing…in recent years there’s been a hell of a lot of chatter about the US drawing up war plans against Iran. And then when aircraft carriers start moving into position, you have to wonder if there’s something to it.

Obviously we won’t know until something really starts happening, but if Bush actually thinks he can start attacking another country seemingly unprovoked, even with surgical military strikes, he better get ready for a stateside backlash so intense it could nearly ensure the utter electoral devastation of the Republicans in the fall.

Because those seem to be the biggest stakes at this point since there’s no way he’ll be able to convince anybody but the faithful that Iran’s nuclear program posed an imminent threat.

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