Where have we heard all this before?
Scott Ritter in the Guardian:
With all the courage of conviction that comes from being anonymously sourced, a “senior British diplomat” has cast doubt on the veracity of a recent US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), which concluded that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons programme in 2003. This unnamed official was backed up by Simon Smith, the British representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who noted that a recent briefing given by the IAEA had raised doubts about Iran’s claims that it never had a nuclear weapons programme.
Smith is no unbiased observer. As the spokesperson for the so-called “EU-3” (Great Britain, France and Germany), he serves as the face of a group which has a considerable political investment in maintaining the notion of Iran as a non-compliant player in the diplomatic game that is Iran’s nuclear programme. The EU-3 has been attempting to walk the tight wire between a desire to moderate hardline US policies through placation, and their responsibility under international law to respect the provisions of the non-proliferation treaty. In doing so, the EU-3 has married itself to a policy that centres on Iran’s requirement to suspend unconditionally its uranium enrichment programme, since such a programme could be used in any nuclear weapons program.
(In the prelude to the War in Iraq–ed.) Iraq had been placed in the impossible position of having to prove a negative, a doomed process which led to war. I am fearful that the EU-3 is repeating this same process, demanding Iran refute something that doesn’t exist except in the overactive imaginations of diplomats pre-programmed to accept at face value anything negative about Iran, regardless of its veracity. The implications of such a morally and intellectually shallow posture could very well be disastrous.
It moves me to poesy:
He was a warmonger,
And sure ’twas no wonder,
For so were his buddies, neocons all.
And they each wheeled their humvees
By courtesy of teevees,
Crying, “Send others to fight the battles, we are alive alive oh.”
Addendum, Just a Few Minutes Later:
Digby has more.