In President Bush's recent speech to the American Legion he continues to ratchet up the war of words with Iran, notably speaking of the region potentially being under "the shadow of a nuclear holocaust" because of Iran's nuclear program. I find this rhetoric very incendiary, very uneven, very dangerous. Of course, we expect this from the disgraced ideologues surrounding Vice-President Cheney. But I hope people like Bob Gates and Steve Hadley and Josh Bolten have the courage to speak truth to power so that the United States government pursues a policy short of war vis-a-vis Iran. After all, their reputations are on the line if they let this President blunder into a catastrophic conflict with Iran. These are dangerous times, and there are very few individuals tasked with protecting the national interest at the highest levels of government. Here's hoping historical perspective and tempered reason will ultimately prevail among them. The stakes are very high, and we have rarely in our history had an Administration as reckless as this one charged with the public trust. It is time for some of our most senior public servants to finally summon the courage to face down the seeming propulsion to messianism passing as policy-making that has infected this Administration.

(Cross-posted at Belgravia Dispatch)

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