President Bush has done some things that have had me shaking my head in disbelief on more than occasions. Other things, I've been able to see where he was coming from, even when I didn't agree. Yet other things, I think he's been True North while the rest of us have been trying to fold the map.
With the recent National Intelligence Estimate report stating Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and the White House's reaction to it, originally I had one of those WTF moments. What would possess the Bush Administration to give Democrats, faux liberals, and the media ammunition to further criticize the war on terrorism and the Administration as a whole? Granted, they'd do it anyway, but to give them a reason to do it is political suicide.
Or is it?
Regardless of what criticisms I have with George W. Bush, one thing I have always maintained is that he is a "big picture" thinker and he has reasons for what he does. They may not always make sense, but they're his reasons. That's what made me stop short after my initial reaction. Bush took this action for a reason, and after seeing the whole picture, I think it may be his most brilliant strategic move ever.
One aspect of Muslim society is honor. If you shame a Muslim man or question his honor, he takes it very seriously and can get violent as a result. And guess who is a Muslim? President Imadinnerjacket of Iran. He's been running his mouth for the better part of a year or so, saying he wants to wipe Israel off the map and destroy America. One of the ways he intends to do it is by building a nuclear arsenal, as he believes a nuclear war would bring back the 13th Imam. Furthermore, he's said Iran has a right to get nuclear capabilities.
Now, what do you think it does to Imadinnerjacket to have America say Iran stopped any nuclear programs it had in 2003?
Let me put it this way. Imadinnerjacket ain't happy right now. With two moves, George W. Bush has embarassed him in front of the world...and in front of his Islamic allies. Now without the ability to make good on his threats, Imadinnerjacket becomes a joke, even more that he already has been so far. That means he'll have to do something to regain the respect of his Islamic buddies.
Which will prove George W. Bush was right all along about the potential threat Iran is.
There is another way Imadinnerjacket can react, which is to tone down the rhetoric and make sure he doesn't draw attention to himself. Granted, this is a pretty big and most likely unrealistic hope, but it could happen, albeit remotely. If that happens, Iran will become less of a threat.
Which will give George W. Bush another victory, one without firing a shot.
Am I spinning events? Maybe. Am I being unrealistic or overly optimistic? Could be. Am I right? Time and history will be the judges of that. But if I'm right, Bush may have pulled off the biggest win-win situation of his Presidency, and that will go a long way to securing his legacy.