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CSIS Mideast Expert Admits That There Is No Proof That Iran Wants Nukes

Reported by Marie Therese - October 16, 2007 -

On Monday's edition of America's Newsroom, Andrew Kuchins, Director of the Russia and Eurasia Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies reluctantly agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin's claim that there is no proof that Iran has plans to create a "nuclear arsenal." With video.

CSIS is a think tank much favored by FOX News and it was obvious by Kuchins' demeanor that he wanted to deliver some kind of information that would validate the Iran's-got-nukes message that FOX News, right wing radio and the White House hawks have been pushing for the past several years.

However, one got the impression that he was just too good a scholar to make that leap, except to say that "proof" will have to come from the November report of the IAEA. When host Megyn Kelly asked if Russia was willing to live with a nuclear Iran, Kuchins answered in the affirmative.

President Putin's opinion matches that of several retired American generals, including Gen. John Abizaid, who believe that we could live with an Iran that has nuclear weapons, just as we've learned to live with a nuclear India and a nuclear Pakistan. (Source: Associated Press)

This opinion is not shared by neocon warmongers like John Bolton, Bill Kristol, Charles Kratuhammer, Dick Cheney and others who seem hellbent on dragging this country into yet another no-win war.

I find it very convenient that during the last week the spin about Al Qaeda has gone from "they are still the most dangerous enemy in Iraq" to "Al Qaeda is on the run." Honestly, does the Bush administration think that anyone believes their hype anymore?

Case in point. I was speaking to the 82-year-old grandfather of one of my students. WWII combat veteran, lifelong moderate Republican, a self-made man whose family is well taken care of (most would say rich). We had a ten-minute discussion during which he said he had voted for Bush but was completely disillusioned with the Republican Party's wasteful spending and the war in Iraq. In a lot of areas he and I were in agreement. Most noticeably, he had nothing good to say about the Medicare drug prescription program, which the GOP holds up as one of their shining successes.

There is unrest and disillusionment at large in the country, shown by FOX News' own polling, released yesterday, indicating that 70% of Americans are worried about their economic futures.

With the possibility of a Turkish invasion of northern Iraq imminent and Vladimir Putin's suggestions that Russia would back Iran in the event it was attacked (ABC News) now is the time for reasoned diplomacy, not the posturing ultimatums and hollow bravado of an administration filled with morally bankrupt and politically impotent ideologues.