LATEST CHENEY INSANITY RUMOR….Should a responsible blogger pass along bizarre, unsubstantiated rumors like the one I’m about to pass along? Probably not. But here it is anyway.

Steve Clemons, relying on “multiple sources,” says that Dick Cheney is slowly coming to the sad realization that President Bush may be a wimp who can’t be trusted to start a shooting war with Iran. If that turns out to be the case, Cheney figures that the only option left will be to somehow goad Iran into attacking us first, thus making war inevitable. According to Steve’s sources, a senior aide on Cheney’s national security team has been making the rounds of conservative think tanks to map out Cheney’s plan:

The thinking on Cheney’s team is to collude with Israel, nudging Israel at some key moment in the ongoing standoff between Iran’s nuclear activities and international frustration over this to mount a small-scale conventional strike against Natanz using cruise missiles (i.e., not ballistic missiles).

This strategy…could be expected to trigger a sufficient Iranian counter-strike against US forces in the Gulf — which just became significantly larger — as to compel Bush to forgo the diplomatic track that the administration realists are advocating and engage in another war.

Well, OK. But wouldn’t a plan like this work only if it were kept absolutely secret? Wouldn’t peddling it around at “lunch and dinner gatherings” defeat the whole purpose? And exactly what does Cheney supposedly think Iran would counter-strike against? A carrier group? Bases in Kuwait? Seriously? And wouldn’t the Israelis be a wee bit nervous about acting as Cheney’s cat’s paw, especially in an operation deliberately designed to do little actual damage?

In other words, it’s ridiculous to think that anyone would be contemplating something like this. But then again, Dick Cheney isn’t just anyone. I wonder if he’s a fan of 24?

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