CHENEY vs. MULLEN….Dick “Five Draft Deferments” Cheney on Sunday:

The Iranian regime’s efforts to destabilize the Middle East and to gain hegemonic power is a matter of record. And now, of course, we have the inescapable reality of Iran’s nuclear program; a program they claim is strictly for energy purposes, but which they have worked hard to conceal; a program carried out in complete defiance of the international community and resolutions of the U.N. Security Council. Iran is pursuing technology that could be used to develop nuclear weapons. The world knows this.

….The Iranian regime needs to know that if it stays on its present course, the international community is prepared to impose serious consequences. The United States joins other nations in sending a clear message: We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

He rejected the counsel of those who might urge immediate attacks inside Iran to destroy nuclear installations or to stop the flow of explosives that end up as powerful roadside bombs in Iraq or Afghanistan, killing American troops.

With America at war in two Muslim countries, he said, attacking a third Islamic nation in the region “has extraordinary challenges and risks associated with it.” The military option, he said, should be a last resort.

For what it’s worth, there’s nothing really very remarkable about this. For the past six years, at nearly every step along the way, the uniformed military has been more cautious about the use of military power than the White House. So will they finally figure out this time around that it takes more than gentle pressure to get these guys to recognize reality on the ground? Fred Kaplan has some thoughts.

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