Hersh: Bush, Cheney 'really want' Iran war
Mike Aivaz and Nick Juliano
Published: Tuesday October 2, 2007

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Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh says that the "only thing" he's hearing from inside sources is how much President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney "really want" to go to war with Iran, and the president's refusal to speak to Iran's leaders shows how little commitment he has to diplomacy.

"He has no interest in talking to anyone he doesn't like," Hersh said of the president appearing on MSNBC's Countdown Monday. "If he would talk to them, I could say to you that there's some reason we may not go to war, but the only thing you hear from inside is that these guys really want to" attack Iran.

The following video is from MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, broadcast on October 1, 2007. (Story continues below)

In his latest article for the New Yorker, Hersh says the administration's rhetoric towards Iran shifted over the summer, from accusing the rogue regime of harboring nuclear-weapons ambition to blaming it for attacks on US troops in Iraq.

The investigative journalist told host Keith Olbermann that the "new gambit" was deliberate because administration officials believes it can build support among Americans and US allies for a series of surgical strikes aimed at cutting the flow of improvised explosive devices from Iran into Iraq. Blaming Iran for attacks in Iraq has more to do with laying the groundwork for an invasion than reflecting the realities of weapons supplies in Iraq, though, he said.

"You'd really think that every problem we have, every IED ... was given to the Iraqis by the Iranians, when in fact Iraq is a cesspool of weaponry, it has been forever," Hersh said.

Although he's unaware of any specific order to strike Iran, Hersh said he has no doubt that Bush is laying the groundwork to build support for an attack in the country, as he did leading up to the war in Iraq.

"The bottom line is, it's real easy, you hear the White House spokeswoman say, 'We're interested in a diplomatic track,'" Hersh said. "Well all he (Bush) has to do is start talking to them, and then you get diplomacy. He's not talking to them."

As the president's term draws to a close, Hersh said he was told that Bush's and Cheney's drive for war trumps their loyalty to their party and its future.

"Cheney and Bush don't give a rats ass about the future of the Republican Party," Hersh said, "when it comes to this."