Following up on an item from yesterday, Bush was unusually reckless in his choice of words during his press conference, in response to a question about Iran. The president said, "I’ve told people that if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."
Naturally, hearing the president of the United States reference “World War III” while discussing foreign policy, particularly in regards to a county at whom Bush has rattled his saber, raised a few eyebrows.
So, the White House has tried to walk the comments back a bit.
President Bush was simply “making a point” when he stated at his press conference this week that anyone who wants to avert World War III wants to keep nuclear weapons out of Iran’s hands, the White House said today.
“The president was not making any war plans,” White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said today. “He was not making any declaration. He was making a point.”
Oh, the president was making a point. In that case, Bush’s remarks made perfect sense.
The problem, of course, is that it’s not at all clear what this “point” might have been. It certainly sounded as if the president said World War III would happen if Iran acquired “the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.” What, pray tell, was the “point” Bush hoped to get across?
The White House can try and argue today that the president’s comments were no big deal, but in this climate, random references to World War III are taken a little more seriously than that.