"Iran ... is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. ... Iran funds terrorist groups like Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which murder the innocent and target Israel. ... Iran is sending arms to the Taliban. ... Iran has arrested visiting American scholars who have committed no crimes. ... Iran's active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons threatens to put a region already known for instability and violence under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust.
"Iran's actions threaten the security of nations everywhere. ... We will confront this danger before it is too late."
Bush has repeatedly warned Iran to cease supplying Iraqi insurgents with arms and enhanced IEDs for attacks on our troops in Iraq.
How has Tehran responded to Bush's virtual ultimatums?
"The attacks on our bases and our troops by Iranian-supplied munitions have increased in the last few months -- despite pledges by Iran to help stabilize the security situation in Iraq. ...
"Iran's leaders cannot escape responsibility for aiding attacks against coalition forces and the murder of innocent Iraqis."
This is a case for war. Indeed, it's an assertion by President Bush that Iran is colluding in acts of war against the soldiers and Marines and allies of the United States. What does he intend to do?
"I have authorized our military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran's murderous activities. ... We've conducted operations against Iranian agents supplying lethal munitions to extremist groups."
This suggests that U.S. forces may already be engaged in combat operations against Iranians.
Who or what can stop this drive to war?
Last spring, Nancy Pelosi herself, after a call from the Israeli lobby, pulled an amendment that would have forced Bush to come to Congress for specific authorization before attacking Iran. Before the August recess, the Senate voted 97 to zero for a resolution sponsored by Joe Lieberman to censure Iran for complicity in the killing of U.S. soldiers in Iraq.
The resolution explicitly rejected authorization for immediate military action, but the gist of it declared that Iran is participating in acts of war against the United States, laying the foundation for a confrontation.
What is to prevent Bush from attacking Iran and widening the war, at a time and place of his choosing, and sooner than we think?
Nothing and no one.