Words have consequences

Over at Jewish Current Issues, Rick Richman picks up on John’s discussion of the thread of Vice President Cheney’s speech devoted to Iran: “Words have consequences.” Rick places Cheney’s speech in the context of other administration statements on the subject. Rick suggests that the administration’s statements are more than tough talk: “A marker has been laid down, indicating that this issue is going to be resolved — by one means or another.”
Rick’s words put me in mind of Lincoln’s great “house divided” speech:

We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.

Harry Jaffa argues powerfully that Lincoln’s “house divided” speech is “The speech that changed the world.”
It seems that we are reaching a crisis with Iran. Iran is the point from which the forces destabilizing the Middle East and threatening the United States are radiating. They will not cease until a crisis is reached and passed. For additional evidence today, see Thomas Joscelyn’s Standard column “Unholy alliance.” See also Alexandra von Maltzan’s “Iran is building a nuclear weapon.” (Thanks to RealClearPolitics for the tip to Joscelyn.)
UPDATE: The American Enterprise Institute has posted Michael Ledeen’s must-read testimony to House Committee on International Relations yesterday. An excerpt:

The Iranian war against us is now twenty-seven years old, and we have yet to fight back. In those twenty-seven years thousands of innocent people have died at the hands of the mullahs


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