Gibson on standoff with Iran: "[W]orld leaders may be coming to the U.S. saying, 'Would you please use your super-duper nuke bunker-busters to end this thing?' "

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Fox News' John Gibson claimed that military confrontation with Iran "might be inevitable," adding that because Israel "probably do[esn't] have the precision nuke bunker-busters" to eliminate Iran's nuclear facilities, "world leaders may be coming to the U.S. saying, 'Would you please use your super-duper nuke bunker-busters to end this thing with the least possible -- pardon the phrase -- collateral damage?' "

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During his "My Word" segment on the May 8 edition of Fox News' The Big Story, host John Gibson claimed that military confrontation with Iran "might be inevitable," adding that because Israel "probably do[esn't] have the precision nuke bunker-busters" to eliminate Iran's nuclear facilities, "world leaders may be coming to the U.S. saying, 'Would you please use your super-duper nuke bunker-busters to end this thing with the least possible -- pardon the phrase -- collateral damage?' "

Gibson also misrepresented Iran's reported missile capabilities, claiming without evidence that Iran "can bolt [a nuclear warhead] on its already scary long-distance missiles," and asking, "How much would we miss New York City?" In fact, proliferation experts have noted that Iran's missile capabilities are regional at best and most likely unable to deliver nuclear weapons at this time. Iran's longest-range missile, the Shahab III, has a range of up to 1,300 kilometers (808 miles). The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) noted that "Iran currently possesses the capability to employ ballistic missiles and/or long-range artillery rockets against its regional neighbors," but no further. Contrary to Gibson's claim that Iran could now place a nuclear warhead on a missile, NTI also noted that for Iran, "[a] true nuclear weapons delivery capability could be obtained within the next five years"; the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has said that "[i]t is not known ... if Iran possesses the technology needed to miniaturize a nuclear warhead to deliver it by missile."

During the segment, Gibson sought to rebut comments from British Prime Minister Tony Blair and recently-dismissed British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who said that a nuclear strike on Iran would be "absolutely absurd" and "completely nuts," respectively. Gibson said, "I think both gentlemen were just saying that to be heard," and added that they "are obviously just trying to calm down the public in Britain and elsewhere about what might be inevitable."

Upon predicting that world leaders will ask the United States to use its "super-duper nuke bunker-busters" to end nuclear tensions with Iran, Gibson asserted that "what is truly absurd about the idea is it might be the reality a president faces one fine day," adding that "[t]his is thinking the unthinkable again and convincing yourself the possibility is absurd or completely nuts is not terribly helpful. It may come down to them or us."

From the May 8 edition of Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson:

GIBSON: Now it's time for "My Word." Tony Blair today said that any notion of a nuclear attack on Iran is absurd. That was the word he used: "absurd." His former foreign secretary, Jack Straw, had described an alleged plan of the U.S. to use nuke bunker-busters against a facility Iran has thought to be making nuke bomb materials in as completely nuts. I think both gentlemen were just saying that to be heard at this time.

Reality is something different. Notwithstanding the fact that Iran wrote President Bush a letter suggesting there may be other ways to resolve the two countries' differences over nuclear capabilities, if Sy Hersh was right about Pentagon plans to use nukes to derail Iran's nuclear ambitions, then Blair and Straw are obviously just trying to calm down the public in Britain and elsewhere about what might be inevitable.

If Iran is really going to develop the nuke bomb, which it can bolt on its already scary long-distance missiles, do you honestly think the world is going to stand by and let that happen? For one thing, Israel won't stand by. And since the Israelis probably don't have the precision nuke bunker-busters but might instead handle the problem with a barrage of many nuke bombs, world leaders may be coming to the U.S. saying, "Would you please use your super-duper nuke bunker-busters to end this thing with the least possible -- pardon the phrase -- collateral damage?"

I grew up in the era of mutually assured destruction, that long-ago time when little children understood that the world might go up in a mushroom cloud one day. Then all of that went away, and now it's back. And it's not a bunch of Russians or Chinese you can negotiate with. Does anybody think the guy running Iran or the mullahs behind him will either negotiate or stick by promises?

Tony Blair says a nuclear attack on Iran is absurd. Well, what is truly absurd about the idea is it might be the reality a president faces one fine day. Do we use ours on them first or wait for them to use theirs on us? How much would we miss New York City? Could they really wipe out Israel with one monsoon-like attack? This is thinking the unthinkable again and convincing yourself the possibility is absurd or completely nuts is not terribly helpful. It may come down to them or us.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, International Conflicts
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
John Gibson
Show/Publication
The Big Story with John Gibson
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