I wonder what the Bush Administration thinks of Powell's most recent comments, that he forsees no circumstance in which the US would use military force against Iran. Sure, they can dismiss him because he no longer works for them, but there is the problem of the signals that this esteemed former general is sending to the 'enemy.'
Surely Iranian officials understand the fact that Powell does not speak for the administration, but I'm sure it also realizes the importance of his assessment. Could the fact that one of America's preeminent military minds thinks that the US will not under any foreseeable circumstance attack Iran cause Iran to take more brazen action?
On the other hand, is it also possible that the Bush administration could view this as a challenge to its "manhood" and act more aggressively toward Iran given the fact that Powell's comments could give Iran the ability to rest on it's laurels a bit?
I was wondering if anyone else thinks that such comments from influential, but currently powerless, Americans leaders could have either a positive or negative effect on the situation with Iran. Also, does anyone out there actually disagree with Powell's assessment of the situation?