Monday, April 10, 2006

Iran

Lots going on right now as the War Criminal in Chief prepares his second war of aggression, this time against a nation that will be able to defend itself: Iran. If Bush gets his way we are in a great deal of trouble. The mess caused by the crime against Iraq has largely been contained in Iraq. This will not be the case if we start something with Iran. If you think oil and gas are expensive now, just wait. Bombing Iran will trigger major blowback and our lives will change in ways we only glimpse in nightmares and not just in terms of the energy markets. The effects will surge through the global economy and the violence will spill far outside of the middle east.

Here's a small sample of Iran related news. Of course there is the Seymour Hersh article, The Iran Plans. It's long but well worth the time:

Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb?
The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran fro pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increase clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams o American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting dat and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups. The officials say that President Bush is determined to deny the Iranian regime the opportunity to begin a pilot program, planned for this spring, to enrich uranium.

A government consultant with close ties to the civilian leadership in the Pentagon said that Bush was “absolutely convinced that Iran is going to get the bomb” if it is not stopped. He said that the President believes that he must do “what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would have the courage to do,” and “that saving Iran is going to be his legacy.”

One former defense official, who still deals with sensitive issues for the Bush Administration, told me that the military planning was premised on a belief that “a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government.” He added, “I was shocked when I heard it, and asked myself, ‘What are they smoking?’ ”

Then there is this article from the Washington Post, U.S. Is Studying Military Strike Options on Iran:
The Bush administration is studying options for military strikes against Iran as part of a broader strategy of coercive diplomacy to pressure Tehran to abandon its alleged nuclear development program, according to U.S. officials and independent analysts.

No attack appears likely in the short term, and many specialists inside and outside the U.S. government harbor serious doubts about whether an armed response would be effective. But administration officials are preparing for it as a possible option and using the threat "to convince them this is more and more serious," as a senior official put it.
...

Preparations for confrontation with Iran underscore how the issue has vaulted to the front of President Bush's agenda even as he struggles with a relentless war in next-door Iraq. Bush views Tehran as a serious menace that must be dealt with before his presidency ends, aides said, and the White House, in its new National Security Strategy, last month labeled Iran the most serious challenge to the United States posed by any country.

Many military officers and specialists, however, view the saber rattling with alarm. A strike at Iran, they warn, would at best just delay its nuclear program by a few years but could inflame international opinion against the United States, particularly in the Muslim world and especially within Iran, while making U.S. troops in Iraq targets for retaliation.
Then there is the Congressman from Texas, Ron Paul, who has this to say about Iran being the next Neocon target:
The significant question we must ask ourselves is: What have we learned from three years in Iraq? With plans now being laid for regime change in Iran, it appears we have learned absolutely nothing. There still are plenty of administration officials who daily paint a rosy picture of the Iraq we have created. But I wonder: If the past three years were nothing more than a bad dream, and our nation suddenly awakened, how many would, for national security reasons, urge the same invasion? Would we instead give a gigantic sigh of relief that it was only a bad dream, that we need not relive the three-year nightmare of death, destruction, chaos and stupendous consumption of tax dollars. Conceivably we would still see oil prices under $30 a barrel, and most importantly, 20,000 severe U.S. causalities would not have occurred. My guess is that 99% of all Americans would be thankful it was only a bad dream, and would never support the invasion knowing what we know today.

Even with the horrible results of the past three years, Congress is abuzz with plans to change the Iranian government. There is little resistance to the rising clamor for “democratizing” Iran, even though their current president, Mahmoud Almadinejad, is an elected leader. Though Iran is hardly a perfect democracy, its system is far superior to most of our Arab allies about which we never complain. Already the coordinating propaganda has galvanized the American people against Iran for the supposed threat it poses to us with weapons of mass destruction that are no more present than those Saddam Hussein was alleged to have had. It’s amazing how soon after being thoroughly discredited over the charges levied against Saddam Hussein the Neo-cons are willing to use the same arguments against Iran. It’s frightening to see how easily Congress, the media, and the people accept many of the same arguments against Iran that were used to justify an invasion of Iraq.

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