Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Attack Iran? You and what army?

Front paged at Booman Tribune and ePluribus Media

One of the best childhood playground responses to a threat by a classmate is very appropriate in these times, although the application here is much more dire and scary. Because botching and losing two “wars” at the same time just isn’t enough for these psychotic war criminals who are hell bent on destroying civilization as we know it, there has been more and more behind the scenes saber rattling amid the doomed-from-the-start UN negotiations with Iran.

The “big” news yesterday was that Defense Secretary nominee Gates isn’t all too keen on dropping bombs on Iran or Syria. Of course, that doesn’t do much to change the fact that the grimmest of reapers (and the one who really is in control of this horrific foreign policy of ours), Dick Cheney is just foaming at the mouth salivating at the potential for an attack on Iran that would make Iraq look like a game of “patty-cake”.

A few little issues, though. Other than the fact that this is almost universally recognized as one of the worst things that could ever be done (even here in the US there is extremely little support), there is the little issue called “major adverse repercussions” against our troops.

Let’s even assume for a moment that the assertions that Iran is THISCLOSE to developing a nuclear weapon are true. And let’s also forget the little fact that there is absolutely no support in the international community for an attack on Iran. There has been a few incidents in the news lately, which have largely gone under the radar. Not that I can really place fault for this going under the radar with all of the other horrific things going on in Iraq and Afghanistan (not to mention with Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears, of course), but it makes me wonder if something will be attempted without the input or approval of anyone other than a select few.

Take the following story titled The March to War: Iran Preparing for US Air Attacks:

Iran has taken the opportunity of the launching of both the April 2006 and Blow of Zolfaqar war games to display its preparedness and capability to engage in combat. Additionally, Iran has taken the occasion to fine tune its defenses and mobilize its military apparatus. This exhibition of Iranian military might is intended to deter America's intent to trigger another Middle Eastern war.

During the war games, the Iranian military has adjusted and modified its air defense shield for maximum dexterity and efficiency in preparation, to stop incoming missiles and invading aircraft.. The war games have been an opportunity for testing of Iranian capacity to wage war in the air

The Iranian military has also reported the testing of laser-guided weaponry, advanced torpedoes, ballistic missiles, anti-ship missiles, bullets that pierce through bullet-proof vests, and electronic military hardware during the Blow of Zolfaqar war games. Surface-to-surface and ocean-to-surface missiles (submarine-to-surface missiles) in the Persian Gulf were also tested in late-August 2006. These included missiles that are invisible to radar and can use multiple warheads or carry multiple payloads to hit numerous targets simultaneously.

This article is a must read, as are many from Global Research, even if it is a few months old, since it gives a lot of background, detail and perspective. Additionally, there were reports from a few weeks back that the nuclear powered Eisenhower aircraft carrier and its attack fleet were headed towards the Persian Gulf.

So why talk about this now? Well, the UN Security Council is currently debating sanctions against Iran, and France looks like it is on the “impose sanctions” side. But, as linked above, an article released today indicates that Cheney and his team of destruction have been betting on the UN not being able to reach agreement so they can bomb away:

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's months-long diplomatic effort to get five other powers to agree to a tough United Nations Security Council resolution on sanctions against Iran now seems certain to fail, because of Russian and Chinese resistance.

The beneficiaries of that failure in Washington will be Vice President Dick Cheney and other hardliners, who have been anticipating that such a development would help them persuade President George W Bush to begin the political-diplomatic planning for an air attack on Iran.


According to an article by the neo-conservative Lawrence F Kaplan in The New Republic on October 2, aides to Cheney have been convinced from the beginning that Rice's Iran strategy would not be an obstacle to their own plans because they knew it would fail.

The aides to Cheney insisted that the administration was not yet prepared politically for a shift to the military track, according to Kaplan. But once Rice's diplomatic effort becomes a highly visible failure, Cheney and his allies in the administration are poised to begin the process of ratcheting up pressure on Bush to begin the political planning for an eventual military attack on Iran.

Meanwhile, Daniel Ellsberg reported today that he fears that the US is planning to strike Iran and that:
Ellsberg said it was key for US officials who had information and documents relating to plans to launch airstrikes on Iran to leak them in order to "avert a war" that may include the use of nuclear weapons.

"There is a much better chance of stopping an Iran war before it starts," he said.

Information about the possible attack plans have been mentioned by unnamed officials, quoted among others investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, but documents would back up these reports, Ellsberg added.

Ellsberg also urged NATO countries to withdraw from NATO if attacks were carried out. With respect to Seymour Hersh, he had a number of articles over the past year or so, including this one from back in July as well as this one two weeks ago which was covered real nicely by Cenk Uygur back in late November at Daily Kos as well as at Huffington Post, so I won’t rehash this again here.

Not to be outdone, crazy-by-even-PNAC-standards Michael Ledeen was itching for war with Iran in a recent interview with Hugh Hewitt:

They [candidates for president] have to understand that by the time they come to office, they will find themselves in the situation that's likely to be much worse than the one we face today, because Iran will by then have almost for sure nuclear weapons, they will be viewed as a hegemon in the Middle East. Everybody's going to be scrambling around, trying to figure out what to do. If the United States has not reacted, responded forecfully and effectively by then, they will come to terms with Iran. They will become part of the problem.

We can also take a trip down memory lane (thanks to the good folks at thinkprogress) and see what other officials and experts have said about any sort of military option against Iran. And these are no “terrorist sympathizers” here – they include Senator Hagel, Richard Clarke, former UN weapons inspectors, republicans in congress, IAEI directorEl-Baradei, the CIA, Defense Intelligence officials, retired Air Force Commanders and conservative organizations like The Heritage Foundation. All, without exception, think that a military strike against Iran would be nothing short of a disaster.

While we are at it, we can even look to a hot off the presses report by the conservative-leaning Middle East Media Research Institute, which includes these little nuggets:

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander Yahya Rahim Safavi: "The Americans are sunk in the quagmire of Afghanistan and Iraq, and there is no way for them [to move either] forward or backward. Assuming they attack Iran, [then] their 200,000 troops, in their 33 bases, are highly vulnerable. American politicians and military commanders both know this.

"They can start a war, but [the decision to] end [the war] will not be in their hands.


Iranian Navy Commander: "American Warships Are Heavy... And Easily Sunk": On November 27, 2006, the Iranian news agency Mehr reported that IRGC Navy Commander Admiral Sejad Kouchaki had said, "We are fully monitoring the route taken by the American [warships in the Gulf], and because American warships are heavy, they have no maneuverability, and are easily sunk."


Iranian Suicide Bomber Organization Threatens Suicide Operations Against U.S. Targets in Gulf: On November 20, 2006, the Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai reported: "An extremist Iranian group is threatening to carry out suicide operations in the Gulf countries that are allies of the U.S., in the event that the U.S. uses its own bases in these countries to attack Iran."

There is plenty more in terms of overwhelming evidence and opinion of how disastrous any form of military action would be. But it is clear that Cheney has nothing but absolute contempt for Congress, outside opinion, and any sense of decency or sanity. The “bomb Iran” rhetoric will no doubt be ratcheted up over the next few weeks, especially if the UN Security Council is unable to reach any sort of meaningful agreement regarding sanctions against Iran. And even if there is agreement, there is no doubt that there will be “chest-thumping” from Iran.

There is overwhelming support for NOT attacking Iran, however that didn’t stop these war criminals from ramming fake evidence about Iraq down the world’s throat, then strong arming or bribing others to join the “coalition of the willing”. The stakes were too high then, and we are (predictably) failing miserably. The stakes are even higher with Iran, and the danger to our troops, the Middle East in general, as well as the security of this country are clearly at risk.

Which would seem to not matter much in Cheney’s real life game of RISK.

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