Here are excerpts in a growing list of important articles on the threatened Bush-Cheney attack on Iran. In addition to my one comment below, I would add , that the project to widen the war against Iran is greased by the Israeli lobby and a Congress in thrall to them. --rb
February 1, 2007
Cruise Missile Diplomacy
Bush Targets Iran
By MARJORIE COHN
When I say "gunboat diplomacy," I mean that literally. Bush recently sent US warships and Patriot missile batteries to the Persian Gulf and moved US attack aircraft to Turkey and other countries on Iran's borders. US forces stormed the Iranian consulate in northern Iraq and captured six Iranian nationals, and Bush announced he will go after any Iranians he considers a threat. There are also indications the Bush administration would support military action by Israel against Iran.
On Tuesday, the administration stepped up its inflammatory rhetoric. US officials said Iranians may have trained attackers who killed five Americans in Karbala on January 20. They also implicated the Mahdi Army, the militia controlled by Moktada al-Sadr. It's very interesting that the New York Times characterized the focus on Iran and the Mahdi Army as "convenient from the point of view of the Bush administration."
Investigators were stumped at how the attackers, who wore American-style uniforms, secured forged US identity cards and American-style M-4 rifles, and used stun grenades like those used only by US forces. They are also confounded at the way the attackers' convoy of S.U.V.'s gave the impression that it was American and slipped through Iraqi checkpoints. Wednesday's article in the Times cites a theory that "a Western mercenary group" may have been involved. In the past the US government used the CIA to covertly overthrow governments, such as Iran's in 1953 and Chile's in 1973. Could mercenaries now be doing the Bush administration's dirty work?
The plan to attack Iran has been in the works since Bush inaugurated that country into his "axis of evil" in January 2002. Bush's 2006 National Military Strategy says, "We may face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran." In April 2006, Seymour Hersh revealed the US military was making preparations for an invasion of Iran. "Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups," Hersh learned from current and former American military intelligence officials.
...Congress has the responsibility to prevent Bush from attacking Iran. In view of congressional opposition to his war in Iraq, Bush will not likely ask permission to make war on Iran. We can expect Bush to provoke - or even fabricate a la Tonkin Gulf - an incident with Iran and then claim he's responding to Iranian aggression. Senior Pentagon officials reported in Wednesday's Los Angeles Times that Air Force and Navy fighter planes along the Iran-Iraq border may be used more aggressively. Bush will then try to bootstrap the September 2001 and October 2002 congressional authorizations for force in Afghanistan and Iraq respectively into consent to attack Iran.
...A former defense official who still advises the Bush administration informed Hersh the military planning was grounded in the belief that "a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government." That's the same faulty logic the US government has used to justify its cruel embargo and blockade of Cuba since Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution.
Yes, Cohn is right that the logic is faulty. We can also add that the last thing Bush-Cheney would like to see is the Iranian people overthrowing their government since that would remove the causus belli, their public rationale for attacking and destroying the country which is their purpose. Attacking Iran would have the added benefit from the administration's point of view of possibly drawing in either Russia or China or both and thus adding to the chaos, danger, confusion and international insecurity that is their goal.