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8 April 2006

News, Views, & Analysis Governments, Lobbies, & the
Corporate Media Don't Want You To Know


Thus a pre-emptive war on Iran, while a political triumph
for the president this fall, could, like the invasion of Iraq,
prove a long-term disaster.

MER - MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 8 April As the mid-term election approaches and the Bush/Cheney Administration faces potential melt-down and if things really go bad for them possible impeachment, Washington insiders remember the pre-election gambits and surprises of the past. For the old Washington hands this term 'October Surprise' is most associated with Republican conservative Presidents Reagan and Bush I. Back in 1980 in fact Iran was again at the center of intrique, this time relating to the political fallout over Tehran 'the hostage crisis' that had begun back in 1979 -- a book with the title 'October Surprise' from a former Carter White House-military-agency official was soon to explain the dealings and double-dealings of that day. Now once again with the stakes bigger than ever it's Iran again in 2006 -- this time in the crosshairs.

The American Conservative
- April 10, 2006 Issue

An October Surprise?

by Patrick J. Buchanan

President Bush says Iranians are behind the more lethal IEDs, the roadside bombs killing our troops in Iraq. Rumsfeld warns the Iranian Revolutionary Guard may now be in Iraq. Cheney says Iran will not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. McCain says, “the military option is on the table.”

And Israel is getting impatient. Writes Yaakov Katz in the March 10 Jerusalem Post, “The United States has until now not done enough to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, a senior Defense Ministry official has told the Jerusalem Post ...”

Katz quotes the senior man directly: “America needs to get its act together. Until now the [Bush] administration has just been talking tough but the time has come for the Americans to begin to take some tough action.” Only one person is quoted by name in Katz’s piece, the hawkish Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz. This tells me Mofaz is using Katz to send Bush a message: “Stop dithering and get off your duff on Iran.”

The official wants Bush to impose severe sanctions to shut down Iran’s economy to convince Iranians to get rid of their regime. But if sanctions do not work, bombs away. “This option may be needed but it should only be used as a last resort,” said the “senior official.”

But while Bush is pushing for Security Council sanctions, Russia and China are balking. France, Britain, and Germany may go along with diplomatic and mild economic sanctions, but there is no stomach there for air strikes. Thus, if Iran’s nuclear program is to be dismantled, the Americans will have to go it alone with Stealth and B-2 bomber strikes.

Or Bush will have to answer to the Israeli Defense Ministry.

While there seems no sense of urgency in Washington, the Bush Doctrine and Cheney ultimatum have painted us into a corner. Either Iran’s nuclear program is shut down, or the Bush Doctrine will have been defied by Tehran and Pyongyang, leaving Iraq as the Bush legacy.

All this has led to speculation that this summer or fall, Bush, his options having been exhausted, will order the air strikes.

What would be the benefits of such an October surprise?

Rather than appearing a retreat, Bush’s pullout from Iraq would look like that of a defiant gunfighter backing through the swinging doors of a Tombstone saloon with both guns blazing.

Bush’s rating could soar 20 points. Republicans would rally at the return of the 9/11 president. Democrats would be loath to attack a president who acted forcefully to remove what they themselves say is an intolerable threat. The neocons and Christian Right would hail Bush as the new Churchill. Bush would hold onto both houses in November, costing Democrats their best chance in a decade of recouping power.

What would Hillary do? Nothing but wait and see what the fallout was from Bush’s newest pre-emptive war.

And the risks? Iran could push its Shia allies to attack British and U.S. troops and send Revolutionary Guard “volunteers” in, which could mean a U.S. debacle, unless we responded with more American troops. Tehran could make us pay a price in blood in Afghanistan. Tehran could also send its agents into the emirates, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia to attack U.S. installations, setting the Near East ablaze and oil prices soaring to $200 a barrel, plunging the West into recession.

Thus a pre-emptive war on Iran, while a political triumph for the president this fall, could, like the invasion of Iraq, prove a long-term disaster.

To some of us, this would be another unnecessary war. For, according to the New York Times, Iran’s nuclear program is plagued by failures and Tehran could be five or ten years away from mastering the technology even to produce fissile material for one bomb.

According to the Washington Times, Iran’s clerical and political elites want no war with America and are moving to curb the power of President Ahmadinejad. As one Tehran editor told the Washington Times, “if they [the Bushites] keep piling on the pressure, Ahmadinejad will become a national hero. … Let the Iranians deal with him. If you leave him alone he will become a bankrupt politician within a year.”

Cal Coolidge counseled that when you see ten troubles coming up the road, sometimes the best thing to do is nothing because nine of them will fall into the ditch before they get to you.

Bush is the commander in chief, not King George. He has no power to launch U.S. air strikes on Iran, an act of war, unless Congress authorizes war. Before we wake up to an October surprise, Congress should do its duty and Rumsfeld and Rice should appear and make the case for a war some of us believe Iran neither wants nor threatens.

Forget the Feingold Resolution. Undeclared presidential wars are the real stuff of impeachment.


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April 2006


IRAN Crisis and Military Preparations Escalating
(April 29, 2006)
The 'Revolt of the Generals' out-front target Rumsfeld wasn't really payback for the past, it was and is growing apprehension about the future. Bush 'The Decider' is much more boxed in than he has ever been, the Americans far weaker geostrategically and geopolitically than they are willing to admit (not only to others but to themselves). Impending defeat in the mid-term election and a possible serious impeachment attempt are looming large now in everyone's calculations. This is the context in which the war clock is ticking closer to midnight than in a long time and more ominously than since the face-offs between the U.S. and the Soviet Union that almost destroyed the world.

'The Israel Lobby' Paper Keeps On Ticking
(April 28, 2006)
It's hard to remember any 'academic paper' that has unleashed such a firestore of interest, applause, and vilification. The two highly respected academic authors no doubt knew they were walking on eggshells and about to hit sensitive political/social nerves, but it's doubtful they realized how abusive, slanderous, and sustained the mudslinging would become. Originally commissioned by The Atlantic Monthly, which now has taken an oath of silence and apparently gotten the Professors to agree it seems, the article didn't find a major publisher in the States where it is most relevant and timely. It ended up in a late March issue of The London Review of Books, but in the age of the Internet it quickly got extraordinary circulation far beyond. Robert Fisk takes it from there in his insightful article published today:

Chomsky - American on the road to being a 'Failed State'
(April 26, 2006)
In his new book Professor Noam Chomsky examines how the United States is beginning to resemble a failed state that cannot protect its citizens from violence and has a government that regards itself as beyond the reach of domestic or international law. In the book, Chomsky presents a series of solutions to help rescue the nation from turning into a failed state.

Apocalypse Then....and Now
(April 23, 2006)
Since writing this article nine years ago Edward Said has himself passed away, taking from us all one of the most eloquent and passionate voices of truly expert and courageous thought and analysis. Said was partially compromised and straight-jacketed by his associations with the major Arab regimes, which at the time of this article he was relying on for publication of his regular column. Even so Said's penetrating commentaries and often biting insights were among the best of his day and provide considerable insight now upon reflection many year and many terrible events later.

Bush/Cheney - Worst Ever?
(April 23, 2006)
"George W. Bush's presidency appears headed for colossal historical disgrace." So declares ROLLING STONE magazine in a major cover story just out.

Fortress America on the Tigris
(April 22, 2006)
Fortress America in the 'Green Zone' and huge 'permanent' military bases around the country are the realities on the ground in America's Iraq no matter what the rhetoric. This article was published by the Associated Press earlier this month focusing on the world's largest super-Embassy-CIA-Occupation complex now emerging alon the Tigris.

Bush: Worst President in History?
(April 19, 2006)
"George W. Bush's presidency appears headed for colossal historical disgrace." So declares ROLLING STONE magazine in a major cover story that hits the streets this Friday.

Get Ready For International Political/War Hurricanes
(April 19, 2006)
Hurricane force geopolitical winds are in the forecast for the rest of the year -- and beyond.

Corrupt Bought-And-Paid-For Washington
(April 18, 2006)
Modern-day Rome, Washington, D.C., has become a kind of political cesspool corrupting so many elected officials through the legalized loop-holes the big corporations, lobbyists, and power-brokers have themselves created. Former White House Press Secretary Bill Moyers has long been, since his White House days, one of the great American champions explaining how bad things have become and crusading for serious reforms. No single thing would in fact change the nature of Washington and the policies that emerge from Washington than "Getting Money Out of Politics", the theme of this recent Moyer's article that has not received nearly enough attention.

US and Israel - Bring Down or Take Down IRAN
(April 12, 2006)
Israel’s...three Dolphin-class nuclear submarines already on standby in the Straits of Hormuz had been brought to one level below launch to fire their guided missiles into predetermined Iranian rocket sites. The air force was at “take-off readiness” to launch air strikes. The Sholdag unit, modelled on the SAS, was ready to launch an aerial assault on the prime nuclear target of Natanz where the Taepodong-1 rockets were being assembled.

Neocons Take Pentagon To War With Internet and Media
(April 11, 2006)
This article was published a few days ago in the SUNDAY HERALD in Scotland. It reports on a very important and new aspect of the American NEOCON agenda now being implemented by the Pentagon with its whopping budget and capabilities. The CIA and other U.S. departments are thought to be involved though stealth tactics make it difficult to penetrate to the core of what is really happening. Bottom line: This is INFORMATION WARFARE and deception not only against the perceived enemies of the Americans but against their own citizens and allies as well.

TARGET IRAN - Washington Readies
(April 9, 2006)
'TARGET IRAN' is something MER has been reporting and emphasizing and warning about for some time now. The powerful combination of Israeli Lobby, largely Jewish Neocons, and Christian Evangelicals continues to work its will through the Bush/Cheney administration in 'New World Order' Washington. From the start Afghanistan and Iraq were never the end-goals -- that has always been U.S. imperial domination of the critical Middle East region in tandem with Israel. And as much as the Europeans often pretend to protest the underlying reality is their own involvment, complicity, and often under-the-table acquiescence if not outright support for the American/Israeli determination to control the region on behalf of the judeo-Christian 'civilized' Western world. These three telling and insightful articles appear today in the British media about 'Target Iran'

IRAN as 'October Surprise' 2006?
(April 8, 2006)
Thus a pre-emptive war on Iran, while a political triumph for the president this fall, could, like the invasion of Iraq, prove a long-term disaster.

Israel's Vast Arms and U.S. Policies Fuel Iranian Crisis
(April 6, 2006)
The Americans and the Europeans helped arm Israel over the years, so much so in fact that Israel today is far stronger militarily than all the Arab countries combined. And this is the geo-political military context for the crisis with Iran and for all the war quite public war threats from all sides.

TARGET IRAN - More Threats, Counterthreats, and Preparations
(April 4, 2006)
In recent days article after article and interview after interview have underscored the very real danger that the U.S. and Israel are in fact, not just in threat, preparing to attack Iran and attempt to destroy Iranian weapons capabilities. Also in recent days the Iranians have very publicly 'tested' and announced new weapons that if actually developed and deployed could be used to greatly harm the U.S., Israel, and allies as well as possibly cripple the world economy through blocking the Straits of Hormuz...all with unforetold but sure to be historic consequences.

Articles about publication of 'The Israel Lobby' and Professor Stephen Walt the principle author
(April 3, 2006)

Iran Attack Preparations
(April 2, 2006)
"It is believed that an American-led attack, designed to destroy Iran's ability to develop a nuclear bomb, is 'inevitable'..." ------------ With Washington politics in slow-motion meltdown, the Iraq war bordering on historic catastrophe, and an impeachment attempt possibly looming, preparations for attacking Iran are very real. A few days ago a quarter-page ad on the Op Ed Page of the New York Times loudly warned this is what is coming. Furthermore both Washington and Israel may actually be attempting to provoke Iran and supporters, or at least prepare the public climate to blame them for anything that may happen, in order to create the excuse and momentum to unleash the wider war long sought by the Neocons, the fundamentalist Evangelicals, and the hardline Israeli Lobby.

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