MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 31 May: Today the front page of the neocon Washington Times
features an article about how the Iranian military is preparing for
invasion. But that may be a feint as a real invasion a la Iraq is not
what the Americans, Israelis and Brits really have in mind at this
point. The U.S. military is already stretched far too thin for that
and Iran is a country far more difficult to invade and occupy with
boots on the ground than Iraq. BUT using the newest high-tech
precision bombing to destroy Iran's growing capabilities and
subverting/infiltrating the country to either take it over or
neutralize it one way or another...now that's another matter. And that
in fact is what Bush/Cheney and the Neocon/Evangelicals have the
Pentagon and CIA working overtime to undertake. And that is why the
Israeli Ambassador at the United Nations actually proclaimed in public
yesterday that World War III has already started.
Israeli UN Amb Proclaims World War III Started
Iran: Planning the Whack
May 30, 2006:
By Conn Hallinan*
Anyone who thinks the Bush Administration is too far down in the polls
to even contemplate attacking Iran should consider the following
First, the reason British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw was dumped was
not because of a 'cabinet shuffle' following the recent shellacking the
Labor Party took in local elections. The real reason was that
Washington demanded his head following a statement by Straw that an
attack on Iran 'was not on the agenda,' would be a violation of
international law, and that any
talk of using nuclear weapons against Teheran was 'nuts.'
According to David Clark, special advisor to former Foreign Secretary
Robin Cook, Prime Minister Tony Blair sacked Cook back in 2001 because
Washington thought he was wishy washy on using military force. Writing
in the Guardian, Cook argues that Straw's lack of enthusiasm for a
military solution to the Iran crisis doomed him. 'It wouldn't be the
first time the Bush Administration played an important role in
persuading Tony Blair to sack his foreign minister,' writes Clark.
The new Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, voted against the Iraq
war, but her nickname-The Great Survivor-suggests that she will do
whatever Blair wants her to. And according to Ewan MacAskill of the
Guardian, Tony is actually more hawkish on Iran than
Second, Vice-President Dick Cheney's recent broadside at Russia over
using gas and oil as 'tools of intimidation and blackmail,' and for the
Kremlin's anti-democratic turn, seemed almost designed to torpedo any
U.S.-Russian cooperation in the UN Security Council
on Iran. While some of Cheney's attack was aimed at trying to undermine
Russian and Chinese interests in Central Asian oil by re-routing
Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan hydrocarbons through Turkey, the tone was
reminiscent of the 1950s. Indeed, the Moscow press called it a 'new
Cold War,' and one paper even compared it to Winston Churchill's 1946
Fulton, Missouri speech that launched the last one.
The White House is unhappy about the recent $100 billion gas deal
between Iran and China and is fearful that, in the scramble for Central
Asian oil, Washington is losing out. Last month Iran, India, Pakistan
and Mongolia were asked the join the Shanghai Cooperation Group, an
intergovernmental formation launched back in 2001 by Russia, China,
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Iranian Foreign
Minister Manuchehr Mohammadi said that the Group would 'make the world
more fair,' and allow Russia and Iran to build a
'gas and oil arc' and coordinate their activities.
All of which argues that the White House doesn't think there is a
snowball's chance in the Kara Kum desert that China and Russia will
vote to declare Iran in violation of Chapter VII of the UN Charter,
which would declare Iran a threat to international peace and security,
and almost guarantee a war by September.
So why would the Administration turn its designated berserker loose at
this delicate time? To launch a new Cold War on Russia and China,
sideline the UN and, damn the torpedoes, on to Teheran.
Third was Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's coup against the CIA. All
intelligence will now be controlled by the military, the same people
that cooked the information that launched the war on Iraq.
Fourth: Reza Pahlavi, son of the former Shah, is organizing a 'front' of Iranian ex-patriots to
overthrow the present regime in Teheran.
And fifth, The Herald (Scotland) reported May 16 that the Pentagon is ramping up two plans for bombing Iran.
Plan #1 calls for a five-day bombing campaign against 400 key targets,
including 24 nuclear related sites, 14 military airfields, and
Revolutionary Guard headquarters. Attackers would use GBU-28
bunker-busters on underground targets. Tomahawk cruise missiles and
aircraft carrier-launched fighter-bombers would whack radar and
Plan #2 calls for 'demonstration' bombing raids on the uranium
enrichment facility at Natanz and the hexafluoride plant at Isfahan.
No one is talking about sending in ground troops. Not even the White House is that crazy.
Former Army intelligence analyst William Arkin, the man who first blew
the whistle on the possible use of nuclear weapons on Iran, recently
commented in the Washington Post, 'The United States military is
really, really getting ready, building war plans and options,
studying maps, shifting its thinking.'
So the pieces are in place: a complacent ally, a provocative VP, the
military in charge, a plan, and Ahmed Chalabi-sorry, Reza Pahlavi-ready
to gather in the rose petals.
Hallinan is a foreign policy analyst for Foreign Policy In Focus and a
lecturer in journalism at the University of California, Santa Cruz.