Oct 29, 2007

Iran Attack (ack ack)

Alternet yesterday provided a translation from the original German article in Der Spiegel on the leak of a note from the White House indicating that Vice president Cheney 's strategy for striking Iran begins with an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. The article is pretty frightening, but no more than what we have been reading and seeing in the news for the past 10 months, ever since the Russian Federation and China begin resisting strongly the saber rattling of the Bush Administration.

As for there being a leak in the White House, I don't believe it for a minute. These “leaks” often turn out to be just trial balloons to see what the world opinion would be; and since the Israelis have a number of German-built nuclear powered submarines now trolling around in the Persian Gulf area, capable of firing nuclear missiles (and with Germany footing 1/3 of the bill for the last two) what fitter place than in a well-known member of the German Press than to plant the leak? Who knows. When it comes to media these days and "white House leaks" I have no trust at all. Someone in the press room should ask Dana
Perino about this in order to get her to deny it, since you never want to trust any fact until it's officially denied.

In one of those Pogo the Possum ironies (“We have met the enemy and he is us.”), the
Der Spiegel article refers to the crazed neo-con Norman Podhoretz (aka Rudi Giuliani's senior foreign policy adviser) making his usually insane comparisons of the Iranian government to Hitler's Nazi Germany.

Podhoretz wrote, in an editorial in the
Wall Street Journal that he "hopes and prays" that Bush will finally bomb Iran. Podhoretz sees the United States engaged in a global war against "Islamofascism," a conflict he defines as World War IV, and he likens Iran to Nazi Germany. "Is it 1938 again?" he asks in a speech he repeats regularly at conferences.

Well, yes, it kind of is, I guess, except if you
really want to make the analogy, which is ridiculous to start with, the forces of Nazi Germany do not appear to be massing their tanks and their Luftwaffe on the Iranian side of the borders. Now that the IAEA has formally come out and said that Iran does not appear to be making nuclear bombs, although to be fair, it still reserves the possibility that further information should be forthcoming, the Bush administration has found itself in a position of only minimal credibility on the nuclear weapons charge. (Note how Bush weaseled a bit in his WW III speech; now it has become "the knowledge to make nuclear weapons" that he is afraid of.) So they are now playing hard on "fixing" their casus belli around the “terrorism” of the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guards and will probably—as Hitler did with the Poles the night before the attack—try to create a scenario to be used as the cause for war. Of course, that is absurd as well, another irony of history.

It really is a shame that you have to point out things like this. Those analogies are not useful--just like the Vietnam=Iraq one this past summer, and the stupid absurdities of the far right should have been laughed out of existence years ago. There is no analogy, of course, and those like Podhoretz who have become trapped by their analogous thinking are just weaving themselves in the fantastic silk of their own paranoia. "
Islamofascism" indeed, showing especially a total misunderstanding of the word fascism. The worms have eaten the brains of that intellectual class that Norman Podhoretz used to represent. And the people listening to Podhoretz, like Rudi Giuliani, and the people controlling this government, are fools.

No, if anyone is likely to find themselves on the wrong side of the analogy, it is our country, not Iran. We are the ones threatening a first strike. Ironically, under the laws of the United Nations, which we consistently fail to follow, and using the logic of our war of aggression, which we carried out in supposed "
pre-emption" of an "immanent" attack ( "Immanent." There's another word they are incapable of understanding), we, by our continuing threats over the years, are giving Iran the justification for initiating war. Perhaps that's what the Jack O' Lanterns in the White House want them to do?

The Herald (UK) on October 29 reports that the hangar infrastructure for stealth bombers based on the island of Diego Garcia (a British colony--though that is another story) in the Indian Ocean is being fitted for bunker buster bombs in preparation for the strike on Iran. And according to Jonathan Karl on ABC news on October 25, 2007, the Pentagon has ordered

$88 million to modify B-2 stealth bombers so they can carry a newly developed 30,000-pound bomb called the massive ordnance penetrator, or, in military-speak, the MOP.The MOP is the the military's largest conventional bomb, a super "bunker-buster" capable of destroying hardened targets deep underground. The one-line explanation for the request said it is in response to "an urgent operational need from theater commanders.

What urgent need?

The Pentagon referred questions on this to Central Command.ABC News called
CENTCOM to ask what the "urgent operational need" is. CENTCOM spokesman Maj. Todd White said he would look into it, but, so far, no answer.

You think your gas and oil bill is high now, wait until the next
Bushinator "shock and awe." Of course, the oil companies don't really care. All they do is increase the prices as the market goes up. But I have a feeling that high oil prices will be the least of our worries if we act on that insanity of attacking Iran.

Here is one rational response to the situation quoted in the
Der Spiegel piece:
Former presidential adviser [Gary] Sick thinks Iran would strike back with terrorist attacks. "The generals of the Revolutionary Guard have had several years to think about asymmetrical warfare," says Sick. "They probably have a few rather interesting ideas."

According to Sick, detonating well-placed bombs at oil terminals in the Persian Gulf would be enough to wreak havoc. "Insurance costs would skyrocket, causing oil prices to triple and triggering a global recession," Sick warns. "The economic consequences would be enormous, far greater than anything we have experienced with Iraq so far."

Because the catastrophic consequences of an attack on Iran are obvious, many in Washington have a fairly benign take on the current round of saber rattling. They believe the sheer dread of war is being used to bolster diplomatic efforts to solve the crisis and encourage hesitant members of the United Nations Security Council to take more decisive action. The Security Council, this argument goes, will be more likely to approve tighter sanctions if it believes that war is the only alternative.

But that's what we would all like to think is a reasonable response to the news, and we hope that the saber-rattling is all a ploy. One then has to rely on the reasonableness and rationality of the president, the vice-president, and their supporting conservative fanatics. I don't think the reasonableness and the rationality are there.

Given this information--especially the gearing up with the bunker buster bombs--I believe the decisions have already been made and the 'deciders' as they did with the Iraq war, are merely waiting for the scenarios to play out, fixing the facts around the intention. I hope that this is wrong, I hope that at the end of January, 2009, I will be breathing a sigh of relief and laughing at my fears. It would be nice to think so, wouldn't it?

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