"If the king attacks Persia, he will destroy a great empire." – Delphic
All the news is that despite growing antiwar sentiment
among the public and the establishment, Bush has decided to reject
the major recommendations of the Baker panel and continue to settle for nothing
less than total "victory" in Iraq, that he has turned back to the dark heart
of the War Party, the American
Enterprise Institute, for a plan to win and that more troops
are headed to the region.
Everyone outside AEI seems to agree that the chances for his "victory" of a
multiethnic, America-friendly, democratic Iraqi state have long since expired.
The Baker panel avoided using the term at all. And as investigative reporter
Robert Dreyfuss explained
to me last week, the U.S. is backing
Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) death squad leaders because
they are the only ones (besides some of the Kurds in the autonomous North) who
want – need – the U.S. to stay. This is hardly the "road to victory" as it has
been defined by the President.
But Bush can't stop now. He figures his legacy as a disgrace to America and
all mankind can be postponed or perhaps somehow even reversed if he could have
just a little more time.
Time for what? Could it be that Bush truly intends to carry out the full neoconservative
program in the Middle East, complete with more regime changes?
Could spreading his most spectacular failure to Iran and Syria make Iraq seem
merely a "catastrophic
success"? Are even Bush and Cheney stupid enough to think an
air war against Iran will accomplish anything other than forcing their withdrawal
from the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, pushing their rebellious
populace back into the arms of the Mullahs, driving the price of oil over
$200 a barrel and beginning a brand new war in Iraq against the Iran-friendly
Shia whom the U.S. has spent hundreds of thousands of lives and hundreds of
billions of dollars installing in power?
Could Bush, whose approval ratings remain in the 30s,
initiate an aggressive war without authorization from Congress? Could he claim
that the authorization
for the war in Iraq was all the authority he needed?
Scott Ritter and Seymour Hersh seem to think so. On December 14th Democracy
Now! replayed the audio of their October 16, 2006 appearance at the Ethical
They emphasize the role of the communist cult Mujahideen-e-Khalq
– once Saddam's loyal terrorists, now "ours" – in the early stages of war against
Iran and the then-recent
– and now recent again – news of U.S. Navy ships, including minesweepers, being
sent to the Persian Gulf region. Ritter also explained that the American people
accepted Bush's false premise that Iran has a nuclear weapons program and
that the U.S. must not allow it to be successful.
But as Hersh reported in the New Yorker's November
issue, the CIA's new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran says that they
have no evidence at all of a secret weapons program. Indeed, the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has had full access to Iran's nuclear program,
has reported all along that there is "no indication" that Iran has diverted
nuclear technology to any other purpose beyond their declared and monitored
electricity program, a program which they have an "inalienable right" to under
According to Ritter and Hersh, the Israelis don't have any more evidence than
the U.S. does, and it does not matter. In the eyes of right-wing Likudnik
crazies like Benjamin
Netanyahu and his ex-communist,
the U.S., any nuclear technology in the hands of the Iranians is tantamount
to a ready capacity to "wipe Israel off the map." The fact that the ability
to enrich uranium to the grade required to generate electricity (around 3.6%
U-235) does not equal
the ability to enrich it to weapons grade (well over 90% U-235) – especially
in the presence of IAEA inspectors and video equipment – is irrelevant to them.
It has been reported, first by Philip
Giraldi, then by Hersh,
Alexandrovna and Col.
Sam Gardiner (ret.), that Bush has considered using real nukes on Iran's
pretend ones. While it seems inconceivable, Iran's Natanz facility is buried
deep underground, and we know how concerned Bush is with getting things right
the first time.
It seems the only way he can imagine to take one last shot at greatness is
to compound his mistake by 1,000 times.
Perhaps the question is whether Israel will start a war in Syria as a back
door to the expansion of America's war to Iran, or will the U.S. simply fake
of Tonkin provocation in the Indian Ocean and hit Syria second?
Even if Iran did have nuclear weapons, it would still be none of America's
business. They do not have the rocket technology to deliver them here, nor would
they be likely to share their prize with terrorists. Nuclear bombs all come
with a "return address."
And let's not forget that back in 2003, they offered to give the U.S. everything.
Israel has at least 400 nuclear bombs, a fully capable conventional military
and can protect itself just fine. They don't need the U.S. for their defense,
but for aggression against threats that do not really exist.
Even Robert Gates, our new secretary of "defense" admitted to Congress that
the only reason Iran would want a nuke is that they are surrounded
by powers with nukes.
Robert Parry reports
that Bush, Blair and Olmert are already planning for more war in the new year.
The Iranians seem to have waited too long to get their act together. If they
had withdrawn from the NPT and started harvesting plutonium the way North Korea
did, instead of throwing their books wide open to the UN and trying to go along,
they'd have a nuclear deterrent by now.