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March 15, 2008

Unwilling to Nuke?


by Gordon Prather

According to the Washington Times, a "former senior Defense official" (SecDef Cheney?) knows "for a fact" that Adm. William J. Fallon – commander of all U.S. armed forces in the MidEast and Persian Gulf regions – "was fired" last week because Iran and Syria were allegedly allowing "foreign fighters" to cross into Iraq and "kill our soldiers" and "Fallon was unwilling to do anything to hold those countries accountable."

How does this "former senior Defense official" expect Syria and Iran to close their borders with Iraq? The same way the Israelis closed Gaza's border with Egypt? Or the same way Bush intends to close our border with Mexico?

And, since closing their borders is obviously impossible, what does Bush expect Fallon to do to hold Syria and Iran "accountable"?

Nuke ‘em?

Well, almost 4,000 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq since President Bush defied the UN Security Council and launched an unauthorized, unprovoked War of Aggression against Iraq and its virtually defenseless population, and there can be no doubt who should be held accountable for all those deaths, thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

Some people call him the Commander-in-Chief of the War on Terror. Others just call him Dubya.

Of course, Dubya probably didn't expect he'd be held accountable for all those Iraqi deaths, because it is the "victors" who write history and Dubya expected to be a quick victor and to write the history of the so-called Operation Iraqi Freedom, himself, before he left office.

Dubya's game plan for his War of Aggression against Iran was to be virtually identical to his game plan for Iraq.

By law, the constitutional powers of the president to "introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities" are limited, and can only be exercised "pursuant to; (a) a declaration of war, (b) specific statutory authorization, or (c) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces."

Well, a "declaration of war" is out of the question.

When Bush went to Congress in September 2002, seeking "specific statutory authorization" to invade Iraq, he based his case on a just completed highly-classified National Intelligence Estimate, which supposedly contained "slam-dunk" evidence that Saddam was reconstructing his nuke and chem-bio programs, with the intention of supplying them to Islamic terrorists for use against us.

A thoroughly alarmed Congress quickly enacted the "Congressional Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq."

However, the authority given by Congress was conditional.

Before resorting to force, Bush was required to satisfy Congress that "reliance on peaceful means alone will not adequately protect the national security of the United States."

Hence, Dubya's authority was contingent upon first pursuing a "diplomatic solution" through the United Nations. If UN diplomacy failed, Dubya was then supposed to seek a new Security Council resolution, which would authorize the use of "all necessary means" to disarm Saddam Hussein. If Dubya got such a new Security Council resolution, then Congress had already given him specific authority to use our armed forces to enforce it.

But, by March, 2003 – as a result of months of totally intrusive inspections, ordered by UN Security Council, and complied with by Saddam Hussein – it was obvious to everyone that Saddam did not pose an immediate threat to us or to anyone else. Hence, no such new Security Council resolution would be forthcoming.

Nevertheless, on March 19 – the day the British Parliament authorized Prime Minister Tony Blair to also use force against Iraq – Dubya notified Congress that no "further diplomatic or other peaceful means will adequately protect the national security of the United States from the continuing [nuclear weapons] threat posed by Iraq."

That was a lie, of course, and many Senators knew it. In fact, by then, the Senate knew – or should have known – that the 2002 NIE on Iraq's nuclear threat had been revealed to be little better than a lie.

The 2005 NIE on Iran's Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities – produced in accordance with Dubya's pursuit of his Iraq game plan – was little better, totally ignoring the publicly available IAEA reports, especially those resulting from Iran's compliance with an Additional Protocol to its IAEA Safeguards Agreement.

After thousands of man-hours of go-anywhere see-anything inspections, at sites "declared" by the Iranians and at others, some military, suggested by our intelligence community, IAEA Director-General ElBaradei has declared there is "no indication" that Iran has a nuclear weapons program.

So, since even the 2007 revision to the 2005 NIE agrees with ElBaradei that Iran doesn't have a nuclear weapons program, then a significant attack on the American Homeland as a casus belli is out.

Okay, what about "an attack upon our armed forces" in Iraq?

That might work.

So, the 2007 revision publicly released in November makes no mention of the IAEA but does "assess with high confidence that until fall 2003" – when Iran began complying with its Additional Protocol to its IAEA Safeguards Agreement – "Iranian military entities were working under government direction to develop nuclear weapons."

Furthermore, "Iran has been intensifying aspects of its lethal support for select groups of Iraqi Shia militants, particularly the JAM [Jaysh al-Mahdi], since at least the beginning of 2006. Explosively formed penetrator (EFP) attacks have risen dramatically.'

The Kyle-Lieberman Amendment, which had passed the Senate overwhelmingly in September, cited the not-yet-released 2007 NIE revision and stated that,

"it should be the policy of the United States to combat, contain, and roll back the violent activities and destabilizing influence inside Iraq of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, its foreign facilitators such as Lebanese Hezbollah, and its indigenous Iraqi proxies";

And that,

"the United States should designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a foreign terrorist organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and place the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists, as established under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and initiated under Executive Order 13224;"

Okay, now we're beginning to understand Dubya's revised game plan. The President can legally "introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities" in Iran because the Most Gullible Senate Money Can Buy is on record as demanding that the Iranians stop "foreign fighters" from crossing the border into Iraq and "killing our soldiers."

And Adm. Fallon has just been "fired," apparently because he doesn't consider the Iranians alleged transgressions to be a sufficient cause to start World War III.


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Physicist James Gordon Prather has served as a policy implementing official for national security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla. -- ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr. Prather had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.

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