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May 16, 2005

The Bush-Bolton Plan to Bomb Bushehr


by Jude Wanniski

Memo to: Republican senators

Buried down in Saturday's New York Times report on President Bush reaffirming his unqualified support for John Bolton as UN ambassador is the reason why almost all of you are ready to vote for his confirmation.

"Republicans are hoping to shame Democrats into a quick vote on Mr. Bolton. They argue that he needs to be in place by June so that the United States will have the latitude it needs to press its concerns about Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program before the Security Council."

Why the big rush? My reliable sources tell me it is because there is a timetable that makes it urgent for Bolton to be ready for action in June in order to cripple the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) as part of the plan to bomb the Iranian nuclear power plant at Bushehr. That's because Bushehr, under construction with Russian supervision, will soon be ready to receive the Russian fissionable material enabling it to produce power. In 1981, remember Republican senators, Israel bombed the Osiraq nuclear power plant near Baghdad just before it was to be fueled by its French contractors. Once fueled, bombing is out of the question because of the radiation that would be emitted, with clouds traveling who knows where.

Of course, you must know by now that at the time the Israelis blew up Osiraq, the situation was quite different. We were in the midst of the Cold War, the United States was supporting Iraq in its war against Iran, and the Russians were supporting Iran. So when the billion-dollar Osiraq plant went up in smoke (with the help of the neocons who were already occupying the Pentagon in that first year of the Reagan administration), there was no reaction from Russia because the Israelis were essentially bombing us!! We also know by now that Iraq did not have a nuclear weapons program at the time, but only began its (unsuccessful) clandestine effort after Osiraq.

The same is now true of Iran. If a month or two from now you are advised by President Bush that it is necessary to take out Bushehr to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, you would have to wonder if the neocons and their Likud allies in Tel Aviv aren't simply threatening World War III on a faulty premise. Wouldn't you? The situation now is quite different, with Bushehr a Russian project in Iran.

On a recent, quite incredible Fox News special, Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney said we are already moving aircraft carriers into positions from which we could strike. He was then asked: "If you had to put a percentage on it, the chances that the U.S. will eventually have to take military actions against Iran, what would you put it at?" to which McInerney replied casually: "Well, I would put 1 percent of using ground forces, boots on the ground in Iran, I would put up 50 percent on a blockade, and I would put up 50 to 60 percent on precision air strikes on their nuclear development sites." He also observed casually that Iran wouldn't dare take on the United States. Perhaps the 60 million Iranians would greet our bombers with garlands and sweets. Do you see what I mean? Fox News, as you may know, is commonly known as "The War Channel," for similar work it did in promoting the war against Iraq.

Is Iran this kind of threat to anyone? As far as I can tell, ladies and gentlemen of the GOP Senate, the answer is "absolutely not," at least as long as they remain members in good standing of the NPT, which means they will permit the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect intrusively and constantly, as they have been doing. It has been the mission of John Bolton and his underling Stephen Rademaker to "reform" the United Nations in a way that dissolves the NPT and the need for the IAEA, not only to pave the way for the bombing of Bushehr, but also to get out from under the NPT provisions that require all the nuclear weapon powers to make progress toward making the world a nuclear-free zone.

If you wish to really understand what's going on, instead of getting briefed by the same people who briefed you prior to the invasion of Iraq, please read Dr. Gordon Prather's commentaries on the crisis just around the corner. First, he writes "Strengthen the NPT or Else," in which he walks us through the misinformation that Bolton, Rademaker, and the neocons have been spreading on Iran's alleged violations of its treaty obligations. Dr. Prather, who by the way came to Washington under the patronage of Sen. Pete Domenici, Republican of New Mexico, and is no left-wing liberal, also penned a second column today for Antiwar.com, "Bush's Nutty Referral," which you have to read to realize how "nutty" it is.

There is also on the Antiwar.com Web site an overview of this looming crisis that I highly recommend, as it was highly recommended to me by Dr. Prather, "The Iran Crisis in Global Context." If you and your staffs do take my suggestions seriously and go to these links, I think you may have greater doubts about the Bolton nomination than you have now. If you have any doubts about Dr. Prather, check with your colleague Senator Domenici, who was instrumental in getting Prather an appointment as the Army's chief scientist during the Reagan administration.

This isn't too much to ask, is it? For good measure, I'd hope those of you who are reading this memo to the GOP senators and are among their constituents would urge them to take a second look before they send Bolton to the United Nations. His mission is not to clean up the so-called "Oil-for-Food Scandal" or promote UNICEF gift cards. It is to bomb the nuclear facilities in Iran after undermining the work of IAEA and the need for the NPT.


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Jude Wanniski, founder and chairman of Polyconomics, Inc., is a world-renowned political economist whose 1978 book The Way the World Works was named one of the 100 most influential books of the 20th Century by the editors of the National Review. He was an economic advisor to Ronald Reagan from 1978 to 1981.

Wanniski runs Wanniski.com. (If you subscribe, and check Antiwar.com in the referring website pull-down, we get 10%).

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