Sunday, February 11, 2007

"Nobody's talking about" invading Iran

"All the moves being made over the last few weeks are consistent with what you would do if you were going to do an air strike. We have to throw away the notion the US could not do it because it is too tied up in Iraq. It is an air operation."

-- Colonel Sam Gardiner in The Guardian
An article by Craig Unger in the March 2007 Vanity Fair reinforces that view:
... a series of recent moves by the military have lent credence to widespread reports that the U.S. is secretly preparing for a massive air attack against Iran. (No one is suggesting a ground invasion.)
No, nobody's talking about an invasion. What a silly idea. But if the hair is standing up on the back of your neck, if you've got an eerie sense of deja vu, if it seems like you've seen this movie before, you're not alone:
"It is absolutely parallel," says Philip Giraldi, a former C.I.A. counterterrorism specialist. "They're using the same dance steps—demonize the bad guys, the pretext of diplomacy, keep out of negotiations, use proxies. It is Iraq redux."
You may still remember President Bush's October 2002 Cincinnati speech about Saddam Hussein's little shop of horrors: "mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas," Saddam's "growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons," and "the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud."

AEI must have been near climax over that speech. Thank goodness Bush saved the Nigerian yellowcake uranium and the mobile bioweapons labs for his February 2003 Sweeps Week blitz.

As with Iraq, so again with Iran. This time it's WMDs and IEDs. According to the latest "intelligence" regurgitated by the New York Times, Iran is supplying Iraqi insurgents with "explosively formed penetrators” (something newer and bluer to excite the boys at AEI):
According to American intelligence, Iran has excelled in developing this type of bomb, and has provided similar technology to Hezbollah militants in southern Lebanon. The manufacture of the key metal components required sophisticated machinery, raw material and expertise that American intelligence agencies do not believe can be found in Iraq. In addition, some components of the bombs have been found with Iranian factory markings from 2006.
Is it possible once again that the intelligence and facts are being fixed around the policy? The Defense Department's Inspector General's office suggested this week that that is what happened with Iraq via the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans:
Acting Inspector General Thomas F. Gimble told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the office headed by former Pentagon policy chief Douglas J. Feith took "inappropriate" actions in advancing conclusions on al-Qaida connections not backed up by the nation's intelligence agencies.
Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and company set up OSP to "stovepipe" selected raw Iraq intelligence directly to the Office of the Vice-President to help sell the Iraq invasion. And yes, that's the same Doug Feith who in 1996 signed onto an Israeli-American think tank paper, "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm." Described by Vanity Fair as "a playbook for U.S.-Israeli foreign policy during the Bush-Cheney era," it advocates "reestablishing the principle of preemption, rather than retaliation alone" as a means of creating a "New Middle East." It's the same Doug Feith described by OSP veteran (victim?) Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski as "a case study in how not to run a large organization." She resigned after watching the OSP turn career military intelligence analysts into propagandists for Bush's preventive war.

If a new war with Iran is indeed in the offing, this time Mr. Bush won't have Prime Minister Tony Blair to hold down his flank as he pencils in a date for when the bombing begins. He'll have to arrange his diplomatic strategy around the military planning by himself -- with a little help from the Office of the Vice-President.

"I've heard from sources at the Pentagon that their impression is that the White House has made a decision that war is going to happen," Philip Giraldi told Vanity Fair.

Again, he means Iran, not Iraq. 2007, not 2003.

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