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Bush's Rush to Armageddon

*Bush's Rush to Armageddon*
By Robert Parry
Consortium News
Monday 08 January 2007

   */George W. Bush has purged senior military and intelligence
   officials who were obstacles to a wider war in the Middle East,
   broadening his options for both escalating the conflict inside Iraq
   and expanding the fighting to Iran and Syria with Israel's help./*

On Jan. 4, Bush ousted the top two commanders in the Middle East,
Generals John Abizaid and George Casey, who had opposed a military
escalation in Iraq, and removed Director of National Intelligence John
Negroponte, who had stood by intelligence estimates downplaying the
near-term threat from Iran's nuclear program.
Most Washington observers have treated Bush's shake-up as either routine
or part of his desire for a new team to handle his planned "surge" of
U.S. troops in Iraq. But intelligence sources say the personnel changes
also fit with a scenario for attacking Iran's nuclear facilities and
seeking violent regime change in Syria.
Bush appointed Admiral William Fallon as the new chief of Central
Command for the Middle East despite the fact that Fallon, a former Navy
fighter pilot and currently head of the Pacific Command, will oversee
two ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The choice of Fallon makes more sense if Bush foresees a bigger role for
two aircraft carrier groups now poised off Iran's coastline, such as
support for possible Israeli air strikes against Iran's nuclear targets
or as a deterrent against any overt Iranian retaliation.
Though not considered a Middle East expert, Fallon has moved in
neoconservative circles, for instance, attending a 2001 awards ceremony
<http://www.jinsa.org/articles/articles.html/function/view/categoryid/1366/documentid/1376/history/3,2359,2166,1366,1376>
at the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, a think tank
dedicated to explaining "the link between American defense policy and
the security of Israel."
Bush's personnel changes also come as Israel is reported stepping up
preparations for air strikes, possibly including tactical nuclear bombs,
to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities, such as the reactor at Anton,
south of Tehran, where enriched uranium is produced.
The Sunday Times of London reported on Jan. 7 that two Israeli air
squadrons are training for the mission and "if things go according to
plan, a pilot will first launch a conventional laser-guided bomb to blow
a shaft down through the layers of hardened concrete [at Natanz]. Other
pilots will then be ready to drop low-yield one kiloton nuclear weapons
into the hole."
The Sunday Times wrote that Israel also would hit two other facilities -
at Isfahan and Arak - with conventional bombs. But the possible use of a
nuclear bomb at Natanz would represent the first nuclear attack since
the United States destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan at the end
of World War II six decades ago.
While some observers believe Israel may be leaking details of its plans
as a way to frighten Iran into accepting international controls on its
nuclear program, other sources indicate that Israel and the Bush
administration are seriously preparing for this wider Middle Eastern war.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has called the possibility of an
Iranian nuclear bomb an "existential threat" to Israel.
After the Sunday Times article appeared, an Israeli government spokesman
denied <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,251-2536136,00.html>
that Israel has drawn up secret plans to bomb Iranian nuclear
facilities. For its part, Iran claims it only wants a nuclear program
for producing energy.
*Negroponte's Heresy*
Whatever Iran's intent, Negroponte has said U.S. intelligence does not
believe Iran could produce a nuclear weapon until next decade.
Negroponte's assessment in April 2006 infuriated neoconservative
hardliners who wanted a worst-case scenario on Iran's nuclear
capabilities, much as they pressed for an alarmist view on Iraq's
weapons of mass destruction before the U.S. invasion in 2003.
Unlike former CIA Director George Tenet, who bent to Bush's political
needs on Iraq, Negroponte stood behind the position of intelligence
analysts who cited Iran's limited progress in refining uranium.
"Our assessment is that the prospects of an Iranian weapon are still a
number of years off, and probably into the next decade," Negroponte said
in an interview with NBC News. Expressing a similarly tempered view in a
speech <http://www.dni.gov/speeches/20060420_speech.htm> at the National
Press Club, Negroponte said, "I think it's important that this issue be
kept in perspective."
Some neocons complained that Negroponte was betraying the President.
Frank J. Gaffney Jr., a leading figure in the neoconservative Project
for the New American Century, called for Negroponte's firing because of
the Iran assessment and his "abysmal personnel decisions" in hiring
senior intelligence analysts who were skeptics about Bush's Iraqi WMD
claims.
In an article <http://washingtontimes.com/commentary/fgaffney.htm> for
Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Washington Times, Gaffney attacked Negroponte for
giving top analytical jobs to Thomas Fingar, who had served as assistant
secretary of state for intelligence and research, and Kenneth Brill, who
was U.S. ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, which
debunked some of the U.S. and British claims about Iraq seeking uranium
ore from Africa.
Fingar's Office of Intelligence and Research had led the dissent against
the Iraq WMD case, especially over what turned out to be Bush's false
claims that Iraq was developing a nuclear bomb.
"Given this background, is it any wonder that Messrs. Negroponte, Fingar
and Brill ... gave us the spectacle of absurdly declaring the Iranian
regime to be years away from having nuclear weapons?" wrote Gaffney, who
was a senior Pentagon official during the Reagan administration.
Gaffney also accused Negroponte of giving promotions to "government
officials in sensitive positions who actively subvert the President's
policies," an apparent reference to Fingar and Brill. The neocons have
long resented U.S. intelligence assessments that conflict with their
policy prescriptions. [See Robert Parry's Secrecy & Privilege
<http://www.secrecyandprivilege.com/>.]
In his personnel shakeup, Bush shifted Negroponte from his Cabinet-level
position as DNI to a sub-Cabinet post as deputy to Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice. To replace Negroponte, Bush nominated Navy retired
Vice Admiral John McConnell, who is viewed by intelligence professionals
as a low-profile technocrat, not a strong independent figure.
*A Freer Hand*
Negroponte's departure should give Bush a freer hand if he decides to
support attacks on Iran's nuclear facilities. Bush's neocon advisers
fear that if Bush doesn't act decisively in his remaining two years in
office, his successor may lack the political will to launch a preemptive
strike against Iran.
Bush reportedly has been weighing his military options for bombing
Iran's nuclear facilities since early 2006. But he has encountered
resistance from the top U.S. military brass, much as he has with his
plans to escalate U.S. troop levels in Iraq.
As investigative reporter Seymour Hersh wrote in The New Yorker, a
number of senior U.S. military officers were troubled by administration
war planners who believed "bunker-busting" tactical nuclear weapons,
known as B61-11s, were the only way to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities
buried deep underground.
A former senior intelligence official told Hersh that the White House
refused to remove the nuclear option from the plans despite objections
from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "Whenever anybody tries to get it out,
they're shouted down," the ex-official said. [New Yorker, April 17, 2006
<http://www.newyorker.com/printables/fact/060417fa_fact>]
By late April 2006, however, the Joint Chiefs finally got the White
House to agree that using nuclear weapons to destroy Iran's
uranium-enrichment plant at Natanz, less than 200 miles south of Tehran,
was politically unacceptable, Hersh reported.
"Bush and [Vice President Dick] Cheney were dead serious about the
nuclear planning," one former senior intelligence official said. [New
Yorker, July 10, 2006
<http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/060710fa_fact>]
But one way to get around the opposition of the Joint Chiefs would be to
delegate the bombing operation to the Israelis. Given Israel's powerful
lobbying operation in Washington and its strong ties to leading
Democrats, an Israeli-led attack might be more politically palatable
with the Congress.
Attacks on Iran and Syria also would fit with Bush's desire to counter
the growing Shiite influence across the Middle East, which was given an
unintended boost by Bush's ouster of the Sunni-dominated government of
Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
The original neocon plan for the Iraq invasion was to use Iraq as a base
to force regime change in Syria and Iran, thus dealing strong blows to
Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Palestinian territories.
This regional transformation supposedly would have protected Israel's
northern border and strengthened Israel's hand in dictating final peace
terms to the Palestinians. But the U.S. invasion of Iraq backfired,
descending into a sectarian civil war with Iraq's pro-Iranian Shiite
majority gaining the upper hand.
In effect, by ousting Saddam Hussein, Bush had eliminated the principal
buffer who had been holding the line against the radical Shiites in Iran
since 1979. By tipping the strategic balance to the Shiites, Bush also
unnerved the Sunni monarchy of Saudi Arabia.
*A Nightmare*
By 2006, the dream of a U.S.-orchestrated transformation of the Middle
East had turned into a nightmare of rising Shiite radicalism. To address
this unanticipated development, Bush began pondering how best to
throttle Shiite expansionism.
In summer 2006, Washington Post foreign policy analyst Robin Wright
wrote that U.S. officials told her that "for the United States, the
broader goal is to strangle the axis of Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria and
Iran, which the Bush administration believes is pooling resources to
change the strategic playing field in the Middle East." [Washington
Post, July 16, 2006]
Bush's advisers also blamed the governments of Syria and Iran for
supporting anti-U.S. fighters in Iraq.
Yet lacking the military and political capacity to expand the conflict
beyond Iraq, the Bush administration turned to Israel and its new Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert. By summer 2006, Israeli sources were describing
Bush's interest in finding a pretext to take Syria and Iran down a notch.
That opening came when border tensions with Hamas in Gaza and with
Hezbollah in Lebanon led to the capture of three Israeli soldiers and a
rapid Israeli escalation of the conflict into an air-and-ground campaign
against Lebanon.
Bush and his neoconservative advisers saw the Israeli-Lebanese conflict
as an opening to expand the fighting into Syria and achieve the
long-sought "regime change" in Damascus, Israeli sources said.
One Israeli source told me that Bush's interest in spreading the war to
Syria was considered "nuts" by some senior Israeli officials, although
Prime Minister Olmert generally shared Bush's hard-line strategy against
Islamic militants. [See Consortiumnews.com's "Bush Wants Wider War
<http://www.consortiumnews.com/2006/080206.html>."]
In an article on July 30, 2006. the Jerusalem Post also hinted at Bush's
suggestion of a wider war into Syria. "Defense officials told the Post
... that they were receiving indications from the US that America would
be interested in seeing Israel attack Syria," the newspaper reported.
In August 2006, the Inter-Press Service added more details, reporting
that the message was passed to Israel by Bush's deputy national security
adviser Elliott Abrams, who had been a central figure in the Iran-Contra
scandal of the 1980s.
"In a meeting with a very senior Israeli official, Abrams indicated that
Washington would have no objection if Israel chose to extend the war
beyond to its other northern neighbor, leaving the interlocutor in no
doubt that the intended target was Syria," a source told the Inter-Press
Service <http://www.ipsnews.net/print.asp?idnews=35888>.
In December 2006, Meyray Wurmser, a leading U.S. neoconservative whose
spouse is a Middle East adviser to Vice President Cheney, confirmed that
neocons inside and outside the Bush administration had hoped Israel
would attack Syria as a means of undermining the insurgents in Iraq.
"If Syria had been defeated, the rebellion in Iraq would have ended,"
Wurmser said in an interview with Yitzhak Benhorin of the Ynet Web site.
"A great part of it was the thought that Israel should fight against the
real enemy, the one backing Hezbollah.... If Israel had hit Syria, it
would have been such a harsh blow for Iran that it would have weakened
it and (changed) the strategic map in the Middle East."
But the Israeli summer offensives in Gaza and Lebanon fell short of
Olmert's objectives, instead generating international condemnation of
Tel Aviv for the large numbers of civilian casualties from Israel's
bombing raids.
*Wounded Leaders*
Now, as two politically wounded leaders, Bush and Olmert share an
interest in trying to salvage some success out of their military
setbacks. So, they are looking at possible moves that are much more
dramatic than minor adjustments to the status quo.
Democrats and some Republicans are questioning why Bush wants to send
20,000 more U.S. troops to Iraq and offer Iraqis some jobs programs,
when similar tactics have been tried unsuccessfully in the past.
Indeed, one source familiar with high-level thinking in Washington and
Tel Aviv said an unstated reason for Bush's troop "surge" is to bolster
the defenses of Baghdad's Green Zone if a possible Israeli attack on
Iran prompts an uprising among Iraqi Shiites.
The two U.S. aircraft carrier strike forces off Iran's coast could
provide further deterrence against Iranian retaliation. But the conflict
would almost certainly spread anyway.
Likely Hezbollah missile strikes against Israel would offer another
pretext for Israel to invade Syria and finally oust Hezbollah's allies
in Damascus, as the U.S. neocons had hope would happen in summer 2006,
the source said.
In the neoconservative vision, this wider war would offer perhaps a last
chance at achieving the regional transformation that has been at the
heart of Bush's strategy of "democratizing" the Middle East through
violence if necessary.
However, few Middle East experts believe that Bush really would want the
results of truly democratic elections in the region because Islamic
militants would almost surely win resoundingly amid the anti-Americanism
that has grown even more intense since the hanging of Saddam Hussein in
late December.
An Israeli assault on Iran could put the region's remaining pro-American
dictators in jeopardy, too. In Pakistan, for instance, Islamic militants
with ties to al-Qaeda have been gaining strength and might try to
overthrow Gen. Pervez Musharraf, conceivably giving Islamic terrorists
control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.
For some U.S. foreign policy experts, this potential for disaster from a
U.S.-backed Israeli air strike on Iran is so terrifying that they
ultimately don't believe Bush and Olmert would dare implement such the
plan.
But Bush's actions in the past two months - reaffirming his
determination to achieve "victory" in Iraq - suggest that he wants
nothing of the "graceful exit" that might come from a de-escalation of
the war.
*Losing Faith*
Bush has dug in his heels even as some senior administration officials
have lost faith in his strategy.
On Nov. 6, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld sent Bush a memo suggesting
a "major adjustment" in Iraq War policy that would include "an
accelerated drawdown of U.S. bases" from 55 to five by July 2007 with
remaining U.S. forces only committed to Iraqi areas that request them.
"Unless they [the local Iraqi governments] cooperate fully, U.S. forces
would leave their province," Rumsfeld wrote.
Proposing an option similar to a plan enunciated by Democratic Rep. John
Murtha, Rumsfeld suggested that the commanders "withdraw U.S. forces
from vulnerable positions - cities, patrolling, etc. - and move U.S.
forces to a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) status, operating from within
Iraq and Kuwait, to be available when Iraqi security forces need
assistance."
And in what could be read as an implicit criticism of Bush's lofty
rhetoric about transforming Iraq and the Middle East, Rumsfeld said the
administration should "recast the U.S. military mission and the U.S.
goals (how we talk about them) - go minimalist." [NYT, Dec. 3, 2006
<http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/03/world/middleeast/03mtext.html>]
On Nov. 8, two days after the memo and one day after American voters
elected Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, Bush fired
Rumsfeld. The firing was widely interpreted as a sign that Bush was
ready to moderate his position on Iraq, but the evidence now suggests
that Bush got rid of Rumsfeld for going wobbly on the war.
On Dec. 6, when longtime Bush family counselor James Baker issued a
report by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group urging a drawdown of U.S.
troops in Iraq, Bush wasted little time in slapping it down.
Instead, Bush talked about waging a long war against Islamic "radicals
and extremists," an escalation from his original post-9/11 goal of
defeating "terrorists with global reach."
At his news conference on Dec. 20
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/12/20061220-1.html>, Bush
cast this wider struggle against Islamists as a test of American manhood
and perseverance by demonstrating to the enemy that "they can't run us
out of the Middle East, that they can't intimidate America."
Bush suggested, too, that painful decisions lay ahead in the New Year.
"I'm not going to make predictions about what 2007 will look like in
Iraq, except that it's going to require difficult choices and additional
sacrifices, because the enemy is merciless and violent," Bush said.
Rather than scale back his neoconservative dream of transforming the
Middle East, Bush argued for an expanded U.S. military to wage this long
war.
"We must make sure that our military has the capability to stay in the
fight for a long period of time," Bush said. "I'm not predicting any
particular theater, but I am predicting that it's going to take a while
for the ideology of liberty to finally triumph over the ideology of
hate....
"We're in the beginning of a conflict between competing ideologies - a
conflict that will determine whether or not your children can live in a
peace. A failure in the Middle East, for example, or failure in Iraq, or
isolationism, will condemn a generation of young Americans to permanent
threat from overseas."
*Escalation*
Since then, Bush has floated the idea of a troop "surge" and replaced
commanders who disagreed with him. Bush also removed U.S. Ambassador to
Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad, a Sunni Muslim generally considered a voice for
moderation in U.S. policy who privately objected to Bush's decision to
press ahead with the hanging of Saddam Hussein.
There are even indications of tension between Bush and Cheney, who like
his old friend Rumsfeld, appears to have grown disillusioned with the war.
In a little-noticed comment on Jan. 4, Sen. Joseph Biden, the new
chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Cheney and
Rumsfeld "are really smart guys who made a very, very, very, very bad
bet, and it blew up in their faces. Now, what do they do with it? I
think they have concluded they can't fix it, so how do you keep it
stitched together without it completely unraveling?" [Washington Post,
Jan. 5, 2007]
But Bush does not appear to share that goal of limiting the damage.
Instead, he is looking for ways to "double-down" his gamble in Iraq by
joining with Olmert - and possibly outgoing British Prime Minister Tony
Blair - in expanding the conflict.
Since the Nov. 7 congressional elections, the three leaders have
conducted a round-robin of meetings that on the surface seem to have
little purpose. Olmert met privately with Bush on Nov. 13; Blair visited
the White House on Dec. 7; and Blair conferred with Olmert in Israel on
Dec. 18.
Sources say the three leaders are frantically seeking options for
turning around their political fortunes as they face harsh judgments
from history for their bloody and risky adventures in the Middle East.
But there is also a clock ticking. Blair, who now stands to go down in
the annals of British history as "Bush's poodle," is nearing the end of
his tenure, having agreed under pressure from his Labour Party to step
down in spring 2007.
So, if the Bush-Blair-Olmert triumvirate has any hope of accomplishing
the neoconservative remaking of the Middle East, time is running out.
Something dramatic must happen soon.
That something looks like it may include a rush to Armageddon.
------------------------------
------------------------------------------
/Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the
Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, /Secrecy & Privilege:
Rise of the Bush Dynasty From Watergate to Iraq/, can be ordered at
secrecyandprivilege.com <http://www.secrecyandprivilege.com/>. It's also
available at Amazon.com
<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1893517012/102-6417841-4919329?v=glance&s=books>,
as is his 1999 book,/ Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press &
'Project Truth.'
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
January 9, 2007
The Surge: Political Cover or Escalation?
by Paul Craig Roberts
*T*he new year began on the hopeful note that Bush’s illegal war in Iraq
would soon be ended. The repudiation of Bush and the Republicans in the
November congressional election, the Iraq Study Group’s unanimous
conclusion that the US needs to remove its troops from the sectarian
strife Bush set in motion by invading Iraq, Donald Rumsfeld’s removal as
defense secretary and his replacement by Iraqi Study Group member Robert
Gates, the thumbs down given by America’s top military commanders to the
neoconservatives’ plan to send more US troops to Iraq, and new polls of
the US military that reveal that only a minority supports Bush’s Iraq
policy, thus giving new meaning to "support the troops," are all
indications that Americans have shed the stupor that has given carte
blanche to George W. Bush.
When word leaked that Bush was inclined toward the "surge option" of
committing more troops by keeping existing troops deployed in Iraq after
their replacements had arrived, NBC News reported that an administration
official "admitted to us today that this surge option is more of a
political decision than a military one." It is a clear sign of
exasperation with Bush when an administration official admits that Bush
is willing to sacrifice American troops and Iraqi civilians in order to
protect his own delusions.
The American establishment, concerned by Bush’s egregious mismanagement,
moved to take control of Iraq policy away from him. However, recent news
reports and analysis suggest that Bush has turned his back to the
American establishment and his military advisers and is throwing in his
lot with the neoconservatives and the Israeli lobby. This will further
isolate Bush and make him more vulnerable to impeachment.
In the January 5 issue of CounterPunch John Walsh gives a good
description of the struggle between the American establishment and the
neocons.
Peter Spiegel, the Pentagon correspondent for the /Los Angeles Times/,
reported on January 4 that the neocons have used the failure of the
administration’s policy in Iraq to convince Bush to launch an aggressive
counterinsurgency requiring the buildup of troop levels by extending
deployments beyond the agreed terms.
Raed Jarrar suggests <http://www.counterpunch.org/jarrar01042007.html>
that the Shi’ite militias, such as the one led by Sadr, are the intended
targets of the "surge option." There seems no surer way to escalate the
conflict in Iraq than to attack the Shi’ite militias. For longer than
the US fought Germany in WWII, 150,000 US troops in Iraq have been
thwarted by a small insurgency drawn from Iraq’s minority population of
Sunnis. It hardly seems feasible that 30,000 additional US troops,
demoralized by extended deployment, can succeed in a surge against the
Shi’ite militias when 150,000 US troops cannot succeed against the
minority Sunnis.
The reason the US has not been driven out of Iraq is that the majority
Shi’ites have not been part of the insurgency. The Shi’ites are
attacking the Sunnis, who are forced to fight a two-front war against US
troops and Shi’ite militias and death squads.The US owes its presence in
Iraq, just as the colonial powers always owed their presence in the
Middle East, to the disunity of Arabs. Western domination of the Muslim
world succeeded by not picking a fight with all of the disunited Arabs
at the same time.
Attacking the Shi’ite militias while fighting a Sunni insurgency would
violate this rule. If Bush ignores US military commanders and expert
opinion and accepts the surge option advanced by the delusional neocon
allies of Israel’s right-wing Likud Party, US troops will be engulfed in
general insurgency. This is why General John Abizaid resigned on January
5. He wants no part of the Republican Party’s sacrifice of US soldiers
to sectarian conflict.
In recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearings, Republican Senator
John McCain, who believes in the efficacy of violence and not in
diplomacy, pressed General Abizaid to request more US troops to be sent
to Iraq. General Abizaid replied as follows:
/"Senator McCain, I met with every divisional commander, General Casey,
the core commander, General Dempsey, we all talked together. And I said,
in your professional opinion, if we were to bring in more American
troops now, does it add considerably to our ability to achieve success
in Iraq? And they all said no."/
Bush is like Hitler. He blames defeats on his military commanders, not
on his own insane policy. Like Hitler, he protects himself from reality
with delusion. In his last hours, Hitler was ordering non-existent
German armies to drive the Russians from Berlin.
By manipulating Bush and provoking a military crisis in which the US
stands to lose its army in Iraq, the neoconservatives hope to revive the
implementation of their plan for US conquest of the Middle East. They
believe they can use fear, "honor," and the aversion of macho Americans
to ignoble defeat to expand the conflict in response to military
disaster. The neocons believe that the loss of an American army would be
met with the electorate’s demand for revenge. The barriers to the draft
would fall, as would the barriers to the use of nuclear weapons.
Neocon godfather Norman Podhoretz set out the plan for Middle East
conquest several years ago in /Commentary/ magazine. It is a plan for
Muslim genocide. In place of physical extermination of Muslims,
Podhoretz advocates their cultural destruction by deracination. Islam is
to be torn out by the roots and reduced to a purely formal shell devoid
of any real beliefs.
Podhoretz disguises the neoconservative attack against diversity with
contrived arguments, but its real purpose is to use the US military to
subdue Arabs and to create space for Israel to expand.
Not enough Americans are aware that this is what the "war on terror" is
all about.


*Find this article at:*
http://www.antiwar.com/roberts/?articleid=10284
January 8, 2007
Is Bush's War Winding Down or Heating Up?
The Coming Attack on Iran
by Paul Craig Roberts
*M*ost Americans believe that Bush’s Iraqi misadventure is over. The
occupation has lost the support of the electorate, the Congress, the
generals and the troops. The Democrats are sitting back waiting for Bush
to come to terms with reality. They don’t want to be accused of losing
the war by forcing Bush out of Iraq. There are no more troops to commit,
and when the "surge" fails, Bush will have no recourse but to withdraw.
A little longer, everyone figures, and the senseless killing will be over.
Recent news reports indicate that this conclusion could be an even
bigger miscalculation than the original invasion.
On January 7 the /London Times/reported
<http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/articlenews.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2007-01-07T185259Z_01_L06759405_RTRUKOC_0_UK-IRAN-NUCLEAR-ISRAEL.xml&WTmodLoc=Top%2BNews-C1-Headline-8>
that it has learned from "several Israeli military sources" that "Israel
has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment
facilities with tactical nuclear weapons."
The Israeli Foreign Ministry denied the report.
The /Times/ reports that "Israeli and American officials have met
several times to consider military action. Military analysts said the
disclosure of the plans could be intended to put pressure on Tehran to
halt enrichment, cajole America into action or soften up world opinion
in advance of an Israeli attack."
In other news reports <http://www.today.az/news/politics/34565.html>
Israeli General Oded Tira is quoted as follows: "President Bush lacks
the political power to attack Iran. As an American strike in Iran is
essential for our existence, we must help him pave the way by lobbying
the Democratic Party (which is conducting itself foolishly) and US
newspaper editors. We need to do this in order to turn the Iranian issue
to a bipartisan one and unrelated to the Iraq failure."
General Tira gives the Israel Lobby the following tasks: (1) "turn to
Hillary Clinton and other potential presidential candidates in the
Democratic Party so that they support immediate action by Bush against
Iran," (2) exert influence on European countries so that "Bush will not
be isolated in the international arena again," and (3) "clandestinely
cooperate with Saudi Arabia so that it also persuades the US to strike
Iran."
Israel’s part, General Tira says, is to "prepare an independent military
strike by coordinating flights in Iraqi airspace with the US. We should
also coordinate with Azerbaijan the use of air bases in its territory
and also enlist the support of the Azeri minority in Iran."
British commentators report that "the British media appears to be
softening us up for an attack on Iran." Robert Fox writing in /The First
Post/ says
<http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/index.php?menuID=1&subID=1019>, "Suddenly
the smell of Britons being prepared for an attack on Iran is all pervasive."
On January 7 the /Jerusalem Post/reported
<http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1167467674368&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull>
that Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told the Israeli
newspaper that "Iran with nuclear weapons is unacceptable" and that "the
use of force against Teheran remained an option." The /Post/ notes that
"Hoyer is considered close to the Jewish community and many Israeli
supporters have hailed his elevation in the House." Hoyer was the Israel
Lobby’s first victory over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who preferred Rep.
John Murtha for the post. Murtha was the first important Democrat to
call for withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.
On November 20 the Israeli newspaper, /Ha'aretz/, reported that
President Bush said he would understand if Israel chose to attack Iran.
Bush showed that he was in Israel’s pocket when he blocked the world’s
attempt to stop Israel’s bombing of Lebanese civilians and civilian
infrastructure.
Many commentators believe that the failure of the neoconservatives’
"cakewalk war" has destroyed their influence. This is a mistaken
conclusion. The neoconservatives are long time allies of Israel’s
right-wing Likud Party and are part of the Israel Lobby in the US. The
Israel Lobby represents the views of only a minority of American Jews
but nevertheless essentially owns both political parties and most of the
US media. As the neoconservatives are an important part of this powerful
lobby, they remain extremely influential.
The Lobby works to increase the neoconservatives’ influence. To
appreciate the Lobby’s influence, try to find columnists in the major
print media and TV commentators who are not apologists for Israel, who
do not favor attacking Iran, and who support withdrawing from Iraq.
Recently, Bill "One-Note" Kristol, a rabid propagandist for war against
Muslims, was given a column in /Time/ magazine. Why would /Time/ think
its readers want to read a war propagandist? Could the reason be that
the Israel Lobby arranged for /Time/ to receive lucrative advertising
contracts in exchange for a column for Kristol?
Neoconservatives have called for World War IV against Islam. In
/Commentary/ magazine Norman Podhoretz called for the cultural genocide
of Islamic peoples. The war is already opened on four fronts: Iraq,
Afghanistan, Somalia, and Iran.
The Bush administration has used its Ethiopian proxies to overthrow the
Somali Muslims who overthrew the warlords who drove the US from Somalia.
The US Navy and US intelligence are actively engaged with the Ethiopian
troops in efforts to hunt down and capture or kill the Somali Muslims.
US Embassy spokesman Robert Kerr in Nairobi said that the US has the
right to pursue Somalia’s Islamists as part of the war on terror.
For at least a year the Bush administration has been fomenting and
financing terrorist groups within Iran. Seymour Hersh and former CIA
officials have exposed the Bush administration’s support of ethnic
minority groups within Iran that are on the US State Department’s list
of terrorist organizations. Last April US Representative Dennis Kucinich
wrote a detailed letter to President Bush about US interference in
Iran’s internal affairs. He received no reply.
The Israeli/neoconservative plan, of which Bush may be a part or simply
be a manipulated element, is to provoke a crisis with Iran in which the
US Congress will have to support Israel. Both the Israeli government and
the American neoconservatives are fanatical. It is a mistake to believe
that either will be guided by reason or any appreciation of the
potentially catastrophic consequences of an attack on Iran.
US aircraft carriers sitting off Iran’s coast are sitting ducks for
Iran’s Russian missiles. The neoconservatives would welcome another "new
Pearl Harbor."
The US media is totally unreliable. It cannot go against Israel, and it
will wrap itself in the flag just as it did for the invasion of Iraq.
The American public has been deceived (again) and believes that Iran is
on the verge of possessing nuclear armaments to be used to wipe Israel
off the map. The fact that Americans are such saps for propaganda makes
effective opposition to the neoconservatives’ plan for WWIV practically
impossible.
Large percentages of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein was
responsible for the 9/11 attack. Recent polls show that 32% still
believe that Iraq gave substantial support to al-Qaeda, and 18% believe
that Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the 9/11 attack. WXIA-TV in
Atlanta posted viewers comments about Hussein’s execution on its web
site. Atlantan Janet Wesselhoft was confident
<http://www.11alive.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=89762> that
Saddam Hussein is "the one who started terrorism in this country, he
needs to be put to rest."
Even the /London Times/ is in the grip of Israeli propaganda. In its
report of Israel’s plan to attack Iran with nuclear weapons, the /Times/
says that Iranian president "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has declared that
‘Israel must be wiped off the map.’" It has been shown by a number of
credible experts that this quote is a made-up concoction taken
completely out of context. Ahmadinejad said no such thing.
In a world ruled by propaganda, lies become truths. The power of the
Israel Lobby is so great that it has turned former President Jimmy
Carter, probably the most decent man ever to occupy the Oval Office and
certainly the president who did the most in behalf of peace in the
Middle East, into an anti-semite, an enemy of Israel. The American
media, from its "conservative" end to its "liberal" end did its best to
turn Carter into a pariah for telling a few truths about Israel’s
mistreatment of the Palestinians in his book, /Palestine: Peace Not
Apartheid
<http://www.amazon.com/Palestine-Peace-Apartheid-Jimmy-Carter/dp/0743285026/antiwarbookstore/>/.
If truth be known, there is nothing to stop the Israeli/neoconservative
cabal from widening the war in the Middle East.
As I previously reported, the neoconservatives believe that the use of
nuclear weapons against Iran would force Muslims to realize that they
have no recourse but to submit to the Israeli/US will. The use of
nuclear weapons is being rationalized as necessary to destroy Iran’s
underground facilities, but the real purpose is to terrorize Islam and
to bring it to heel.
Until the US finds the courage to acquire a Middle East policy of its
own, Americans will continue to reap the evil sowed by the Israel Lobby.


*Find this article at:*
http://www.antiwar.com/roberts/?articleid=10286
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