Who's Planning Our Next War?
by PATRICK J. BUCHANAN
The American Conservative
Of the Axis-of-Evil nations named in his State of the Union in 2002,
President Bush has often said, "The United States will not permit the
world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most
He failed with North Korea. Will he accept failure in Iran, though
there is no hard evidence Iran has an active nuclear weapons program?
William Kristol of The Weekly Standard said Sunday a US attack
on Iran after the election is more likely should Barack Obama win.
Presumably, Bush would trust John McCain to keep Iran nuclear free.
Yet, to start a third war in the Middle East against a nation three
times as large as Iraq, and leave it to a new president to fight,
would be a daylight hijacking of the congressional war power and a
criminally irresponsible act. For Congress alone has the power to
Was recent Israeli exercise a dress rehearsal?
Yet Israel is even today pushing Bush into a pre-emptive war with
a naked threat to attack Iran itself should Bush refuse the cup.
In April, Israel held a five-day civil defense drill. In June,
Israel sent 100 F-15s and F-16s, with refueling tankers and
helicopters to pick up downed pilots, toward Greece in a simulated
attack, a dress rehearsal for war. The planes flew 1,400 kilometers,
the distance to Iran's uranium enrichment facility at Natanz.
Ehud Olmert came home from a June meeting with Bush to tell Israelis:
"We reached agreement on the need to take care of the Iranian threat.
I left with a lot less question marks regarding the means, the
timetable restrictions and American resoluteness.
"George Bush understands the severity of the Iranian threat and the
need to vanquish it, and intends to act on the matter before the end
of his term. ... The Iranian problem requires urgent attention, and
I see no reason to delay this just because there will be a new
president in the White House seven and a half months from now."
Why is Bush discussing war with Israelis, but not Congress?
If Bush is discussing war on Iran with Ehud Olmert, why is he not
discussing it with Congress or the nation?
On June 6, Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz threatened, "If Iran
continues its nuclear weapons program, we will attack it." The price
of oil shot up 9 percent.
Is Israel bluffing — or planning to attack Iran if America balks?
Previous air strikes on the PLO command in Tunis, on the Osirak
reactor in Iraq and on the presumed nuclear reactor site in Syria
last September give Israel a high degree of credibility.
Still, attacking Iran would be no piece of cake.
Israel lacks the stealth and cruise-missile capacity to degrade
Iran's air defenses systematically and no longer has the element of
surprise. Israeli planes and pilots would likely be lost.
Iran attack requires US complicity
Israel also lacks the ability to stay over the target or conduct
follow-up strikes. The US Air Force bombed Iraq for five weeks with
hundreds of daily runs in 1991 before Gen. Schwarzkopf moved.
Moreover, if Iran has achieved the capacity to enrich uranium, she
has surely moved centrifuges to parts of the country that Israel
cannot reach — and can probably replicate anything lost.
Israel would also have to over-fly Turkey, or Syria and US-occupied
Iraq, or Saudi Arabia to reach Natanz. Turks, Syrians and Saudis
would deny Israel permission and might resist. For the US military
to let Israel over-fly Iraq would make us an accomplice. How would
that sit with the Europeans who are supporting our sanctions on Iran
and want the nuclear issue settled diplomatically?
Israeli strike would sink the world economy
And who can predict with certitude how Iran would respond?
Would Iran attack Israel with rockets, inviting retaliation with
Jericho and cruise missiles from Israeli submarines? Would she close
the Gulf with suicide-boat attacks on tankers and US warships?
With oil at $135 a barrel, Israeli air strikes on Iran would seem to
ensure a 2,000-point drop in the Dow and a world recession.
What would Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria do? All three are now in
indirect negotiations with Israel. US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq
could be made by Iran to pay a high price in blood that could force
the United States to initiate its own air war in retaliation, and to
finish a war Israel had begun. But a US war on Iran is not a
decision Bush can outsource to Ehud Olmert.
Time for the American people to be consulted
Tuesday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Michael Mullins left for
Israel. CBS News cited US officials as conceding the trip
comes "just as the Israelis are mounting a full court press to get
the Bush administration to strike Iran's nuclear complex."
Vice President Cheney is said to favor US strikes. Secretary of
Defense Robert Gates and Mullins are said to be opposed.
Moving through Congress, powered by the Israeli lobby, is House
Resolution 362, which demands that President Bush impose a US
blockade of Iran, an act of war. Is it not time the American people
were consulted on the next war that is being planned for us?
Israel Prodding US to Attack Iran
White House Weighs Striking Iran's Nuclear Complex,
Which Could Trigger 3rd War in Region
WASHINGTON — Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen leaves
Tuesday night on an overseas trip that will take him to Israel,
reports CBS News national security correspondent David Martin.
The trip has been scheduled for some time but US officials say it
comes just as the Israelis are mounting a full court press to get
the Bush administration to strike Iran's nuclear complex.
CBS consultant Michael Oren says Israel doesn't want to wait
for a new administration.
"The Israelis have been assured by the Bush administration that
the Bush administration will not allow Iran to nuclearize," Oren
said. "Israelis are uncertain about what would be the policies of
the next administration vis-à-vis Iran."
Rogue state threatens unilateral action
Israel's message is simple: If you don't, we will. Israel held a
dress rehearsal for a strike earlier this month, but military
analysts say Israel cannot do it alone.
"Keep in mind that Israel does not have strategic bombers," Oren
said. "The Israeli Air Force is not the American Air Force. Israel
cannot eliminate Iran's nuclear program."
The US with its stealth bombers and cruise missiles has a much
greater capability. Vice President Cheney is said to favor a strike,
but both Mullen and Defense Secretary Gates are opposed to an
attack which could touch off a third war in the region.
Iran threatened over weapons Israel already has
US intelligence estimates Iran won't be able to build a weapon
until sometime early in the next decade. But Israel is operating
on a much shorter timetable.
"The Iranians, according to Israeli security sources, will have an
operable nuclear weapon by 2009. That's not a very long time,"
For now, the Bush administration is counting on new economic
sanctions which took effect Tuesday to persuade Iran to give up
its nuclear program. But nobody's counting on it.
U.S.- Israeli Attack on Iran Imminent?
by Ardeshir Ommani
It goes without saying that what is called the international
community, i.e., the U.S., its allies in Western Europe and Israel
follow the same foreign policy in relation to Iran. All this is part
of the plan of action of the United States to remain in Iraq and
Afghanistan indefinitely and be in control of the Middle East oil
During the last twenty-nine years, since the popular revolution
toppled the Shah's puppet regime, Iran has been a permanent target
of military threats and economic and technological sanctions of the
For the application of this foreign policy, the U.S. has also
utilized the power and influence of its long-time Western European
allies who are also the members of the United Nations Security
Council, namely Britain and France. In their long-term drive to
subordinate Iran and effectively remove the government of the
Islamic Republic, a significantly credible obstacle in the way of
shoring up and consolidating their geopolitical hegemony and
monopoly control over the vast oil and gas reserves of the Middle
East, the U.S. and its allies have put into motion such belligerent
proxies as Iraq's Saddam Hussein and the Zionist state of Israel.
Ironically the countries that have exhibited their open aggression
towards the Iranian people, at the same time have framed their
wicked undertakings as defensive measures and in response to
the Israelites is not confined to the grandest of all imperial
powers – the United States. It has also served the lesser
imperialist powers for a price.
"Last week," writes the Financial Times of London on June 24,
2008, "a senior European diplomat told journalists in Washington…
that while Europe was opposed to Israeli military action against
Iran, the threat of such a strike was one of the most significant
sources of pressure on Tehran." In this expression, the objectives
of our European diplomat whose likes are lauded for their leanings
toward dialogue, civility and diplomacy in the international and
regional conflicts, except when they are marshalling and expanding
the NATO troops, are crystal clear: 1) the use of force as a vehicle
of intimidation, and 2) the use of the Zionist state as a pit-bull
in the oil-rich region.
It is important to ask why Israel, who by any standard for a long
time has been engaged in the on-going conflict with the peoples of
Palestine, Syria and Lebanon, tries constantly to keep the issue of
Iran's uranium enrichment on the front-burner and has raised it to
the level of Israel's existential motto: to be or not to be. This
garrison state goes as far as declaring itself ready to attack
Iran's nuclear and military facilities, should the U.S. hesitate to
do so. In the last month, the likes of Israel's Deputy Prime
Minister Shaul Mofaz, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United
Nations, John Bolton, and a crew of opinion-makers in the U.S. and
European media, not to mention some diplomats, have been bellowing
about Israel's readiness to carry out a military assault on Iran.
Should the Iranian government and people take these declarations
seriously? In response to the alleged `imminent' military attack,
on Monday, June 23, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali
Hosseini told a news conference: Israel "does not have the capacity
to threaten the Islamic Republic of Iran; they have a number of
domestic crises and they want to extrapolate it to cover others.
Sometimes they come up with these empty slogans." Then, on June
25th, Reuters reported that Iran's Revolutionary Guards warned the
United States against any attack on Iran: "We advise U.S. officials
to be careful not to face another tragedy," Mohammad Hejazi, a
senior commander of the elite Guards, was quoted by the official
IRNA news agency. "Our last word is that if you want to move towards
Iran make sure you bring walking sticks and artificial legs because
if you came you will not have any legs to return on," he said.
In the last two decades Israel has stubbornly called for imposing
stiffer economic sanctions and blockades on Iran, as if Israeli
starvation and besiege of the Palestinian people is not enough.
Israel ceaselessly whines to the heads of the imperialist countries
that Iran is getting ready, perhaps in the next six months or a year
to produce an atomic bomb, if not two or three. But it never
answers why Israel is not a signatory to the nuclear Non-
Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and how it came to have between 200 and
420 nuclear weapons in its arsenal.
The question remains to be answered why Israel, who is in the
everyday business of massacring unarmed Palestinians, finds it
necessary to march into another conflict? The answer is that in
this case it is trying to help out its patron – the U.S.- by
deflecting world public attention from the murderous acts of the
U.S.-Nato troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and bolster its goal of
establishing a permanent military presence in the region.
It goes without saying that what is called the international
community, i.e., the U.S., its allies in Western Europe and Israel
follow the same foreign policy in relation to Iran. They all
continue to raise the issue of Iran's nuclear enrichment, call for
stiffer economic, financial and trade sanctions, perform military
exercises as a tool of psychological warfare, undermine Iran's
international relations, weaken the country economically to pressure
Iran to give up its support for the resistance forces in Iraq,
Palestine and Lebanon, wear down the resistance of the Iranian
people and try to drive a wedge between the masses of people and the
country's leadership. All this is part of the plan of action of the
United States to remain in Iraq and Afghanistan indefinitely and be
in control of the Middle East oil reserves. If these imperial
powers can achieve such an outcome, Iran's sovereignty and its
revolutionary gains over the past 25 years will be seriously
What really would threaten the Iranian revolution and its long-term
stability and progress is not the short-run threat of attack by the
U.S. and/or Israel, but the increasing disparity in income and
wealth between Iran's social classes, the rich and the poor, and the
political weights that they are loaded with.
One of the many plans of the U.S. Defense Department for shaping
U.S. public opinion about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been
to justify its military presence and war operations in the M.E.
region and against the peoples of Iraq and Iran, two of the three
countries which were labeled as members of the "axis of evil" by
President George W. Bush. By framing Iran as a non-complier with
the rules of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a
supporter of terrorists groups (read the national liberation
movements), the U.S. government has hoped to justify its aggressive
undertakings so much so that allows itself to take pride at openly
declaring support for Israeli plans for military strikes against
Iran's strategic facilities.
Unfortunately, whenever Washington and Tel Aviv in collusion
demonstrate their show of military strength to serve as an
expression of their powerful presence and potentiality and by
implication hope to induce fright and stir instability and perhaps
paralysis in the hearts and minds of the Iranian body politic and
society as well, the Pavlovian automatic response of the liberal and
even some progressive pundits in the U.S. political circles is
whether and even when the U.S. and Israel are intending to make the
Iranian people and their nuclear and defense establishments the
targets of their missiles.
Some go as far as setting the month and even the day such attacks
could occur and in that capacity, they assume the role of fortune-
tellers. Some even go further and set the time of attack by
following the past seasonal pattern in which the U.S. has launched
wars on other countries. This method of foretelling is a replica of
the claims that are often made by the market gurus who try to
establish causal relations between the Democratic and Republican
presidential candidates and the behavior of the stock market. Such
an approach could involuntarily give credence to the U.S.-Israeli
psychological war propaganda.
There is absolutely no doubt that a great majority in the peace and
progressive movements are well-intentioned and their concern about
the U.S.-Israel menace stems out of their desire to prevent ever-
greater Iranian casualties by preparing to oppose such an onslaught
before it begins.
However, whenever the question of an Israeli-U.S. attack is the
subject of conversation among Iranian leaders, and even among the
Iranian people, the answer has been: "They cannot do a damn thing!"
One may say that before the war on Iraq, President Saddam Hussein
also downgraded the degree of danger, but the U.S. went on to invade
The parallel drawn here is too simplistic because Iraq was acutely
isolated, its relations with other Arab countries was at its worst
level ever, it had been weakened by the eight-year war with Iran,
its economy and people had suffered 12 long years of punitive
sanctions imposed by former Democratic President Bill Clinton, and
its air defense system was under constant over-flights and bombings
by the U.S. Navy forces in the North and the South of the country.
Perhaps the more important factor is that Iran, unlike Iraq, has a
very strong domestic support among the population and in the region
is considered a vital political force.
--Mathaba author Ardeshir Ommani is a writer and an activist in the
anti-war and anti-imperialist struggle for many years, including
against the Vietnam War. Ardeshir is a co-founder of the American-
Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC) which strives to build a
movement promoting peace and preventing a U.S.-led war on Iran.
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