Easter Surprise: Attack on Iran?

Easter Surprise: Attack on Iran,
New 9/11, or Worse

 

First published
in
COA News Heather Wokusch – Mar 28 2007

 

Commentary: The
Bush administration continues moving closer to a nuclear attack on
Iran, and we ignore the obvious build-up at
our peril.

 

Russian media are
sounding alarms. In February, ultra-nationalist leader Vladimir Shirinovsky
warned that the
US would launch a strike against Tehran at the end of this month. Then last week,
the Russian News and Information Agency Novosti (RIA-Novosti) quoted military
experts predicting the
US will attack Iran on April 6th, Good Friday.

According to RIA-Novosti, the imminent assault will target Iranian air and
naval defence capabilities, armed forces headquarters as well as key economic
assets and administration headquarters. Massive air strikes will be deployed,
possibly tactical nuclear weapons as well, and the Bush administration will
attempt to exploit the resulting chaos and political unrest by installing a
pro-US government.

Sound familiar? It’s Iraq déjà vu all over again, and we know how
well that war has gone.

Seymour Hersh has published numerous articles in The New Yorker detailing the
Bush administration’s plans to invade Iran. His latest, “The Redirection,”
discusses US participation in Iran-based clandestine operations, the kidnapping
of hundreds of Iranians (including many “humanitarian and aid
workers”) by US forces and the shocking revelation that an
Iran-Contra-type scandal has been run out of Vice President Dick Cheney’s
office with some of the illicit funds going to groups “sympathetic to
al-Qaeda.”

“The Redirection” also reports that the Pentagon has been planning to
bomb Iran for a year and that a recently-established group connected to the
Joint Chiefs of Staff is formulating a assault strategy to be implemented
“upon orders from the President, within twenty-four hours.” Hersh
notes that current capabilities “allow for an attack order this
spring,” possibly when four US aircraft-carrier battle groups are
scheduled to be in the
Persian Gulf simultaneously.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Congress busies itself with non-binding, timid
resolutions on Iraq and recently altered a military-funding
bill to make it easier for Bush to invade
Iran. As Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV)
explained, language demanding that Bush seek congressional approval before
attacking
Iran “would take away perhaps the most
important negotiating tool that the
U.S. has when it comes to Iran.”

Such sheer ignorance and blind denial would be laughable if it weren’t marching
us into Armageddon.

But with this Administration (and this Congress, apparently) diplomacy be
damned.

It’s now widely known that Iran had broached peace talks with the US in 2003 – Secretary of State Condoleeza
Rice admitted as much in 2006 when she said, “what the Iranians wanted
earlier was to be one-on-one with the
United States.” Yet the White House rejected Tehran’s overture outright and Rice has since
developed selective amnesia, later saying of the Iranian proposal, “I
don’t remember seeing any such thing. ”

For its part, the UN Security Council recently tightened sanctions aimed at
pressuring Iran to cease uranium enrichment, and in
response,
Iran announced it would cooperate less with
the International Atomic Energy Agency.

It’s worth noting that Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and says that its program falls under the
legally permitted right to “peacefully use nuclear technology.” In
contrast,
Israel has neither signed nor ratified the NPT
and the
US would breach the Treaty by conducting a
nuclear attack against
Iran.

Besides, the Bush administration's message to its enemies has been very clear:
if you possess WMD
you're safe, and if you don't, you're fair game.
Iraq had no nuclear weapons and was invaded, Iran doesn't as well and risks attack, yet
that other “Axis of Evil” country,
North Korea, reportedly does have nuclear weapons and
is left alone. When considering that
India and Pakistan (and presumably Israel) developed secret nuclear weapons
programs yet remain on good terms with
Washington, the case for war becomes even more
tenuous.

What consequences would arise from a US attack on Iran? Retaliation, for one. Tehran promised a “crushing response”
to any US or Israeli assault, and while the country – ironically – doesn't
possess nuclear weapons to scare off attackers, it does have other options.
Iran boasts a standing army estimated at
450,000 personnel, as well as long-range missiles that could hit
Israel and possibly even Europe. In addition, much of the world's oil
supply is transported through the
Strait of Hormuz, a narrow stretch of water which Iran borders to the north. In 1997, Iran's deputy foreign minister warned that the
country might close off that shipping route if ever threatened, and it wouldn't
be difficult. Just a few missiles or gunboats could bring down vessels and
block the Strait, thereby threatening the global oil supply and shooting the
price of crude oil to over $100 a barrel, with untold negative consequences for
the world economy.

An attack on Iran would also inflame tensions in the Middle East, and could tip
the scales towards a new geopolitical balance, one in which the US finds itself
shut out by Russia, China, Iran, Muslim countries and the many others Bush has
managed to alienate during his period in office.

The most horrific impact of a US assault on Iran, of course, would be the potentially
catastrophic number of casualties. The Oxford Research Group predicted that up
to 10,000 people would die if the
US bombed Iran's nuclear sites, and that an attack on
the Bushehr nuclear reactor could send a radioactive cloud over the Gulf. If
the
US uses nuclear weapons, such as earth-penetrating
“bunker buster” bombs, radioactive fallout would become even more
disastrous.

The devastating implications of a US strike on Iran are clear. And that begs the question:
how could the
US public be convinced to enter another
potentially ugly and protracted war?
Former
CIA Officer Philip Giraldi chillingly noted
that the Pentagon's plans to attack
Iran were drawn up “to be employed in
response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the
United States.” Writing in The American
Conservative in August 2005, Giraldi added, “The plan includes a
large-scale air assault on
Iran employing both conventional and tactical
nuclear weapons. Within
Iran there are more than 450 major strategic
targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites
… As in the case of
Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of
terrorism directed against the
United States.”

Chew on that one a minute. The Pentagon's plan would be in response to a
terrorist attack on the US, but not contingent upon Iran actually having been responsible. How
outlandish is this scenario: another 9/11 hits the
US, the administration says it has secret
information implicating
Iran, the US population demands retribution and bombs
start dropping on
Tehran.

While even contemplating another 9/11 brings shudders, it’s worth noting that
last year, Congress quietly approved provisions making it easier for the
President to declare federal martial law after a domestic terrorist incident.
And recall that in late 2003, General Tommy Franks openly speculated on how a
new 9/11 could lead to a military form of government: “a terrorist,
massive, casualty-producing event somewhere in the Western world – it may be in
the United States of America – that causes our population to question our own
Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat
of another mass, casualty-producing event. Which in fact, then begins to
unravel the fabric of our Constitution.”

Meanwhile, Iran conducted war-game in the Persian Gulf last week and just
yesterday, the US Navy began its largest manoeuvrers in the region since the
2003 Iraq invasion, complete with over 100 US warplanes and 10,000 personnel.

The clock is ticking, and there’s far too much at stake.

If you’re from the US, contact your Senators today and ask them
to support the Webb amendment prohibiting the Administration from attacking
Iran without congressional approval. Tell them
to support the Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) bill making
it harder for Bush to declare martial law and take over the National Guard, and
while you’re at it, tell your Senators to only fund troop withdrawal and to
bring the troops home. Thank those Congress members who voted against more war
funding.

We could be looking at WWIII. The time
for positive action is now.

 

 

 

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About IanPJ

Ian Parker-Joseph, former Leader of the Libertarian Party UK, who currently heads PDPS Internet Hosting and the Personal Deed Poll Services company, has been an IT industry professional for over 20 years, providing Business Consulting, Programme and Project Management, specialising in the recovery of Projects that have failed in a process driven world. Ian’s experience is not limited to the UK, and he has successfully delivered projects in the Middle East, Africa, US, Russia, Poland, France and Germany. Working within different cultures, Ian has occupied high profile roles within multi-nationals such as Nortel and Cable & Wireless. These experiences have given Ian an excellent insight into world events, and the way that they can shape our own national future. His extensive overseas experiences have made him all too aware of how the UK interacts with its near neighbours, its place in the Commonwealth, and how our nation fits into the wider world. He is determined to rebuild many of the friendships and commercial relationships with other nations that have been sadly neglected over the years, and would like to see greater energy and food security in these countries, for the benefit of all. Ian is a vocal advocate of small government, individual freedom, low taxation and a minimum of regulation. Ian believes deeply and passionately in freedom and independence in all areas of life, and is now bringing his professional experiences to bear in the world of politics.
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