Babbler # 1885
posted 17 January 2005 09:20 AM
It is possible that some of the American officials who talk about the need to eliminate Iran’s nuclear infrastructure are doing so as part of a propaganda campaign aimed at pressuring Iran to give up its weapons planning. If so, the signals are not always clear. President Bush, who after 9/11 famously depicted Iran as a member of the “axis of evil,” is now publicly emphasizing the need for diplomacy to run its course. “We don’t have much leverage with the Iranians right now,” the President said at a news conference late last year. “Diplomacy must be the first choice, and always the first choice of an administration trying to solve an issue of . . . nuclear armament. And we’ll continue to press on diplomacy.”
In my interviews over the past two months, I was given a much harsher view. The hawks in the Administration believe that it will soon become clear that the Europeans’ negotiated approach cannot succeed, and that at that time the Administration will act. “We’re not dealing with a set of National Security Council option papers here,” the former high-level intelligence official told me. “They’ve already passed that wicket. It’s not if we’re going to do anything against Iran. They’re doing it.”
The immediate goals of the attacks would be to destroy, or at least temporarily derail, Iran’s ability to go nuclear. But there are other, equally purposeful, motives at work. The government consultant told me that the hawks in the Pentagon, in private discussions, have been urging a limited attack on Iran because they believe it could lead to a toppling of the religious leadership. “Within the soul of Iran there is a struggle between secular nationalists and reformers, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the fundamentalist Islamic movement,” the consultant told me. “The minute the aura of invincibility which the mullahs enjoy is shattered, and with it the ability to hoodwink the West, the Iranian regime will collapse”—like the former Communist regimes in Romania, East Germany, and the Soviet Union. Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz share that belief, he said.
“The idea that an American attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities would produce a popular uprising is extremely illinformed,” said Flynt Leverett, a Middle East scholar who worked on the National Security Council in the Bush Administration. “You have to understand that the nuclear ambition in Iran is supported across the political spectrum, and Iranians will perceive attacks on these sites as attacks on their ambitions to be a major regional player and a modern nation that’s technologically sophisticated.”
Sorry 'bout the long quote.
The Reader's Digest version
Acting on information from Pakistani scientists knowledgeable about Iran's nuclear programme, Hersh reported, US commandos have penetrated territory in eastern Iran seeking to pinpoint underground installations suspected of being nuclear weapons sites.
Hersh told CNN yesterday: "I think they really think there's a chance to do something in Iran, perhaps by summer, to get the intelligence on the sites.
"The last thing this government wants to do is to bomb or strafe, or missile attack, the wrong targets again. We don't want another WMD flap. We want to be sure we have the right information."
The New Yorker report said the Americans have been conducting secret reconnaissance missions over and inside Iran since last summer with a view to identifying up to 40 possible targets for strikes should the dispute over Iran turn violent.
My emphasis. Another self-fulfilling prophecy?
The whole notion that Bushco thinks they can start another war, while they continue to lose the war in Iraq, has me befuddled. WTF?
From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001
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