The U.S. military on Wednesday wrapped up a massive air-and-sea exercise meant as a public warning to Iran, as a skittish American ally — the United Arab Emirates — joined a list of Gulf countries declaring they would take no part in any attack on Iran.Op-Ed News:
The U.S. has denied any intention to attack Iran. But the public refusals of several countries to allow the United States to use their lands if any such action looms could affect U.S. military options, or require shifting of resources, if tensions did seriously escalate.
The United States has close to 40,000 troops in the Gulf, including 25,000 in Kuwait, 3,000 in Bahrain, 1,300 in the United Arab Emirates and a few hundred in Oman and Saudi Arabia, according to figures from the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center.
Qatar — home to 6,500 U.S. troops and the enormous al-Udeid air base, headquarters of all American air operations in the Middle East — has already said it would not permit an attack on Iran from its soil.
The Gulf Cooperation Council, a loose alliance of six Gulf Arab states, has also called on its members not to offer support to any U.S. action against Iran.
there are reports in the European press that American forces are massing along the Iraq border with Iran, even as the U.S. is conducting war games in the Gulf simulating an attack on Iran. There have also been reports for some time that US special forces have been operating in Iran, gathering intelligence and establishing coordinates on likely bombing targets, and perhaps linking with anti-government groups inside Iran that have been conducting terror attacks there. More recently there have been reports that the Bush administration has been using misappropriated Iraq reconstruction funds to finance Kurdish and Al Qaeda group attacks inside Iran.
Back in the U.S., the Bush administration succeeded in getting Congress to back off of attempts to include legislation barring the White House from attacking Iran without prior Congressional approval. Bush has already claimed that Iran is a terrorist nation and that he thus has the authority to attack that country at will because of the 2001 Congressional Authorization for Use of Military Force which was actually an authorization for the US attack on the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
It all would seem to point to the real possibility of an attack on Iran—a move that would be a war crime, that would be a disaster for the U.S., that would spark a global recession, and that would inflame the entire Middle East for years to come.
Do the oil traders know something that we in America should be knowing?
And why aren’t Congress and the US media discussing all this?