Here I must reveal a trade secret and risk puncturing the mystique of intelligence analysis. Generally speaking, 80 percent of the information one needs to form judgments on key intelligence targets or issues is available in open media. It helps to have been trained -- as my contemporaries and I had the good fortune to be trained -- by past masters of the discipline of media analysis, which began in a structured way in targeting Japanese and German media in the 1940s. But, truth be told, anyone with a high school education can do it. It is not rocket science....A DC conference coming up on our war with Iran.
In short, it seems possible that Rove, who is no one's dummy and would not want to be required to "spin" an unnecessary war on Iran, may have lost the battle with Cheney over the merits of a military strike on Iran, and only then decided -- or was urged -- to spend more time with his family. As for Administration spokesperson Tony Snow, it seems equally possible that, before deciding he had to leave the White House to make more money, he concluded that his stomach could not withstand the challenge of conjuring up yet another Snow job to explain why Bush/Cheney needed to attack Iran....
The conclusion of the most recent published NIE (early 2005) was that Iran probably could not acquire a nuclear weapon until "early to mid-next decade," a formula memorized and restated by Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell at his confirmation hearing in February....
Despite the administration's war-like record, many Americans may still cling to the belief that attacking Iran won't happen because it would be crazy; that Bush is a lame-duck president who wouldn't dare undertake yet another reckless adventure when the last one went so badly.
But rationality and common sense have not exactly been the strong suit of this administration. Bush has placed himself in a neoconservative bubble that operates with its own false sense of reality.
Former pentagon military analyst Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski:
All the signs are there, the suggestions that Iranian bombs are killing American soldiers, that’s not true, but it’s certainly been made in, I think every American newspaper, the suggestion that Iran is somehow killing Americans. The suggestion that Iran has nuclear weapons, is imminently close to nuclear weapons. That is not true but that’s been, those claims are made, even by this Administration. The idea that we have two carrier battle groups currently in the region and in fact I just saw today, Admiral Walsh, one of the big guys in the Navy said that we’re very concerned about what Iran is doing even more so than Al Qaeda. So there, all the signs are there that we are being, we’re going to wake up one morning soon, very soon, and we will be at war with Iran. We will have bombed them in some sort of shock and awe campaign destroying many lives and setting back US relations even further than we’ve already done it with Iraq.Karen elsewhere:
You know, I think the, one of the big reasons that Bush and Cheney think they can do Iran is that they believe, well, they’re hearing from the Air Force and the Navy, two of the three main branches of our military, the two that have been left out of the glory of Iraq, you see. And those guys want a piece of the action, and so they’re advertising to the Administration and publicly, I mean you can read it for yourself, the Air Force and the Navy have targets they believe they can overwhelmingly hit their targets, deep penetration, possibly nuclear weapons, I mean, nothing is off the table as Dick Cheney says “nothing is off the table.” And the delivery of these weapons, whether they’re conventional or nuclear will be naval and Air Force. They’ll be Navy from the sea and Air Force form long range bombers and some of the bases that we have around the… so I don’t think, certainly, I don’t know, I’m not in the Army, wasn’t in the Army, I was in the Air Force, I don’t think the Army could support any type of invasion of Iran and they wouldn’t’ want to. I’m sure that they’ve, they’ve had enough with Iraq and our reserves are in terrible condition. We’ve got huge problems in the Army and in the Reserve system. So I don’t think there’s any intention to go into Iran, but simply to destroy it and to create havoc and disruption and humanitarian crisis and topple perhaps the government of Ahmadinejad. We want to topple that government. Yeah, we’ll do it with bombs from a distance. I don’t know if you call that shock and awe, we’ve been advertising it for a long, long time. It will not be a surprise to the Iranians if we do it....
The facts are, we are in Iraq, we have the finest military installations in the world, the newest military installations in the world, and we’re not leaving them. We’re not turning them over to a Shiite government, we’re not turning them over to a Sunni government, we’re not turning them over to a Kurdish government. We’re not doing that. They are American bases. We’ve got our flag there. And this is kind of the way they used to do things, I guess back in the Middle Ages.
Karl’s departure leaves Bush to oversee his daughter’s upcoming wedding, and Cheney to finish his neoconservative mission. That mission is to solidify American military bases and presence in Iraq, in Afghanistan and in Kuwait and Qatar – and maintain it in Turkey, in order to deal with the last upstart in the region that would politically challenge both our will and that of our biggest little military ally in the region. The $30 billion in aid over the next ten years represents just the military aid we provide Israel, not the economic, and it represents a 25% increase over the status quo.The lack of context in American mass media. Why Cheney will probably get his disastrous war.
Our other friends weren’t left out, either. Congress funded all our little despotic helpers, with Egypt receiving $13 billion over ten years, and Saudi Arabia sharing around $20 billion in military aid with some of the other Gulf states.
$63 billion over ten years isn’t that much. When we went into Iraq in 2003, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that on the high side, the occupation of Iraq would cost $48 billion a year, and last about 18 months. That’s about $63 billion, nothing really.
Except, our occupation of Iraq – so far – has set American taxpayers up for a $2 trillion bill. Cost of war.com, looking only at explicit military expenditures, shows us at half a trillion. All that and still no clean water or electricity in Baghdad....
Dick "Hopeless" Cheney saw a ray of sunlight when Rove announced his departure. With Congress corralled and patiently waiting for the next imperial command, no one stands in the way of Cheney’s desired strikes on Iran in the name of "fighting terror," and endless, mysterious neoconservative war in the Middle East.
Bolton: I ‘Absolutely’ Hope The U.S. Will Attack Iran In The Next ‘Six Months’
Iraqi insurgents = Al-Qaeda = Khmer Rouge. Anyone who believes that has a screw loose and will shortly add "Iran =" to the equation.