Saturday, September 08, 2007

Do you ever feel like Cassandra?

Harpers has an email from a former CIA analyst who initially didn't believe Bush would attack:
It looks like a military strike is in the works and I base that on two things: observable fact and the rhetoric emanating from the White House. There’s a lot of movement of troops and material into the region–it’s stuff the United States can’t hide. It’s a huge expense to put Navy battle groups in the Gulf and we’ve got three of them there. We’ve also moved new fighter planes to Guam amidst much public fanfare. You can plainly see the upturn in US Naval activity in and around the Norfolk Naval installations. The movement of ships, re-supply, ammunition loading and general level of activity is high.

The Naval facilities and the ammunition loading areas are well known, and the activity is readily visible, especially at night. There’s a stream of ships coming in to load up and when they take off new ones come in. There’s only one part of the world where all that stuff is heading. Also, everyone I know who would be involved in an attack on Iran–pilots and other air assets–is gone. Normally some of them are around but now all of them are away at the same time.

The other evidence of a likely strike is all the harsh talk from the White House. President Bush has been talking about Iran a lot more recently, and he put the Revolutionary Guard on the list of terrorist groups. Whatever you think of the president, he has said he won’t let Iran move forward with its nuclear program. I’d take him at his word.

And it’s doable. The only part of the military that’s not stretched to the limits in Iraq is the Air Force. It will be a multi-day, multi-target air campaign–not ‘Shock and Awe,’ which wasn’t shocking and didn’t awe anyone, but a savage blow struck against President Ahmadinejad. We shouldn’t hit Iran’s Navy or Air Force but target the nuclear sites and the Revolutionary Guard. A measured response helps Ahmadinejad because he’s saying the Americans won’t attack, or can’t hurt, Iran. A disproportionate response will be hard for him to explain to the Iranian public.
The last sentence is stupid. Even I would rally around Bush if Iran attacked our country. Iran, which has progressive elements, will unfortunately rally around their rulers under US attack.

Fox News is preparing the ill-informed and deluded people who watch it for the war.
It is deja vu circa 2003. A war weary American public has been lulled into complacency and like the proverbial rattle snake waiting in the weeds with one eye open just looking for the right time to strike, President Bush and FOX News are coiled and ready to unleash an attack on Iran. It is no longer a question of will Bush and the U.S. attack Iran, but when will the Iran attack be launched.
How is Iran reacting? Iran's leader is convinced Bush will not attack because A - it would be incredibly stupid, and B - God told him so.
"God says that those who walk in the path of righteousness will be victorious. What reason can you have for believing God will not keep this promise."

Washington has never ruled out taking military action against Tehran, and its tone has sharpened again over the past week with President George W. Bush warning that Iran's nuclear program could lead to a "nuclear holocaust."
Pat Buchanan, of all people, is exactly right in a short article, Has Bush Boxed Himself In?:
Initially, Americans might cheer the bombing of Iran, and Congress would head for the tall grass. But as U.S. strikes would be an act of war, rallying the Iranians behind the failing regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and igniting a long war the end of which we cannot see and the troops for which we do not have, there are powerful arguments against a new war.

Iran and the United States would both pay a hellish price, and Iran at least seems to recognize it. Both the Iraqi and Afghan governments say Iran is behaving as a good neighbor. There is evidence Tehran's nuclear program is faltering, or being curbed. Iran is said to be making concessions to U.N. inspectors.

Iran has released an American seized in response to our seizure of five Iranian "diplomats" in Iraq. Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, in a letter to the Washington Post, denies Iran is aiding the Iraqi insurgency and calls on the U.S. government to "proffer evidence" and "provide the list of Iranian agents who it alleges are operating in Iraq."

If there is a rush to war here, it is not on the part of Iran.

As Bush is preparing for war on Iran, if he has not already decided on war, where is Congress, which alone has the constitutional power to authorize a war?

Or has it given Bush and Cheney another blank check?
Warnings that very few people are heeding, agreeing with the reactionary Buchanan, this so reminds me of what I was doing pre-invasion Iraq.

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