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Washington Think-Tank Cultivating 'Last Resort' Against Iran and Priming Next President

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Timmerman viciously attacked Thomas Fingar, chair of the National Intelligence Council, and others involved in preparing the NIE all the while quoting himself from the book he authored that was released a few weeks earlier entitled Shadow Warriors: The Untold Story of Traitors, Saboteurs, and the Party of Surrender. It’s unclear whether he was suggesting Dr. Fingar was a traitor, a saboteur or just a wimp.

James Phillips of the Heritage Foundation urged readers not to be misled by the NIE. Despite the NIE’s high confidence that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program, Phillips warned of the danger of "disinformation or misinformation." His answer was that it was "Time for Team B." He said the president should establish an independent panel of experts to examine the evidence assembled in the NIE. Either the U.S. intelligence agencies' experts were not expert enough for Mr. Phillips’ liking or their findings were not to his liking.

Podhoretz, Timmerman and Phillips are all members of The Committee on the Present Danger co-chaired by WINEP’s advisory board member, R. James Woolsey.

When committed to your hand – double down.

With the November 2007 NIE in mind would Michael Eisenstadt, for the third year, reintroduce the Complex Calculus? In June 2008, it resurfaced. This time primarily as an annex to a 45-page publication called Agenda: Iran. The Last Resort: Consequences of Preventive Action against Iran coauthored with colleague Patrick Clawson.

The authors assert that the study does not advocate military action – the time is not right and they don’t know the level of target intelligence available to the U.S. The Last Resort does lay out the "prerequisites for a successful policy of preventive action should the United States decide to go this route." A precursory look finds they favor prevention over deterrence while only feigning interest in diplomacy. Undoubtedly what it does is provide that all important blueprint for a preventive strike not only militarily, but politically.

There is no hiding the resentment the authors have for the release of the NIE findings. They blame lack of support for preventive action by allies and even Iranians on the intelligence community "seemingly soft-pedaling Iran’s nuclear ambitions."

The article speaks to the proper conditions both in the U.S. and Iran for a preventive strike to be accepted and successful. One scenario they describe is if Iran were to withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In January 2007 John Bolton, former US ambassador to the UN and perennial cheerleader for bombing Iran, in a conference call reportedly with members of AIPAC, expressed disappointment that Iran had not withdrawn from the NPT in response to the UN Security Council Resolution passed the month before. "I actually hoped they would. That kind of reaction," he told them "would produce a counter-reaction that actually would be more beneficial to us."

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Smoking-gun evidence presents a dilemma for the authors. Striking in the absence of it would create a challenge militarily in terms of target intelligence and could evoke sympathy for Iran. Attacking Iran in the presence of smoking-gun proof, they report, could be "tantamount to going to war with a nuclear Iran." And, waiting for it "may amount to de facto acquiescence in a nuclear-armed Iran." The language is familiar.

"The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." Condoleezza Rice, September 8, 2002.

"Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof - the smoking gun - that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud." President George W. Bush, October 7, 2002.

Nuclear facilities are not the only targets Eisenstadt and Clawson consider worthy of bombing. They also eye Iran’s oil infrastructure. They admit it may result in soaring oil prices and poor economic growth, but quickly add those problems are "not clearly the greater evil."

They also suggest coupling strikes on nuclear facilities with strikes on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard and the Ministry of Intelligence. This combined with the prospect that repeated strikes may be required, preventive military action begins to emerge as a widespread military campaign.

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Also discussed is an Israeli strike versus U.S. strike. While Israel may be more disposed to taking preventive action, they say, it will likely engender more international criticism. They question the effectiveness of an Israeli-led strike versus one led by the U.S. military. Given that many will conclude that the U.S. at the very least gave the green light, they offer a few suggestions including the U.S. preempting a strike by Israel or proposing a joint U.S.-Israel action.

Prevention, they say, would involve a significant risk of retaliation by the Iranians and may only delay the nuclear program most likely requiring future military action. Not mentioned are casualties or financial burdens. But, when discussing deterrence they employ phrases like "catastrophic failure" and the "deaths of hundreds of thousands, if not millions." What is clearly not acceptable in connection to a policy of deterrence is a resultant "ambiguous nuclear weapons capability."

Taking the Show on the Road

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Cheryl Biren is a Philadelphia-based researcher, writer, editor and photographer with a focus on social justice. From 2007-2011, she served on the editorial board of Opednews.com.

Cheryl has also consulted for the Rob Kall Radio Show with (more...)
 

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Thanks, Cheryl, for pulling together several diffe... by Rady Ananda on Saturday, Oct 25, 2008 at 6:52:50 AM
thanks rady. i keep hoping america will snap out o... by Cheryl Biren on Saturday, Oct 25, 2008 at 1:40:07 PM
Another crooked AIPAC stunt that will put our nati... by John Hanks on Saturday, Oct 25, 2008 at 9:13:35 AM
Thank you Cheryl. Excellent, informative piece of ... by Jennifer Hathaway on Saturday, Oct 25, 2008 at 2:02:58 PM
Maybe they'll need another "Pearl Harbor&... by Larry McCombs on Saturday, Oct 25, 2008 at 2:36:46 PM
But of course, I already knew they would never, EV... by Syndi Yellowbird on Saturday, Oct 25, 2008 at 4:05:45 PM
of fascist's Goon's and Thug's in control during t... by Stanimal on Saturday, Oct 25, 2008 at 5:04:12 PM
Dumbya is suddenly aware of his soon to be hideous... by Steven Leser on Saturday, Oct 25, 2008 at 5:56:25 PM
to agree with you about bush right now. however, i... by Cheryl Biren on Saturday, Oct 25, 2008 at 6:31:14 PM
Regarding Kenneth R. Timmerman who is mentioned in... by Munich on Saturday, Oct 25, 2008 at 7:27:41 PM
what pattern? just kidding. yea, of course it'... by Cheryl Biren on Saturday, Oct 25, 2008 at 7:39:06 PM
Billiant analogy Cheryl.We gotta keep em sepa... by Munich on Saturday, Oct 25, 2008 at 8:21:00 PM
An odd thing happened last month. I looked at my y... by Peter Duveen on Saturday, Oct 25, 2008 at 11:26:18 PM
Thanks for mentioning UANI. Actually started ... by Cheryl Biren on Saturday, Oct 25, 2008 at 11:48:50 PM
This effort has a healthy budget behind it, becaus... by Peter Duveen on Sunday, Oct 26, 2008 at 7:58:27 AM
They want to use "scholarship" to foment... by Sandy Sand on Sunday, Oct 26, 2008 at 7:23:14 AM
hadn't even occurred to me, but now that you p... by Cheryl Biren on Sunday, Oct 26, 2008 at 7:34:00 AM
Thanks so much for this Cheryl.  I have alrea... by Jim Harris on Sunday, Oct 26, 2008 at 2:59:42 PM
As I and many others have outliined in other comme... by Ishmael1 on Sunday, Oct 26, 2008 at 3:15:39 PM
Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over a... by jeff prager on Monday, Oct 27, 2008 at 1:58:59 PM
Think tank faculties look like a way of paying-off... by vthom on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 5:02:25 PM
Looks so good I'd like to try it myself. What ... by vthom on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 5:18:21 PM
think tanks, the good, the bad and the ugly would ... by Cheryl Biren on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 6:08:34 PM
   foundations and institutes are highbr... by vthom on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 9:37:36 PM
While you're at the thank tink project maybe y... by vthom on Thursday, Oct 30, 2008 at 4:15:51 AM

 

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