A speculation on a possible Bush Iran Strategy
5/1/2007 00:00 Hours Tehran Time - Israel will attack significant plants and bottle necks in Iran's nuclear program with the covert help of American forces. American forces surround Iran in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Persian Gulf. Israel could not attack Iran without the knowledge and acquiescence of American forces.
An attack by Israel allows the Administration to claim it has no plans to attack Iran.
I suspect, within the next few months, the Administration will temporarily suspend military aid to Israel on the pretext that American made cluster bombs were used in Lebanon against civilian targets. This will be found to be in contravention of guidelines for their use even though civilian neighborhoods were thoroughly leafleted before bombing. This action will help the Administration claim no association with Israel's attack.
The U.S. Carrier Stennis is scheduled to arrive in the Gulf at the end of February. It is admittedly going to the Gulf to put pressure on Iran. On 12/23/2006, Security Council Resolution 1737 set sanctions against Iran and gave her 60 days to stop uranium enrichment or face additional sanctions. The Stennis will arrive at the end of these 60 days.
More Patriot missiles and minesweepers are being sent to the region (2/10/2007 The Guardian by Ewen MacAskill).
Newsweek has learned that a third carrier will likely follow the Stennis (2/19/2007 Newsweek p.30). The Ike Strike Group has been in the Gulf since the end of October and should end its six month deployment at the end of April. I anticipate another strike group will be sent to relieve the Ike and should be in the Gulf at the end of April for a total of at least three carrier groups in the Gulf that normally has just one group.
The surge of 21,500 troops in Iraq was originally scheduled to occur in stages with all troops deployed by May. This in spite of the fact that the Joint Chiefs (12/19/2006 SDUT p.A13), General Abizaid, and General Casey all believed it wouldn't work. I submit the possibility the troops are also being deployed to deal with Iran's response to Israel's attack.
The Administration has asked for an additional $100 billion over $70 billion already approved for Iraq and Afghanistan just to pay expenses through 9/2007 and $145 billion through 9/2008. The defense budget for 2008 will be increased 11.3% to a record $481 billion, not including the $145 billion. (2/3/2007 SDUT p.A1 and 2/11/2007 SDUT p.G1) I submit the possibility increases will be necessary for actions against Iran.
Iran's President Admadinejad has said Iran's nuclear technology advances will gradually be made public over the next two months until April 9th, the one year anniversary of Iran's announcement that it had enriched uranium for the first time (2/12/2007 SDUT p.A14). I submit these new disclosures will be used to help rationalize an attack.
The Administration will continue to ramp up the rhetoric against Iran to justify Israel's actions. We have been told there is significant evidence showing Iran's involvement in destabilizing Iraq, but presentation of that evidence was repeatedly delayed (2/3/2007 LA Times p.A1). Evidence of Tehran's involvement is ambiguous and Intel officials couldn't agree about the info (2/12/2007 Newsweek p.9). General Pace has said the following, "We know that explosively formed projectiles are manufactured in Iran. What I would not say is that the Iranian government per se knows about this. It is clear that Iranians are involved and it is clear that materials from Iran are involved, but I would not say based on what I know that the Iranian government clearly knows or is complicit." (2/13/2007 SDUT p.A3)
At least one former White House official contends that some Bush advisers secretly want an excuse to attack Iran. "They intend to be as provocative as possible and make the Iranians do something (America) would be forced to retaliate for," says Hillary Mann, the Administration's former National Security Council director for Iran and Persian Gulf Affairs. (2/19/2007 Newsweek p.30)
I anticipate the surge will fail. Mokhtar Lamani, the Arab League's envoy to Iraq has just resigned after eight months of trying to reconcile Iraq's factions. He did not believe there could be a political solution (2/5/2007 SDUT p.A13). And, no military action will be effective without a political solution.
The failure of the surge will be irrelevant, however, after Iran declares asymmetrical war on Israel and America. Messrs. Olmert and Bush will join Saddam Hussein in the ranks of unprovoked aggressors who have attacked Iran, and the perpetual war will continue.
Demand Congress place two restrictions on all defense appropriations. First, no American forces should undertake offensive actions against Iran. Second, no American forces should help Israel undertake offensive actions against Iran.
Ask our military leaders to stand by their oaths to support the Constitution. If Congress doesn't vote, they must refuse illegal, executive orders to attack Iran or assist Israel in attacking Iran.
Respectfully submitted by John F Scanlon San Diego CA 858 538 1434
SDUT San Diego Union Tribune Newspaper
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Phyllis Bennis recommends restrictions on defense appropriations similar to the 1983 Boland amendment.