The specter of a rapidly escalating conflict has triggered fierce opposition inside the Pentagon to any attack on Iran by either Israel or the U.S., The Sunday Times reported. “The uniform people are opposed to the attack plans, mainly because they think it will endanger our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the newspaper quoted its Pentagon source as saying.
There is good reason for Pentagon insiders to be worried:
# Iran is a far stronger regional military power today than Iraq was under Saddam Hussein.
# It fought Iraq to a bloody draw in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War.
# It acquired as many as 140 Iraqi warplanes -- most of them Soviet-built MiGs -- during the 1991 Gulf War when Iraqi pilots fled to Iran rather than battle with U.S. warplanes.
Iranian IRBMs Could Strike as Far Away as Europe, Russia, India
Iran’s state-run media reported that among the round of missiles it test-fired last week included a modified Shahab-3 intermediate-range ballistic missile, which has a claimed range of 1,250 miles and could theoretically deliver a one-ton nuclear warhead over Israeli cities.
Tel Aviv, Israel's largest city, lies about 650 miles from western Iran. General Hossein Salami, a senior Revolutionary Guard commander, boasted that “our hands are always on the trigger and our missiles are ready for launch.”
If the Iranians' claim about the Shahab-3's 1,250-mile range is accurate, it could strike targets as far away as Europe, Russia, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Next to Israel, Saudi Arabia -- home of the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina and the spiritual heartland of Sunni Islam -- is also deeply worried about an attack on its soil by the Shiite-dominated Islamic republic, which Riyadh considers its no. 1 enemy within the Islamic world.
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ACLU MOUNTS LEGAL CHALLENGE TO REVISED SURVEILLANCE LAW OVER WARRANTLESS WIRETAPS, TELECOM IMMUNITY
The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit Thursday to stop the government from conducting surveillance without court warrants under a newly-revised survaillance law that gives the Bush administration virtually unchecked power to intercept Americans' international e-mails and telephone calls.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York, was filed on behalf of a broad coalition of attorneys and human rights, labor, legal and media organizations whose ability to perform their work -- which relies on confidential communications -- will be greatly compromised by the revised Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that received final congressional approval and was quickly signed into law Wednesday by President Bush.
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