I don't think it's at all out of line to criticize Iran, or even declare military force against them an option, IF that military force is directed against some PROVEN provocation or some assault on our nation, including against our forces. It's a separate issue (not an unimportant one) that Bush has placed our soldiers in harm's way in Iraq and elsewhere. They shouldn't be anyone's targets for unwarranted assault. The U.S. can never tolerate any LEGITIMATE outside threat to our nation or our citizens, and that includes from Iran.
That said, there has been absolutely NO EVIDENCE of any threat to our nation or our citizens from the GOVERNMENT of Iran as Bush and other U.S. politicians claim. Reports yesterday indicated that the Bush administration has "postponed" plans to publish a "dossier" of Iranian interference in Iraq because they were "divided over the strength of the US evidence."
Indeed the same day there were reports that the incidents of Iranian assistance in the Iraq violence they intended to highlight were actually committed by Iraqi generals instead. Two senior Iraq generals have been implicated in an attack against American forces in Karbala on Jan. 20th that killed 5 American soldiers. The kidnapping and killing of the 5 soldiers had previously been blamed on Iranian elements.
The question of Iranian interference in Iraq is even more muddled when considering the conclusions of the new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) which suggest Iran's meddling is far less than Bush is claiming (surprised?).
from the report: (http://www.dni.gov/press_releases/20070202_release.pdf)"Iraq's neighbors influence, and are influenced by, events within Iraq, but the involvement of these outside actors is not likely to be a major driver of violence or the prospects for stability because of the self-sustaining character of Iraq's internal sectarian dynamics. Nonetheless, Iranian lethal support for select groups of Iraqi Shia militants clearly intensifies the conflict in Iraq."
The U.S. intelligence report plays down the Iranian influence in Iraq, then asserts anyway that "lethal support for select groups of Iraqi Shia militants" has 'intensified' the violence in Iraq. Whose escalation is this anyway?
All of this is not to say that there aren't individuals and, possibly, organizations in Iran which would oppose our military 'interests', but, the Iranian GOVERNMENT has only declared they'd repel those military 'interests' within their OWN borders. If Bush doesn't threaten their sovereign nation, they don't threaten ours.
It's Bush's 'interest' in suppressing Iran's oil influence which is the ONLY reason that Bush is using the weight of our nation's defenses to pressure the Iranian government and destabilize yet another oil power in the region. After bombing Iran everywhere the Bush regime claims the 'underground nuclear bunkers' they imagine are located with our own nuclear bunker-busters, self-described 'democracy czar' Elizabeth Cheney is ready to fly in a compliant sampling of Iranian exiles to assume power after they chase Mahmoud Ahmadinejad into his own hidey-hole.
The Bush regime wants this next preemptive assault to be legal-like. A military assault on Iran at this point can't be called 'legal'. There is no law or venue that the Bush regime has at their disposal that they can use to find Iran guilty of, or as an accomplice to, anything illegal. Their entire aggressive posture toward Iran is based on the 'decider's' fanciful imagination. There is no international law which would allow PREEMPTIVE military action against Iran for any of Bush's charges, outside of IMMEDIATE self-defense as with our soldiers in neighboring Iraq.
The U.N., which finally agreed to weak sanctions against Iran which are un-enforceable by military means, hasn't found ANY EVIDENCE at all of any ambition by Iran to transform it's uranium production from their stated peaceful purpose of energy production to making weapons as Bush, Cheney and their WH minions regularly claim in their speeches and interviews.
The box that Bush is constructing around Iran with our battleships and his heightened rhetoric is designed to provoke Iran, perhaps, into retaliating with some direct assault on our Iraq forces so Bush can have his manufactured pretext for his planned bombing raids. It's also likely that he wants to use the full sheaf of false authority he's used so far to keep our soldiers in place; spreading chaos and unrest, suppressing Iraq's ability to become an oil power again; reaching out to stifle Iran's oil influence; all at the behest of, and the furtherance of Bush and Cheney's relationships with their Saudi Arabian benefactors who want Iran's oil off the market.
The U.S. position on the oil was made transparently clear by then National Intelligence Director John Negroponte, who testified in a Feb.2 hearing last year that, "a combination of rising demand for energy and instability in oil-producing regions is increasing the geopolitical leverage of key producing states."
"Record oil revenues and diversification of its trading partners are further strengthening the Tehran government." Negroponte warned the senate committee. Negroponte and others in the Bush regime are worried that Iran will just 'diversify' or change who they sell their oil to; like to Russia or China, who both have major oil deals pending with Iran.
Also, it should be clear to everyone by now that Bush' militarism has alienated the very sources of oil that we rely on for a steady supply at a reasonable price. Just as a change in driving habits here in the U.S. could pressure the price, a decrease in Bush's saber-rattling would unquestionably bring oil prices back down to Earth, and not just for U.S. market. A decrease in militarism by this American regime would cause a revival of the international cooperation which marked past periods of relatively low oil costs.
"If you can stop the politicians from making negative statements, I am sure you will see almost 15 dollars disappear from the price." Qatar's oil minister told reporters at the peak of last year's oil price rise.
On the other hand, a continuation of the present intimidation campaign against Iran threatens to lead to an actual military attack which would ensure prohibitive oil prices would remain in place for years, marked by increases of over $100 a barrel. No amount of manipulation could wipe away that self-inflicted wound on our nation, come to pass as a result of the actions of this lame-duck loser.
Bush is intent on wrapping all of his inventions toward Iran into another imagined defense of our 'national security' in his self-appointed role as the protector of the world, but he's fashioned himself, and our nation, into the aggressor in this face-off of interests with Iran. The question which is absent from all of those who are advocating for an escalation of our military posture toward Iran is also the most important contradiction in Bush's military posture toward Iraq: What happened to the due process and adherence to law which are inherent in the democracy Bush claims to be defending in his aggression toward these sovereign nations?
Where is the EVIDENCE that Iran poses a threat to our national security to the degree that military action is legal and appropriate under our own laws and Constitution? Where is the EVIDENCE?