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Shifting Targets - The Administration’s plan for Iran by Seymour Hersh

This summer, the White House, pushed by the office of Vice-President Dick Cheney, requested that the Joint Chiefs of Staff redraw long-standing plans for a possible attack on Iran, according to former officials and government consultants... Now the emphasis is on 'surgical' strikes on Revolutionary Guard Corps facilities in Tehran and elsewhere, which, the Administration claims, have been the source of attacks on Americans in Iraq. What had been presented primarily as a counter-proliferation mission has been reconceived as counterterrorism... The former intelligence official added...'Meanwhile, the politicians are saying, 'You can’t do it, because every Republican is going to be defeated, and we’re only one fact from going over the cliff in Iraq.' But Cheney doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the Republican worries, and neither does the President.'
Shifting Targets by Seymour Hersh
See also 'The President Has Accepted Ethnic Cleansing'
posted by y2karl on Oct 1, 2007 - 148 comments

 

From the Wonderful Folks Who Brought You Iraq

..."Shifting to StratCom indicates that they are talking about a really punishing air-force and naval air attack [on Iran]," says Lang. ..."If they write a plan like that and the president issues an execute order, the forces will execute it. He's got the power to do that as commander-in-chief. We set that up during the Cold War. It may, after the fact, be considered illegal, or an impeachable offense, but if he orders them to do it, they will do it." ...by the end of February the United States will have enough forces in place to mount an assault on Iran. That, in the words of former national-security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, would be "an act of political folly" so severe that "the era of American preponderance could come to a premature end."
From the Wonderful Folks Who Brought You Iraq
Stepped up US preparations for war against Iran
The United States and Iran: the logic of war
How the press can prevent another Iraq
What to Ask Before the Next War
posted by y2karl on Feb 8, 2007 - 105 comments

Iran’s regional position is key to its strength

Iran's influence in Iraq has superseded that of the US, and it is increasingly rivalling the US as the main actor at the crossroads between the Middle East and Asia... As a result, the US-driven agenda for confronting Iran is severely compromised by the confident ease with which Iran sits in its region... The report also looks into the ideology of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and unpicks Iran’s complicated power structure. It claims that despite his popularity, Ahmadinejad neither holds an insurmountable position within Iran nor commands universal support for his outspoken foreign policy positions... On hostility with the US, the report argues that while the US may have the upper hand in ‘hard’ power projection, Iran has proved far more effective through its use of ‘soft' power. The report also holds a cautious view of the Iran-Israel relationship. It outlines four future scenarios for the relationship between the two states, one of which is the creation of a ‘cold-war’ style nuclear stand-off should Iran achieve nuclear capability.
Iran, its Neighbours and the Regional Crises
(full report in pdf)
See also Iran now the key power in Iraq, says UK think-tank
See also Iran 'boosted by war on terror'
posted by y2karl on Aug 23, 2006 - 21 comments

Watching Lebanon by Seymour M. Hersh: Washington’s interests in Israel’s war

In the days after Hezbollah crossed from Lebanon into Israel, on July 12th, to kidnap two soldiers, triggering an Israeli air attack on Lebanon and a full-scale war, the Bush Administration seemed strangely passive... The Bush Administration, however, was closely involved in the planning of Israel’s retaliatory attacks. President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney were convinced, current and former intelligence and diplomatic officials told me, that a successful Israeli Air Force bombing campaign against Hezbollah’s heavily fortified underground-missile and command-and-control complexes in Lebanon could ease Israel’s security concerns and also serve as a prelude to a potential American preëmptive attack to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations, some of which are also buried deep underground.
Test Case
posted by y2karl on Aug 13, 2006 - 78 comments

The Last Stand - See also Iran: Consequences Of A War

Inside the Pentagon, senior commanders have increasingly challenged the President’s plans, according to active-duty and retired officers and officials. The generals and admirals have told the Administration that the bombing campaign will probably not succeed in destroying Iran’s nuclear program. They have also warned that an attack could lead to serious economic, political, and military consequences for the United States. A crucial issue in the military’s dissent, the officers said, is the fact that American and European intelligence agencies have not found specific evidence of clandestine activities or hidden facilities; the war planners are not sure what to hit. “The target array in Iran is huge, but it’s amorphous,” a high-ranking general told me. “The question we face is, When does innocent infrastructure evolve into something nefarious?” The high-ranking general added that the military’s experience in Iraq, where intelligence on weapons of mass destruction was deeply flawed, has affected its approach to Iran. “We built this big monster with Iraq, and there was nothing there. This is son of Iraq,” he said.
The Last Stand
See also Iran: war by October?
See also The countdown to war
See also Iran: Consequences Of A War
posted by y2karl on Jul 2, 2006 - 62 comments

The Ongoing Iraqi Civil War To Date

Civil war. Surely this is an adjectival misnomer of the first rank. Of all of the various types of war, civil war -- that is, a violent conflict waged between opposing sides within a society -- has generally been the least mannerly and the most savage... By just about every meaningful standard that can be applied -- the reference points of history, the research criteria of political science, the contemporaneous reporting of on-the-ground observers, the grim roll of civilian and combatant casualties -- Iraq is now well into the bloody sequence of civil war. Dispense with the tentative locution "on the verge of." An active, if not full-boil, civil war is already a reality.
Shattering Iraq
See also Iraq: see no evil, hear no evil
Iran gaining influence, power in Iraq through militia
Bush's Strategy, Iraq's New Army Challenged by Ethnic Militias
Outside View: Iraq's Grim Lessons   More Inside
posted by y2karl on Dec 14, 2005 - 93 comments

Soldiers of the Hidden Imam

What of Iran's nuclear program? That was not a pressing concern for the young people I met. None of them raised the issue in conversation with me. When I asked them about it, they fell into two groups... Yet both insisted with equal vehemence that an American or Israeli bombing of nuclear installations, let alone an Iraq-style invasion, would be a wholly unacceptable response to Iran's nuclear ambitions... A perceptive local analyst reinforced the point. Who or what, he asked, could give this regime renewed popular support, especially among the young? "Only the United States!" If... whatever we do to slow down the nuclearization of Iran does not end up merely slowing down the democratization of Iran; and if, at the same time, we can find policies that help the gradual social emancipation and eventual self-liberation of Young Persia, then the long-term prospects are good. The Islamic revolution, like the French and Russian revolutions before it, has been busy devouring its own children. One day, its grandchildren will devour the revolution

Soldiers of the Hidden Imam
posted by y2karl on Oct 14, 2005 - 32 comments

Regarding Blood And Oil

Whereas, in the past, national power was thought to reside in the possession of a mighty arsenal and the maintenance of extended alliance systems, it is now associated with economic dynamism and the cultivation of technological innovation. To exercise leadership in the current epoch, states are expected to possess a vigorous domestic economy and to outperform other states in the development and export of high-tech goods. While a potent military establishment is still considered essential to national security, it must be balanced by a strong and vibrant economy. 'National security depends on successful engagement in the global economy,' the Institute for National Security Studies observed in a recent Pentagon study.

Regarding Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency by Michael T. Klare, here is an excerpt from the book and here is his most recent article--Oil and the Coming War With Iran. Well, at least he has been consistent--consider The Geopolitics of War, Wars Without End, Oiling the Wheels of War, and Imperial Reach from his articles for The Nation alone. Here is an excerpt from his previous Resource Wars and here is Scraping the bottom of the barrel and Bush-Cheney Energy Strategy: Procuring the Rest of the World's Oil. Well, as to his position on current events, I don't think we need to draw a picture here.
posted by y2karl on Apr 13, 2005 - 52 comments

Clouds Over Iran: The Past Roots of Unintended Consequences Present

In Clouds Over Iran, Stephen Kinzer. author of All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, meditates upon the current confrontation in a review of Christopher de Bellaigue's 'In the Rose Garden of the Martyrs': Reflections on Iran. Also by Kinzer, Iran and Guatemala, 1953-54 - Revisiting Cold War Coups and Finding Them Costly. And here is a biography of Mohammed Mossadegh, who, Time magazine named 1951's Man of the Year and who the Iranian.com names Iranian of the Century (More inside, of course...)
posted by y2karl on Mar 7, 2005 - 13 comments

What are the US and Israel really afraid of in Iran?

What are the US and Israel really afraid of in Iran?
From Political Theory Daily Review
posted by y2karl on Oct 6, 2004 - 11 comments

A Temporary Coup

"A Temporary Coup" -- after a brief commercial, read Salon's interview with CIA historian Thomas Powers, who wrote The Trouble with the CIA and The Failure previously for the NYRB, and herein relates a tale of terror and truly Byzantine intrigue.
posted by y2karl on Jun 14, 2004 - 6 comments

A War Crime or an Act of War?

A War Crime or an Act of War?

But the truth is, all we know for certain is that Kurds were bombarded with poison gas that day at Halabja. We cannot say with any certainty that Iraqi chemical weapons killed the Kurds. This is not the only distortion in the Halabja story. ..

This much about the gassing at Halabja we undoubtedly know: it came about in the course of a battle between Iraqis and Iranians. Iraq used chemical weapons to try to kill Iranians who had seized the town, which is in northern Iraq not far from the Iranian border. The Kurdish civilians who died had the misfortune to be caught up in that exchange. But they were not Iraq's main target.

And the story gets murkier: immediately after the battle the United States Defense Intelligence Agency investigated and produced a classified report, which it circulated within the intelligence community on a need-to-know basis. That study asserted that it was Iranian gas that killed the Kurds, not Iraqi gas. (NYT)
posted by y2karl on Jan 31, 2003 - 34 comments

The Iranian Secular Opposition Movement

The Iranian Secular Opposition Movement. I came upon this via another item I found on Plastic.com. (Where, BTW, one of the more cogent comments in the related thread was by one MayorBob) So, I'm wondering where does this lead to? The first line of that wretched 60s hit Eve Of Destruction does come to mind... Has anyone else heard anything about this?
posted by y2karl on Oct 25, 2001 - 6 comments

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