Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Prediction: Administration Will Attack Iran

For weeks and months, some of the most level headed and astute bloggers on the net, such as Glenn Greenwald, have warned us of a movement among neocons to attack Iran. This evening, Democracy Now stated in its Wednesday broadcast:

There are reports that Vice President Dick Cheney's office has issued instructions to conservative think tanks to start a drumbeat for attacking Iran. On Monday the American Enterprise Institute is hosting two events related to Iran. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is giving a speech on how the war on terrorism should be viewed as a "a world war that pits civilization against terrorists and their state sponsors who wish to impose a new dark age." Later in the day former CIA director Jim Woolsey and others will meet to discuss a new book by longtime Iran hawk Michael Leeden titled "The Iranian Time Bomb: The Mullah Zealots" Quest for Destruction." The Heritage Foundation recently hosted an interagency Bush administration war game attempting to anticipate Iranian responses to a U.S. bombing campaign.
In conjunction with conservative institutions, the Administration seems to be putting out the story that an attack on Iran would only involve intense bombing. But the Administration's goal in attacking Iran is regime change: How they plan to bring about a regime more favorable to the West with air attacks alone seems "problematic". Of course, this Administration is unknown for strategic brilliance. Moreover, Iraq has shown that it is fully capable of creating and then acting on fantasy. So, maybe it is prepared to attack Iran, like it did Iraq, on some vague hope that all will work out well in the end.

If recent history is any guide, Congress will offer the Administration no resistance.

Again, if recent history is any guide, the mainstream media will swallow whatever excuses the Administration has for attacking Iran. They will serve as nothing much more than a mouthpiece for the Administration. So, while there will be a pretense of debate in this country over whether it's a good idea or not to attack Iran, the media will be so solidly in support of the Administration that the national debate will only be a pretense.

All in all, things don't look so good for anyone who doubts an attack on Iran at this point in time is the wisest thing we could do.

UPDATE: The Mahablog has posted an interview this evening with an officer on a carrier attack group that is deploying into the Gulf of Hormuz. The officer, a woman with years of experience in both the Marines and the Navy, tells Mahablog:
"Yes. We're going to hit Iran, bigtime. Whatever political discussions that are going on is window dressing... I see what is going on below deck here in the hangers and weapons bays."

"[A]ll the Air Operation Planning and Asset Tasking are finished."

"We are shipping in and assigning every damn Tomahawk we have in inventory. I think this is going to be massive and sudden, like thousands of targets. I believe that no American will know when it happens until after it happens."
If the officer is right, the Administration might not even be planning to get Congressional approval before attacking Iran.

UPDATE II: Barnett R. Rubin writes at the "Informed Comment Global Affairs" blog that the first goal of the PR campaign is, "to get support in polls up to about 35-40%", while the second and more important goal is, "to intimidate the Democrats in Congress, in particular through AIPAC and allied groups, so that they will not use either the power of the purse or Congress’ war powers to impede the attack."

Given the Democrat's recent history of bending over and handing the KY jelly to Bush and Cheney whenever they are asked to, I don't think the Administration will have much problem accomplishing that second goal.


C. L. Hanson said...

This is absolutely horrifying, and it looks like it is very much the direction in which we're headed.

I've been reading a few books about Iran lately (partially because of this looming crisis), and I've learned some interesting things. (Please see my latest article about Persepolis.) There are huge problems in Iran caused by the repressive, theocratic government. And bombing them will make the problem one hundred times worse on every front. Peaceful civilians who might otherwise have been pushing for reforms will be fearing for their lives and expecting their government to give a military response. The Iranian government will have that much more leeway to justify rounding up and executing dissidents. The entire Muslim world will be saying that the U.S. is a dangerous agressor nation that is out to kill every Muslim without provocation, and it will be pretty hard to contradict them on it...

This is another reason why impeachment is so urgent. It almost looks like the administration is deliberately trying to start a new war specifically for the purpose of avoiding impeachment (because, one might argue, it is very dangerous to have your commander-in-chief mired in impeachment proceedings when he needs to be giving the orders to protect the American public from those Iranians that he attacked...).

Paul said...

Hi Chanson! I have no idea why Nancy Pelosi took impeachment off the table, but I think she miscalculated when she did. Impeachment seems the only way to stop these lunatics, and by taking it off the table, she has effectively given them a license to do what they will.

I could not agree with you more that a bombing campaign against Iran is unlikely to effect a regime change. Far more likely, is the bleak picture you paint of an Iranian people united behind their tyrants and a Muslim world outraged at the US. Add to that, the US is likely to win the distrust -- even the animosity -- of nearly every government in the world. I cannot imagine any good coming of this to anyone. It's sheer insanity.

Priyank said...

I think the US will not attack Iran until mid-2009. Thats when the US economy will start stagnating again (due to various factors). Economic theories suggest that wars are best ways to stir economic development in a country.
Just another perspective :)

Mahendra said...

I am inclined to be an optimist at this stage - I hope that better sense will prevail and the US will not attack Iran at present.

Paul said...

Hi Priyank! That's an interesting perspective. By 2009, Bush will be out of office and -- depending on who's president -- we might see your prediction come true. The American Foreign Policy Community has many strong proponents of attacking Iran within it.

Hi Mahendra! I fervently hope you are right! If the Administration has any sense at all, we will not attack Iran while we are tied up in Iraq. So, I guess the question comes down to, "How much sense do they have"?

Rambodoc said...

I think Iran's nuclear facilities should have been decimated ages back. No one had the balls to do so, and now the problem is huge. But if they have even one bomb, they will dump it on Israel before being bombed out of existence.

Paul said...

I'm afraid you might be right, Rambodoc.

Mahendra said...

Me too. That is a very real possibility.

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