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."If the officer is right, the Administration might not even be planning to get Congressional approval before attacking Iran.
"[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."
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.