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Is Bush planning an attack on Iran in March?


Douglas Caddy
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This article by Dilip Hori illustrates concisely how the era of American global dominance is in rapid decline. It has a direct bearing on the Bush Administration's plans launch a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, because America would find itself isolated and condemned by a powerful network of countries with strong economic and political ties.

http://www.alternet.org/audits/60489/?page=1

The emergence of this network, of which Iran is an integral part, is the result of diplomatic initiatives by countries such as China, Russia and Venezuela, who have earned the goodwill and trust of a wide range of countries on the basis of mutual benefit and respect for national sovereignty and culture, rather than the American approach of exploitation and imposition of its values, culture and political system on all other countries. While America has launched wars--both military and economic--and made enemies, these emerging resource superpowers have been quietly forging the economic and political alliances which will render America's tactic of economic and military intimidation far less threatening to countries in Africa, Asia and South America. In the case of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation, whose memebers comprise China, Russia and most of the countries bordering those states, America has been specifically excluded from even observer status, a status which has been granted to India, Pakistan, Mongolia and Iran.

When America finally pulls its head out of the sand of the Middle East, it will discover that it has been left behind.

Edited by Mark Stapleton
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Those who believe that the US will be invading Iran any time soon should read this:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?ed...rticle_id=84951

And what US CENTCOM Commander Adml. William Fallon has to say:

......None of those voices, however, consider how the US military, as an institution, might resist moves that could lead to such action. For example, Admiral William Fallon, the new commander of US Central Command, has rejected calls for a third carrier group to be sent to the Gulf as a message to the Iranians. War against Iran, he has said, "will not happen on my watch."

BK

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Those who believe that the US will be invading Iran any time soon should read this:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?ed...rticle_id=84951

And what US CENTCOM Commander Adml. William Fallon has to say:

......None of those voices, however, consider how the US military, as an institution, might resist moves that could lead to such action. For example, Admiral William Fallon, the new commander of US Central Command, has rejected calls for a third carrier group to be sent to the Gulf as a message to the Iranians. War against Iran, he has said, "will not happen on my watch."

BK

Interesting Bill, but not a totally convincing argument, imo.

The problem is this Administration's iron clad loyalty to Israel. Israel thinks Iran's attainment of nuclear weapons will spell the end for them. While I think the idea that Iran would launch a nuclear attack on Israel is sheer fantasy, designed to frighten the public into supporting any action targeting Iran, there is one possible consequence of a nuclear Iran which could spell trouble--Iran could place itself on nuclear alert, which would necessitate Israel following suit whenever Iran does this, making everyday life in Israel almost intolerable. This was an argument recently put forward by a neocon cheerleader in an Australian broadsheet, and I guess it is a fair point.

Judging by the sabre rattling from Washington and the predictable op-ed pieces in the mainstream media, I think a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities is possible. Of course, this is an act of war. I've read that if America doesn't have the will then Israel might go it alone. Both Israel and the US are capable of anything, imo. If such a course resulted in a revolt by the US military leaders, then fine. Maybe they can get rid of Bush before he can cause any more damage.

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<A href="http://www.dailystar.com.lb/arhttp://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=5&article_id=84951None%20of%20those%20voices,%20however,%20consider%20how%20the%20US%20military,%20as%20an%20institution,%20might%20resist%20moves%20that%20could%20lead%20to%20such%20action.%20For%20example,%20Admiral%20William%20Fallon,%20the%20new%20commander%20of%20US%20Central%20Command,%20has%20rejected%20calls%20for%20a%20third%20carrier%20group%20to%20be%20sent%20to%20the%20Gulf%20as%20a%20message%20to%20the%20Iranians.%20War%20against%20Iran,%20he%20has%20said,%20" target="_blank">

Those who believe that the US will be invading Iran any time soon should read this:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?ed...rticle_id=84951

And what US CENTCOM Commander Adml. William Fallon has to say:

......None of those voices, however, consider how the US military, as an institution, might resist moves that could lead to such action. For example, Admiral William Fallon, the new commander of US Central Command, has rejected calls for a third carrier group to be sent to the Gulf as a message to the Iranians. War against Iran, he has said, "will not happen on my watch."

BK

waterboard him! that's treasonous talk...the 'decider' decides...no one else!

Peter,

Admiral William Fallon is the highest ranking man in the Navy who did not attend the Naval Academy. He's also a distant cousin, once removed - we share the same Godmother - our Aunt Dottie Fallon. He comes from a large Irish - American family - attended Camden Catholic HS ten years ahead of me, Villanova University in Philadelphia, NROTC, served as a fighter pilot in Vietnam and commanded a carrier task force during the first Iraq war.

When the US sub sank a Jap fishing ship off Hawaii while demonstrating surfacing maneuvers to Texas Defense contractors, Fallon was sent to Japan to appologize, serious business to the Japanese. He was then appointed head of PACCOM - for three or four years before being given CENTCOM, commander of all US forces in the Middle East.

The first Hawk analysis of Fallon's appointement there was that his experience as commander of a carrier task force implied his mission was to attack Iran, but in fact, he is a shrude and effective negotiator, who like Teddy Roosevelt, speaks softly and carries a big stick.

BK

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Those who believe that the US will be invading Iran any time soon should read this:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?ed...rticle_id=84951

And what US CENTCOM Commander Adml. William Fallon has to say:

......None of those voices, however, consider how the US military, as an institution, might resist moves that could lead to such action. For example, Admiral William Fallon, the new commander of US Central Command, has rejected calls for a third carrier group to be sent to the Gulf as a message to the Iranians. War against Iran, he has said, "will not happen on my watch."

BK

Interesting Bill, but not a totally convincing argument, imo.

The problem is this Administration's iron clad loyalty to Israel. Israel thinks Iran's attainment of nuclear weapons will spell the end for them. While I think the idea that Iran would launch a nuclear attack on Israel is sheer fantasy, designed to frighten the public into supporting any action targeting Iran, there is one possible consequence of a nuclear Iran which could spell trouble--Iran could place itself on nuclear alert, which would necessitate Israel following suit whenever Iran does this, making everyday life in Israel almost intolerable. This was an argument recently put forward by a neocon cheerleader in an Australian broadsheet, and I guess it is a fair point.

Judging by the sabre rattling from Washington and the predictable op-ed pieces in the mainstream media, I think a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities is possible. Of course, this is an act of war. I've read that if America doesn't have the will then Israel might go it alone. Both Israel and the US are capable of anything, imo. If such a course resulted in a revolt by the US military leaders, then fine. Maybe they can get rid of Bush before he can cause any more damage.

Mark, I remember decades ago when Israel attacked Iranian nuke power plants.

By saying, "...if America doesn't have the will...." makes it sound like you would like that to happen again.

When Adml. Fallon says "Not on my watch," I don't think an attack on Iran is going to happen. At least don't bet on it. Doesn't seem like you can egg Fallon into a war with Iran, especially when he's very busy at the moment trying to put an end to Iraq.

BK

One recent report :

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gGklvwB...ZQFlqCdChoZg_RA

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Mark, I remember decades ago when Israel attacked Iranian nuke power plants.

By saying, "...if America doesn't have the will...." makes it sound like you would like that to happen again.

When Adml. Fallon says "Not on my watch," I don't think an attack on Iran is going to happen. At least don't bet on it. Doesn't seem like you can egg Fallon into a war with Iran, especially when he's very busy at the moment trying to put an end to Iraq.

BK

One recent report :

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gGklvwB...ZQFlqCdChoZg_RA

Bill,

You misread my intention. No way I want either Israel or the US to attack Iran. But I have read somewhere that some commentators think it's possible that Israel could strike the Iranian nuclear facilities should America decide it's too risky.

At the moment I would estimate the chances of a strike against Iran to be about 30-40%. There's too much downside. All the sabre rattling is probably designed to bluff Iran into abandoning its nuclear program, however at this point the bluff doesn't seem to be working. An attack would be disastrous. Iran is equipped with an effective missile deterrent: http://www.spacewar.com/2006/070610184915.89pghmna.html

It would not be a repeat of Israel's easy strike on the El Soraq reactor in Iraq in 1981, so here's hoping they are not stupid enough to try it.

Edited by Mark Stapleton
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Various people have predicted Bush was “about” to attack Iran since at least 2004. Though I don’t put anything past him I hope that he not so insane as to attempt such a thing. I imagine doing would me wide scale resistance in the US military.

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Various people have predicted Bush was “about” to attack Iran since at least 2004. Though I don’t put anything past him I hope that he not so insane as to attempt such a thing. I imagine doing would me wide scale resistance in the US military.

Last I looked Len, the Military (top brass included) took their orders from the President. They really have no choices but to follow a direct order, fail to follow a direct order and spend time in the brig, or resign. Unless you are advocating a coup.....

Edited by Craig Lamson
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Various people have predicted Bush was “about” to attack Iran since at least 2004. Though I don’t put anything past him I hope that he not so insane as to attempt such a thing. I imagine doing would me wide scale resistance in the US military.

Last I looked Len, the Military (top brass included) took their orders from the President. They really have no choices but to follow a direct order, fail to follow a direct order and spend time in the brig, or resign. Unless you are advocating a coup.....

Unfortunately for everyone , Bush is that insane .

And a coup d'etat might be the only means to stop him .

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Various people have predicted Bush was “about” to attack Iran since at least 2004. Though I don’t put anything past him I hope that he not so insane as to attempt such a thing. I imagine doing would me wide scale resistance in the US military.

Weekend Edition

September 8 / 9, 2007

CounterPunch Diary

Will the US Really Bomb Iran?

By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn09082007.html

"They're about taking out the entire Iranian military."

This particular spine-chiller comes from Alexis Debat, excitingly identified as "director of terrorism and national security" at the Nixon Center. According to Debat, the big takeout is what the U.S. Air Force has in store, as opposed to mere "pinprick strikes" against the infamous nuclear facilities.

Predicting imminent war on Iran has been one of the top two items in Cassandra's repertoire for a couple of years now, rivaled only by global warming as a sure-fire way to sell newspapers and boost website hits.

Debat was re-roasting that well-scorched chestnut, the "Shock and Awe" strategy, whereby-back in March of 2003-the U.S. Air Force proposed to reduce Iraq's entire military to smoldering ruins. In the event, "Shock and Awe" was a resounding failure, like all such pledges by Air Force commanders to destroy the enemy's military since the birth of aerial bombardments nearly a century ago. Such failures have never stopped the US Air Force from trying once again, and there are no doubt vivid attack plans now circulating the government.

Will it come to pass? In his memoirs, I Claud (which I'm happy to say CounterPunch Books/AK Press will be republishing next spring) my father offers a useful journalistic recipe on this matter of prediction.

Will it come to pass? In his memoirs, I Claud (which I'm happy to say CounterPunch Books/AK Press will be republishing next spring,) my father offers a useful recipe on this matter of prediction.

One morning, as we at length relaxed at breakfast by a brazier on the terrace of the Café du Dôme, he [Robert Dell, the diplomatic correspondent of the Manchester Guardian] said to me: "Do you want to get what used to be called a 'scoop' for your horrid little paper every day?" (The "horrid little paper" was, of course, the Daily Worker, whose diplomatic correspondent I then was.)

"That would be nice."

"Well then, all you have to do is to read all the continental papers available every morning, take lunch with one or more of Europe's leading politicians or diplomats, make up your mind what is the vilest action that, in the circumstances, the French, British, Italian or German government could undertake, and then, in the leisure of the afternoon, sit down at your typewriter and write a dispatch announcing that that is just what they are going to do. You can't miss. Your news will be denied two hours after it is published and confirmed after twenty four."

So, whether in 24 hours or 24 days or at some point before the end of his term, we should predict Bush will send the bombers on their way to Teheran to destroy the usual targets--power stations and kindred civilian infrastructure, hospitals, maybe a few bomb shelters crammed with women and children.

But will it really come to pass?

Despite the unending stream of stories across the months announcing that an attack on Iran is on the way, I've had my doubts. Amid the housing slump here, with the possibility of an inflationary surge as the credit balloon threatens to explode, would the US government really want to see the price of gas at the pump go over $5? What would Hugo Chavez do? Even a hiccup in flows from Venezuela would paralyze refineries here, specifically designed for Venezuelan crude. China has a big stake in Iran. It's also Uncle Sam's banker. The Chinese don't have to destroy the dollar, merely squeeze its windpipe, or revalue their currency enough to double retail prices in Wal-Mart. The Republicans and the presidential candidates wouldn't want that on the edge of an election year.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff know the Iraq War has almost broken the US Army. Wouldn't they adamantly oppose the notion of an attack on Iran, which would see Shiite resistance groups in Iraq cut US supply convoys from Kuwait bringing fuel and water to the big US bases? Wouldn't Shiite forces as a whole finally commence a campaign of eviction of the American occupier? Wouldn't this puncture the fantasy that General Petraeus' "surge" is working?

The other side of the ledger isn't hard to fill in either. The oil companies like a crisis that sends up the price of their commodity. The Chinese are a prudent lot and don't want to rock the world economy. Politically, both they and Russia would like to see the US compound the disaster in Iraq and get into a long-term mess in Iran. Israel wants an attack on Iran, and the Israel lobby calls the shots in US foreign policy. What Israel wants, Israel gets. The US peace movement is in disarray, and sizable chunks of it would be delighted to see bombs shower down on the woman-hating ayatollahs and Ahmadinejad, the holocaust denier.

Amid the disaster of their Middle Eastern strategy Bush and his advisors may hype themselves into one last desperate throw, emboldened by the fact that the selling of the surge has been a success even though all the Democrats need to do is cite the UN, which says the number of Iraqis fleeing their homes has gone from 50,000 to 60,000 a month. Or quote Associated Press which counted 1,809 Iraqi civilians killed in August, compared with 1,760 in July. The Sunni split in Anbar province is not one likely to be replicated in Baghdad or elsewhere and anyway had nothing to do with the hike in US troop levels. Bush didn't dare go to Baghdad.

Weigh it all up, and you'd be foolish to bet that an attack on Iran couldn't happen. I knew Noam Chomsky used to be dubious about the likelihood of a U.S. attack emailed his last week to ask if he is still of that opinion. Here's his answer.

"Yes, I was quite sceptical. Less so over the years. They're desperate. Everything they touch is in ruins. They're even in danger of losing control over Middle Eastern oil -- to China, the topic that's rarely discussed but is on every planner or corporation exec's mind, if they're sane. Iran already has observer status at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization -- from which the US was pointedly excluded. Chinese trade with Saudi Arabia, even military sales, is growing fast. With the Bush administration in danger of losing Shiite Iraq, where most of the oil is (and most Saudi oil in regions with a harshly oppressed Shiite population), they may be in real trouble.

"Under these circumstances, they're unpredictable. They might go for broke, and hope they can salvage something from the wreckage. If they do bomb, I suspect it will be accompanied by a ground assault in Khuzestan, near the Gulf, where the oil is (and an Arab population -- there already is an Ahwazi liberation front, probably organized by the CIA, which the US can "defend" from the evil Persians), and then they can bomb the rest of the country to rubble. And show who's boss."

The peace movement had better pull itself together, remembering that should the bombs start to fall on Tehran, most of the Democrats in Congress will be on their feet, cheering.

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Various people have predicted Bush was "about" to attack Iran since at least 2004. Though I don't put anything past him I hope that he not so insane as to attempt such a thing. I imagine doing would me wide scale resistance in the US military.

Weekend Edition

September 8 / 9, 2007

CounterPunch Diary

Will the US Really Bomb Iran?

By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn09082007.html

"They're about taking out the entire Iranian military."

This particular spine-chiller comes from Alexis Debat, excitingly identified as "director of terrorism and national security" at the Nixon Center. According to Debat, the big takeout is what the U.S. Air Force has in store, as opposed to mere "pinprick strikes" against the infamous nuclear facilities.

Predicting imminent war on Iran has been one of the top two items in Cassandra's repertoire for a couple of years now, rivaled only by global warming as a sure-fire way to sell newspapers and boost website hits. .......

The Joint Chiefs of Staff know the Iraq War has almost broken the US Army. Wouldn't they adamantly oppose the notion of an attack on Iran, which would see Shiite resistance groups in Iraq cut US supply convoys from Kuwait bringing fuel and water to the big US bases? Wouldn't Shiite forces as a whole finally commence a campaign of eviction of the American occupier? Wouldn't this puncture the fantasy that General Petraeus' "surge" is working?

The other side of the ledger isn't hard to fill in either. The oil companies like a crisis that sends up the price of their commodity.........

The peace movement had better pull itself together, remembering that should the bombs start to fall on Tehran, most of the Democrats in Congress will be on their feet, cheering.

Now consider this:

Top Admiral Who Said Attacking Iran "Will Not Hapen on my Watch," Splits With Bush on

Occupying Iraq

http://www.opednews.com/articles/genera_mi...al_who_said.htm

and :

Military Leaders Cross Swords:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/worl...icle2419340.ece

Petraeus Clashes With Fallon

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hSto1q...UurPMsBEg00mIPw

Things are getting interesting among the Brass.

BK

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hmmm...

Bill, I don't know if I share your confidence in Admiral Fallon's ability to prevent a strike on Iran. Have a look at this:

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/09/05/3630/

Well Mark, I don't know how determined those who want to start a war really are. I guess they can do it if they really want to, no matter what people think.

Fallon, it appears, does want to cut back US forces in Iraq, mainly because they could be needed elsewhere.

Fallon does have a unique and interesting way of dealing with the generals under him.

BK

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