Saturday, September 01, 2007

War with Iran, coming to a theater of war near you

Iran has appointed a new commander for its Revolutionary Guard. This is the paramilitary organization the U.S. is threatening to label as a terrorist organization to curtail its business wing.

Debka suggests that the announcement of the new commander of the Revolutionary Guards is a signal that Iran is preparing for war with the U.S.

Stratfor, a international policy think tank, provides analysis supporting this conclusion:
The background of the new IRGC commander, and the timing of his appointment, indicates that the Iranians are preparing to fill the vacuum in Iraq once the U.S. military effects a drawdown/pullout.

That the Iranians have placed their top Iraq hand in charge of the elite corps shows that Tehran is planning for operations in Iraq. It also should be seen as diplomatic move to convince the United States that they are serious -- they want Washington to know that if the United States conducts airstrikes against Iran, they are prepared to unleash havoc in Iraq. |Iran: New IRGC Chief - Stratfor|

According to Barnett Rubin (a Professor at NYU), the Bushies are going to start an anti-Iran PR offensive after Labor Day.

Today I received a message from a friend who has excellent connections in Washington and whose information has often been prescient. According to this report, as in 2002, the rollout will start after Labor Day, with a big kickoff on September 11. My friend had spoken to someone in one of the leading neo-conservative institutions. He summarized what he was told this way:
They [the source's institution] have "instructions" (yes, that was the word used) from the Office of the Vice-President to roll out a campaign for war with Iran in the week after Labor Day; it will be coordinated with the American Enterprise Institute, the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Commentary, Fox, and the usual suspects.

It will be heavy sustained assault on the airwaves, designed to knock public sentiment into a position from which a war can be maintained. Evidently they don't think they'll ever get majority support for [war with Iran] -- they want something like 35-40 percent support, which in their book is "plenty."
Of course I cannot verify this report.

But besides all the other pieces of information about this circulating, I heard last week from a former U.S. government contractor. According to this friend, someone in the Department of Defense called, asking for cost estimates for a model for reconstruction in Asia. The former contractor finally concluded that the model was intended for Iran. This anecdote is also inconclusive, but it is consistent with the depth of planning that went into the reconstruction effort in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I hesitated before posting this. I don't want to spread alarmist rumors. I don't want to lessen the pressure on the Ahmadinejad government in Tehran.

But there are too many signs of another irresponsible military adventure from the Cheney-Bush administration for me just to dismiss these reports. |Post Labor Day Product Rollout: War with Iran - Informed Comment Global Affairs| (emphasis added)

Check out Rubin's update as well.

I'm not sure what (if anything) can be done to stop this debacle in the making. Bush is still the commander-in-chief and he can do any damn stupid thing that comes into his head at the moment. He's totally isolated from the electorate and good counsel.

As a student of military history, I think there are times when the use of force is necessary and justified, but bombing Iran with our military stretched to the breaking point in Iraq strikes me as incredibly foolish.

The rationale of stopping Iran from getting the bomb is laughable since the Pakistanis have the bomb and it's no secret that their intelligence services have worked closely with Al-Qaeda in the past. If anything, bombing Iran makes it more likely that the Pakistanis would give Al-Qaeda the bomb.

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