27 September 2006
The coming war against Iran - Part 12
The previous coverage in this series on the preparations being made for war by American, Israeli and Kurdish troops on Iranian territory is now being followed by new information indicating that various units of the Navy must achieve a state of readiness by October 1st, and that the planning as it relates to Iran has been forwarded from the Pentagon to the White House. Sam Gardiner: 'I think the plan's been picked: bomb the nuclear sites in Iran'.
The Dutch in the original article has been translated into English by Ben Kearney.
Several Navy units have been ordered to be ready for departure in the direction of Iran: 'The Nation has learned that the Bush Administration and the Pentagon have moved up the deployment of a major "strike group" of ships, including the nuclear aircraft carrier Eisenhower as well as a cruiser, destroyer, frigate, submarine escort and supply ship, to head for the Persian Gulf, just off Iran's western coast.' Time Magazine reports: '[...] a submarine, an Aegis-class cruiser, two minesweepers and two mine hunters [...] said to be ready to move by Oct. 1. [...] Coupled with the CNO's [Chief of Naval Operations] request for a blockade review [of most likely the Strait of Hormuz], a deployment o fminesweepers to the west coast of Iran would seem to suggest that amuch discussed--but until now largely theoretical--prospect has become real: that the U.S. may be preparing for war with Iran.'
Servicemen with fearful misgivings warn critics
The question now is whether the readying of the troops is an indication of the long-awaited attack on Iran. Some people aren't taking any risks and are trying to avert hostilities. One way that they are doing this is by pointing out the phenomena of the drill-that-suddenly-becomes-reality and the false flag operation (an attack that you carry out and in turn blame on your enemy) - events that are sometimes combined, which may have occurred on 9/11 and 7/7.In the case of Iran, a third element is at play - warnings from relevant servicemen to a few critical followers of developments concerning the moves toward war by the U.S. '[Ray McGovern,former CIA analyst ...] being alerted to the strike group deployment, warned [on 17 September], "We have about seven weeks to try and stop this next war from happening"', reports The Nation. The deadline that McGovern refers to coincides with the American Congressional elections on November 7th.
'Accordingto Lieut. Mike Kafka, a spokesman at the headquarters of the SecondFleet, based in Norfolk, Virginia, the Eisenhower Strike Group, bristling with Tomahawk cruise missiles, has received orders to depart the United States in a little over a week. Other official sources in the public affairs office of the Navy Department at the Pentagon confirm that this powerful armada is scheduled to arrive off the coastof Iran on or around October 21. [...] The Eisenhower had been in port at the Naval Station Norfolk for several years for refurbishing and refueling of its nuclear reactor; it had not been scheduled to depart for a new duty station until at least a month later, and possibly not till next spring. Family members, before the orders, had moved into the area and had until then expected to be with their sailor-spouses and parents in Virginia for some time yet. First word of the early dispatch of the "Ike Strike" group to the Persian Gulf region came from several angry officers on the ships involved, who contacted antiwar critics like retired Air Force Col. Sam Gardiner and complained that they were being sent to attack Iran without any order from the Congress. "This is very serious," said Ray McGovern, a former CIA threat-assessment analyst who got early word of the Navy officers' complaints about the sudden deployment orders', writes The Nation. '"Planners always plan," says a Pentagon official' to Time Magazine.
Illegal war against Iran nonetheless lawful according to Bush
On CNN's The Situation Room, host Wolf Blitzer questioned [video, transcript] retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner: 'How close in your opinion is the U.S., the Bush administration to giving that go-ahead order? GARDINER: It's been given. In fact we have probably been executing military operations inside Iran for at least 18 months. The evidence is overwhelming...[...] They probably have had two objectives going back 18 months. The first was to gather intelligence, where's the Iranian nuclear program. The second has been to prepare dissident groups for phase two, which will be the strike, which will come as the next phase I think.' For more on this see American troops already on the ground in Iran in part 9 of this Iran series.
Gardiner speaking to Blitzer: 'Number one, we have learned from "TIME" magazine today that some U.S. Naval forces have been alerted for deployment. That is a major step. That's first. The second thing is the sources suggest the plan's not in Pentagon. The plan has gone to the White House. That's not normal planning. When the plan goes to the White House that means we've gone to a different [phase]'. Gardiner tells The Nation: '"I think the plan's been picked: bomb the nuclear sites in Iran," says Gardiner. "It's a terrible idea, it's against US law and it's against international law, but I think they've decided to do it."'
President Bush will be viewing the situation differently... 'In his revised version [of the national security strategy], Bush offers no second thoughts about the preemption policy, saying it "remains the same" and defending it as necessary for a country in the "early years of a long struggle" akin to the Cold War', reported The Washington Post earlier this year. The Nation writes: 'Given the President's assertion that the nation is fighting a "globalwar on terror" and that he is Commander in Chief of that "war," his prominent linking of the Iran regime with terror has to be seen as a deliberate effort to claim his right to carry the fight there. Bush has repeatedly insisted that the 2001 Congressional Authorization for the Use of Force that preceded the invasion of Afghanistan was also an authorization for an unending "war on terror."' 'President Bush considers the Iranian regime “fundamentally illegitimate”', says 'Flynt L. Leverett, who served in senior posts at the National Security Council, the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency 'to the Council on Foreign Relations. In the meantime, American ally Saudi Arabia is working 'in the deepest secrecy on their own nuclear program', reports Elsevier. This thanks to the cooperation of another American ally, Pakistan.
War must lead to regime change in Iran
In the report [PDF] The End of the ‘Summer of Diplomacy': Assessing U.S. Military Options on Iran, Sam Gardiner warns 'that some in the Bush administration aremaking the case for air strikes aimed not only at setting back Iran's nuclear program, but also at toppling the country's government. He says that these officials are undeterred by the concerns of military leaders about whether such attacks would be effective. [...] According to Gardiner's report, the administration is not seriously seeking diplomatic solutions to the Iran nuclear issue. “From diplomacy to sanctions, the administration is not making good-faith efforts to avert a war so much as going through the motions, eliminating other possible strategies of engagement, until the only option left on the table isthe military one,” he writes.'
Time: 'Whatever the order of battle, a U.S. strike would have a lasting impression on Iran's rulers. U.S. officials believe that a campaign of several days, involving hundreds or even thousands of sorties, could set back Iran's nuclear program by two to three years. Hit hard enough, some believe, Iranians might develop second thoughts about their government's designs as a regional nuclear power. Some U.S. foes of Iran's regime believe that the crisis of legitimacy that the ruling clerics would face in the wake of a U.S. attack could trigger their downfall, although others are convinced it would unite the population with the government in anti-American rage.' This sentiment was used during the lead-up to the Iraq war to gild what later turned out to be a bitter pill; it's remarkable that it is being employed once again.
The Washington Post reports: '"The message [from the Bush administration] that we received is that they are in favor of separating the Iranian people from the regime," said Esmail Amid-Hozour, an Iranian American businessman who serves onthe Hoover board. [...] Members of the Hoover Institution's board of overseers who met with Bush, Vice President Cheney and national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley two weeks ago emerged with the impression that the administration has shifted to a more robust policy aimed at the Iranian government. [...] "The upper hand is with those who are pushing regime change rather than those who are advocating more diplomacy," said Richard N. Haass, who as State Department policy planning director in Bush's first term was among those pushing for engagement.' Haass is President of the Council on Foreign Relations.
It would not be the first time that the U.S. had deposed a democratically elected Iranian leader. In 1953 the CIA overthrew the Mossadeq government: 'TIME reported: "This was no military coup, but a spontaneous popular uprising." It was anything but', writes Time fifty years later: 'When Mossadegh delayed settling with Anglo-Iranian on the takeover of the company [and subsequently nationalized this British oil company], the British approached the CIA with a plan to remove the Premier and get Britain's oil back. The British could not do it alone, since they had left Iran. Allen Dulles, the CIA director, and his brother John Foster Dulles, the Secretary of State, agreed. The Dulles brothers assigned the task of overseeing the clandestine venture to Kermit Roosevelt, a longtime intelligence operative and the grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt. [...] The American-friendly Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who had earlier fled the country, returned triumphantly, resumed the throne and reasserted his control', which lead to all of the infamous excesses. The Time article goes on to make it clear that when the U.S. drove the Soviets out of Afghanistan, it was motivated to do so by oil, just like in the case of Iran.
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