Scott Ritter says we are already at war with Iran. It's a claim that would be incredible if it weren't for the facts that (a) we know from the Downing Steet memo that war against Iraq began almost a year before it was declared, and (b) Bushco propaganda efforts follow a pattern that foreshadows military action.
That pattern is (a) linking the target nation to terrorism, especially to 9/11, (b) suggesting that the target has hostile intentions against the United States and a capability to use WMD, and (c) attempting to provoke the target into rash action.
And, unfortunately, a number of Democrats have been very accommodating in supporting that propaganda.
Therefore, when one reads in the Torygraph that the 9/11 Commission is linking Iran to 9/11
, it sounds like the die has indeed been cast:
Iran gave free passage to up to 10 of the September 11 hijackers just months before the 2001 attacks and offered to co-operate with al-Qa'eda against the US, an American report will say this week. The all-party report by the 9/11 Commission, set up by Congress in 2002, will state that Iran, not Iraq, fostered relations with the al-Qa'eda network in the years leading up to the world's most devastating terrorist attack. The bipartisan commission has established that between eight and 10 of the September 11 hijackers, who had been based in Afghanistan, travelled through Iran between October 2000 and February 2001.
Just because the Torygraph says this is what the Commission will say, that doesn't mean it's a fact. But the above is, I think, fairly well agreed to, although the degree of cooperation is not. These are groups that are ideologically instinctive enemies.
What is not necessarily agreed to is the claim that, because of an "alliance of convenience" between Al Qaida and Iran,
Iranian officials were instructed not to harrass al-Qa'eda personnel as they crossed the border and, in some cases, not to stamp their passports.
If this were really certain, it would have been issued in the existing report. The NSA intercepts were available on 9/11 and, if the government hasn't managed to totally alienate its Arabic/Farsi/etc speakers, I'm sure that everything down to the level of importance of 1-900 calls was translated well before the 9/11 Commission was formed.
Nor-- especially-- is it agreed to that either the level of cooperation with Al Qaida by or actions by Iran in developing nuclear power justifies the following:
...Some Bush officials are privately contemplating a possible military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities before Russian fuel rods are delivered next year.
The precedent the Bush Administration will point to is the Israeli strike at Osirak.
What I would point out is that the total disregard for international law that the Osirak strike displayed has been a major motivating factor for developing countries to obtain nuclear weapons.