Monday, November 20, 2006


Ha'aretz: Bush would "understand" if Israel attacked Iran

I swear to God I am not making this up:

The United States lacks sufficient intelligence on Iran's nuclear facilities at this time, which prevents it from initiating a military strike against them, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has told European politicians and diplomats with whom she has recently met. Rice mentioned three reasons why the United States is currently unable to carry out a military operation against Iran: the wish to solve the crisis through peaceful means; concern that a military strike will be ineffective - that it would fail to completely destroy Iran's nuclear capabilities; and the lack of precise intelligence on the targets' locations.
Ah, so that means that the US has ruled out any attacks on Iran? Nope, it just means that they hope to farm them out to Israel instead to avoid political fallout at home:
U.S. President George W. Bush and President Jacques Chirac of France met several weeks ago. Bush told his French counterpart that the possibility that Israel would carry out a strike against Iran's nuclear installations should not be ruled out. Bush also said that if such an attack were to take place, he would understand it. According to European diplomats who later met with Rice, the secretary of state did not express the same willingness to show understanding for a possible Israeli strike against Iran. Nonetheless, Rice did not discount the possibility that such an operation may take place.
This may work to provide deniability for BushCo back in the US, but it sure as hell won't fly overseas. The rest of the world would know that Israel was acting as the US' surrogate, and respond accordingly. And our troops in Iraq would bear the brunt of that response. The ramping-up of the amount of belligerence being exhibited towards Iran by US interests is fascinating, and is ignored at our peril. Over at DailyKos, Greatwhitebuffalo has a diary on the LAT's recent editorial urging that Iran be bombed for the good of the universe or some suchness. Shockwave notes that the neocons over at the American Enterprise Institute are saying the same thing. And Cenk Uygur noted last Friday that some "unnamed goverment official" is saying that a preemptive strike against Iran is inevitable. And it can't just be brushed off as pre-election base-boosting, because the election was two weeks ago. (And of course, there's the latest of Sy Hersh's articles (note well: link changes after the next issue) on the subject of Bush's long-standing desire to attack Iran.) And as the final mad cherry on this barking-mad sundae, Richard Perle's Jerusalem Post is urging that somebody bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb-bomb-Iran. Sheesh. I'm guessing that none of the bomb-Iran backers have seen this Center for Nonproliferation Studies piece. It handily debunks 1) the myth that Israel's June 1981 attack on Osirak did anything substantive to halt or even hinder Saddam's nuke-weapons program (in fact, it probably spurred him on to try to get nukes so that the US would back the hell off as it's doing with North Korea today), and 2) the myth that trying a similar attack on any of Iran's nuclear plants would have a better outcome than did the Osirak bombing. It also notes that unlike Iraq in 1981, which at the time was deeply involved in the Iran-Iraq War and had no time or munitions to spare on lobbing payback at the Israelis, Iran has missiles out the wazoo that are quite capable of hitting Israel, and no amount of bombing would take them out before they could be launched.
"Bush also said that if such an attack were to take place, he would understand it."

Translation: "Will no one rid me of this troublesome regime?"
You got it, MEC.
The irony is that Al Qaida and Iran are such deadly enemies that only something like the US attacking Iran could force them together.
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