Monday, September 17, 2007

Cheney's New, Improved War

The Vice-President of the United States is packaging his attack on Iran.

Unfazed by the disaster in Iraq, Cheney’s Neo-Cons are “rolling out” a “new product” exactly as they did in 2002 and, as then, over the resistance of the State Department.

The New York Times reports “Condoleezza Rice has been arguing for a continuation of a diplomatic approach, while officials in Vice President Dick Cheney’s office have advocated a much tougher view. They seek to isolate and contain Iran, and to include greater consideration of a military strike.”

In the Washington Post, retired Gen. Wesley Clark writes, “Think another war can't happen? Think again. Unchastened by the Iraq fiasco, hawks in Vice President Cheney's office have been pushing the use of force...And what would we do with Iran after the bombs stopped falling? We certainly could not occupy the nation with the limited ground forces we have left.”

In the U.K., the Telegraph reports “Pentagon planners have developed a list of up to 2,000 bombing targets in Iran” and a senior intelligence officer warns “that public denunciation of Iranian meddling in Iraq--arming and training militants--would lead to cross border raids on Iranian training camps and bomb factories” to “provoke a major Iranian response, perhaps in the form of moves to cut off Gulf oil supplies, providing a trigger for air strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities and even its armed forces.”

This follows a U.K. Times story about a speech by a conservative think tank expert saying “military planners were not preparing for ‘pinprick strikes’ against Iran’s nuclear facilities. ‘They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military,’ he said.”

The President started the campaign rolling here with an echo of the warnings about Saddam’s WMD in a recent speech to the American Legion: “Iran's active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons threatens to put a region already known for instability and violence under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust...We will confront this danger before it is too late.”

Back in May, our bellicose former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton was telling the British, ”We must attack Iran before it gets the bomb” and that “senior White House officials” share his thinking.

So even before the Surge and in the face of public clamor to get out of Iraq, Cheney and his crowd were covertly planning a war against Iran.

About all this, Sen. Bernie Sanders has been warning: "We have got to put pressure on the mass media not to play the same craven role that they played in Iraq, where they essentially collapsed and became a megaphone for Bush's policies.”

He should be telling that to his Congressional colleagues and reminding them that another botched Bush war could create an unprecedented crisis for American democracy.

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