Thursday, January 10, 2008

Israel to Brief Bush on Strike Against Iran

From Reuters.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 09, 2008
FROM BLOG: The Largest Minority - the eventual current of current events
The following blog post is from an independent writer and is not connected with Reuters News. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not endorsed by

As Bush arrives in Israel today, Israeli security officials will be briefing him on their latest intelligence about Iran’s nuclear program… and how to destroy it.

Despite the fact that a US National Intelligence Estimate from last month had revealed that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barah will be doing his best to convince Bush that an Israeli military strike against uranium facilities in Iran should occur because he has “rock solid” information that it has started up again. Note that this is not being presented as a direct US military engagement, but one by proxy with Israel as our nuclear angel of death. Since Americans are much more concerned about American troops dying than Iranian civilians, they are likely to accept an Israeli strike supported with American weaponry. As they did during the war against Lebanon in 2006, such an agreement would allow the Bush administration to pretend as though it’s trying to end the conflict. In fact, Seymour Hersh reported that the war against Lebanon was just a prototype for a future war with Iran.

Recent remarks made by President Bush seem to suggest that he is also intent on ignoring the National Intelligence Estimate. “I read the intelligence report carefully,” Bush said. “In essence, what the report said was that Iran had a secret plan to develop nuclear weapons.” He continued, “I’m saying that a state which adopted a nontransparent policy and had a secret plan for developing nuclear weapons could easily develop an alternative plan for the same purpose. So to conclude from the intelligence report that there is no Iranian plan to develop nuclear weapons will be only a partial truth.”

In addition to the war with Lebanon, America more recently gave Israel the green light to attack a Syrian target last September. Israeli security officials say that Iran should be denied its right to enrich uranium, and that the only way to do so is to destroy Iranian instillations. With Lebanon and Syria successfully bombed, Israelis are now eager to see if Bush will give them a third gift in Iran. Even without the likely possibility of US support, it looks as though Israel may go ahead with its plans regardless. Right-wing opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu remarked soon after the NIE came out, “We always prefer international action, led by the United States, but we have to ensure that we can protect our country with all means.”

Despite the fact that US/Iranian relations have been contentious at best, US naval vessels have been performing threatening maneuvers off the shores of Iran for months. Now, with the Pentagon releasing footage from the USS Hopper of Iranian boats buzzing the vessels (video here), it does seem as though the US is trying to ratchet up anti-Iranian sentiment once again. When asked whether he would support an Israeli attack, Bush said that “all options are on the table.” This is a phrase which has been frighteningly echoed by the “top three” Democrats running for president. Since we’re not currently in a war with Iran, maybe that’s the kind of “change” they’re all talking about.

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