Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hell's Bells. Bush Determined to Strike Iran

By Will Bunch

The Web is buzzing tonight with new tough talk on Iran and a possible attack by the United States and/or Israel. The latest bombshell, so to speak, comes from the Jerusalem Post and is highlighted on the Drudge Report:

A high-ranking American military officer told the Post that senior officers in the US armed forces had thrown their support behind Bush and believed that additional steps needed to be taken to stop Iran.

Predictions within the US military are that Bush will do what is needed to stop Teheran before he leaves office in 2009, including possibly launching a military strike against its nuclear facilities.

Uh...hey look, everybody, it's Paris Hilton!

Seriously, this is all starting to look very much like the worst case scenario when it was announced on Friday that Gen. Peter Pace would not be renominated for another term as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, an announcement that was, indeed, made at the very hour that the cable news networks had stategically deployed their fleets of reporters to cover Hilton's court hearing.

The official explanation for why Pace would not be asked to serve another term were patently ridiculous. Here is how Defense Secretary Robert Gates explained the move to replace Pace with Admiral Michael Mullen:
"I think that the events of the last several months have simply created an environment in which I think there would be a confirmation process that would not be in the best interests of the country,'' Gates said. ``I wish it were not necessary to make a decision like this. But I think it's a realistic appraisal of where we are.''

This is an administration that is currently holding onto an attorney general who just received a "no confidence" vote from a majority of the U.S. Senate, including six Republicans, and has sent that very same Alberto Gonzales to Capitol Hill to testify under these brutal conditions. So, can anyone believe they really care about a few tough questions for Peter Pace?

It's getting harder to believe that Pace's dismissal was about anything else other than the Cheney administration's agenda for war with Iran. It's been increasingly acknowledged that the Joint Chiefs, with Pace at the helm, had been a leader in steering Bush away from half-baked Iran attack schemes.

In April 2006, Seymour Hersh reported in the New Yorker:
[A] Pentagon adviser on the war on terror…confirmed that some senior officers and officials were considering resigning over the {Iran] issue. “There are very strong sentiments within the military against brandishing nuclear weapons against other countries,” the adviser told me. “This goes to high levels.” The matter may soon reach a decisive point, he said, because the Joint Chiefs had agreed to give President Bush a formal recommendation stating that they are strongly opposed to considering the nuclear option for Iran.

This March, Pace embarassed the Bush White House by knocking down an administration claim about Iranian weapons shipments into Iraq:
Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, said today he has no evidence the Iranian government has been sending military equipment and personnel into neighboring Iraq.

That came just a couple of weeks after award-winning journalist Robert Parry reported this on his Web site:
One intelligence source told me that Joint Chiefs chairman, Gen. Peter Pace, has explored the possibility of resigning if Bush presses forward with air attacks against Iran, a war strategy that might be done in coordination with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Now Pace doesn't have to resign..he's out, unexpectly, in a move that was announced at an hour that was guaranteed to receive as little media scrutiny as possible. The Navy man who's replacing him, Mullen, hasn't made his views on Iran completely clear, but he may take a harder line than Pace apparently did.

When {Adm. William] Fallon was appointed in January to lead CentCom, analysts noted the choice of a Navy officer reflected “a greater emphasis on countering Iranian power, a mission that relies heavily on naval forces and combat airpower to project American influence in the Persian Gulf.” In announcing the nomination of Mullen this afternoon, CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr said that Mullen “watches Iran closely.”

That was on Friday, an eternity ago.
Yesterday, Sen. Joe Lieberman went on CBS' "Face the Nation" to declare: “I think we have to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq." And now, we have another round of harsh words, including this new report in the Jerusalem Post.

This is pretty alarming stuff. So when is the war with Iran actually going to begin? What day is Paris going to be released again?

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

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