[Marxism] Pentagon leaks show Bush team determined to overturn Iran regime

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sun Apr 9 20:07:45 MDT 2006

(A further confirmation of the direction of events is indicated by an
article by Christopher Bellaigne who basically argues, in the
triumphalist spirit of prewar coverage of Iraq, that the ayatollahs
better start packing their bags because super-Bush demands democracy in
Iraq  as well as no Iranian nuclear industry.
The direction indicates an Israeli strike possibly followed by US
strikes when Iran wickedly tries to strike back at a US ally.  Then,
when this fails to resolve all problems, the move toward attempted US
occupation will begin.

There seems to be a surge of confidence, as well as a desperate need for
victories involved here.  

The crushing of Iran will make the Shia domination of Iraq more
controllable and less threatening to Washington, by eliminating the Shia
leadership's ability to play off one against the other, and make
withdrawal even without total victory more acceptable for Washington.
Even if US goals such as "democracy" (a parliamentary government under
US control with parties agreed on goals monopolizing elections) cannot
be achieved, the ruin of Iraq and Iran would be seen as a sum total gain
for Washington. 

 That is, IF Iran can be crushed.  The regime has deep unpopularity in
many sectors, but its social base still seems much wider and deeper than
that of Saddam's regime. 

I think the Bush teams current triumphalist stride towards Iran comes
from the actions of its European allies, Russia and China.  All of the
European allies have joined the drive against Iran and, in words (which
is not unimportant), so have Russia and China despite the importance of
their ties with Iran.  They appear no more ready than in the case of
Iraq to risk their ties with Washington and Wall Street in order to
block a US attack on Iran.  They are clearly indicating at this point
that, if push comes to  shove, they will go along even if only in the
form of abstaining on security council votes.

Their actions have to be viewed as green-lighting US military action, to
all intents and purposes. 

Now the key question is the depth and reality of Iran's defenses,
including most importantly the popular defences.  And the question of
whether the "factionalism" in the US rulers -- much denounced by my once
favorite newspaper the Militant which now berates the liberals for
insufficiently homogenizing with Bush -- will actually present an
obstacle.  Which really means we must assume the inevitability of an
attack until circumstances decide otherwise.
Fred Feldman

US plans strike to topple Iran regime - report 
. US 'intent on Iran attack' 
. Bush accused of 'messianic' mission

Julian Borger in Washington and Bob Tait in Tehran
Monday April 10, 2006


The US is planning military action against Iran because George Bush is
intent on regime change in Tehran - and not just as a contingency if
diplomatic efforts fail to halt its suspected nuclear weapons programme,
it was reported yesterday. 
In the New Yorker magazine, Seymour Hersh, America's best known
investigative journalist, concluded that the Bush administration is even
considering the use of a tactical nuclear weapon against deep Iranian
bunkers, but that top generals in the Pentagon are attempting to take
that option off the table. 

Hersh, who helped break the story of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse
scandal, quoted an unnamed Pentagon adviser as saying the resurgence of
interest in tactical nuclear weapons among Pentagon civilians was "a
juggernaut that has to be stopped" and that some senior officers and
officials were considering resignation over the issue. 

There is also rising concern in the US military and abroad that Mr
Bush's goal in Iran is not counter-proliferation but regime change, the
article reports. The president and his aides now refer to the Iranian
president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as a potential Adolf Hitler, according
to a former senior intelligence official. 

Another government consultant is quoted as saying Mr Bush believes he
must do "what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would
have the courage to do" and "that saving Iran is going to be his

"The word I'm hearing is messianic," Mr Hersh said yesterday on CNN.
"[Bush] is politically free. He really thinks he has a chance and this
is his mission." 

There was no formal response from the White House yesterday but Fox News
television quoted unnamed officials as saying Mr Hersh's article was
"hyped, without knowledge of the president's thinking". In Britain, Jack
Straw told the BBC that the idea of a US nuclear strike against Iran was
"completely nuts". 

Military action against Iran was "not on the agenda", the foreign
secretary said. "They [the Americans] are very committed indeed to
resolving this issue ... by negotiation and by diplomatic pressure." 

An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, Hamid Reza Asefi, dismissed the
reports as "psychological war, launched by Americans because they feel
angry and desperate regarding Iran's nuclear dossier". 

Vincent Cannistraro, a former CIA counter-terrorism operations chief
said Mr Bush had not yet made up his mind about the use of direct
military action against Iran. 

"There is a battle for Bush's soul over that," he said, adding that Karl
Rove, the president's chief political adviser is adamantly opposed to a

However, Mr Cannistraro said covert military action, in the form of
special forces troops identifying targets and aiding dissident groups,
is already under way. 

"It's been authorised, and it's going on to the extent that there is
some lethality to it. Some people have been killed." 

He said US-backed Baluchi Sunni guerrillas had been involved in an
attack in Sistan-Baluchistan last month in which over 20 Iranian
government officials were killed and the governor of the provincial
capital was wounded. The Iranian government had blamed British
intelligence for the incident. 

Last week, the Iranian regime made a public show of its combat readiness
by test-firing some of its missile technology during seven days of war
games in the Gulf, images of which were broadcast repeatedly on state

The Washington Post reported yesterday that Pentagon and CIA planners
had been exploring possible targets, including a uranium enrichment
plant at Natanz and a uranium conversion site in Isfahan, as part of a
broader strategy of "coercive diplomacy" aimed at forcing Iran to
abandon its nuclear ambitions. But that report made no mention of the
possible use of a tactical nuclear bunker-buster, such as the B61-11,
against deep underground targets, reported by Mr Hersh. 

The UN security council has given Iran until the end of this month to
suspend its uranium enrichment programme, which most western governments
believe is intended to produce a nuclear warhead, not generate electric
power as Tehran insists. There is no consensus in the security council
over what steps to take if the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
reports back that Iran has failed to comply. The IAEA director, Mohamed
ElBaradei is due in Tehran this week for talks. 

The US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton said last week the US would
explore other diplomatic and economic options if the security council
fails to agree. He has also told British parliamentarians that he
believes that military action could halt or at least set back the
Iranian nuclear programme by striking it at its weakest point. 

The Washington Post reported that while no military action is likely in
the short term, the possible targets went beyond suspected nuclear
installations and included the option of a "more extensive bombing
campaign designed to destroy an array of military and political

It is a widespread belief in Washington's neo-conservative circles that
a comprehensive air assault would disorient the Tehran government and
galvanise the Iranian people into bringing it down. The departure of
senior neo-conservatives from the administration after Mr Bush's 2004
re-election was thought to have weakened their clout, but Mr Hersh's
report suggested that the president's personal convictions may yet prove

Guardian Unlimited C Guardian Newspapers Limited 2006

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