- Begin Excerpt -
- Foreign policy and war issues have taken a back seat
to the Democratic administration's push to cram a health care reform bill
down our throats. But the world won't wait any longer as it reacts to US
provocations on several fronts. The Iran crisis is ripening towards a military
confrontation after Obama's diplomacy charade collapsed in failure. It
was never intended to succeed. Israel is going to be a major player, if
not the instigator, of the coming Iran war but it currently has its hands
full with the growing unrest in Gaza. Will the attack on Iran give them
an excuse to take decisive military action in both Gaza and Lebanon? I
believe it will. If the Iran attack blossoms into a full blown war in the
Middle East, as I expect, we might see a major explosion of long-standing
tensions between Israel, Iran, Syria and Egypt--with the US right in the
middle. This week, I'll also cover the growing tensions with China over
Taiwan arms sales and with Pakistan as it reacts to more news of US troop
deaths in areas where no US forces are supposed to be.
- I'll begin with some commentary on a somewhat inflammatory
piece from the Left written by Shamus Cooke of Global Research [my comments
in brackets]: "This grand chessboard of corporate and military maneuvering
reached a dangerous standoff yesterday, with the U.S. military provoking
Iran. The New York Times explains: 'The Obama administration is accelerating
the deployment of new defenses against possible Iranian missile attacks
in the Persian Gulf, placing special ships [Aegis missile cruisers] off
the Iranian coast and anti-missile systems in at least four Arab countries,
according to administration and military officials.'
- "The same article mentions that U.S. General Petraeus
admitted that '...the United States was now keeping Aegis cruisers on patrol
in the Persian Gulf at all times. Those cruisers are equipped with advanced
radar and anti-missile systems designed to intercept medium-range missiles."
Iran knows full well that anti-missile systems are perfectly capable of
going on the offensive -- their real purpose [Actually, not true. Even
if so, the Navy would be foolish to use them offensively since they need
to be held in reserve to defend against enemy missile attacks, to which
naval forces are particularly vulnerable. However, Aegis cruisers do have
dedicated offensive cruise missiles aboard for offensive purposes].
- "Iran is completely surrounded by countries occupied
by the U.S. military, whether it be the mass occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan,
or the U.S. puppet states that house U.S. military bases in Arab nations
[true]. Contrary to the statements of President Obama, Iran is already
well contained militarily [that is why Iran must be provoked into a military
reaction by a triggering pre-emptive strike]. It is possible that these
aggressive U.S. actions will eventually force Iran's government to act
out militarily, giving the U.S. military the 'defensive' excuse it's been
waiting for [The stationing of Aegis cruisers may be provocative, but certainly
not aggressive as long as they aren't involved in a pre-emptive attack--they
are there in position to counter a predictable Iranian counter to an Israeli
pre-emptive strike, and then to add offensive cruise missile capability].
- "A separate New York Times editorial outlines the
basic agreement on Iran shared by the Democrats and the Republicans. It
says: 'It is time for President Obama and other leaders to ratchet up the
pressure with tougher sanctions,' and, 'If the Security Council does not
act quickly, then the United States and Europe must apply more pressure
on their own [the planned provocation]. The Senate on Thursday approved
a bill that would punish companies for exporting gasoline to Iran or helping
Iran expand its own petroleum refining capability [Iran's lack of domestic
gasoline production is the main target of sanctions. Why Iran doesn't remedy
that lack of gasoline production, while spending billions on nuclear enrichment,
is a question that begs an answer].'"
- UK writer Mohammed A. Salih of IPS News comments that,
"The recent expansion of U.S. missile defense systems in the Persian
Gulf just days after President Barack Obama warned Iran of 'growing consequences'
if it did not accept the West's conditions over its nuclear program signals
a possible change of approach by Washington even as uncertainty still prevails
how it will deal with Iran eventually. The U.S. has based upgraded Patriot
missile systems in the four small Gulf nations of Kuwait, United Arab Emirates,
Qatar and Bahrain. Iran has strongly criticized the U.S. move, accusing
the West of trying to create 'rift and insecurity' in the Gulf.
- "The move has raised questions about U.S. motives
for expanding and upgrading its missile defense systems in the region.
'It's hard to say whether it's preparation for military action or essentially
part of U.S. policy to further isolate Iran from the regional states and
indeed sell more arms to regional states [it is the former],' Nader Entessar,
an Iran expert and chair of the Political Science Department at the University
of South Alabama, told IPS. 'But any time that you have an up-the-ante
like that, the consequences of what may follow are unpredictable even if
the intention is not necessarily to have near term or medium term military
confrontation,' Entessar said."
- It is true that Iran's leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is
unpredictable and tends to make statements that are unnecessarily provocative
and appear to be stupid. But he is not stupid. --Controlled, perhaps, but
not stupid. He seems to have the same cockiness that Saddam Hussein possessed
prior to the Gulf War when he was being continually and falsely assured
by the Russians that they would back him up. While Russia plays both sides
of the Iran-US conflict verbally, I think it intends to betray Iran in
the end so as to further its strategic goal of making the West, and particular
the US and Israel, out to be predators.
- In short, I don't believe the US will bet on Ahmadinejad's
unpredictability to start a war. If they can goad him into something, so
much the better, but if not, they will certainly and secretly give Israel
the green light to strike. It's a one-two punch in the planning. Israel
will strike with a limited pre-emptive strike on a nuclear facility. Iran
will surely respond with missile attacks on Israel and perhaps US troops
in Iraq. This will give the US the excuse to respond with disproportionate
force that wipes out Iran's military, nuclear and civilian infrastructure.
The result will be a neutered Iran which will quickly become an international
welfare state not much better than Haiti--with no necessity of occupation
- Barry Chamish recently spoke with Dr. Stan Monteith of
Radio Liberty about events in Israel which indicate that Israeli preparations
for a wider Middle East war are going forward. Military forces were once
again handing out gas masks to Israeli communities after having collected
them a few years back. Politicians forced the hand outs to stop for fear
of giving a clear signal to other nations that Israel was preparing for
an attack. No one seems to care if its citizens are unprepared. Hezbollah
has imported new and more deadly guided missiles capable of precision targeting
of most military bases in Israel.
- Chamish also revealed that the Israeli military is starting
to withdraw troops from the strategic Golan Heights. I suspect that either
they intend to give this high ground away in a false overture for peace
or they intend to lure Syria into retaking the Golan so Israel can justify
going to war with that country. If they want to root out Hezbollah from
Lebanon, the IDF will have to take Syria out first, Lebanon's main supply
line from Iran.
- As for timing, the US will not give Israel the green
light to attack Iran until another carrier task for joins the two already
in the Gulf (USS Enterprise and USS Stennis). The Pentagon has indicated
they are prepared to send the USS Nimitz to the Gulf to arrive in April.
This indicates that the most likely timing of the attack will be between
April and July of this year. The transfer of the Nimitz is being contested
by CENTCOM commander Admiral Fallon. He may even be replaced for making
statements inferring that an attack on Iran will not occur on his watch.
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