Some variation of an attack on Iran was in the pipe, whether the administration had gotten into this embarrassment with Karl Rove and the Downing Street Minutes or not.
The only questions have been 1) how would they justify it, and 2) how would they do it with our troops tied up in Iraq, and the draft likely to cause an uncontrollable backlash.
This seems to imply the answers to both:
1) terrorist attack on US
2) use nukes on Iran, leaving fewer people left to fight there.
The American people would balk at using nuclear weapons unless the attack on the US was itself was nuclear. Neither Iran nor any other country has a motive to use nukes on the US, knowing that it would result in overwhelming retaliation and the destruction of their government and most of their people.
The last line of the excerpt from the American Conservative magazine is the only one that gives me hope, and has come up on other issues too: the military is uncomfortable with what they are being asked to do. This is how we know about Abu Ghraib. A soldier passed along those photos to Seymour Hersh because he thought what was transpiring was wrong, and when the torture policy and detainment policies were being written, Navy JAG officers were so alarmed, they contacted human rights lawyers in DC.
Eventually, we will come to a moment like the one that occurred in the Soviet Union when the hardliners attempted a coup against Gorbachev--the military refused to fire on or act against their own people. It would be better if our elected leaders corrected this problem, but if they do not, our last line of defense is the conscience of those in our military.
You should forward this to your congressman and senators and ask them to investigate and if they approve of allowing a terrorist attack in the US as a pretext for nuking and invading Iran.
The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney's office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States. The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option.
As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States.
Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing--that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack--but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections.
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