Thursday, February 09, 2006

our coming war with IraN: CIA analyst Ray McGovern's take

Neoconservative strategist Richard Perle said before the Iraq War:

If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we don't try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war ... our children will sing great songs about us years from now.

Once again, the Bushies are pulling a case for war out of their ass, and the media is treating it seriously.

CIA veteran analyst and former presidential briefer Ray McGovern accurately predicted there would be no WMD found in Iraq, and Iraq would not be a threat to us in any case.

Here he sorts through the crap being thrown up about Iran.

One angle he examines that I can't entirely buy is that Israel feels threatened by Iran's nuclear potential. It is more likely that Israel, like the US, knows that they will have fewer options in dealing with a nuclear armed adversary.

The bottom line is even if they are trying to build a nuke, which they probably aren't, it would be used exactly the way every other country uses it--as a deterrent against being invaded.

I'm sure I've written this a million times before, but if any country used a nuke on us, gave it to someone who did, or could even plausibly be blamed for giving it to someone who did, we could nuke that country off the map and would. The same is true for Israel. They have 200 nukes.

We have 10,000.

Also, given the difficulty we are having occupying a medium-small country like Iraq, how likely is it another country could successfully occupy us or even consider invading?

There could well be a terrorist attack before we attack Iran, but ask yourself who could possibly benefit when it happens.


Juggernaut Gathering Momentum, Headed for Iran
By Ray McGovern
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Monday 06 February 2006

What President George W. Bush, FOX news, and the Washington Times were saying about Iraq three years ago they are now saying about Iran. After Saturday's vote by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to report Iran's suspicious nuclear activities to the UN Security Council, the president wasted no time in warning, "The world will not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons."


If Dr. Rice has done her homework, she is aware that in 1975 President Gerald Ford's chief of staff Dick Cheney and his defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld bought Iran's argument that it needed a nuclear program to meet future energy requirements. This is what Iranian officials are saying today, and they are supported by energy experts who point out that oil extraction in Iran is already at or near peak and that the country will need alternatives to oil in coming decades.

Ironically, Cheney and Rumsfeld were among those persuading the reluctant Ford in 1976 to approve offering Iran a deal for nuclear reprocessing facilities that would have brought at least $6.4 billion for US corporations like Westinghouse and General Electric. The project fell through when the Shah was ousted three years later.

It is altogether reasonable to expect that Iran's leaders want to have a nuclear weapons capability as well, and that they plan to use their nuclear program to acquire one. From their perspective, they would be fools not to. Iran is one of three countries earning the "axis-of-evil" sobriquet from President Bush and it has watched what happened to Iraq, which had no nuclear weapons, as well as what did not happen to North Korea, which does have them. And Iran's rival Israel, which has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty but somehow escapes widespread opprobrium, has a formidable nuclear arsenal cum delivery systems.



The argument that the US is also threatened directly by nuclear weapons in Iranian hands is as far-fetched as was the case before the war in Iraq, when co-opted intelligence analysts were strongly encouraged to stretch their imaginations - to include, for example the specter that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction could be delivered by unpiloted aerial vehicles (UAVs) launched from ships off the US coast. No, I'm not kidding. They even included this in the infamous National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) of October 1, 2002.

Washington Post reporter Dafna Linzer, to her credit, drew on several inside sources to report on August 2, 2005, that the latest NIE concludes Iran will not be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon until "early to mid-next decade," with general consensus among intelligence analysts that 2015 would actually be the earliest. That important information was ignored in other media and quickly dropped off the radar screen.


In the Washington of today there is no need to bother with unwelcome intelligence that does not support the case you wish to make. Polls show that hyped-up public statements on the threat from Iran are having some effect, and indiscriminately hawkish pronouncements by usual suspects like senators Joseph Lieberman and John McCain are icing on the cake. Ahmed Chalabi-type Iranian "dissidents" have surfaced to tell us of secret tunnels for nuclear weapons research, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld keeps reminding the world that Iran is the "world's leading state sponsor of terrorism." Administration spokespeople keep warning of Iranian interference on the Iraqi side of their long mutual border - themes readily replayed in FOX channel news and the Washington Times. This morning's Chicago Tribune editorial put it this way:

There will likely be an economic confrontation with Iran, or a military confrontation, or both. Though diplomatic efforts have succeeded in convincing most of the world that this matter is grave, diplomatic efforts are highly unlikely to sway Iran.

On Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist insisted that Congress has the political will to use military force against Iran, if necessary, repeating the mantra " We cannot allow Iran to become a nuclear nation." Even Richard Perle has come out of the woodwork to add a convoluted new wrinkle regarding the lessons of the attack on Iraq. Since one cannot depend on good intelligence, says Perle, it is a matter of "take action now or lose the option of taking action." One of the most influential intellectual authors of the war on Iraq, Perle and his "neo-conservative" colleagues see themselves as men of biblical stature. Just before the attack on Iraq, Perle prophesized:

If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we don't try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war ... our children will sing great songs about us years from now.


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