Monday, April 10, 2006


Lots of interest and commentary coming on the heels of Hersh piece from this weekend. In it, Herse asserts that:
The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups. The officials say that President Bush is determined to deny the Iranian regime the opportunity to begin a pilot program, planned for this spring, to enrich uranium.

Sounds very menacing... almost as if an attack against the Iranian madman is imminent. I don't think so and the White House is in full scale denial mode. While the groundwork for an attack has certainly be laid over the past 1.5 to 2 years, we still appear to be several chess moves away from a military strike. Jay Tea from Wizbang, as I, think that the Hersh piece was a useful propaganda tool for Bush. A way to threaten tactical nuke strikes, without actually having the threat come explicitly from the U.S. government...
Hersh's piece is based on a bunch of sources. Every single one that talks about Bush the war-monger, Bush the psycho, Bush the Messiah, is anonymous. Could this whole story be a deliberate leak by the Bush administration, playing the good cop/bad cop game? Could Hersh have been used to deliver a message to Iran and the world at large, making threats on behalf of the Bush administration while not committing them to actually carry them out?

If Bush were to come out and say publicly "Iran will NOT be allowed to possess nuclear weapons, and we are prepared to attack and destroy any facilities and their associated defenses to make sure that happens," then he's committed himself to a certain course of action. Iran might decide he's bluffing and publicly defy that. And then Bush would be forced to carry out the threat or back down -- and he doesn't have much of a record of backing down.

This theory has a lot of validity, considering: 1] Iran, by most estimates, won't really have deployable nuke until 2007 at the earliest, and 2] Other diplomatic moves are still to be made (Security council action, increased sanctions, congressional approval, etc.).

This theory makes even more sense when considering the mysterious Spengler's assertion in his new Asia Times piece. Spengler makes a very convincing case that the Iran strike will happen, but will be timed to coincide with the '06 mid-term elections.
...I believe that Bush will stage the strongest political comeback of any US politician since Abraham Lincoln won re-election in 1864 in the midst of the American Civil War.

Two years ago I wrote that Bush would win a second term as president but live to regret it. Iraq's internal collapse and the president's poll numbers bear my forecast out. But Bush's Republicans will triumph in next November's congressional elections for the same reason that Bush beat Democratic challenger John Kerry in 2004. Americans rally around a wartime commander-in-chief, and Bush will have bombed Iranian nuclear installations by October.

The rest of the article is a fascinating read. Only time will tell if these assertions pan out...

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