This article is stuffed with links and references that'll fully inform you about what may or may not be happening with Iran. Should we believe Bush that he's not going to invade Iran? I'm hoping so, but a big part of me thinks he'll do anything to find a way to justify a war with Iran. I've read reports that he ordered US military aircraft to practice bombing runs near Iranian territory. The only reason he would do something like that is if he was hoping some commander somewhere would mistake it for a real attack and fire a missile, thus giving Bush a new war. Am I wrong? I hope so...http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2002923127_webwarwithiran10.html
Monday, April 10, 2006 - Page updated at 01:05 PM
How likely is war with Iran?
By seattletimes.com staff
President Bush said Monday that news stories that the administration plans to attack Iran's nuclear facilities — which it believes the Teheran government plans to use to develop atomic weapons — are "wild speculation
Over the weekend, two major articles detailed extensive planning for military action against Iran — including the possible use of tactical nuclear weapons to destroy underground uranium-enrichment facilities.
"I know we're here in Washington (where) prevention means force," Bush said during an appearance at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. "It doesn't mean force necessarily. In this case it means diplomacy."
Last month, in his new National Security Strategy
, Bush said the U.S. would continue to rely on pre-emptive action against potential enemies when necessary:
"To forestall or prevent ... hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively in exercising our inherent right of self-defense. The United States will not resort to force in all cases to preempt emerging threats. Our preference is that nonmilitary actions succeed."
Tension with Iran has increased since that country's new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
, took office last August. Ahmadinejad has said Israel should be "wiped off the map" and that Iran will continue its nuclear program — which he insists is for peaceful purposes — despite international pressure.
The stories outlining military planning were, "The Iran Plans
," by Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker, and "U.S. Is Studying Military Strike Options on Iran
," by Peter Baker, Dafna Linzer and Thomas E. Ricks, in the Washington Post.
Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newsman who first reported the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and uncovered many of the details of the Abu Ghraib prison abuses, began his story this way:
"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."
If the U.S. does decide to attack Iran, Hersh reported, it might use tactical nuclear weapons in earth-penetrating bombs to destroy a buried facility at Natanz, where the Iranian government plans to enrich uranium.
The Post reported that, "The Bush administration is studying options for military strikes against Iran as part of a broader strategy of coercive diplomacy to pressure Tehran to abandon its alleged nuclear development program, according to U.S. officials and independent analysts.
"No attack appears likely in the short term, and many specialists inside and outside the U.S. government harbor serious doubts about whether an armed response would be effective. But administration officials are preparing for it as a possible option and using the threat "to convince them this is more and more serious," as a senior official put it."
Even a limited attack on Iran likely would have serious consequences. The Washington Post reported earlier this month that " ... U.S. intelligence and terrorism experts say they believe Iran would respond to U.S. military strikes on its nuclear sites by deploying its intelligence operatives and Hezbollah teams to carry out terrorist attacks worldwide
"Iran would mount attacks against U.S. targets inside Iraq, where Iranian intelligence agents are already plentiful, predicted these experts. There is also a growing consensus that Iran's agents would target civilians in the United States, Europe and elsewhere, they said."
Former U.S. antiterrorism chief Richard Clarke said, "U.S. policymakers have to be thinking a move ahead, They have to assume: If we attack Iran, Iran will attack us. So what's step two? Do we bomb Iran even more? Where does that get you?
Here are some more links:Iran Is At war with Us
," by Michael Ledeen, National Review Online.
"Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, is dying of cancer. But he is convinced that his legacy will be glorious."
"The Nuclear Power Beside Iraq
," by James Fallows, The Atlantic.
Experienced war-gamers conclude that the U.S. has few options to stop Iran from obtaining atomic weapons and that a military attack would be the worst choice.Divided We Fall
," by James Kitfield, National Journal.
"When the history of the West's long war with violent Islamic extremism is finally written, the current period of turmoil and setbacks may be marked as decisive."Target Iran — Air Strikes
In all, there are perhaps two dozen suspected nuclear facilities in Iran.
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company