Friday, October 03, 2003

Don't be fooled. The Iraqi debacle won't stop an invasion of Iran.

"The cloud is still no larger than George Bush's hand but the storm of concern which the US is orchestrating over Iran is beginning to show uncomfortable similarities with the row over Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

A deadline has been set for Iran to make a full declaration of its nuclear energy programme by the end of this month. There is a demand for international inspectors to go in and examine any site to check for a possible hidden weapons project. Punitive measures are threatened in the case of non-compliance. "

. . .

The White House is already hinting at using force. Warning Iranians that "development of a nuclear weapon is not in their interests", Bush said in late July that "all options remain on the table". The Los Angleles Times subsequently reported that the CIA has briefed friendly foreign intelligence services on a contingency plan for air and missile strikes on Iranian nuclear installations.

Much of the pressure is coming from the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, and the same neo-conservative friends of his in Washington who drove the war on Iraq. They recently formed a "Coalition for democracy in Iran", which advocates the overthrow of Iran's regime. It includes well-known hawks like Michael Ledeen and Morris Amitay, a former executive director of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee.

According to the Washington Post, Sharon recently told Bush that Israel might strike Iran's nuclear facilities, just as it destroyed Saddam Hussein's nuclear reactor in 1981. Whether Sharon only meant his warning as a device to get the US to take the issue seriously and strike first is not clear."

I imagine the Bush team prays for a new war to cover the mess they've already created.


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