Saturday, September 08, 2007

“Today I received a message from a friend who has excellent connections in Washington and whose information has often been prescient. According to this report, as in 2002, the rollout [for war against Iran] will start after Labor Day, with a big kickoff on September 11. My friend had spoken to someone in one of the leading neo-conservative institutions. He summarized what he was told this way [my italics]:

They [the source’s institution] have ‘instructions’ (yes, that was the word used) from the Office of the Vice-President to roll out a campaign for war with Iran in the week after Labor Day; it will be coordinated with the American Enterprise Institute, the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Commentary, Fox, and the usual suspects. It will be heavy sustained assault on the airwaves, designed to knock public sentiment into a position from which a war can be maintained. Evidently they don’t think they’ll ever get majority support for this — they want something like 35-40 percent support, which in their book is ‘plenty.’

Of course I cannot verify this report. But besides all the other pieces of information about this circulating, I heard last week from a former U.S. government contractor. According to this friend, someone in the Department of Defense called, asking for cost estimates for a model for reconstruction in Asia. The former contractor finally concluded that the model was intended for Iran. This anecdote is also inconclusive, but it is consistent with the depth of planning that went into the reconstruction effort in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I hesitated before posting this. I don’t want to spread alarmist rumors.”

— Barnett Rubin, a specialist on Afghanistan at New York University (according to George Packer of the New Yorker), 29 August 2007

What about the alarmism — and dehumanization — in that cartoon (above) in the Columbus Dispatch, published on 4 September, the day after Labor Day?

In related news: “The United States has the capacity for and may be prepared to launch without warning a massive assault on Iranian uranium enrichment facilities, as well as government buildings and infrastructure, using long-range bombers and missiles, according to ... well-respected British scholar and arms expert Dr. Dan Plesch, Director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, and Martin Butcher, a former Director of the British American Security Information Council (BASIC) and former adviser to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament.”

(The report adds that “Plesch and Butcher dispute conventional wisdom that any US attack on Iran would be confined to its nuclear sites. Instead, they foresee a ‘full-spectrum approach,’ designed to either instigate an overthrow of the government or reduce Iran to the status of ‘a weak or failed state.’ Although they acknowledge potential risks and impediments that might deter the Bush administration from carrying out such a massive attack, they also emphasize that the administration’s National Security Strategy includes as a major goal the elimination of Iran as a regional power.”)

Oh, and the London Times reported on 2 September that “the Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians’ military capability in three days, according to ... Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, [who] said last week that US military planners were not preparing for ‘pinprick strikes’ against Iran’s nuclear facilities ... at a meeting organised by The National Interest, a conservative foreign policy journal. He told The Sunday Times that the US military had concluded: ‘Whether you go for pinprick strikes or all-out military action, the reaction from the Iranians will be the same.’ It was, he added, a ‘very legitimate strategic calculus’.”

Stop the cockroaches before it is too late!

ADDENDUM (Sept. 11): I’m not alone in my crazed assertions. One commentator at Asia Times (some kook named Alan Jamieson) also thinks war against Iran looms, writing specifically that it’s most likely to go down sometime over the next twelve months, possibly just as the 2008 election heats up. Speaking of today, though, it’s not one for politics — albeit that politics but for a brief lull swept it into an exploited memory that less and less of my generation remembers, judging by an increasingly younger freshman class that was all of twelve(!) when it happened. My God. To paraphrase Hot Tuna, death don’t have no mercy in this world.

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