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Target Iran - Here We Go Again

By Joel Skousen
World Affairs Brief

We are seeing the same pattern of phony diplomacy and prepping for war as we saw just prior to the Iraq invasion. This time the target is Iran . Like Iraq , the Bush administration denies it is planning an attack (though the military option remains on the table), and plays up to international diplomacy while setting conditions that guarantee failure.

It also continues to foment questionable intelligence vilifying Iran 's involvement in terrorism in Iraq and Lebanon . To me there is absolutely no doubt the US intends to attack Iran next year or possibly sooner. Worse yet, it is utterly premeditated and unnecessary - unless you consider the globalist motive of engendering world-wide conflict.

Phony Diplomacy: IPS News issued this critical assessment of US claims to be exhausting every diplomatic effort: "Even before Iran gave its formal counter-offer to ambassadors of the P5+1 countries (the U.S. , Britain , France , Germany , Russia and China ) Tuesday, the George W. Bush administration had already begun the process of organizing sanctions against Iran . Washington had already held a conference call on sanctions Sunday with French, German and British officials, the Washington Post reported.

"Thus ends what appeared on the surface to be a genuine multilateral initiative for negotiations with Iran on the terms under which it would give up its nuclear program. But the history of that P5+1 proposal shows that the Bush administration was determined from the beginning that it would fail, so that [the proposal's failure] could bring to a halt a multilateral diplomacy on Iran's nuclear program that the hard-liners in the administration had always found a hindrance to their policy."

Here's how it is being done: the key US strategy is to give the appearance of seeking a diplomatic solution, but simultaneously sabotaging the process by demanding that Iran give up its enrichment process as a precondition of talks. Acting State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos told a news conference, "We acknowledge that Iran considers its response [to the so-called 'incentives' proposal] as a serious offer, and we will review it. The response, however, falls short of the conditions set by the Security Council, which require the full and verifiable suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities." In other words, it doesn't matter what compromises are being proposed by Iran ; as long as Iran fails to fully suspend its enrichment activities, the US will not engage in further talks.

The US is simply burning up the clock - counting the days when it can move the Security Council to the issue of force. The Bush administration reiterated Monday that Iran must adhere to the August 31st deadline under U.N. Resolution 1696 to halt uranium enrichment or face U.N. sanctions.

The hypocrisy of this position is remarkable. Why even have talks if, as a precondition of talks, Iran has to yield its entire position? What is there left to negotiate? One commentator told NPR radio that the threat of sanctions and military assault on Iran by the West is such a drastic alternative to talks, that it is unconscionable for the US to put such high preconditions on talks. He suspects that in indicates the US actually wants to make sure talks don't happen. He suspects the US is only building up the pretense for going to war.

But US allies are increasingly reluctant to go to war again in the Middle East . As Helen Cooper writes for the NY Times, "It was always going to be tough for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to hold together her fragile coalition of world powers trying to rein in Iran 's nuclear ambitions. The Israel-Hezbollah war in Lebanon has made that job harder. Now the question is whether Ms. Rice can keep the coalition together to take out their sticks against Iran .

"That will not be easy, in part because the entire United Nations Security Council is supposed to vote on the sanctions package. While only the permanent members can veto, the rising fear, particularly among European diplomats, is that smaller countries on the Council are so angry over how the United States, and now France, have handled the Lebanon crisis that they will give Russia and China political cover to balk against imposing tough sanctions.

"'The Lebanese situation has caused a lot of bad faith and I think that will play into this,' said one European diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity under normal diplomatic rules. Getting the group to punish Tehran was always going to be difficult. Russia and China have deep economic interests in Iran and dislike the blunt instrument of sanctions. And the West must tread carefully because any sanctions levied in the place that could actually hurt Iran - its energy sector - would ratchet up already high global oil prices and end up harming the West.

"That was the tough road Ms. Rice faced even before the Lebanon crisis began. Now, 'Lebanon has proven that there's no military solution to the problem in the Middle East,' said Trita Parsi ... While there is no talk among the world powers right now about hitting Iran militarily, European diplomats in particular said they worried about a downward spiral if the sanctions did not work. 'They've been dragged into three wars over there by the U.S. ,' Mr. Parsi said, referring to Iraq , Afghanistan and Lebanon . 'They don''t want a fourth.'"

Indeed, his point about both the failure of the US and Israel to subdue high intensity guerilla warfare has changed the face of the ballgame in the Middle East . Suddenly, the Arab world has the answer about how to defeat US and Israeli military hegemony: wear them down with continual insurgent warfare. You don't actually win a war by guerrilla tactics, but the goal is to create a loss of will in the occupiers to "stay the course."

With US budget deficits in runaway mode, owing largely to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US-led war would be instantly unpopular if those costs were past on each year to the American taxpayers. But they are not. Instead, the US finances the war with monetary creation and inflation - a hidden tax which Americans can't feel in the same way as direct taxes.

Creative Intelligence targeting Iran : Mark Mazzetti of the NY Times writes, "Some veterans of the intelligence battles that preceded the Iraq war see the debate [on Iran ] as familiar and are critical of efforts to create hard links based on murky intelligence." Here we go again!

The Pentagon trotted out a relatively unknown General to make some pretty outlandish claims: Brig. Gen. Michael Barbero claimed that "[t]he Iranian government is training and equipping much of the Shiite insurgency in Iraq ." According to the Washington Post, Barbero went so far as to claim, "I think it's irrefutable that Iran is responsible for training, funding and equipping some of these (Shiite) extremist groups and also providing advanced IED technology to them."

The word "irrefutable" is pretty strong in light of a recent Congressional complaint about US intelligence on the issue: Dafna Linzer, also of the Post writes, "A key House committee issued a stinging critique of U.S. intelligence on Iran yesterday, charging that the CIA and other agencies lack 'the ability to acquire essential information necessary to make judgments' on Tehran's nuclear program, its intentions or even its ties to terrorism."

And, this report comes from a Republican staffer not usually critical of the administration's claim. The twenty-nine page report chides the intelligence community for not providing enough direct evidence to support the assertion that Iran is directly responsible for a part of the Iraq insurgency.