Home     Writers     Op/Ed     Book Reviews     News     Bookstore     Photoshops     Submit     Search     Contact Us     Advertise  
  You are here: 

Sat

13

Jan

2007

Marching to Persia: First Blows Struck in Bush's War on Iran
Saturday, 13 January 2007 09:23
by Chris Floyd

 Hard on the heels of Bush's bellicose language against Iran in his "New Way Forward" speech comes news that American forces stormed an Iranian consulate in Iraq in a heavily armed raid – including five helicopters – with threats to kill the Iranian diplomats inside if they did not surrender.

As Glenn Greenwald notes: "Isn't it a definitive act of war for one country to storm the consulate of another, threaten to kill them if they do not surrender, and then detain six consulate officers?" Glenn – who with his usual dispatch has been all over Bush's rush to encompass Iran in the hellfire of his Middle East rampage – knows full well the answer to his rhetorical question: Yes, it is a definitive act of war.

The raid is just one more in a series of recent actions transparently designed to provoke the Iranians into some violent response that can be used as a "justification" for the Bush Regime's long-desired strike on Iran. Part of this push for a new war has to do with the old Bush-Cheney-PNAC plan of geopolitical empire, which requires the installation of a cowed and compliant government in Tehran; and part of it has to do with what appears to be the Bush Regime's self-delusion that the abominable failure of their assault on Iraq is due not to their own venality, stupidity, brutality and ignorance, but because some dastardly outsider is interfering with their operation, which otherwise would be welcomed with open arms by the grateful Iraqis.

The mindset of the Bush-Cheney faction in this regard is precisely that of a deranged rapist who insists that his victim is actually in love with him and would gladly marry him if only her friends would stop talking him down and telling her that he's no good.

There have been many criminal episodes in the history of the United States government; but I am hard-pressed to think of one that has been so egregiously stupid and self-destructive, and so riddled with pathological aberrations.

I think the Iranians – inheritors of three thousand years of statecraft – will not take the bait. Their Bush-like president – a strutting religious extremist who, left to his own devices, might indeed lash out in response to provocation – is neither the commander of the nation's armed forces nor the ultimate authority in government. But as we have seen in Iraq, in the end Bush is perfectly capable of launching an act of military aggression without any substantive pretext whatsoever. The wily forbearance of the Persians could very well go for naught in the face of this mad stampede toward a new and more horrible war.

Below are some extensive excerpts from Greenwald, but do read the entire piece, for there is much more detail there, along with all his links.

Glenn Greenwald:
Iraq continues to receive the overwhelming bulk of attention in the media and among political analysts. But the fate of Iraq, tragically, is all but sealed -- the President will send more troops and order them to be increasingly brutal and indiscriminate, and they will stay through at least the end of his presidency. That is just a fact. The far more attention-demanding issue now is what the President's intentions are with regard to Iran.

As Think Progress notes, the White House took multiple steps yesterday to elevate dramatically the threat rhetoric against Iran. Bush included what The New York Times described as “some of his sharpest words of warning to Iran” yet. But those words could really be described more accurately not as “threats” but as a declaration of war.

He accused the Iranian government of “providing material support for attacks on American troops” and vowed to “seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies.” But those networks are located in Iran, which means that search and destroy missions on such networks would necessarily include some incursion into Iranian territory, whether by air or ground.

Hours before the speech, the White House released a PowerPoint presentation with details about the president’s new policy. “Increase operations against Iranian actors” was listed in the “Key Tactical Shifts” section. As The New York Times reported: “One senior administration official said this evening that the omission of the usual wording about seeking a diplomatic solution [to the Iranian nuclear stand-off] ‘was not accidental.’”

But these were merely the latest in a series of plainly significant events over the last several weeks that, taken alone, are each noteworthy themselves, but when viewed as a whole unmistakably signal a deliberate escalation of tensions with Iran by both the U.S. and Israel…

I think there is a tendency to dismiss the possibility of some type of war with Iran because it is so transparently destructive and detached from reality that it seems unfathomable. But if there is one lesson that everyone should have learned over the last six years, it is that there is no action too extreme or detached from reality to be placed off limits to this administration. The President is a True Believer and the moral imperative of his crusade trumps the constraints of reality…And he isn't constrained by the things that constrain rational people because his mission, in his mind, transcends all of those mundane limitations. Is there anyone who still doubts that?

More importantly, a war with Iran can happen in many ways other than by some grand announcement by the President that he wants to start a war, followed by a debate in Congress as to whether such a war should be authorized. That is the least likely way for such a confrontation to occur.

We have 140,000 troops (soon to be 20,000 more) sitting in a country that borders Iran and where Iran is operating, with an announced military build-up in the Persian Gulf imminent, increased war rhetoric from all sides, the beginning of actual skirmishes already, a reduction (if not elimination) on the existing constraints with which our military operates in Iraq, and a declaration by the President that Iran is our enemy in the current war.

That makes unplanned -- or seemingly unplanned -- confrontations highly likely, whether through miscalculation, miscommunication, misperception, or affirmative deceit. Whatever else is true, given the stakes involved -- the unimaginable, impossible-to-overstate stakes -- and the fact that we are unquestionably moving forward on this confrontational path quite deliberately, this issue is receiving nowhere near the attention in our political discussions and media reports that it so urgently demands.

For all the pious talk about the need to be "seriously concerned" and give "thoughtful consideration" to what will happen if we leave Iraq, there is a very compelling -- and neglected -- need to ponder what will happen if we stay and if we escalate. And the need for "serious concern" and "thoughtful consideration" extends to consequences not just in Iraq but beyond.
 
More from this author:
Immaculate Conception: A Squirt in the White House (13712 Hits)
George W. Bush's innumerable sycopants like to potray him as a down-to-earth man of the people: a man's man, tough and fearless, a good-ole-boy...
Thunder on the Mountain: The Murderers of Democracy (11767 Hits)
“Shame on your greed, shame on your wicked schemes. I tell you this right now, I don’t give a damn about your dreams.” -- Bob Dylan,...
War in Heaven: Woodward's Book and the Establishment Insurgency (12489 Hits)
Bob Woodward has long been the voice of the American Establishment – or of certain quadrants of it, at any rate. When Richard Nixon's...
Swing Blades: Don Rumsfeld Bats Both Ways (10374 Hits)
In February 2003, I wrote a column for the Moscow Times detailing Don Rumsfeld's personal – and profitable – connection with North Korea's...
Red October: Killing the Truth in Moscow (11740 Hits)
I. Early October can be dismal in Moscow. The short, harsh summer is over, the brief and beautiful refreshment of September has passed,...
Related Articles:
BREAKING NEWS: Eisenhower Carrier Group Sails for Iran Theater (23638 Hits)
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Eisenhower and its accompanying strike force of cruiser, destroyer and attack submarine slipped their moorings...
Nukes: Iran and North Korea are not the problem (13668 Hits)
by Mickey Z. Thanks to the nuclear aspirations of North Korea and Iran, there's no shortage of rhetoric along these lines: "We can't let...
Bush's Middle East Strategy, and Presidency, Lie in Ruins as Republicans Scurry Away (9586 Hits)
by Dave Lindorff Well, so much for Iraqi “sovereignty.” So much too for "staying the course" and for "fighting the terrorists...
Behind Bush's Nuclear Gift to Terrorism (9292 Hits)
by Chris Floyd I am now writing a piece for Truthout.org on the wider ramifications of the Bush Administration's lunatic dumping of a...
Armagideon Time: Bush's Nuclear Folly and the National Security Lie (14997 Hits)
Written by Chris Floyd This story is appearing today at Truthout.org. "The Bush Faction's remaining claim to political...


Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Trackback(0)
Comments (6)add comment

a guest said:

0
Nice observations
All of these are nice observations, but ultimately our problem is what do we do about it. The standard solution attempt is the demonstration
http://www.unitedforpeace.org/
Often this is ignored by the media, hence never reaches the people. Civil disobedience, boycotts of corporations, occupations of government, university and corporate institutions, are also possible, but have rarely been attempted since the 1960s.

Maybe rather than simply identifying and endlessly describing the problems, writers can suggest and describe solutions to them.

Blue
 
January 13, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Actually
Writers and social analysts such as Chris Floyd provide excellent tools and rhetorical leverage in the war against the Bush regime. This isn't the Sixties and the Internet has changed the playing field.

The opportunity for dissident writers who dissect, analyse and present information to really reach a broader audience is a reality that was simply not there 40 years ago.

There are more solutions than physical protest - a word which you keep repeating 'ad nauseam' in your non-stop comment spamming (for United for Peace and Justice) of Atlantic Free Press. It's getting fairly old and annoying - as most of the time you really have nothing of substance to add to the hard work of this website's writers.

 
January 13, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
...

Have just stumbled on to the excellent article by C.Floyd at the AFP.

The US foreign policy in the Middle East (from it's blind support of Israel, to the illegal invasion of Iraq) is both immoral and indefensible. I simply find it staggering that the media are incapable of ripping it to pieces every day of the week.

It is imperative for AFP to use its status on Google news to inform the world (particularly the American people) of what is really going on. And I look forward to future articles.

I have, however, one suggestion. A picture of George Bush wearing a turban may be funny, but it doesn't help people take your political arguments seriously.

Captain America
 
January 13, 2007
Votes: +0

Richard Kastelein said:

Richard Kastelein
You are Right
I have changed the image - as it did not really attain the sardonic visual that I was trying to get.

Best.

RK
 
January 13, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
I write
six letters to Congress every day of my life. I petition Pelosi, Hoyer, Murtha, and Iowa Democrats Loebsack, Braley, and Boswell. I've got a blog up where, among other things, I call for the impeachment of George W. Bush on a regular basis. I confront people, calling out those who want to take a soft line against the Bush administration. None of that makes me any friends or any money. My personal effort to end the war and get rid of George W. Bush takes at least two hours of my time every day and often more than that. It costs me $70 a month (minimum) just for postage, which amounts to about seven and a half percent of my monthly income. I'm not crying the blues here: I simply don't know what more I can do nor do I know how to do what I do more effectively than I'm doing it. Sometimes it's like yelling down a hole in the ground. Still, I persist.
 
January 14, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
...
"This isn't the Sixties and the Internet has changed the playing field."
The internet has succeeded in keeping us in front of our keyboards and monitors. Most people do not use the internet to visit sites like this. The internet can change the playing field only if it is used appropriately.

The only substitute for physical protest is democracy which does not exist in the US. Writing articles on the internet describing the problem ad nauseum will not solve the problem. As "I Write" has noted, writing blogs and letters has essentially no effect. Even legal challenges go essentially unmet and drag on uselessly. Has Blair been taken to the ICC. Before anyone gets around to impeaching Bush, the mid-east will be in flames and we will be on the brink of WW3.

There is no substitute for civil disobedience! Hit the streets!

Blue

 
January 14, 2007
Votes: +0

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

adsense

Top