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Saturday, April 08, 2006

The US plan todestroy CENTCOM.....attack Iran


Wait until we bomb Iran


From this week's New Yorker, which came via e-mail

THE IRAN PLANS

by SEYMOUR M. HERSH

Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb?

Issue of 2006-04-17
Posted 2006-04-10

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.

American and European intelligence agencies, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.), agree that Iran is intent on developing the capability to produce nuclear weapons. But there are widely differing estimates of how long that will take, and whether diplomacy, sanctions, or military action is the best way to prevent it. Iran insists that its research is for peaceful use only, in keeping with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and that it will not be delayed or deterred.

There is a growing conviction among members of the United States military, and in the international community, that President Bush’s ultimate goal in the nuclear confrontation with Iran is regime change. Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has challenged the reality of the Holocaust and said that Israel must be “wiped off the map.” Bush and others in the White House view him as a potential Adolf Hitler, a former senior intelligence official said. “That’s the name they’re using. They say, ‘Will Iran get a strategic weapon and threaten another world war?’ ”

A government consultant with close ties to the civilian leadership in the Pentagon said that Bush was “absolutely convinced that Iran is going to get the bomb” if it is not stopped. He said that the President believes that he must do “what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would have the courage to do,” and “that saving Iran is going to be his legacy.”

One former defense official, who still deals with sensitive issues for the Bush Administration, told me that the military planning was premised on a belief that “a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government.” He added, “I was shocked when I heard it, and asked myself, ‘What are they smoking?’ ”

The rationale for regime change was articulated in early March by Patrick Clawson, an Iran expert who is the deputy director for research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and who has been a supporter of President Bush. “So long as Iran has an Islamic republic, it will have a nuclear-weapons program, at least clandestinely,” Clawson told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 2nd. “The key issue, therefore, is: How long will the present Iranian regime last?”

................................

One of the military’s initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites. One target is Iran’s main centrifuge plant, at Natanz, nearly two hundred miles south of Tehran. Natanz, which is no longer under I.A.E.A. safeguards, reportedly has underground floor space to hold fifty thousand centrifuges, and laboratories and workspaces buried approximately seventy-five feet beneath the surface. That number of centrifuges could provide enough enriched uranium for about twenty nuclear warheads a year. (Iran has acknowledged that it initially kept the existence of its enrichment program hidden from I.A.E.A. inspectors, but claims that none of its current activity is barred by the Non-Proliferation Treaty.) The elimination of Natanz would be a major setback for Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but the conventional weapons in the American arsenal could not insure the destruction of facilities under seventy-five feet of earth and rock, especially if they are reinforced with concrete.
..........................................

If the order were to be given for an attack, the American combat troops now operating in Iran would be in position to mark the critical targets with laser beams, to insure bombing accuracy and to minimize civilian casualties. As of early winter, I was told by the government consultant with close ties to civilians in the Pentagon, the units were also working with minority groups in Iran, including the Azeris, in the north, the Baluchis, in the southeast, and the Kurds, in the northeast. The troops “are studying the terrain, and giving away walking-around money to ethnic tribes, and recruiting scouts from local tribes and shepherds,” the consultant said. One goal is to get “eyes on the ground”—quoting a line from “Othello,” he said, “Give me the ocular proof.” The broader aim, the consultant said, is to “encourage ethnic tensions” and undermine the regime.
OK, this is really, really simple. If ONE US bomb falls on Iraq, thousands of American soldiers would die in Iraq.

In fact, as talk of this planning grows, Iranian basiji will reenforce the Sadrist and Badr Organization will get better arms.

I would bet the US Special Ops teams are allowed to walk around at the Iranian Army's pleasure. Any indication of an attack would mean a lot of people rolled up and killed.

If Bush is thinking about Hitler and a world war and bunker busters, I have to question his sanity. Forget regime change. Iranians have seen Iraq and want no part of it. Again, this is the voice of American-friendly exiles whispering into Beltway ears without any consideration of reality. If the US uses conventional bombs in Iran, the Shia in Iraq will start a national rebellion. Sadr will be sitting in the Green Zone within two days. If they go nuclear, we will lose Afghanistan as well.

Bush and his team simply have no grasp of geography or reality.

What is Iran's best strategic option?

Drive Iraq into a secterian civil war. Make the US occupation so tenuous that withdrawal is the only possible option. Start to fund the Saudi Shia to attack the pipelines. In short, they can destablize the region at their choosing. They can also make noises supporting a Turkish invasion of Northern Iraq to quash Kurdistan.

Bush should also understand that there is little to no support for any action against Iran in the US. People are pissed that Osama is still breathing, a third war would be too much. Shock and Awe was ont of the most spectacular failures in modern warfare. The last thing we need is Iran as victim of US imperialism.

The whole thing seems to be Bush, having failed before, seeking some place to seek his glory and being unware of the constraints on his and the US's power. Iran can blunt any plan to be attacked by ratcheting up the pressure in Iraq to unbearable levels.

They have to realize that the current Iraqi government is owned by Iran and it's inability to come together is no accident.

posted by Steve @ 10:21:00 AM

10:21:00 AM

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