Echoing a pessimistic certainty by progressive bloggers that the Bush administration intends to mount an attack on Iran before the end of their term, Council on Foreign Relations expert and past advocate of "preventative force", Barnett Rubin, wrote on Wednesday that the administration are waiting until after labor Day to make their big push for war, on the basis that "from a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August."
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 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:No wonder the Bush administration are full of ill-concealed gloom at yesterday's report from the IAEA, who have put to rest some of the major talking-points the neocons were using to ratchet up war rhetoric over Iran's nuclear energy program and look set to answer other long-standing questions too. Not that any of this will stop the bush administration ignoring facts in their reach for war.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. I don't want to lessen the pressure on the Ahmadinejad government in Tehran. But there are too many signs of another irresponsible military adventure from the Cheney-Bush administration for me just to dismiss these reports. I am putting them into the public sphere in the hope of helping to mobilize opposition to a policy that would further doom the efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq and burden our country and the people of the Middle East with yet another unstoppable fountain of bloodshed.
As of today, there's no uncertainty about Iran's plutonium experiments - they were peaceful - says the IAEA. The Iranian facilities which had been questioned have been inspected and are also peaceful in intent. Likewise, Iran is operating its less-than-expected number of enrichment centrifuges at about 10% efficiency, hardly a sign of an urgent rush to bomb-making. Soon, Iran will give the IAEA detailled answers on the provenance and accuracy of laptop plans for something supposedly called the "Green Salt Project" - a laptop provided by the MeK anti-Iranian terror group. It will also respond on documents showing plans for forming hemispherical uranium for bombs sent to Iran by the Pakistani Khan network - plans Iran maintains it didn't ask for and has never made use of. The murk around Iran's nuclear program is getting clearer and as it clears the Bush administration's narrative - complete with 2002-style "mushroom cloud" rhetoric - of a nuclear threat gets flimsier.
And so it seems likely that the push for war will center around alleged meddling in Iran, especially the supposed provision of troop-killing EFP bombs. Cheney has already said this alone amounts to a causus belli. Yet the evidence and arguments for knowing Iranian leadership involvement in Iraqi EFP attacks is also flimsy at best. I've been following this thread of warhype from very early on and venture to claim I've researched the matter as thoroughly as any non-expert pundit can. Certainly as well or better than any who aren't immediately inclined to believe everything the neocon noise machine tells them.
Let's review the narrative, and some of the contrary evidence that the warmongers won't be talking about. Much of it has been given sparse attention by the media, yet intelligence analysts are undoubtably aware of it.
Yet, despite the narrative's utter denial of common sense and the rules of evidence, this will be enough for the Cheneyites to drum up a war with Iran. Democratic leaders, as they have already, will go along with the surge to Tehran.