Heads Up: U.S. War Plans Vs. Iran Updated

17 de enero de 2007

<body><div class="right_col_box" id="article"><h1> </h1><h1>Heads Up: U.S. War Plans Vs. Iran Updated</h1><p class="byline">by Jeffery Steinberg</p><p>The following information has been provided by several Washington and Middle East sources, and should be assessed in light of President Bush's speech of Jan. 10.</p><p>First, a Pentagon public affairs officer has confirmed that the <em>U.S.S. Stennis</em> carrier group is headed towards the Persian Gulf and will arrive some time in mid-February, to supplement the <em>U.S.S. Eisenhower</em> carrier group already in the region (the <em>Eisenhower</em> group is temporarily off the coast of the Horn of Africa). At that point, the assets will have been put in place for a two-track provocation against Iran, intended to provide a justification for a U.S. or Anglo-American "retaliatory" strike against Iranian targets, including alleged secret nuclear weapons sites, according to one source.</p><p>The first track of provocations has already been initiated with the U.S. military action against Iranian officials visiting the Kurdish region of Iraq last week, and with bombings inside Iran that occurred around the same time. The second track, according to a Middle East source, will be initiated any time after the full U.S. Naval force has arrived in the Persian Gulf. Expect a U.S. Naval incursion into Iranian coastal waters, aimed at provoking an Iranian military action. This will be the "Gulf of Tonkin" incident (provoked, or, as in the original Gulf of Tonkin affair, fabricated) to justify an American military strike against Iran.</p><p>The sources emphasized that Vice President Cheney, in particular, is committed to a war with Iran, and, perhaps with Syria, before he leaves office.</p><p>Several Washington sources added further details. They noted that, beginning prior to Bush's Jan. 10, 2007 speech, unveiling the Administration`s "surge" plan, the Administration had shifted its propaganda line. White House claims about Iran's quest for nuclear weapons were deemed ineffective, given that the Administration had lied about Iraq's alleged WMD threat. Nobody, the source emphasized, is going to support a war against Iran on the basis of the discredited Bush-Cheney Administration's claims of "proof" that Iran has a secret nuclear weapons program, about to build a nuclear bomb. The new propaganda campaign will focus on Iran's involvement in arming insurgents inside Iraq with the anti-tank weapons ("improvised explosive devices"--IEDs) that are killing American and British soldiers. With the new rules of engagement under Bush's "surge" policy guaranteed to increase the number of American soldiers killed and wounded, the Administration plans to cynically build up this propaganda front, hoping to force Republicans in the Congress, and even some Democrats, to back its calls for action against Iran to punish it for its continuing role in the anti-American violence in Iraq.</p><p>Add to this the factor of the U.S. Naval buildup in the Persian Gulf, the sources warn, and the elements are all there for Cheney's new war.</p><p>One source emphasized that the Bush speech of Jan. 10th sent shockwaves through the U.S. establishment. While many details of the Bush "surge" plan had been leaked out and briefings given prior to the speech, the emphasis on Iran and Syria in the President's remarks came as a shock, and prompted many who felt the Administration's war schemes against Iran had been contained, to reassess the situation.</p></div></body>