The Bush administration has sent undercover forces into Iran, and has stepped up secret planning for a possible major air attack on the country, according to the renowned US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh. While publicly advocating diplomacy to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, Hersh reports in the next issue of The New Yorker magazine that “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”.
There’s little doubt that Iran is ruled by a Conservative, maniacal, horribly opressive theocracy. I’m just not so certain that it should be the role of the United States to engage in forcible regime change- especially when it requires the sacrifice of American lives. Our Glorious Leader can couch it in the language of protecting us from terrorism, but should American soldiers be dying so Iranians can vote in democratic elections? Or so American oil companies can pump Iranian oil?
Even if you believe that we have the moral responsibility to fight for freedom around the globe, there needs to be some effort to ensure that it isn’t obvious that we’re fighting to protect our oil supplies. For instance, what is and has been taking place in Darfur is far worse than anything happening in Iraq or Iran, and yet our government has made no move to ensure freedom in Sudan. Why? Well, how many American companies own oil wells in Darfur? Exactly my point. It would be easy to interpret Our Glorious Leader’s actions as more than a little bit hypocritical and self-serving…because, well, they are.
One former senior intelligence official is quoted as saying that Mr Bush and others in the White House have come to view Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as a potential “Adolf Hitler”. According to a senior Pentagon adviser on the “war on terror”, “this White House believes that the only way to solve the problem is to change the power structure in Iran, and that means war”. The danger, he adds, is that “it also reinforces the belief inside Iran that the only way to defend the country is to have a nuclear capability”.
One option under consideration, Mr Hersh reports, involves the possible use of a B61 nuclear “bunker-buster” bomb against Iran’s main centrifuge plant, at Natanz. Last week the Federation of American Scientists alleged that a weapons test to be carried out in the Nevada desert in June was designed to simulate the effects of just such a bomb. Conventional explosives would be used, it said, for “a low-yield nuclear weapon ground shock simulation against an underground target”.
The US Defence Threat Reduction Agency told The Independent on Sunday that the test, codenamed “Divine Strake”, was intended “to assess the capability of computer codes” to predict the effects of the explosion. The experiment aimed to improve “warfighters’ confidence in their ability to plan to defeat hardened and deeply buried targets”. It did not refer to tactical nuclear weapons like the B61.
Now that the war in Iraq has devolved into civil war (whether de facto or real), the Bush Administration may well be looking for a strategy that would prop up Our Glorious Leader’s sagging poll numbers. Iran is an easy target, mostly because it has a number of indigenous factors that make the former playground of the Shahs easy to demonize:
A clearly hostile and borderline unbalanced President who advocates the destruction of Israel
A nuclear program that, depending on who you believe, may or may not have the potential to eventually to produce a nuclear weapon.
A government with an enduring antipathy towards the United States.
Large oil reserves that the government is willing to use as a weapon against the West.
Once it becomes clear that Iraq is not going to be the shining example of the just use of American military might that this Administration hoped it would be, they may decide that they need something to distract the American sheeple. Luckily for them, the answer to their problems may be right next door.
Get used to the idea of American soldiers coming home in flag-draped boxes. It looks as if we’ll be seeing this for at least the remainder of Our Glorious Leader’s reign.
WE DESERVE BETTER.