November 4, 2007

The Drumbeat for a War against Iran - January-June

Updated January 23, 2008
1. Bush’s State of the Nation Speech – January 10, 2007
Bush accuses Iran of providing material support for attacks on American troops.
"In fact, Bush's speech to the veterans in Nevada has several similarities to his address to the nation on Jan. 10. That was also slated as a major speech on Iraq, though it spelled out little new about Washington's strategy except to call for staying the course. Instead, it revealed key elements of the U.S.' new aggressive posture on Iran. For the first time, the president accused Iran of "providing material support for attacks on American troops" while promising to "disrupt the attacks on our forces" and "seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq." Moments after the president's speech in January, U.S. Special Forces stormed an Iranian consulate in Irbil in northern Iraq, arresting five Iranians who Tehran said were diplomats. Washington described the detained Iranians as agents and members of the IRGC. Later that day, U.S. forces almost clashed with Kurdish peshmerga militia forces when seeking to arrest more Iranians at Irbil's airport." (Trita Parsi ‘Bush Indictment of Iran Tops Usual Rhetoric’ August 30, 2007). The americans are still illegally holding these five iranians in detention.

Porter Unearths Background to Bush’s Speech.
In october 2007 gareth porter provided some important background information to bush’s state of the nation speech. He argued that in december 2006 bush sounded out the american military about the possibility of a pre-emptive attack on iran’s nuclear facilities but military leaders rejected the proposal. The bush regime was thus forced to consider alternative military options and new military rationales. What it came up with was a small scale attack on iranian training camps in the hope of provoking iran into retaliation which would necessitate an america military response despite the reservations of american military leaders. The new propaganda rationale for such attacks was blaming iran for training iraqis and afghanis to kill american troops in iran/afghanistan and then taking ‘revenge’ against the camps where the training was allegedly being provided. "The introduction of a new reason for striking Iran, which also implied a much more limited set of targets related to Iraq, followed a meeting between Bush and the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Dec. 13, 2006 in which the uniformed military leaders rejected a strike against Iran's nuclear program. Time magazine political columnist Joe Klein, reported last May that military and intelligence sources told him that Bush had asked the Joint Chiefs at the meeting about a possible strike against the Iranian nuclear program., and that they had unanimously opposed such an attack." (Gareth Porter ‘Military Resistance Forced Shift on Iran Strike’ October 19, 2007).

The bush regime’s switch in its military options, from attacks on iran’s nuclear facilities to attacks on iran’s so-called terrorist training camps, was paralleled by a switch its propaganda from the threat posed by iran’s development of nuclear weapons to a focus on iran’s support for terrorism. "Although scarcely mentioned in press reports of the speech, which was devoted almost entirely to announcing the troop "surge" in Iraq, Bush accused both Iran and Syria of "allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq." Bush also alleged that Iran was "providing material support for attacks on American troops." Those passages were intended in part to put pressure on Iran, and were accompanied by an intensification of a campaign begun the previous month to seize Iranian officials inside Iraq. But according to Hillary Mann, who was director for Persian Gulf and Afghanistan Affairs on the National Security Council staff in 2003, they also provided a legal basis for a possible attack on Iran. "I believe the president chose his words very carefully," says Mann, "and laid down a legal predicate that could be used to justify later military action against Iran."" (Gareth Porter ‘Military Resistance Forced Shift on Iran Strike’ October 19, 2007). The major advantage of this new tactic was that fabricating evidence of iranian terrorism was far easier than fabricating evidence about its non-existent nuclear weapons’ programme. "Here we go again. As in the case of Iraq, U.S. intelligence has been assiduously looking for evidence of a nuclear weapons program in Iran; but, alas, in vain. Burned by the bogus "proof" adduced for Iraq, the uranium from Africa, the aluminum tubes, the administration has shied away from fabricating nuclear-related "evidence."" (Ray McGovern ‘Attacking Iran for Israel?’ October 31, 2007).

The joint chief’s opposition to an attack on iran’s nuclear facilities was reinforced by the appointment of william fallon as the new centcom commander. He was vigorously opposed to any strike on iran. "Mann says that she was also told by her own contacts in the Pentagon that the Joint Chiefs had expressed opposition to a strike against Iran. The Joint Chiefs were soon joined in opposition to a strike on Iran by Admiral William Fallon, who was nominated to become CENTCOM commander in January. Mann says Pentagon contacts have also told her that Fallon made his opposition to war against Iran clear to the White House. IPS reported last May that Fallon had indicated privately that he was determined to prevent an attack on Iran and even prepared to resign to do so. A source who met with Fallon at the time of his confirmation hearing quoted him as vowing that there would be "no war with Iran" while he was CENTCOM commander and as hinting very strongly that he would quit rather than go along with an attack. Although he did not specifically refer to the Joint Chiefs, Fallon also suggested that other military leaders were opposing a strike against Iran, saying, "There are several of us who are trying to put the crazies back in the box," according to the same source." (Gareth Porter ‘Military Resistance Forced Shift on Iran Strike’ October 19, 2007).

Whilst fallon was opposed to a war with iran and thus may have been as opposed to ‘revenge attacks’ on iranian training camps as a pre-emptive attack on iran’s nuclear facilities, he is far more vulnerable to political pressure from the bush regime to carry out revenge attacks on iran than he is on a pre-emptive attack on iran. "Historian and journalist Gareth Porter surmises that one of the main things that has kept the administration from launching a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities is the real and present danger that key four-star officers, including Central Command Chief Admiral William Fallon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, would resign if Mr. Bush issued such an order. This in part is why, as the Iraq "surge" strategy was announced in January 2007, Cheney's Iranian Directorate changed its tactics from nuclear "smoking gun" scare rhetoric to phantom allegations of Iran's culpability in the deaths of U.S. troops in Iraq. As Porter notes in a recent article titled "Military's Opposition Pushed Bush Away from Massive Iran Strike," the shift in emphasis creates a significantly different political equation. "Former National Security Council adviser [Hillary] Mann believes the Iraq-focused strategy is now aimed at averting any resignation threat by Fallon or other military leaders by carrying out a very limited strike that would be presented as a response to a specific incident in Iraq in which the deaths of U.S. soldiers could be attributed to Iranian policy. She says she doubts Fallon and other military leaders would "fall on their swords" over such a strike. According to Porter, retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner, who traced some 50 media stories pushing for war with Iraq to Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld's Office of Strategic Plans, "agrees that Fallon is unlikely to refuse to carry out such a limited strike under those circumstances." Indeed, the administration friendly segment of the media (which often seems to be the entire media) might successfully portray the rebellious generals as traitors if the American public perceives they tried to stop an attack on Iran intended to "support the troops." So what we appear to be watching now is the Cheney gang trying to design a little strike the generals can't object to that will provoke enough of an Iranian reaction to create a "remember the Maine" atmosphere in the U.S., at which point the U.S. Air Force can live in fame and roll in on target. The real political infighting over an Iran strike may take place not between the Pentagon and the White House, but within the Pentagon itself. If you think the traditional inter-service rivalry among America's armed forces vanished on 9/11, think again." (Jeff Huber ‘Iran Aweigh’,15202,155128,00.html October 30, 2007). No matter how much parts of the american military opposes a war with iran, it would be very difficult for the military to resist presidential orders for a war against iran if a critical incident was to occur. And such incidents may not be that difficult to fabricate.

Commentators who believe Bush’s Speech is a Declaration of War on Iran.
Jeff Leys
"Did President Bush this evening just signal that the U.S. is preparing to expand the war in the Middle East to include Syria and Iran? While the Iraq Study Group advocated diplomatic engagement with Iran and Syria, President Bush is evidently continuing to walk down the road of military engagement." (Jeff Leys ‘Iran and Syria in the Crosshairs: The War Widens’ January 10, 2007).

Paul Craig Roberts
"The "surge" is merely a tactic to buy time while war with Iran and Syria can be orchestrated. The neoconservative/Israeli cabal feared that the pressure that Congress, the public, and the American foreign policy establishment were putting on Bush to de-escalate in Iraq would terminate their plan to achieve hegemony in the Middle East. Failure in Iraq would mean the end of the neoconservatives' influence. It would be impossible to start a new war with Iran after losing the war in Iraq." (Paul Craig Roberts ‘The 'Surge' Is A Red Herring’ January 12, 2007); "Bush’s "surge" speech last Wednesday night makes it completely clear that his real purpose is to start wars with Iran and Syria before failure in Iraq brings an end to the neoconservative/Israeli plan to establish hegemony over the Middle East." (Paul Craig Roberts ‘Bush Must Go: Only Impeachment Can Stop Him’ January 15, 2007); "Nevertheless, Bush defended his surge plan, telling a group of TV stations last week, "I believe it will work." Bush is correct that it will work, indeed, the surge is working. We have to be clear about how the plan works. It does not mean that 21,500 more US troops will bring order and stability to Iraq. The surge is working, because it is deflecting attention from the Bush Regime's real game plan. The real game plan is to orchestrate a war with Iran and to initiate wider conflict in the Middle East before public and military pressure forces the Bush Regime to withdraw US troops from Iraq." (Paul Craig Roberts ‘The Manipulation of the American Mind. Only Impeachment Can Prevent More War’ January 22, 2007); "The "surge" of US troops for Iraq is another deception. The surge's purpose has nothing to do with achieving victory in Iraq. Its purpose is to counter the pressure from the American public, Congress, and the US military to withdraw US troops from Iraq. Once a withdrawal begins, the neoconservative misadventure in the Middle East is at an end before its goals can be achieved. Delaying the withdrawal by proposing an escalation and provoking a debate gives Bush and Israel time to orchestrate an attack on Iran." (Paul Craig Roberts ‘The Evils of Escalation. Bush's State of Deception’ January 25, 2007).

Patrick J. Buchanan.
"As George Bush reflects on his legacy, an urgent question must be pressing in upon him each day. Will I leave here as the man who launched failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that cost thousands of U.S. dead, to no avail? Or can I yet enter history as the Churchillian statesman who used U.S. power to save America and Israel from the mortal threat of atomic weapons in the hands of the Iranian mullahs? Which legacy would Bush prefer? Or Cheney? As Americans await Bush's address announcing a "surge" of 20,000 to 30,000 U.S. troops to Iraq, we may be missing the larger picture. The War Party is turning its attention from Iraq, to Iran." (Patrick J. Buchanan ‘Who Is Planning Our Next War?’ January 9, 2007); "Which suggests to this writer that, while the "surge" is modest, Bush has in mind a different kind of escalation, widening the war by attacking the source of instability in the region: Tehran. What Bush signaled in the clear Wednesday is that air strikes on Iranian "networks" are being planned. That would produce an Iranian response. That response would trigger US strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities, for which Israel and the neocons are howling." (Patrick J. Buchanan ‘Still One More Card to Play’ January 12, 2007).

Justin Raimondo.
"Arnaud de Borchgrave, a conservative Washington Times columnist, but no neocon, recently had this to say about our president's future course in Iraq: "Some political soothsayers in Washington predict Mr. Bush is limbering up for the biggest U-turn in his political life. Think again. The French have an expression for what will probably come next, 'La fuite en avant.' The literal translation doesn't hack it. Loosely interpreted, it means evading an issue with a headlong rush somewhere else." Rather than listening to the Baker-Hamilton commission, the petulant frat boy who imagines himself Winston Churchill at the height of World War II is far more likely to pay attention to the recommendations of another report, this one prepared by the Two Chucks, Gen. Chuck Wald, former EUCOM commander, and Chuck Vollmer, president of VII, Inc., a Pentagon contractor, that paves the way for la fuite en avant times 10. "Rather than planning withdrawal from Iraq," says the Wald-Vollmer paper, "With the entry of Iran into the equation, the next phases of Operation Iraqi Freedom could possibly include … a major invasion of Iran and pro-Iranian forces against Western forces in the region and Israel, and/or a global energy crisis. We may be better served to plan for repositioning in this strategically important region. While withdrawal may be necessary in Iraq, withdrawal from the region would precipitate a global balance-of-power shift toward the Iran-Russia-China axis, which would be very detrimental for the energy dependent West."" (Justin Raimondo ‘Mission Accomplished. The War Party meant to destroy Iraq – and so they did’ January 3, 2007); As American troops storm what is, or was, an Iranian consulate, at least that's what the Iraqi government calls it, in spite of American denials, and the president accuses Tehran of arming and aiding Iraqi insurgents, the answer to the question "Why are we in Iraq?" should begin to dawn on even the dullest. The answer: Iran. We're in Iraq so we can go after the mullahs in Tehran, and, perhaps, those other Ba'athists in Syria. All indications point to a strike at the Iranians before Bush leaves office." (Justin Raimondo ‘It's All About Iran: Washington wants war…’ January 15, 2007).

Commentators who believe Surge is to protect Troops in Iraq after an attack on Iran.
Robert Parry
Now, as two politically wounded leaders, Bush and Olmert share an interest in trying to salvage some success out of their military setbacks. So, they are looking at possible moves that are much more dramatic than minor adjustments to the status quo. Democrats and some Republicans are questioning why Bush wants to send 20,000 more U.S. troops to Iraq and offer Iraqis some jobs programs, when similar tactics have been tried unsuccessfully in the past. Indeed, one source familiar with high-level thinking in Washington and Tel Aviv said an unstated reason for Bush's troop "surge" is to bolster the defenses of Baghdad's Green Zone if a possible Israeli attack on Iran prompts an uprising among Iraqi Shiites." (Robert Parry ‘Bush's Rush to Armageddon’ January 08, 2007).

Conn Hallinan.
"But is the escalation just about Iraq? According to Robert Parry, author of Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, and former Associated Press and Newsweek reporter, "one source familiar with high-level thinking in Washington and Tel Aviv said an unstated reason for the Bush troop 'surge' is to bolster the defenses of Baghdad's Green Zone if a possible Israeli attack on Iran prompts an uprising among Iraqi Shi'ites."" (Conn Hallinan ‘Iran: Thinking the Unthinkable’ January 17, 2007).

2. Gen. Peter Pace declares Non-Existent Serial Numbers as Proof of Iran Guilt – February 02, 2007.
"The most important claim being made against Iran is that it is supplying sophisticated "explosively formed penetrators" or EFPs to various groups in Iraq that are using them to kill our soldiers. The pattern is for a military official to make a bold claim and then for a second official to substantially walk back the claim. Take, as one example, Gen. Peter Pace’s Feb. 2 declaration that the military was in possession of serial numbers that proved Iranian involvement in providing the materiel for EFPs to Iraqi militias. Less than a week later, Defense Secretary Robert Gates clarified, "I think that there are some serial numbers. There may be some markings on some of the projectile fragments that we found. I’m just frankly not specifically certain myself of the details, but I understand there is pretty good evidence tying these EFPs to the Iranians." This form of argument, a bold but unsubstantiated claim followed by a softening or outright repudiation, is reminiscent of several of the nudge-nudge arguments offered by the administration in the run-up to war in Iraq." (Justin Logan ‘Once More into the Breach’ September 24, 2007). Nothing more has been heard about these serial numbers since then.

3. US intelligence claims Iran is making EFPs – February 11, 2007.
The american military proclaimed that it had the evidence to prove that iran was supplying arms to the iraqi resistance and that this evidence would be presented at a military press briefing. It was expected that this evidence would be given in america in the full glare of the media spotlight. However, in the end the press briefing was eventually given in baghdad’s green zone where no-one could inspect let alone challenge the evidence. This proves beyond doubt that bush regime’s allegations against iran were entirely fictitious.

Robert Dreyfuss.
"Twice, at least, the administration had earlier postponed or canceled the much-promoted event, designed to reveal the supposed secrets behind Iran’s actions in Iraq. When it was finally held, it was not in Washington, but in Baghdad, with not a single White House official, no U.S. diplomat, no State Department official, no CIA official and no one from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Instead, a couple of anonymous military officers held a background-only briefing, barring cameras and tape recorders, to present some blurry photographs of bomb-looking things, and not a shred of evidence of Iranian government involvement." (Robert Dreyfuss ‘Breakdown At The Iraq Lie Factory’ February 15, 2007).

Scott Peterson.
"Still, other charges have not stuck and some have been retracted. US intelligence sources claimed in Baghdad in February, for example, that the sophisticated manufacture of EFP parts led them to believe that they could only have been made in Iran and that Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei would almost certainly have been aware of it. Shortly afterwards the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Peter Pace, said that he could not confirm that Iran's government "clearly knows or is complicit." US forces have also raided numerous EFP workshops inside Iraq and found such explosives; they are often used in the oil industry." (Scott Peterson ‘An intensifying US campaign against Iran’ August 24, 2007).

Gareth Porter.
"In a military briefing presented in Baghdad on Feb. 11, an unnamed U.S. official stated flatly that weapons were being smuggled into the country by the Quds Force, but the briefers failed to present any specific evidence to back up the assertion." (Gareth Porter ‘Petraeus Helps Destroy Bush's 'Proxy War' Claim’ September 18, 2007).

Porter comprehensively demolishes all of the accusations against iran made at this military briefing and concluded. "At the February 11, 2007 briefing, officials displayed one EFP and some fragments but did not claim that there was any forensic evidence linking that or any other AFP to Iran." (Gareth Porter ‘Debunking the Neocons' Iran War Measure’ September 27, 2007).

In a later article porter stated, "Nevertheless, the Bush administration decided to put the blame for the EFPs squarely on the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, after Bush agreed in autumn 2006 to target the Quds Force within Iran to make Iranian leaders feel vulnerable to US power. The allegedly exclusive Iranian manufacture of EFPs was the administration's only argument for holding the Quds Force responsible for their use against US forces. At the February 11 military briefing presenting the case for this claim, one of the US military officials declared, "The explosive charges used by Iranian agents in Iraq need a special manufacturing process, which is available only in Iran." The briefer insisted that there was no evidence that they were being made in Iraq." (Gareth Porter ‘Explosive charge blows up in US's face’ October 27, 2007). He then proceeded to show that efps were being made in lebanon, palestine, and iraq.

4. Bush blames Quds for Chaos in Iran - February 14, 2007
Bush’s Statement.
"I can say with certainty that the Quds force, a part of the Iranian government, has provided these sophisticated IEDs that have harmed our troops. And I'd like to repeat, I do not know whether or not the Quds force was ordered from the top echelons of government. But my point is what's worse, them ordering it and it happening, or them not ordering it and it happening? And so we will continue to protect our troops." (President George Bush ‘Press Conference by the President’ February 14, 2007). He can say he knows for certain but he has totally failed to provide any evidence.

Robert Dreyfuss’s View on Bush’s Statement.
"Without his Orwellian apparatus behind him, the president spent most of his hour-long news conference yesterday shrugging and smirking, jutting his jaw out with false bravado, joshing inappropriately with reporters asking deadly serious questions and stumbling over his words. It was painful to listen to him trying to justify the nonsensical claims that Iran and its paramilitary "Quds Force" are somehow responsible for the chaos in Iraq:" (Robert Dreyfuss ‘Breakdown At The Iraq Lie Factory’ February 15, 2007).

4.5 "Mike" McConnell delivers the Neocon Goods - February 27, 2007.
"Cheney's desire for a "clean" NIE that could be used to support his aggressive policy toward Iran was apparently a major factor in the replacement of John Negroponte as director of national intelligence in early 2007. Negroponte had angered the neoconservatives in the administration by telling the press in April 2006 that the intelligence community believed that it would still be "a number of years off" before Iran would be "likely to have enough fissile material to assemble into or to put into a nuclear weapon, perhaps into the next decade." On Jan. 5, 2007, Pres. George W. Bush announced the nomination of retired Vice Admiral John Michael "Mike" McConnell to be director of national intelligence. McConnell was approached by Cheney himself about accepting the position, according to Newsweek. McConnell was far more amenable to White House influence than his predecessor. On Feb. 27, one week after his confirmation, he told the Senate Armed Services Committee he was "comfortable saying it's probable" that the alleged export of explosively formed penetrators to Shi'ite insurgents in Iraq was linked to the highest leadership in Iran. Cheney had been making that charge, but Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, as well as Negroponte, had opposed it." (Gareth Porter ‘Cheney Tried to Stifle Dissent in Iran NIE’ November 9, 2007).

5. America continues to designate Iran as a Terrorist State - May 1, 2007.
"The State Department has once again designated Iran as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, accusing the Islamic Republic of aiding extremists throughout the Middle East, particularly in Iraq. Iran was singled out for criticism in a year that saw a surge of more than 25 percent in terrorist attacks that killed 40 percent more people than in 2005. Much of the increase was in Iraq where extremists used chemical weapons and suicide bombers to target crowds." (Matthew Lee ‘Iran Tops List of State Terror Sponsors’ May 1, 2007).

6. Cheney stands on the Deck of an Aircraft Carrier denouncing Iran - May 11, 2007.
"On Friday (May 11, 2007), aboard an aircraft carrier (the USS John C. Stennis) in the Persian Gulf, Cheney rattled a saber at Ahmedinejad. Cheney said: "With two carrier strike groups in the Gulf, we’re sending clear messages to friends and adversaries alike." In case anyone missed what he was referring to, Cheney spelled it out: "We’ll stand with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the region."" (Matthew Rothschild ‘Cheney Sabotages Talks with Tehran’ May 14, 2007). Cheney was not merely trying to exert more pressure on iran, in the hope that it will do something foolish against american military forces in the middle east. As it turned out, he was also exerting pressure on bush and rice to undermine any efforts they might make towards opening peace negotiations with iran.

7. Cheney using an "end run strategy" to manipulate Bush into Attacking Iran – May 24, 2007.
This story was first exposed by steven clemons and evolves over time. In its first manifestation a dick cheney official, who refused to allow himself to be publicly identified, was telling important figures in the american media that dick cheney was encouraging the jews-only state in palestine to launch an attack on iran’s natanz nuclear facility. This would provoke iran into a retaliation, thereby enabling the american military to attack iran. Cheney was allegedly promoting this strategy because bush was reluctant to agree to an american military attack on iran.

This "end run strategy" evolved over time. Some time later an alternative provocation was promoted i.e. an american military attack on iranian training camps in iraq where iranians were supposedly training iraqis to kill americans. A later variant was that the american military ought to attack iranian training camps in iran.

Antecedents to Cheney’s ‘End Run Strategy’
What is new here is not that cheney wanted the jews-only state to attack iran but that he hoped to use this strategy to manipulate his own president. There is a clear antecedent to cheney’s tactic. "During a Jan. 20, 2005, interview with MSNBC, just hours before Bush's second inauguration, Cheney put Iran "right at the top of the list of trouble spots," and noted that negotiations and UN sanctions might fail to stop Iran's nuclear program. Cheney then added with remarkable nonchalance: "Given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards." Does this not sound like the so-called "Cheney plan" being widely discussed in the media today? An Israeli air attack; Iranian retaliation; Washington springing to the defense of its "ally" Israel?" (Ray McGovern ‘Attacking Iran for Israel?’ October 31, 2007).

Commentators’ views on Cheney’s ‘End Run Strategy’.
Steven C Clemons.
"Multiple sources have reported that a senior aide on Vice President Cheney's national security team has been meeting with policy hands of the American Enterprise Institute, one other think tank, and more than one national security consulting house and explicitly stating that Vice President Cheney does not support President Bush's tack towards Condoleezza Rice's diplomatic efforts and fears that the President is taking diplomacy with Iran too seriously. This White House official has stated to several Washington insiders that Cheney is planning to deploy an "end run strategy" around the President if he and his team lose the policy argument. The thinking on Cheney's team is to collude with Israel, nudging Israel at some key moment in the ongoing standoff between Iran's nuclear activities and international frustration over this to mount a small-scale conventional strike against Natanz using cruise missiles (i.e. not ballistic missiles). There are many other components of the complex game plan that this Cheney official has been kicking around Washington. The official has offered this commentary to senior staff at AEI and in lunch and dinner gatherings which were to be considered strictly off-the-record, but there can be little doubt that the official actually hopes that hawkish conservatives and neoconservatives share this information and then rally to this point of view. This official is beating the brush and doing what Joshua Muravchik has previously suggested - which is to help establish the policy and political pathway to bombing Iran. The zinger of this information is the admission by this Cheney aide that Cheney himself is frustrated with President Bush and believes, much like Richard Perle, that Bush is making a disastrous mistake by aligning himself with the policy course that Condoleezza Rice, Bob Gates, Michael Hayden and McConnell have sculpted. According to this official, Cheney believes that Bush can not be counted on to make the "right decision" when it comes to dealing with Iran and thus Cheney believes that he must tie the President's hands." (Steven C Clemons ‘Cheney Attempting to Constrain Bush's Choices on Iran Conflict: Staff Engaged in Insubordination Against President Bush’ May 24, 2007).

Gordon Prather.
"The Cheney Cabal has apparently concluded that their previous ridiculous argument isn't working. That Iran's nuclear programs, albeit Safeguarded by the International Atomic Energy Agency, are somehow an existential threat to you and yours and have to be "taken out," using nukes "if necessary." So, increasingly, the Cheney Cabal argues that we have to launch a war of aggression against Iran because the Shi'ite Iranians are somehow responsible for the "murder" of American soldiers in neighboring Iraq by Sunni Iraqi insurgents." (Gordon Prather ‘Bush's Next War of Aggression’ July 21, 2007).

Dan Froomkin.
"Reports about Cheney's plans first surfaced on May 24 when Steve Clemons wrote in his influential blog, The Washington Note: "Multiple sources have reported that a senior aide on Vice President Cheney's national security team has been . . . explicitly stating that Vice President Cheney does not support President Bush's tack towards Condoleezza Rice's diplomatic efforts and fears that the President is taking diplomacy with Iran too seriously. "This White House official has stated to several Washington insiders that Cheney is planning to deploy an 'end run strategy' around the President if he and his team lose the policy argument. . . . "According to this official, Cheney believes that Bush can not be counted on to make the 'right decision' when it comes to dealing with Iran and thus Cheney believes that he must tie the President's hands.'" Helene Cooper wrote in the New York Times on June 2 that "people who have spoken with Mr. Cheney's staff have confirmed the broad outlines of the reports." Michael Hirsh and Mark Hosenball wrote for Newsweek on June 7: "A Newsweek investigation shows that Cheney's national-security team has been actively challenging Rice's Iran strategy in recent months."" (Dan Froomkin ‘Cheney's Secret Escalation Plan?’ August 10, 2007

Gabriel Kolko alleges Cheney is trying to get the Jews to do America’s Dirty Work.
"Israel dislikes Iran and the prospect of Iranian nuclear weapons, but they believe they can handle it with a deterrent relationship. Israel needs its army, which is not large enough for potential nearby problems, for Palestinians and its Arab neighbors, who it rightfully fears and hates. That means Israel can be belligerent, but it is not capable of playing the US role, except of course with nuclear weapons. So I regard the Israelis as opponents of a war with Iran which would involve them. Hence, the report that Cheney is trying to use Israel, if it is true, shows that he's confused and quite mad, but also unusually isolated." (Gabriel Kolko 'Many in the US Military Think Bush and Cheney Are Out of Control' October 15, 2007). Kolko who believes that jews "rightfully" fears and hates palestinians and arabs also takes the line that cheney is trying to force the jews-only state to do america’s dirty work. This suggests that the ‘blame america’ allegation is a fabrication.

Cheney’s aide identified as David Wurmser.
Cheney’s aide was eventually identified as the likudnik, militant, fundamentalist david wurmser

Jim Lobe.
"Only a few weeks ago, one of Mr. Cheney’s top aides, David Wurmser, told conservative research groups and consulting firms in Washington that Mr. Cheney believed that Ms. Rice’s diplomatic strategy was failing, and that by next spring Mr. Bush might have to decide whether to take military action." (Helene Cooper and David E. Sanger ‘Iran Strategy Stirs Debate at White House’ June 16, 2007); "While his wife, Meyrav Wurmser, the head of the Hudson’s Institute Middle East program, has hinted that David has been planning to leave for some time, his actual departure within 90 days of the appearance of the June 1 New York Times article that named him as the Cheney official who was quietly shopping attack-Iran scenarios to various Washington think tanks last spring suggests that it may not be altogether voluntary." (Jim Lobe ‘The Cheney-Edelman Connection’ July 31, 2007).

Julian Borger.
"David Wurmser, a vice-presidential aide who appears to be a driving force behind the "bomb Iran" movement, is quoted as suggesting "an end run" around the president. Under this scenario, the hawks would give Israel the nod to launch an attack of their own on Tehran, who would retaliate against US forces, sucking America into a widening conflict." (Julian Borger ‘A dangerous game of 'call my bluff',,2173266,00.html September 20, 2007).

Dan Ephron and Mark Hosenball.
Newsweek eventually reported on the story as if it had uncovered cheney’s machinations. "There are still voices pushing for firmer action against Tehran, most notably within Vice President Dick Cheney's office. But the steady departure of administration neocons over the past two years has also helped tilt the balance away from war. One official who pushed a particularly hawkish line on Iran was David Wurmser, who had served since 2003 as Cheney's Middle East adviser. A spokeswoman at Cheney's office confirmed to NEWSWEEK that Wurmser left his position last month to "spend more time with his family." A few months before he quit, according to two knowledgeable sources, Wurmser told a small group of people that Cheney had been mulling the idea of pushing for limited Israeli missile strikes against the Iranian nuclear site at Natanz, and perhaps other sites, in order to provoke Tehran into lashing out. The Iranian reaction would then give Washington a pretext to launch strikes against military and nuclear targets in Iran. When NEWSWEEK attempted to reach Wurmser for comment, his wife, Meyrav, declined to put him on the phone and said the allegations were untrue. A spokeswoman at Cheney's office said the vice president "supports the president's policy on Iran."" (Dan Ephron and Mark Hosenball ‘The Whispers of War’ September 24, 2007).

The Jewish Racist Wurmser denies he’s Conspiring to push America into War for the Jews.
"A former White House official reportedly conspiring to foment a war between America and Iran says he is being falsely accused. In his first interview since leaving Vice President Cheney's office, David Wurmser denied a story published in the October 1 issue of Newsweek alleging that he said last spring that the vice president was considering a plan to press Israel to strike Iranian nuclear targets, including the site at Natanz, Iran's central facility for uranium enrichment. Newsweek reported that the plan was to be an effort to "provoke Tehran into lashing out," which in turn would have created the pretext for America to launch military strikes on a wider range of targets in Iran. The account was first reported in May on the Web log of a senior fellow of the New America Foundation, Steve Clemons. When asked about the Newsweek story, Mr. Wurmser said, "That conspiracy is unrecognizable to anything I have ever seen or heard or done. The vice president simply does not traffic in insubordination."" (Eli Lake ‘Ex-Cheney Adviser Denies Trying To Stir War With Iran’ September 27, 2007). Nobody has claimed wurmser was being insubordinate only that he was following cheney’s orders to manipulate the president into lauching another pre-emptive and illegal war. Wurmser then goes on to shoot himself in the foot by repeating the likudnik claim about links between saddam and al qaeda. "According to Mr. Wurmser, "the purpose of the study was to challenge the reigning assumptions that governed not only intelligence but policy. Events since have borne out that this sort of activity is essential. The bulk of the work of that unit has never been revealed, not even the links between Saddam and Al Qaeda. I remain confident that history will judge the unit's work favorably."" (Eli Lake ‘Ex-Cheney Adviser Denies Trying To Stir War With Iran’ September 27, 2007).

The Jewish Racist continues to demand Bush launches further Wars for the Jews.
"We need to do everything possible to destabilise the Syrian regime and exploit every single moment they strategically overstep," said David Wurmser, who recently resigned after four years as Vice President Dick Cheney's Middle East adviser. "That would include the willingness to escalate as far as we need to go to topple the regime if necessary." He said that an end to Baathist rule in Damascus could trigger a domino effect that would then bring down the Teheran regime. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, the first since he left government, he argued that the United States had to be prepared to attack both Syria and Iran to prevent the spread of Islamic fundamentalism and nuclear proliferation in the Middle East that could result in a much wider war. Mr Wurmser, 46, a leading neo-conservative who has played a pivotal role in the Bush administration since the September 11th attacks, said that diplomacy would fail to stop Iran becoming a nuclear power. Overthrowing Teheran's theocratic regime should therefore be a top US priority. Iran was using Syria as its proxy against Israel and among Sunni Arabs and both regimes had to be overthrown, he insisted. "It has to be, because who they are is now defined around provoking a wider clash of civilisations with the West. It is precisely to avoid this that we need to win now." Limited strikes against Iranian nuclear targets would be useless, Mr Wurmser said. "Only if what we do is placed in the framework of a fundamental assault on the survival of the regime will it have a pick-up among ordinary Iranians. "If we start shooting, we must be prepared to fire the last shot. Don't shoot a bear if you're not going to kill it."" (Toby Harnden ‘US 'must break Iran and Syria regimes'’ October 05, 2007). Surely jewish demands that bush should launch another pre-emptive war that could be even more catastrophic for america than the invasions of afghanistan and iraq but will be an even greater benefit to the jews-only state in palestine, are by definition traitorous?

Wurmser not only wants war against Iran but Syria too.
"We need to do everything possible to destabilise the Syrian regime and exploit every single moment they strategically overstep," said David Wurmser, who recently resigned after four years as Vice President Dick Cheney's Middle East adviser. "That would include the willingness to escalate as far as we need to go to topple the regime if necessary." He said that an end to Baathist rule in Damascus could trigger a domino effect that would then bring down the Teheran regime. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, the first since he left government, he argued that the United States had to be prepared to attack both Syria and Iran to prevent the spread of Islamic fundamentalism and nuclear proliferation in the Middle East that could result in a much wider war. Mr Wurmser, 46, a leading neo-conservative who has played a pivotal role in the Bush administration since the September 11th attacks, said that diplomacy would fail to stop Iran becoming a nuclear power. Overthrowing Teheran's theocratic regime should therefore be a top US priority." (Toby Harnden ‘US 'must break Iran and Syria regimes'’ October 05, 2007).

8. US Airforces establishes Checkmate – June 2007.
In the following quotation there is no mention as to what the next war will be. But there is only one that many american military leaders have on their minds. "In June, the U.S. Air Force established Project Checkmate tasked with "fighting the next war."" (Marjorie Cohn ‘The Drift Toward War: Pursue Diplomacy, Not War, with Iran’ September 25, 2007). However, eric margolis believes checkmate has been around much longer. "An invitation to visit "Checkmate", the US air force's most important and secretive strategic planning group, was an offer that, as a veteran military analyst, I could not refuse. A few weeks earlier, I had written that the air force was the supreme instrument of America's global power, likening it to the 19th-century Royal Navy. Were it not for the USAF's 24-hour close air support, I said, US and British ground forces in Iraq and Afghanistan would be unable to defend their long, vulnerable supply lines, and might even face defeats like those suffered by imperial Britain at Kut and in the Afghan wars. My column ricocheted around the Pentagon's top brass and received a positive response from General Michael Moseley, the air force chief of staff. I was invited to the Pentagon to brief Checkmate's senior officers on strategic developments in my speciality areas, the Middle East and South Asia. Soon after, I was in the Pentagon's 17.1-mile maze of corridors amid 23,000 military and civilian personnel. The Checkmate group planned the devastating 1991 air force attack on Iraq, and the 2003 strike aimed at decapitating Iraq's leadership." (Eric Margolis ‘The men planning America's next air war’ September 22, 2007). Then again, "Another report last month asserted that the US Air Force has reestablished the elite fighting force which planned the 1991 Gulf War's air campaign and tasked them with "fighting the next war" as US-Iran tensions bloom. "Project Checkmate," resurrected in June, reports directly to Mosley and "consists of 20-30 top air force officers and defence and cyberspace experts with ready access to the White House, the CIA and other intelligence agencies."" (John Byrne ‘US trains Gulf air forces for possible Iran strike, while revisiting strategy at home’ October 1, 2007).

9. Cheney alleges Iran supplying arms to the Taliban, Sunni Iraqis, and al-Qaeda – June 13, 2007.
"A media campaign portraying Iran as supplying arms to the Taliban fighting US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces in Afghanistan, orchestrated by advocates in the US administration of a more confrontational stance toward Iran, appears to have backfired. Last week, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, General Dan McNeil, issued unusually strong denials. The allegation that Iran had reversed a decade-long policy and was now supporting the Taliban, conveyed in a series of press articles quoting "senior officials" in recent weeks, is related to a broader effort by officials aligned with US Vice President Dick Cheney to portray Iran as supporting Sunni insurgents, including al-Qaeda, to defeat the United States in both Iraq and Afghanistan." (Gareth Porter ‘Gambit to link Iran to the Taliban backfires’ June 13, 2007).

10. Burns alleges Iran supplying arms to the Taliban - June 12, 2007.
"A senior U.S. diplomat accused Iran on Tuesday of transferring weapons to Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, the most direct comments yet on the issue by a ranking American official. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, speaking to reporters in Paris, said Iran was funding insurrections across the Middle East, and "Iran is now even transferring arms to the Taliban in Afghanistan." In Afghanistan last week, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Iranian weapons were falling into the hands of Taliban fighters, but stopped short of blaming the government itself." (Jamey Keaten ‘U.S.: Iran sending weapons to Taliban’ June 12, 2007). This view was supported by the likudniks’ lap-dog tony blair. "In Afghanistan it is clear that the Taliban is receiving support, including arms from ... elements of the Iranian regime," British Prime Minister Tony Blair wrote in the May 31 edition of the Economist." (Jamey Keaten ‘U.S.: Iran sending weapons to Taliban’ June 12, 2007); "Afghanistan's defense minister on Thursday dismissed claims by a top U.S. State Department official that there was "irrefutable evidence" that the Iranian government was providing arms to Taliban rebels. "Actually, throughout, we have had good relations with Iran and we believe that the security and stability of Afghanistan are also in the interests of Iran," Abdul Rahim Wardak told The Associated Press. On Wednesday, U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said in Paris that Tehran was directly supplying weapons to the Taliban. He told CNN there was "irrefutable evidence" that arms shipments were coming from Iran's government." (Slobodan Lekic ‘Afghan minister dismisses U.S. claims’ June 14, 2007); "In a development that underlines the tensions between the anti-Iran agenda of the George W. Bush administration and the preoccupation of its military command in Afghanistan with militant Sunni activism, a State Department official publicly accused Iran for the first time of arming the Taliban forces last week, but the US commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan rejected that charge for the second time in less than two weeks. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns declared in Paris June 12 that Iran was "transferring arms to the Taliban in Afghanistan," putting it in the context of a larger alleged Iranian role of funding "extremists" in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Iraq. The following day he asserted that there was "irrefutable evidence" of such Iranian arms supply to the Taliban. The use of the phrase "irrefutable evidence" suggested that the Burns statement was scripted by the office of Vice President Dick Cheney. The same phrase had been used by Cheney himself on September 20, 2002, in referring to the administration's accusation that Saddam Hussein had a program to enrich uranium as the basis for a nuclear weapon. But the NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Dan McNeill, pointed to other possible explanations, particularly the link between drug smuggling and weapons smuggling between Iran and Afghanistan. Gen. McNeill repeated in an interview with US News and World Report last week a previous statement to Reuters that he did not agree with the charge. McNeill minimized the scope of the arms coming from Iran, saying: "What we've found so far hasn't been militarily significant on the battlefield."" (Gareth Porter ‘New Iran Arms Claim Reveals Cheney-Military Rift’ June 21, 2007).

11. Burns alleges Iran supplying arms to Hamas, Taliban, and Iraq - June 13, 2007.
"On Wednesday, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns told CNN that Iran is not only arming the Taliban in Afghanistan, but Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and insurgents in Iraq. "There's irrefutable evidence the Iranians are now doing this and it's a pattern of activity," said Burns. He added there was no chance the shipments were coming from rebel groups in Iran." (Patrick J. Buchanan ‘On the Escalator to War With Iran’ June 15, 2007); "Wednesday (June 13, 2007) in Paris, U.S. Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns made the most definitive statement yet by a senior official that Iran was supplying the Taliban in Afghanistan with weapons including small arms and shaped charges, which make roadside bombs effective even against armored vehicles. "There's irrefutable evidence the Iranians are now doing this," Burns said on CNN television. He also ruled out the possibility that the supplies might be coming from rogue states or freelance elements in Tehran. "It's certainly coming from the government of Iran. It's coming from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard corps command, which is a basic unit of the Iranian government."" (‘Some doubt U.S. claims Iran arming Taliban’ June 14, 2007); "Even beyond its nuclear program, Iran is emerging as an increasing source of trouble for the Bush administration by inflaming the insurgencies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and in Gaza, where it has provided military and financial support to the militant Islamic group Hamas, which now controls the Gaza Strip." (Helene Cooper and David E. Sanger ‘Iran Strategy Stirs Debate at White House’ June 16, 2007); "The drumbeat of American accusations against Iran has been growing in recent months, during which time the American military has detained several Iranian officials in Iraq. While the initial allegations focused on Iranian support for Shi’ite militias in Iraq, they now also include backing for Sunni Iraqi groups and Tehran’s erstwhile enemy in Afghanistan, the Taliban." (Marc Perelman ‘Allegations of Hezbollah’s Terrorist Activity in Iraq Are Met With Skepticism’ July 11, 2007).

12. Gen. Petraeus alleges Iran supplying arms to Iraq - June 13, 2007.
"On Wednesday, Gen. Petraeus told USA Today's Cesar Soriano that Iran is "funding, arming, training and, even in some cases, directing the activities of extremists and militia elements in Iraq." The flow of arms from Iran into Iraq, said Petraeus, has not diminished since the May 28 meeting between U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and his Iranian counterpart. What Iran is being publicly charged with here, by responsible U.S. officials, are acts of war – arming insurgents and terrorists to kill U.S. soldiers and civilians. "As many as 200 American soldiers" may have been killed by Iranians or Iranian-trained insurgents, Lieberman claimed. Petraeus and Nick Burns would not be making these charges publicly if the White House did not want them made publicly. What is going on? The most logical explanation is that the White House is providing advance justification for air strikes on camps of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard that are allegedly providing training for and transferring weapons to Afghan and Iraqi insurgents. And if the United States conducts those strikes, Iranians will unite around Ahmadinejad, and Tehran will order retaliatory strikes against U.S. targets in Iraq and perhaps across the Middle East." (Patrick J. Buchanan ‘On the Escalator to War With Iran’ June 15, 2007).

13. Lieberman argues Iranians are training Iraqis to Kill American Troops and must be Attacked - June 15, 2007.
""I think we've got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq," Joe Lieberman blurted on "Face the Nation," adding, "To me, that would include a strike over the border into Iran, where we have good evidence that they have a base at which they are training those people coming back into Iraq to kill our soldiers." "If there's any hope of ... stopping their nuclear weapons development," Lieberman said, "we can't just talk to them." (Patrick J. Buchanan ‘On the Escalator to War With Iran’ June 15, 2007); "The drumbeat for war against Iran has begun again, led by Sen. Joe Lieberman, the independent Democrat from Connecticut, and the usual pro-Israel crowd. Lieberman seems to be under the impression that the U.S. can bomb Iran and not get into a full-fledged war." (Charley Reese ‘Lying Us Into War, Again’ June 16, 2007). However, lieberman had made a similar statement in december 2006. "In Joe Lieberman's December 2006 op-ed in the Washington Post, which essentially declared the U.S. at war with Iran, he warned Americans of what he called "Iran's terrorist agents," whom he then identified as "Hezbollah and Hamas."" (Glenn Greenwald ‘A Confederation of War-Seeking Factions’ June 26, 2007); "In fact, the first call for cross-border attacks on Iranian targets was made by the Senate's "independent" Democrat, Joseph Lieberman, who is regarded as particularly close to the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)." (Jim Lobe ‘Anti-Iran Hawks Win Partial Victory in Congress’ September 28, 2007).

14. Robert Gates alleges Iran supplying arms to Taliban - June 20, 2007.
"In the past week, while two US aircraft-carrier strike forces continued to patrol the Persian Gulf, US accusations against the Iranians have escalated. US officials have insisted that the Iranians are supplying sophisticated roadside bombs to Iraqi insurgents (who are the enemies of their Shi'ite allies). Now this week Secretary of Defense Robert Gates "tied Iran's government to large shipments of weapons to the Taliban in Afghanistan and said on Wednesday such quantities were unlikely without Tehran's knowledge". Similarly, Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns told CNN: "There's irrefutable evidence the Iranians are now doing this."" (Tom Engelhardt ‘Introduction to Iran: Blowback, detainee-style’ June 20, 2007); "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has consistently denied US allegations that Iran was furnishing weapons to both the Taliban in Afghanistan and insurgents in Iraq. Two months ago, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said the volume of weapons reaching the Taliban from Iran made it "difficult to believe" that the shipments were "taking place without the knowledge of the Iranian Government"." (Geoff Elliott ‘US 'poised to strike Iran'’,25197,22303955-2703,00.html August 25, 2007).

14.5. Pod Man Smokin’ - June 27, 2007.
"Continuing his rant, the Pod Man avers: "This picture of a country in total chaos with no security is false. It has been a triumph. It couldn't have gone better." Better, for whom? Well, for Israeli hardliners, to start with, who now have 150,000 American soldiers in the Middle East to set against another of their mortal enemies. Better for the neocons, who still control the commanding heights of U.S. policymaking centers in Washington and who are now within reach of their goal of "regime change" throughout the region." (Justin Raimondo ‘Tom Lantos, Warmonger’ June 27, 2007).

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