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US Preparing for an Attack on Iran?

Why is this such a shock?

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.

I would be shocked if attack plans weren't being made. Afterall, diplomacy and world pressure probably won't convince Iran's leaders to back off of their nuclear ambitions.

In fact, Ralph Peters points out in today's NY Post that Iran's leaders may be pushing for war out of a miscalculation of America's response:

Have the inner-circle Iranian leaders replicated yesteryear's decision-making process of Osama bin Laden and his deputies in their Afghan camps - a hothouse atmosphere in which limited evidence was processed selectively and mutual-enablers convinced each other that a few attacks on American landmarks would drive Washington into a global retreat?


Have the Iranians failed to understand the real implications of 9/11? Do they believe that sinking a few oil tankers or even a U.S. Navy ship or two would drive us from the region? Has flawed, impassioned faith led to faulty geo-strategic calculations?

The most worrisome possibility is that they may have convinced themselves they can win.


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Comments (21)

The Japanese and the German... (Below threshold)
stan25:

The Japanese and the Germans thought the same thing about the United States too. They believed that our multi-racial society was soft and effemate. They believed this until Pearl Harbor. This single attack galvanized the American people more than anything in our history.

I guess that Iranian believe the same bullshit. I do believe that if they do strike any US asset in the Perisan Gulf, the American people will rally just like they did after Pearl Harbor.

Of course there will be a few idiots, such as Jimmy Carter, Cindy Sheehan, Ramsey Clark and a few more that think that we should just let them run roughshod over us. If they say anything, we should load them upi and ship them to Iran if they love it so much

We've got plans for attacki... (Below threshold)

We've got plans for attacking just about everybody! That's not news...that's how you keep all those Majors and light Colonels busy at the Pentagon (while LTs and Captains make coffee and go on geedunk runs).

We've got plans fo... (Below threshold)
We've got plans for attacking just about everybody!

This is true. We even have invasion plans for Canada, in some drawer somewhere.

I got the strangest sense o... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

I got the strangest sense of deja vu reading this piece...

J.

I got the strangest sense o... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

I got the strangest sense of deja vu reading this piece...

J.

Yeah and i hope we settle ... (Below threshold)
virgo:

Yeah and i hope we settle up with Syria where a lot of WMDS were hid as well, and than that little munchgin in NK is next , why not fill out the axis quota...

Indeed, why is any of this ... (Below threshold)
US Preparing for an Atta... (Below threshold)
docjim505:

US Preparing for an Attack on Iran?

We'd damned well BETTER be preparing. I hope that we can talk / pressure the mullahs into cooperating, but in case we can't, I don't want an attack on Iran to be like the clusterf**k that Grenada was. I want our aircrews to have their target folders completely up-to-date, our missiles to have impact coordinates already preset, etc.

Oh yay. Yet another war aga... (Below threshold)
asoka:

Oh yay. Yet another war against the axis of evil. Global arrogance on a grand scale. Does anyone really beleive that the entire world is jealous of the freedoms and liberty of the great US of A?
Maybe a more reasonable explanation is a foreign policy designed to further the nations own ends with utter disgrard for anything else? Or is the entire world including the United Nations wrong, with the US being the sole bastion of reason in a world gone mad. That must be, I mean just take a quick look at the American people? They should be the gold standard for the rest of the world to emulate. The most overfed, excessively satiated with porn,food, and entertainment society ever.

"They should be the gold... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

"They should be the gold standard for the rest of the world to emulate."

So who, in your estimation, should we be emulating?

You might want to wipe that spittle of your chin, there, too.

AsokaIf the US is ... (Below threshold)
Proud Kaffir:

Asoka

If the US is so horrible, why is everybody else trying to come here?

Does anyone really beleive that the entire world is jealous of the freedoms and liberty of the great US of A?

Yes, and our wealth/ productivity as well. See my question above.

Maybe a more reasonable explanation is a foreign policy designed to further the nations own ends with utter disgrard for anything else?

Yes, like during WWII we had utter disregard towards the fascist states and during cold war we had utter disregard towards the communist dictatorships. The problem with the left is that they hold dictators and thugs as heroes as long as they oppose the US.

Or is the entire world including the United Nations wrong, with the US being the sole bastion of reason in a world gone mad.

The UN is filled with autocratic, nonrepresentative regimes. This is the greatest failing of the UN.


Or is the entire world incl... (Below threshold)
stan25:

Or is the entire world including the United Nations wrong, with the US being the sole bastion of reason in a world gone mad.

Asoka, your hero Franklin Roosevelt was the one that came up with the idea of the Unholy Nations. I don't know why he did this, because it was doomef to failure, just as the League of Nations failed. It has taken a little while longer, but too the Unholy Nations will fall and go the way of the dodo bird. It would have gone under, except for the American taxpayer.

We have kept these idiots in power, because the people that have run the American government over the last 50 years believed that world peace could be achieved through talking. A lot of good that has done. There have been more conflicts since the Unholy Nations has been existance.

I for one, would like to see that Unholy Nations kicked out of the United States and possibly disbanded. The extra money that we would have would do a great service to paying down the National Debt, if some idiot Congressman or Senator did not decide to spent on one of their vote buying schemes.

While Mr. Peters may well b... (Below threshold)
anthean:

While Mr. Peters may well be right that President Ahmadinejad is a madman with apocalyptic beliefs, the truth is that even a rational Iran with nuclear weapons is a grave danger to the US. Let me temporarily assume that Ahmadinejad is rational (as we understand it) and thus establish the baseline threat presented by a nuclear Iran.

The most basic point is that countries do not acquire nuclear weapons with the intent of committing suicide. Rather, they acquire nuclear weapons for political reasons, generally believing that possession of the weapon gives them an advantage in accomplishing their strategic goals. Nevertheless, despite this lack of intent to immediately use these newly acquired weapons, there are real dangers associated with a rational nuclear Iran. These risks are:

1. Inadvertent nuclear war. While a nuclear Iran is unlikely to initiate a nuclear war with premeditation, recent Middle East history is repleat with examples of Islamic leaders miscalculating and war resulting. Examples of deterrence failure include Iraq's invasion of Iran in the 1980s and invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Similarly, the 1967 Arab-Israeli war is an excellent example in support of the spiral model--except in this case, Arab countries competed against each other (rather than Israel) in escalatory moves toward the Jewish state. While nuclear weapons could made make their owners more sober, this is a dangerous gamble given the basic instability of the Islamic world.

2. Accomplishment of Iranian political goals. Expelling Americans from the Gulf certainly must be at the top of this list. Nuclear weapons have a special place in such a strategy, for the following reason: The US presence in the Gulf is highly dependent on bases and support facilities in Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE, and in return the US ensures the integrity of these small countries and their freedom to trade as they wish. Due to the incredible destructiveness of nuclear weapons (it only takes one penetrating warhead to kill hundreds of thousands), Qatar (for example) may have second thoughts on the effectiveness of any American defense and thus acquiesce to Iranian demands to throw the Americans out.

3. Further nuclear proliferation. A nuclear Iran constitutes a potential threat to nearly all countries in the region, and already we are seing efforts by other Middle Eastern countries (Saudi Arabia and Turkey come to mind) to acquire similar weapons. And Iraq would similarly feel pressured, were they not now distracted by other events. Just an aside regarding the basically benign and defensive nature of Israel's nuclear aresenal, If Iran goes nuclear, expect panic in Gulf.

As a final thought, a nuclear armed Soviet Union posed a real threat to the US (think Cuban missile crisis). The fact that it was rational only made it more dangerous.

I have been following the w... (Below threshold)
Adam:

I have been following the worsening situation with Iran for some time now. All I can say is, I'm fearful of what is going to have to happen. By now, I have come to the conclusion that diplomacy is not going to work, and, consequently, I'm glad the US is drawing up plans to strike against Iran. I think we need to appraoch Iran in a completely different way than we did with Iraq.

WHEN WE STRIKE IRAN, IT NEEDS TO BE SO INCREDIBLY MASSIVE THAT EVEN OUR ALLIES WILL BE THROWN INTO A STATE OF SHOCK!

This will put the world, and, specifically the Arab world into its place. Things have gotten out of hand and it needs to be stopped. We should go in, bomb the hell out of them, and pull our troops out...from Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

I was all for rebuilding nations after we tear them to pieces, but when the people continue to destroy the countries themselves...don't even bother. They don't deserve to even live...and why do I say this, because all they do is cause death, destruction and terrorism. And, when the world develops alternative energy sources, all arabs are going to cease to exist.

It is sad that these people have to be like this. I really wish they could at least begin to cooperate with each other, then satrt cooperating with the rest of the world, but I don't think they have the ability to become civilized.

Here is Korea's resp... (Below threshold)
tt:


Here is Korea's response to the US's possible use of nukes against Iran....

A preemptive attack is not a monopoly of the United States and North Korea will directly confront any American threat, said the vice marshal of the North's Korean People's Army on Saturday.
"A preemptive attack is not monopoly of the U.S. and North Korea will never sit idle till it is exposed to a preemptive attack of the U.S.," said Kim Il-chol

The US's preemptive policy is the worst policy in our history and I hope it will be our downfall.


BIG mistake... I intended t... (Below threshold)
tt:

BIG mistake... I intended to write that

I hope it WILL NOT be our downfall - NOT

sorry

tt,So, should we a... (Below threshold)
docjim505:

tt,

So, should we always let people hit us first? Let's say that the norkies aren't kidding, and have (or develop) the means to make good on their threat. Do you really want to wait until AFTER they vaporize Tokyo, Honolulu, and LA to hit them? This is the logic of your position.

Consider also the consequences of an attack on the United States. Remember the hysteria immediately after 9-11? Don't you think that the country would be screaming for blood if Iran or North Korea uses a nuke on us, and that Congress would be lining up to demand that the president use the Bomb? Do you think people will be satisfied with tit for tat, or do you think it's much more likely that they would want the offending country to be completely destroyed by our retaliation? And do you really want to trust to luck and "good intentions" that this scenario never plays out?

FWIW, I think that what really bothers people about preemption is not the strategy itself, but rather who has suggested it and how bluntly it's been expressed.

Very True docjim505 and ve... (Below threshold)
virgo:

Very True docjim505 and very well said..

Yo, i say we call a draft, ... (Below threshold)
Andy:

Yo, i say we call a draft, get better military issue rifles (XM-8's) and what not. Not this tiny .223 crap we are using and go in head first guns a blazin when ever a nice size offensive takes place. from a US Marine :)

Hoorah, Semper Fi...... (Below threshold)
Andy:

Hoorah, Semper Fi...

one more thing...sorry..thi... (Below threshold)
Andy:

one more thing...sorry..this is about the .223 ammo used in the m16's, m4 carbines, and S.A.W. guns. True we have been using this size bullet for 30 some years but you've got to face the facts that these bullets are puny up against the 30.06 rounds we used to use in the good old days. Almost every infantry firearm used to be the .30 cal cartrige. From experience i can say that the .223 has relitively no stopping power. i dont really know why i had to post this but it feels good to get it off my back. semper fi




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