Highlights

 
Quotable
Patriotism at the expense of another nation is as wicked as racism at the expense of another race...Let us resolve to be patriots always, nationalists never.
Rev. William Sloane Coffin
Original Letters Blog US Casualties Contact Donate

 
June 15, 2007

On the Escalator to War With Iran


by Patrick J. Buchanan

These are the "birth pangs" of a "new Middle East," said Condi Rice last summer, as Israel pounded Lebanon. Unfortunately, the new Middle East may make us all pray for the return of the old.

Hamas is today engaged in savage street-fighting with Fatah for control of Gaza. If Hamas prevails, it could convert this Palestinian enclave into a terrorist base camp between Israel and Egypt.

In northern Lebanon, Islamic jihadists are battling the army for control of a Palestinian refugee camp. Scores are dead.

On Wednesday, a seventh parliamentarian was assassinated with his son in a Beirut car bomb attack.

In Samarra, the Golden Mosque was attacked again on Wednesday, collapsing the two minarets that survived last year's bombing. Gen. David Petraeus is grim about the consequences of what he says was an al-Qaeda attack to escalate the Sunni-Shi'ite war.

With Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan convulsed by ever-widening civil wars, a new danger is that the United States, tied down in two of those wars, may be about to lash out and launch a third on Iran.

"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."

Joe's call for air strikes follows the GOP debate where several presidential hopefuls did not even rule out the use of tactical atomic weapons to deal with Iran's uranium enrichment program.

These are politicians, however, and bashing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Iran has no political downside. More ominous are the grim words of serious U.S. diplomats and soldiers not usually given to bellicose rhetoric.

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.

"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," said Burns.

NATO officials in Afghanistan say Iranian-made AK-47s, plastic explosives, mortars and one "explosively formed penetrator" bomb that can pierce coalition armor have been intercepted.

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.

"The people they (the Iranians) are arming are very, very serious thugs," said Petraeus. The general claims that militants armed by Iran kidnapped the British contractors on May 29 and were behind the recent mortar and rocket attacks on the Green Zone.

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.

President Bush will then have his casus belli to take out Natanz and all the other Iranian nuclear facilities, as the Israelis and the neocons have been demanding that he do. This would mean a third Middle Eastern war for America, with a nation three times as large and populous as Iraq. Perhaps it is time to begin constructing a new wing on Walter Reed.

Which raises the question: Where is the Congress? Why is it not holding public hearings and sifting the evidence to determine if Tehran is behind these attacks on Americans and if the United States has not itself been aiding insurgents inside Iran?

Or is it all up to George W. as to whether we launch a third and wider war in the Middle East, which could result in an economic and strategic disaster for the United States?

COPYRIGHT CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.


comments on this article?
 
 
Archives

  • Can Uncle Sam Ever Let Go?
    3/27/2009

  • Of Patriots and Assassins
    3/17/2009

  • Return of the War Party
    2/27/2009

  • The Long Retreat
    2/20/2009

  • Obama and the Great Game
    2/13/2009

  • A Bibi-Barack Collision?
    1/27/2009

  • Is Ehud's Poodle Acting Up?
    1/17/2009

  • Bush, Obama, and
    the Gaza Blitz
    12/30/2008

  • Obama's War
    12/19/2008

  • Can This Marriage Last?
    12/5/2008

  • The Rationale of Terror
    12/2/2008

  • Meeting Medvedev Halfway
    11/25/2008

  • Liquidating the Empire
    10/14/2008

  • An Amicus Brief for Neville
    9/30/2008

  • And None Dare Call It Treason
    8/22/2008

  • Who Started Cold War II?
    8/19/2008

  • Blowback From Bear-Baiting
    8/15/2008

  • Obama's War?
    7/29/2008

  • Honorable Exit From Empire
    7/25/2008

  • A Phony Crisis
    and a Real One
    7/15/2008

  • No More Blank Checks for War
    7/11/2008

  • Who's Planning Our Next War?
    6/27/2008

  • Hitchens Demands an
    Eye for an Eye
    6/25/2008

  • Was the Holocaust Inevitable?
    6/20/2008

  • Is Bush Becoming Irrelevant?
    5/30/2008

  • Bush Plays the Hitler Card
    5/20/2008

  • Is It Jaw-Jaw or War-War?
    5/6/2008

  • Petraeus Points to War With Iran
    4/11/2008

  • Was WWII Really 'The Good War'?
    4/4/2008

  • Should We Fight for South Ossetia?
    4/1/2008

  • Does Balkanization Beckon Anew?
    2/19/2008

  • Blowback From Moscow
    11/30/2007

  • Is World War III on Hold?
    11/13/2007

  • Is a Vote for Rudy a Vote for War?
    11/9/2007

  • Who Restarted the Cold War?
    10/19/2007

  • Infantile Nation
    9/25/2007

  • Is Terrorism a Mortal Threat?
    9/21/2007

  • Stopping the Next War
    9/14/2007

  • Phase III of Bush's War
    9/1/2007

  • Has Bush Boxed Himself In?
    8/28/2007

  • Onward Into Waziristan!
    8/3/2007

  • Hillary's Late Hit
    7/27/2007

  • This Is How Empires End
    7/20/2007

  • Tonkin Gulf II and
    the Guns of August?
    7/17/2007

  • How Scooter Skated
    7/6/2007

  • The Retreat of the Old Bulls
    6/29/2007

  • The Martyr of Mosul
    6/22/2007

  • On the Escalator to War With Iran
    6/15/2007

  • Who Lost Russia?
    6/5/2007

  • Does 'The Decider'
    Decide on War?
    5/30/2007

  • Why Congress Caved to Bush
    5/25/2007

  • But Who Was Right Rudy or Ron?
    5/18/2007

  • Dying for...Estonia?
    5/4/2007

  • Wolfie's Piggy Bank
    4/17/2007

  • What a Lack of Courage Cost
    4/10/2007

  • Magnanimous Mahmoud
    4/7/2007

  • Interventions Without End?
    3/27/2007

  • Pelosi's Capitulation
    3/20/2007

  • Does Putin Not Have a Point?
    2/13/2007

  • Is Bombing Iran Bush's Call?
    2/9/2007

  • Hysteria at Herzliya
    1/31/2007

  • The Ideologue
    1/25/2007

  • The X Factor in 2008 Iran
    1/23/2007

  • See the Superpower Run
    1/19/2007

  • Mr. Bush, Meet Walter Jones
    1/16/2007

  • Patrick J. Buchanan was twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the Reform Party’s candidate in 2000. He is also a founder and editor of the new magazine, The American Conservative. Now a commentator and columnist, he served three presidents in the White House, was a founding panelist of three national television shows, and is the author of seven books.

    Reproduction of material from any original Antiwar.com pages
    without written permission is strictly prohibited.
    Copyright 2014 Antiwar.com