Is the United States provoking war with Iran,
to begin while the Congress is conveniently on its August recess?
One recalls that it was in August 1964, after the Republicans nominated Barry
Goldwater, that the Tonkin Gulf incident occurred.
Twice it was said, on Aug. 2 and Aug. 4, North Vietnamese patrol boats had
attacked the U.S. destroyers Maddox and Turner Joy in international
waters. The U.S. Senate responded by voting 88 to two to authorize President
Johnson to assist any Southeast Asian nation whose government was threatened
by communist aggression.
The bombing of the North began, followed by the arrival of U.S. Marines. America's
war was on.
As Congress prepares for its August recess, the probability of U.S. air strikes
on Iran rises with each week. A third carrier, the USS Enterprise, and
its battle group is joining the Nimitz and Stennis in the largest
concentration of U.S. naval power ever off the coast of Iran.
And Tonkin Gulf II may have already occurred.
In Baghdad, on July 1, Gen. Kevin J. Bergner charged that Iranians planned
the January raid in Karbala, using commandos in American-style uniforms, that
resulted in the death of five U.S. soldiers.
As the New York Times reports, this "marks the first time that the United
States has charged that Iranian officials have helped plan operations against
American troops in Iraq and have had advance knowledge of specific attacks that
have led to the death of American soldiers."
The Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards is using Hezbollah to train
Shi'ites to attack our soldiers and providing them with enhanced IEDs that have
killed scores of U.S. troops, Bergner charged. He says we have captured a veteran
Hezbollah agent and documents pointing to direct Iranian complicity in the Karbala
Iran has denounced the charge as "ridiculous." But the Senate has voted 97
to zero to censure Iran for complicity in killing the Americans.
If what Bergner alleges is true, President Bush has not only the right but
appears to have the blessing of Congress to attack Iran. And he now has the
naval and air forces at hand. What is stopping him?
For it is surely not Congress, which buried a resolution last spring declaring
that Bush must come to Congress before taking us into a new war in the Middle
East. Congress appears to be signaling Bush: "If you want to hit Iran, you have
the green light. No need to consult us."
Is this yet another abdication by Congress of its moral and constitutional
duty to decide when and whether America goes to war?
And something smells awfully fishy here.
Iran has no interest in a war with the United States, which it seems to be
toying with. Iran supports the pro-American Shia regime in Baghdad. And the
al-Qaeda umbrella group in Iraq, which is our mortal enemy, has just warned
Iran it faces terror attacks if it does not stop supporting Shi'ites in Iraq.
Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, who leads the al-Qaeda group known as the Islamic State
in Iraq, says his fighters have been preparing for four years for war on Iran.
"We are giving the Persians, and especially the rulers of Iran, a two-month
period to end all kinds of support for the Iraqi Shi'ite government and to stop
direct and indirect intervention – otherwise a severe war is waiting for you,"
Baghdadi said in a 50-minute videotape.
Baghdadi also warned Arab Sunnis in the region who do business with Shi'ites
in Iran that they were inviting assassination.
Query: If Iran's ally, the Maliki government, is our ally, and if Iran's enemy,
al-Qaeda in Iraq, is our enemy, why would Iran use the Quds Force to attack
Americans and risk U.S. retaliation?
Killing Americans in Iraq is not going to defeat the United States. But it
could trigger heavy U.S. retaliation, not only on the Quds Force, but on Iran's
nuclear facilities – and a war with the United States. Yet Iran's diplomatic
behavior suggests it wishes to avoid such a war.
Another explanation comes to mind. Iran is not initiating, but is responding
to U.S.-inspired attacks inside Iran, in the Kurdish north, the Arab southwest,
and the Baluchi southeast of its country. Was Karbala an attempted kidnapping
to exchange U.S. soldiers for the five Iranian "diplomats" we are holding?
Has Bush secretly authorized covert attacks inside Iran? Are U.S. and Israeli
agents in Kurdistan behind the attacks across the border to provoke Iran? On
July 11, Iranian troops clashed with Kurd rebels inside Iran, and the Iranians
fired artillery back into Iraq.
Why is Congress going on vacation? Why are a Democratic-controlled House and
Senate not asking these questions in public hearings? Why is Congress letting
Bush and Vice President Cheney decide whether we launch a third war in the Middle
Or is Congress in on it?
COPYRIGHT CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.