The April 17, edition of the New Yorker has a piece by Seymour Hersh (who, in early December told me he did not think war was likely) regarding the Bush administration’s plan to bomb Iran.
Philip Giraldi first reported in the August 1, 2005 issue of the American Conservative magazine, and now Hersh confirms, that the war planners are “considering” the use of “tactical” nuclear weapons to destroy Iran’s underground bunkers.
According to Hersh’s sources, to the individuals in the administration, Ahmadinejad is “Hitler™” and,
“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 former intelligence officials depicts planning as ‘enormous,’ ‘hectic’ and ‘operational.” …
“A government consultant with close ties to the civilian leadership in the Pentagon said that Bush was ‘absolutely convinced that Iran is going to get the bomb’ if it is not stopped. He said that the President believes that he must do ‘what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would have the courage to do,’ and ‘that saving Iran is going to be his legacy.'”
A former defense official who wondered aloud to Hersh what these people are smoking said that the Bush regime believes that
“a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government.”
This is the kind of thing that makes me wonder…
In late 2004, Hersh told Jon Stewart the same thing [video link], that the “kool-aid drinkers” really believe that bombing Iran will drive the people to overthrow their state and become America-friendly. This is so blatantly ridiculous it seems impossible that even the most ideological Trotskyite-turned-fascist in the vice-president’s office could possibly believe it.
Whether they believe they can make us believe it is an altogether different thing.
Now, to “consideration” of using nukes:
“One of the military’s initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites. …
“‘We’re talking about mushroom clouds, radiation, mass casualties, and contamination over years. This is not an underground nuclear test, where all you see is the earth raised a little bit. These politicians don’t have a clue, and whenever anybody tries to get it out’—remove the nuclear option—’they’re shouted down.’” …
“There are very strong sentiments within the military against brandishing nuclear weapons against other countries.'” …
“‘Decisive’ is the key word of the Air Force’s planning. It’s a tough decision. But we made it in Japan.’” …
“The Pentagon adviser said that, in the event of an attack, the Air Force intended to strike many hundreds of targets in Iran but that ‘ninety-nine per cent of them have nothing to do with proliferation. There are people who believe it’s the way to operate.’”
Remember that Giraldi’s sources last year said that “another 9/11” would have to serve as the pretext for this war, as though Michael “Who me?” Ledeen’s assertions that bin Laden is in Iran are any more reality-based than the lie that Iran is anywhere near possessing nuclear weapons.
Would Americans buy it in sufficient numbers to support another aggressive war? What would the consequences be for the people of this country? Sorry to sound so shallow, but that’s the only question that matters to those same Americans – not radiation sickness in some far away land they’ve only seen in Disney cartoons. The political backlash? The economic one? The Jihadi one?
And to the massive ambush of American soldiers, sailors and marines waiting for them in the Iran-friendly Shi’ite south of Iraq? One source tells Hersh:
“If we go, the southern half of Iraq will light up like a candle.”
Anybody out there who cares about those soldiers ought to be calling their congressman to make sure the betrayal of the Iraqi Shia parties in favor of our old friends in the Baath party is complete before they start bombing Iran.
The Ayatollah Khomeini-created Da’wa Party and Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, whose religious militias have been equipped and trained over the past 3 years by the US Army and al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army are sure to turn on American forces in Iraq should our government attack Iran.
“A retired four-star general told me that, despite the eight thousand British troops in the region, ‘the Iranians could take Basra with ten mullahs and one sound truck.’”
From what he writes about the few private briefings of key congressmen, there is no one to stop this.
“’There’s no pressure from Congress’ not to take military action.’ … ‘The only political pressure is from the guys who want to do it.’”
As Jim Lobe wrote for the IPS last week, though Bush/Cheney and the neoconservatives have been having their troubles, the likelyhood that they’ll bomb Iran anyway hasn’t changed because,
“Unlike the Iraq invasion, which was promoted almost exclusively by the three coalition constituents, Iran’s nuclear program is seen as a threat to vital U.S. interests by a broader range of forces, including some realists and even liberal internationalists in the Democratic Party.”
Are we really going to let these people turn our country in the Fourth Reich? Are we really that frightened of the scary men on TV that we are going to let this happen?