What is Bush’s Iran Plan?

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The real answer is that no one knows. George Bush is holding his cards close and is not giving any indication as to his direction right now — other than keeping all options open.
What we do know now is that the military has not signed off on an attack — though there are huge force levels deployed in the Gulf that could support a short-term military assault. But if the Pentagon had been ordered to position itself for a date-certain attack, we’d be hearing more than we are. Defense Secretary Bob Gates would be positioning himself differently than he is. We’d see generals who were disgusted with the way that Bush and Cheney have overextended the military begin to speak out, and even to resign. That has not happened.
We also know that neoconservative intellectuals feel that this is the time to lay the intellectual and political ground for bombing Iran. AEI’s Joshua Muravchik was out early with his admission that Iraq was a failure but now felt that bombing Iran required new urgency. Others like Michael Ledeen, James Woolsey, Frank Gaffney, Bill Kristol and others in the neocon camp are trying to inundate the nation’s op-ed pages with their calls for action against Iran and its nuclear facilities.
The Washington Post‘s Dan Froomkin is one of the key journalists, besides Seymour Hersh, who has been helping to lead efforts to expose and balance those who want to initiate yet another war in the Middle East. Froomkin has two great exposes out recently that need to be read in full — the first is a long profile on on Cheney and his gang’s effort to trip America into a war against Iran.
And the other is a roster of top tier experts — whose credentials are superlative — who should be called by any media researching and organizing stories on this subject.
George Bush has all his options open on Iran right now — and there is a vigorous, heated battle around the Oval Office to seduce the President’s soul on this.
It’s time that those who have been passive on the prospect of a US-Iran War wake up and get to work. The neocons are working vigrorously and have someone smack dab in the middle of the decisionmaking machinery angling for war as well.
The advocates of a saner approach are also part of the President’s team — but it’s clear that the momentum that they had in knocking back Cheney and his minions has stalled.
Rumors — that I don’t believe — are even swirling that Karl Rove resigned now in part because he didn’t want to be in the White House for all that it will take to manage a war against Iran. I don’t believe this is the case, but the way the rumor has spread is a manifestation of the tension between contending factions in the White House.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

28 comments on “What is Bush’s Iran Plan?

  1. Kathleen says:

    Cyrus… we do care and we work on it day and night, trying to change the militaristic stances this gov’t takes against innocent people. We’ve not succeeded yet, but we’re not giving up on it.
    You know well what happened to Germans who opposed their gov’t. We’re not quite there yet, but all the fine print is in place to cart the big mouths among us off to some camp, but still we do our best to protest. Inshallah, we will succeed.

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  2. JohnH says:

    “Considering the instabilities and dangers that abound, the aggressive posture of the Bush regime goes far beyond recklessness. The Bush regime is the most irresponsibly aggressive regime the world has seen since Hitler’s.”
    –Paul Craig Roberts, ssistant secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and contributing editor of National Review.
    http://antiwar.com/roberts/?articleid=11422

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  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “How are you different to Nazi Germany?”
    We’re exterminating Muslims instead of Jews.

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  4. Carroll says:

    Cheney, the neos and the Lukids will attack Iran…UNLESS……..
    Someone(s) gets real creative with a coup of sorts and threats start being made and accidents start happening to the cabal members.

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  5. Carroll says:

    Shame on all you Americans and you’re so called democracy, and rule of law, and a government of the people, for the people, by the people.
    War criminals rule your government and there is nothing you can do about it. How are you different to Nazi Germany?
    Posted by Cyrus Mossaddegh at August 22, 2007 02:21 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Well I care, others care. I think about all the innocent dead people and children in all these conflicts going on…so senseless and criminal.
    I have been praying for a coup in this country for three years.

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  6. JohnH says:

    Continuing on my previous post, “And if it did make a case [for an attack on Iran], what could it possibly be?” Well, Ray McGovern elaborates on how weak the case is: the administration has been sitting on the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran for six months. McGovern explains, “It has been sent back four times – no doubt because its conclusions do not support what folks like Cheney and Woolsey are telling the president.
    The conclusions of the most recent NIE on the issue (early 2005) was that Iran could probably not have a nuclear weapon until ‘early to mid-next decade,’ a formula memorized and restated by Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell at his confirmation hearing in February.” http://www.antiwar.com/mcgovern/?articleid=11481
    So, Iran won’t have nukes soon, has no proven military operations against the US in Iraq or Afghanistan, and has not invaded another country for hundreds years.
    But no one in the foreign policy elite/national security mob will venture a guess as to why Cheney and the neocons feel such a burning need to attack. The think tanks are apparently dumbfounded. I guess we’ll have to ask Kucinich.
    If Steve really wants us to get to work to stop a war, he could help greatly by telling the American people what the administration’s ulterior motives are. Given that information, we the people could decide who to believe and whether war is justified. Without that information, Bush once again gets to frame his false pretenses and uncontested and lie us into war.

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  7. John Shreffler says:

    barrisj,
    Scott Horton has Cheney down as The Shogun:
    http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/06/hbc-90000358
    I’m with him there. The Shogun wants war, so we’ll have it. Our Emperor is a formal, Constitutional sort of requirement, and between his narcissistic personality disorder and his untreated dry alcoholism, Cheney finds it easy enough to get Bush to move in the required path. I expect the worst but nobody in Congress I’ve contacted wants to impeach anyone, which is our only real option.

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  8. Cyrus Mossaddegh says:

    Ever since 9-11 an attack on Iran has been very likely and that is why I left the United States and returned to Iran because I knew which side I would take if an attack did take place.
    What is sad is how helpless you the American people are facing the occupiers of the White House and how rarely when discussing an attack on Iran do any of you show any real genuine concern for the innocent Iranians that will be killed, maimed, or poisoned by your depleted uranium weaponry.
    Shame on all you Americans and you’re so called democracy, and rule of law, and a government of the people, for the people, by the people.
    War criminals rule your government and there is nothing you can do about it. How are you different to Nazi Germany?

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  9. barrisj says:

    Please, enough of this “Bush’s” Iran plan…the driver behind armed intervention is and has always been Bigtime, as Hersh, Froomkin, and others have reported. Surely by now everyone realizes that “President Bush” is a construct that embraces OVP, Rove, key members of right-wing thinktanks, the totality of the neocon takeover of the government since Jan 2001…Junior is merely the public face and provides the Constitutionally required signature on public laws, treaties, executive orders, etc., though done at the behest of his handlers.

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  10. pauline says:

    And, supposedly, a new bin laden tape is “discovered/revealed”, and, supposedly, for the first time, Osama claims responsibility for 9/11.
    And, supposedly, bin Laden is active again and doing quite well.
    And, supposedly, bin Laden claims Moussari was not involved/responsible for 9/11, only the 19 Arabs with knives and boxcutters who followed Osama’s instructions to a tee can be called the true martyrs.
    Supposedly, this will rally Americans to hate his kind even more and that bushwar on terror must continue onward and upward, regardless of the dollars spent and the lives lost!! (do to continual use, bushwar has now become one word.)
    Is this the best these bad scriptwriters can come up with?

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  11. Kathleen says:

    I think another false flag attack on US soil that will be blamed on Iran will do the trick to get all the Pavlovian Patriots to flag wave again and go blithely along with Martial Law and cancelled elections.
    Busholini and Capt’n Ahab can’t count on the IAEA giving a damning report on Iran’s nuclear plans, due out in September, along with Petreaus’ ghost written report due on 9/11. How symbolic and convenient for reinforcing previous psychological conditioning techniques. Lab rats of the world unite. It’s time to salivate again.

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  12. Marcia says:

    Sorry – Correction. I made a typing mistake. It is Nil Rosen on “Democracy Now.”
    Don’t miss this interview.

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  13. PissedOffAmerican says:

    There will be a major terrorist attack on United State’s interests, that will be placed squarely in Iran’s lap. It is the next trifecta for this satanic son of a bitch Cheney and his maleable bitch, Bush.

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  14. Frank says:

    We will attack Iran because Israel wants the U.S. to do so plain and simple.
    The feverish pace of all the presidential candidates to win over the Israeli money mongers, so as to finance their efforts in the last year before the presidential vote is an ideal time opening to beat the drums in earnest to attack Iran. It is the best “quid pro quo time”. The candidates are at their weakest, the Israeli money bag men at their strongest, with the prime idiot still at the helm to steer the ship of state to disaster.
    An encore for those famous five dancing Israelis who performed so inspiringly in New Jersey when the WTC towers went down is now in rehearsal.

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  15. JohnH says:

    “It is outrageous to think that some, including the President, may have been angling to bomb a news agency like Al Jazeera.” For your information, they have already committed the outrageous and bombed Al Jazeera–in Kabul. The only thing that holds them back on the Al Jazeera HQ is the impact on relations with Qatar.
    What is really spooky about Iran is that the administration apparently feels no need to build a case and sell it to the American people. In 2002 Bush/Cheney pulled out all the stops to sell the Iraq War. While Iran is probably as reviled now as Iraq was in 2001, the Iraq War was heavily promoted, while war with Iran has not been.
    What are the reasons? Does the administration have a fool-proof provocation in mind? Or does the administration disdain the American people to the point where it feels itself under no obligation to even bother making its case? And if it did make a case, what could it possibly be? A nuclear program that is perpetually 5-10 years away from a bomb? Unproven Iranian military involvement in Iraq?
    If the Iraq War was justified using false pretenses, the attack on Iran could begin under virtually no pretext. Then with two wars raging, and with no real justification for having begun either, will anyone in a position of authority finally demand an accounting? Anyone besides Kucinich, that is?

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  16. Punchy says:

    I see the rationale differently. Bush and Cheney must realize that they will most likely be routed at the polls in 2008. So much so, that investigations galore will commence, maybe even with veto-proof majorities. This will most certainly uncover illegal activities.
    Hence, they plan to keep the WH and limit the bleeding of Congressional Republicans with an attack on Iran next summer. Right around the Republican Convention.
    my $0.02

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  17. Charel says:

    All the Bush administration needs to get nearly total support for an all out attack on Iran is an unprovoked attack on a US asset that will be linked to Iran. All the pieces are in place. An aging, expendable, aircraft carrier alone in the Gulf, attacked by a false flag US or Israeli missile will do the trick. Republicans and Democrats alike will bray for retaliation, nuclear or otherwise as long as it is devastating. We, the world will suffer the consequences

    Reply

  18. Charel says:

    All the Bush administration needs to get nearly total support for an all out attack on Iran is an unprovoked attack on a US asset that will be linked to Iran. All the pieces are in place. An aging, expendable, aircraft carrier alone in the Gulf, attacked by a false flag US or Israeli missile will do the trick. Republicans and Democrats alike will bray for retaliation, nuclear or otherwise as long as it is devastating. We, the world will suffer the consequences.

    Reply

  19. Marcia says:

    I watched Nil Risen on “Democracy Now” interviewed by Amy Goodman and his calm tragic report on the ME is one of the most chilling I have seen.
    He just exposes the facts and carries on to the logical conclusions.
    A must see!
    To think that the decision to attack Iran rests on the choice of this retarded President is tragic but clearly the WH is beyond reason.
    Will there really be resignations in the military if the plan is imminent?

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  20. TonyForesta says:

    What about intentionally decieving the American people with regard to the justifications for flinging children to a costly, bloody, noendinsight horrorshow, and excuse for wanton profiteering against the wrong muslims in Iraq Steve? What about jobbing off our intelligence apparatus to contracts whose loyalties, ethics, procedures, and ultimate objectives are suspect and more concerned with profit than securing America? What about ruthlessly perverting, betraying, and re-engineering the core principles that formally definied America, the Constitution, the concept of the rule of laws, and the laws of the land Steve?
    It is not equally “…outrageous to think that some, including the President, may have been angling to” resort to these craven and criminal machinations to advance the fascist policies, designs, and pipedreams of the fascist warmongers, profiteers, and pathological liars in the Bush government?
    The outrages are so huge, and some numerous that listing them is an excercise in futility. Suffice to say, that our leadership fascist and ruthlessly intent on enforcing dominance on and extracting wanton profits from the American political system, the American people, and any nation they deem targetable.
    “Deliver us from evil!”

    Reply

  21. ToddinHB says:

    With all this speculation swirling around about the implications of an attack on Iran with regards to the military, I have to believe that someone out in wingnut land, perhaps Bernanke, has warned Bush et al that an attack on Iran will drive oil prices above $100 a barrel and completely torpedo what little is left of the economy in the midst of this sub-prime debacle.
    Nevertheless, I predict an attack on Iran before Bush leaves office.

    Reply

  22. MP says:

    “Is there anyone in this last-throes Bush-Cheney administration who believes that we can mount an aerial hit-and-run attack without disastrous consequences for any U.S. forces near Iran who are not able to fly away?”
    No; there is not. I just put in a call to my two Reps on this point…

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  23. Steve Clemons says:

    Pauline — thanks for reminding all of that news clip. It is outrageous to think that some, including the President, may have been angling to bomb a news agency like Al Jazeera.
    best, steve clemons

    Reply

  24. pauline says:

    Steve,
    Even TWN covered neo gaffney way in ’05 with this little revealing clip, where gaffney is asked whether, if true, isn’t it outrageous that President Bush would suggest bombing a civilian news agency?
    Gaffney: If it has some truth to it, I’m not sure it is outrageous.
    Reporter: Seriously?
    Gaffney: I believe that Al-Jazeera is an instrument of enemy propaganda in a war we are obliged to fight and win, not just for Americans and not just for Iraqis but for freedom-loving people everywhere, and I think that, to the extent that Al-Jazeera is actively aiding our foes, it is certainly appropriate to talk about what you do to neutralize it to prevent it from doing that sort of harm to the cause and even to the lives of servicemen fighting this war.
    Gaffney continues in the interview:
    Gaffney: We’re talking about a news organization, so called, that is promoting bin Laden, that is promoting Zawahiri, that is promoting Zarqawi, that is promoting beheadings, that is promoting suicide bombers, that is other ways enabling the propaganda aspects of this war to be fought by our enemies, and I think that puts it squarely in the target category.
    Whether the best way to do it is with bombs or through other means is something we could discuss, but I think it’s fair game, under these circumstances, given the way it conducts itself.

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  25. john somer says:

    An attack on Iran would probably be the last nail in the US armed forces’ coffin and would put America;s reputation abroad in the grave for good with no hope of resurrection

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  26. Eggbeater says:

    George Bush has all his options open on Iran right now — and there is a vigorous, heated battle around the Oval Office to seduce the President’s soul on this.
    It’s accurate to say that the Pugnacious Boob has all his options open, but your statement is only useful if we recognize how narrow his options become if we’re talking about acts of war.
    We have an exhausted, exposed military on land in Iraq. If our military leaders are telling the truth (and they seldom do), the country is thoroughly salted with insurgents sympathetic to, if not directed by, Iran.
    If we were to attack Iran, our naval forces could also be vulnerable to counterattack. Is there anyone in this last-throes Bush-Cheney administration who believes that we can mount an aerial hit-and-run attack without disastrous consequences for any U.S. forces near Iran who are not able to fly away?
    If the Bush administration is truly pondering a further expansion of its War on the Middle East, its options narrow to a devastating, criminal, probably nuclear attack with the goal of rendering Iran incapable of responding. It should be unthinkable, but somewhere in the bubbling bowels of this rogue government, there are surely folks depraved enough to be making the necessary plans.
    I really hope they can be stopped, but after 6 years of watching these bloodthirsty, greedy crackpots in action, I’m losing my sunny optimism.

    Reply

  27. TonyForesta says:

    Every president or leadership past, present, or in the future will ALWAYS keep all options available. This childish and meaningless jibberish is framed by the MSM as a sign of the Bush governments toughguy mask.
    While all options are now, always have been, and always will be on the table, – there should be a forceful demand from every single American, and every single politician questioninig and challenging the Bush governments rationale for attacking Iran, and especially at this turbulent moment. The presidents dictatorial retort of trust us, ‘we can’t share this information for national security reasons is hollow and moot. The president, and all the presidents fascist have no credibility, are proven pathological liars, and artful decievers, and cannot be trusted to present or speak the truth.
    Either fascists in the Bush government present justifiable evidence supporting their designs on Iran, – or the American people and American Democratic leadership should reject outright on its face any claims pimped by the fascist warmongers, profiteers, and pathological liars in the Bush government, and restrict funding, and prevent the executive office from conjuring the heretofore unknown authority to hurl more of our daughters and sons, and allahonlyknows how much of our treasure toward another ill-concieved, poorly planned, deceptive, unnecessary, unwarranted, and illegal war and excuse for wanton profiteering against another ME nation who poses no imminent threat to America.
    “Deliver us from evil!”

    Reply

  28. mlaw230 says:

    Efforts to head off a war with Iran are too late. No action was taken to prevent such action under the AUMF, even after the President’s dubious reading was well known. He will now claim that the AUMF is at least tacit approval for such action and that an attack on Iran is part and parcel of the “War against Terrorism”
    The only questions remaining is what is the appropriate response among both the elites and the average American to such an action. Impeachment? Civil disobedience? This is going to be very bad but if there is no opposition some resistance to point to, it will be immeasurably worse in the long term.

    Reply

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