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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

BREAKING NEWS


US 'Iran attack plans' revealed
US contingency plans for air strikes on Iran extend beyond nuclear sites and include most of the country's military infrastructure, the BBC has learned. It is understood that any such attack - if ordered - would target Iranian air bases, naval bases, missile facilities and command-and-control centres. The US insists it is not planning to attack, and is trying to persuade Tehran to stop uranium enrichment. The UN has urged Iran to stop the programme or face economic sanctions. But diplomatic sources have told the BBC that as a fallback plan, senior officials at Central Command in Florida have already selected their target sets inside Iran. That list includes Iran's uranium enrichment plant at Natanz. Facilities at Isfahan, Arak and Bushehr are also on the target list, the sources say.

Two triggers
BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner says the trigger for such an attack reportedly includes any confirmation that Iran was developing a nuclear weapon - which it denies. Alternatively, our correspondent adds, a high-casualty attack on US forces in neighbouring Iraq could also trigger a bombing campaign if it were traced directly back to Tehran. Long range B2 stealth bombers would drop so-called "bunker-busting" bombs in an effort to penetrate the Natanz site, which is buried some 25m (27 yards) underground. The BBC's Tehran correspondent France Harrison says the news that there are now two possible triggers for an attack is a concern to Iranians. Authorities insist there is no cause for alarm but ordinary people are now becoming a little worried, she says.

Deadline
Earlier this month US officials said they had evidence Iran was providing weapons to Iraqi Shia militias. At the time, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the accusations were "excuses to prolong the stay" of US forces in Iraq. Middle East analysts have recently voiced their fears of catastrophic consequences for any such US attack on Iran. Britain's previous ambassador to Tehran, Sir Richard Dalton, told the BBC it would backfire badly by probably encouraging the Iranian government to develop a nuclear weapon in the long term. Last year Iran resumed uranium enrichment - a process that can make fuel for power stations or, if greatly enriched, material for a nuclear bomb. Tehran insists its programme is for civil use only, but Western countries suspect Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons. The UN Security Council has called on Iran to suspend its enrichment of uranium by 21 February. If it does not, and if the International Atomic Energy Agency confirms this, the resolution says that further economic sanctions will be considered.

23 Comments:

At 20/2/07 2:24 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's not breaking news... as usual you're slow to wake up Bomber.

 
At 20/2/07 3:01 pm, Blogger bomber said...

...
Dude are you the same Anon who always posts that there's no way America is going to invade Iran and that it's just anti-american crap? And if so are you like running out of excuses now?

 
At 20/2/07 3:14 pm, Anonymous sdm said...

I dont think its breaking news as such, I mean most of us who follow these things wouldnt be surprised by anything in that. The pentagon is always involved in contingency plans and as such there is little in this that reveals much.

However, the question is, will they actually do it?

I just dont see the military logic in this. The US force structure means that they cant pacify Iraq, Afghanistan is going to shit, and as such where are they going to get the forces.

The early stages of the Iraq war, and the Israeli efforts against Hezbollah last year demonstrated the limitation of airpower alone. If the US thinks it can beat Iran militarily from the air alone, they are dreaming.

Bomber, do you think they are really seriously about doing Iran, or do you think the threat is just that, a threat, designed to get Iran to do as they are told?

 
At 20/2/07 3:31 pm, Blogger bomber said...

...
Grin - scott im still trying to figure out how im going to answer your last question what success if any has american foreign policy brought about!

The breaking news is that the Americans have built an attack trigger against Iran - the first is a 'nuclear threat' the second is if evidence is found of Iran supporting an attack on America - this second 'trigger' is bloody concerning when we look at the evidence the Americans tried to use last week. The reality is Scott, America has used up all its credibility, and once that american war machine starts moving it is hard to stop it - 12 stealth fighters moved to Japan, two battle fleets off the coast, CBS reporting that Iran invaded Iraqi sea space yesterday near the oil platforms, anti-missile batteries sent out to all their allies- we know that Bush had decided to attack Iraq and denied it right up until they did attack Iraq.

 
At 20/2/07 4:07 pm, Anonymous jr said...

Airpower is limited in its ability to control a country (as learnt in Iraq) however the US can inflict massive damage on the Iranian nuclear infrastructure and military (as was learnt in Serbia and Iraq during Clinton's term) Imho the forces needed are already in place. I don't think they expect to beat Iran militarily, they intend to bomb the nuclear sites, and possibly military installations, and certainly any air power or air defences deployed against them. Airpower subdued the Iraqis at the begining of the first and second gulf wars and US casualties in the latter ground attacks were very low. Ground forces won't be deployed, at this stage they're still sabre rattling and can pull back, Bush issued an ultimatum to Sadam and "the boys" that was the point of no return. He's no done that....yet. I'm not sure what they'll do from here, if I was a betting man, given the fact that Iran has previously acted as a "rational actor" they'll be an 11th hour movement and the force won't be needed - but I wouldn't at all be surprised if they did move. I'm about 50:50 on it. I guess form his point of view whats Bush got to lose? Imagine leaving this sort of job in the hands of a woman (Thatcher might be ok)...but a Northen Liberal Woman at that...possibly with a Black Man as her VP!!!?? The mind boggles!

I'm sure that thought will be keeping Bush up at night!

 
At 20/2/07 5:51 pm, Anonymous sdm said...

It wouldnt surprise me if the CIA was going to fund groups inside Iran that opposed the government.

Stratfor has been predicting that there is regime instability in Iran:

"All the pieces might appear to be falling into place for Iran, but a major shake-up in the Iranian regime is likely to happen this year, and it could upset Iran’s calculus in dealing with the United States on Iraq. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is terminally ill with cancer and could die this year. His death will send a shockwave through the Iranian public, which will come to doubt the Iranian government’s ability to navigate the country through this critical period. There will not, however, be a complete breakdown of the Iranian political system. There are mechanisms in place to ensure the leadership transition goes relatively smoothly.

While his health further deteriorates, Khamenei will likely position former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani to lead the country. Rafsanjani is believed to be committed to Khamenei’s vision for Iraq and the ascendance of a nuclear-powered Iran, but he also is known for his pragmatic leanings and ability to negotiate more easily with the United States. Rumors are also circulating that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s days could also be numbered, and that Khamenei will make the arrangements this year to remove the firebrand president from his post. Khamenei’s health will likely dictate whether Rafsanjani receives the position as supreme leader or president before the end of the year."

With regards to airpower, the problem is tthe fact that you are dealing with a major military power (by middle eastern terms). Israel was unable to defeat Hezbollah by air power, (and Hezbollah is a far weaker military actor than is Iran).

 
At 21/2/07 11:59 am, Anonymous Brewerstroupe said...

"I just dont see the military logic in this."

That is because there is none.

The object is simply to degrade.

 
At 21/2/07 1:44 pm, Blogger karlos said...

Funny how people pay to read Stratfor's propaganda. But Scott, that excerpt was interesting. It's just what American's and their allies want / need to hear. "There's a revolution coming in Iran so let's help it along with our bombs!"

My take on this issue is that the 'plans to attack Iran' are part of the manufacture of consent. They are not only sabre-rattling but they test the waters of public opinion. No huge outcry at the prospect? Ok, move the project closer to reality.

But what the media will fail to report is that Iran co-operated assively with the IAEA; and the states fearing its "nuclear weapons program" are armed with nukes to the hilt and have atrocious track records for unprovoked violence and human rights abuses.

The intention of attacking Iran is not to necessarily to beat it militarly, but rather to inflict massive amounts of human suffering, and widen the divisions in the country, so strife and misery. Yes, destroy the "nuclear threat" too, but first and formost, please the Israel Lobby. Control of oil is ony a possible sweetner (sarcasm intended).

But I have two questions:
* Do you think the US Neo-cons would be pleased with an Iranian situation as in Iraq? Open economy and ore contracts for their companies?
* What do you think Iran's response will be after the first bombs hit their soil?

 
At 21/2/07 2:23 pm, Anonymous jr said...

The US sees some logic in it all, they're sabre rattling. IMHO an attack on Iran won't achieve the goals they want and will stir up a heap of problems for them, so they won't do it. An attack would be illogical in those terms.

 
At 21/2/07 2:40 pm, Anonymous sdm said...

* Do you think the US Neo-cons would be pleased with an Iranian situation as in Iraq? Open economy and ore contracts for their companies?

No. I dont think they are particually happy with the situation in Iraq.

* What do you think Iran's response will be after the first bombs hit their soil?

They will hit Israel. Possibly using a Proxy.

"The intention of attacking Iran is not to necessarily to beat it militarly, but rather to inflict massive amounts of human suffering,"

Do you really believe this? YOu can say its about oil, its about control, and thats fine, but do you believe, seriously, that the US's motivation is to kill people?

"But what the media will fail to report is that Iran co-operated assively with the IAEA;"

Are they cooperating with the UN?

 
At 21/2/07 3:31 pm, Blogger karlos said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 21/2/07 5:13 pm, Blogger karlos said...

Scott,

Though the Iraq invasion has not quite gone according to plan, the neo-cons are very pleased with the economic results to their particular companies. It would not surprise me if they would tolerate another disaster in Iran for the sake of a few revenues.

Yes, they will hit Israel... The point of my question was to indicate how easily this could escalate in a huge regional war. Syria and Iran have a defense agreement.

do you believe, seriously, that the US's motivation is to kill people?
Absolutely! It's how you manipulate people (the survivors) and force them to submit to the almighty will. Oil, control and contract flow from those deaths.
Do you seriously believe the US has no intention of causing suffering? Kind of like Israel did not intend to cause suffering in Southern Lebanon? It was all self-defense. Yeah right.

Are they cooperating with the UN?
Iran co-operated for a long time. They even signed voluntary safety protocols. They had reached an agreement regarding energy which the US reneged on. Their hand was forced along many steps.
Are they co-operating now? No, but for obvious and unreported reasons. That was my point.

 
At 22/2/07 10:26 am, Anonymous Brewerstroupe said...

I have become increasingly of the opinion that the ambitions of the Israel-firsters in the Bush Cabinet and Israel itself, lie in the "Balkanisation" of the Arab States.

This seems to be one way of making sense of the U.S. actions in the area.

Let us see what happens now.

I suggest that the breaking up of Iraq and Iran into their ethno-religious groups might be part of this agenda.

The U.S. show of strength may be anything from a shield for covert actions aimed at forming a Shiite Oil-producing belt incorporating Southern Iraq and parts of Iran, to the staging of an all-out degradation of Iran's infrastructure and society. (This can be achieved without a land war which I do not think the U.S. is contemplating.) They could well be thinking that this will strengthen the dissention within Iran. (The U.S. seems to be working very closely with the MEK - possibly grooming them for a part in a new confederation.)

Many hitherto incomprehensible factors become understandable within this thesis - the chaos in Iraq may be by design.

What the current U.S. policy-makers have demonstrated is a disregard for the possible blow-back which could be the complete opposite of their objectives - the confluence of Arab opinion uniting against a common enemy. This process is, in my view, inevitable in the information age, as more people begin to question the actions of the U.S./Israel alliance.

 
At 22/2/07 10:44 am, Anonymous sdm said...

Karlos

"the neo-cons are very pleased with the economic results to their particular companies. It would not surprise me if they would tolerate another disaster in Iran for the sake of a few revenues."

Where is your evidence of this? Constant bombings etc of US interests would make business very difficult, i would think?

"Absolutely! It's how you manipulate people (the survivors) and force them to submit to the almighty will. Oil, control and contract flow from those deaths.
Do you seriously believe the US has no intention of causing suffering? Kind of like Israel did not intend to cause suffering in Southern Lebanon? It was all self-defense. Yeah right."

Well we dissagree - killing civilians is not the ends. Its a byproduct, albeit a terrible one. One could argue that terrorism, which deliberatly targets civilians, is a better example of what you are talking about.,

If you had ever studied transitional regime dynamics, you would discover that it is regimes based on consent, not acquiesence that survive. Violence and death does not suit the US's political agenda. All it does is empower the radical aspects of Islam.

"Are they co-operating now? No, but for obvious and unreported reasons."

I bet you slammed the US for ignoring the UN in 2003. Why the double standards.

We await the IAEA report tomorrow

 
At 22/2/07 11:45 am, Blogger bomber said...

killing civilians is not the ends. Its a byproduct, albeit a terrible one

I think this line really sums up the problem though Scott, that slate wiping clean statement 'collateral damage' - I think the real problem with this current US Administration is that very few of those making the decisions have ever actually been in battle - so the real consequences of their actions can't be imagined. I think the leaders of the administration are blind to the realities of these decisions, those decisions are exacerbated by a 'can do' culture within the American system instead of a 'what the fuck do you think you are doing' check and balance which is corrupted by the various vested interest groups within the Corporate Military Industrial Complex who want un-ending war for profit. Wrap this all up in a neo con belief that whats good for America is good for the world and top it off with fundamentalist christian leanings to the rapture - and you have an Adminstration that sees civillian death as a justifiabe byproduct.....where as fundy Muslims seem to come in three lots - the first is as a real tool against continued occupation and oppression (the same way Communisim became the tool of choice to fight oppression), the second is 'middle class syndrome' - Muslims living in the west who become radicalised as they become aware of the injustice against other Muslims while also becoming alienated by a society in the west that don't trust them and the third, most dangerous strand as I see it is the Wahhibi/House of Saud strand which has most to answer for, but again - these strands are all made that much more dangerous because there is legitimate grievance - illiminate those greivances and we rob those radical groups of their recruitment.

As for Sept 11 - Do I think the US bombed its own buildings to bring down the towers? No, I think Loose Change brought up some interesting ideas, and I think those ideas deserve airing. However I do think there are some questions to ask about the idea that deep within the black op catacombs of the American Intelligence Industry someone turned a blind eye to allow the hijackers to enter America and commit their act so that could enable an America to go to war, I certainly think there are some questions to answer there. That said, I don't believe for one second that Bush or anyone else visable had any idea whatsoever that Sept 11 was being planned. When you look at the long and dirty history of what American black ops have done for 'national' interests, it at least demands examination.

 
At 22/2/07 12:10 pm, Blogger karlos said...

Scott,
You are right, I should cite references to my statements... But I don't have the time to engage in that detailed journalism.

That Bush and his allies profited from the war is well known. That their companies profited from the war is also well know. Do you really want to lookup details on contracts awarded to companies like Bechtel, Halliburton? where they only accepted secretive bids from only American companies.

Constant bombings etc of US interests would make business very difficult, i would think?
I don't get your logic. If war and decimation of Iraq was what gained them profits in the first place, how is continued aggression meant to be bad for them? I really don't think the neo-cons give a toss about the death toll or their soldiers, as long as contracts and control stays in place.
As brewer said, the chaos in Iraq may be by design.
At any rate, much of the violence is now intra-Iraqi, not just against the occupying powers.

Scott, I have not studied transitional regime dynamics, but that doesn't mean I don't know what is going on. If anything, the syllabus of an Institution is more susceptible to corruption and infiltration by hidden agendas than independent free thinking minds.

Why the double standards.
Because I know the difference between right and wrong scott, and about natural human rights. So do you, regardless of your studies into transitional regime dynamics.

 
At 22/2/07 12:11 pm, Blogger karlos said...

We await the IAEA report tomorrow

What for? You already know they're guilty.

 
At 22/2/07 4:05 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iran Info From Top to Bottom
The Project on Defense Alternatives has collected more than 120 articles on Iran that offer “critical perspectives on the current crisis, its origins, and implications.” For information about U.S. foreign policy, oil geopolitics, war plans for Iran and much more
http://www.comw.org/pda/0702iran.html#war

 
At 22/2/07 10:13 pm, Anonymous sdm said...

Bomber

You are right. I try and explain what the actors are doing, not justify them. There is a difference. I often view american foreign policy as being a case of 'two steps forward, three steps back'. The only way they will achieve change is to build popular support for their agenda, and they have achieved the opposite.

Karlos,

refer my comments aboove.

 
At 22/2/07 10:52 pm, Blogger karlos said...

huh??

The only way they will achieve change is to build popular support for their agenda
I'm sure you don't mean their agenda of war profiteering, economic exploitation, control and domination, hegemony and imperialism. So what agenda are you talking about?

There are no steps forward in US foreign policy. At least none that offset the huge steps back .

Here's something entertaining if you have broadband:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCkYfYa8ePI
I don't know what's worse, a Arab extremist or an ignorant American.

 
At 23/2/07 9:17 am, Blogger SamClemenz said...

Damn it Karlos, you owe me a keyboard!!! I snorted Coffee all over mine watching the video on Youtube.
God Bless America and every thimble minded Gherkin that lives there!!! Un-believable!!!

 
At 23/2/07 1:54 pm, Anonymous sdm said...

How many sides does a triangle have?


LOL

 
At 24/2/07 2:20 pm, Blogger SamClemenz said...

Name a country beginning with "U" - Utopia! snort!

 

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