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Tuesday, Apr. 08, 2008 at 6:40 AM
Exclusive: Iran, Syria, Lebanon on military alert over US Gulf movements and Israel’s home defense drill
Exclusive: Iran, Syria, Lebanon on military alert over US Gulf movements and Israel’s home defense drill
According to British media, the US is set to attack Iranian military facilities. DEBKAfile’s military sources add that the USS Abraham Lincoln Strike Force is heading for the Persian Gulf.
War tensions in the Middle East have shot up - not only over the signals flashing between Syria, Lebanon, and Israel, but also on the US-Iranian front in Iraq in the wake of rising in violence around the Basra conflagration.
Tuesday, April 8, US Iraq commander, Gen. David Petraeus and ambassador to Baghdad, Ryan Crocker, will stress in their report to Congress that Iran is waging war on America in Iraq, say sources in Washington, London and Baghdad.
This emerged strongly last week, when US intelligence learned that Iran had intervened directly in the Iraqi government’s crackdown on renegade militias in Basra and southern Iraq, by directing and provisioning those militias through the Revolutionary Guards’ al Qods Brigades.
Official sources in London predict that Iran’s intervention against the American effort to stabilize Iraq may well prompt a US attack on the military installations in Iran which are orchestrating the interference.
Gen. Petraeus is on record as accusing Iran of being the source of the daily rocket bombardment of Baghdad’s Green Zone, seat of government and US diplomatic and military headquarters.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that Moscow has dropped its two nickels into the rising war alarm. In the last two weeks, Russian military and intelligence officials have been leaking claims of intensified American military movements around Iranian shores.
Iran is certain to come up in Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin’s farewell talks in the Black Sea resort of Sochi Sunday, along with other controversial business, such as Moscow’s objections to NATO’s eastern expansion and US missile shield in East Europe.
Saturday, US defense secretary Robert Gates turned up in Oman, the site of big American air bases, for talks with Sultan Qaboos. He then flew straight back to Washington. While Gates insisted to correspondents aboard his plane that the US is committed to a diplomatic solution for Iran’s covert nuclear program, the surpise visit struck sparks in the already fraught regional atmosphere, particularly as it followed on the heels of US Vice President Dick Cheney’s talks in Oman two weeks ago.
DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources sum up how Tehran and Damascus read these events and the picture they have built up of Washington’s intentions as combined with Israel’s military steps:
1. US is preparing to attack the Iranian military installations linked to subversion in Iraq. The operation will widen out into strikes on the Islamic Republic’s suspect nuclear sites.
2. Israel will use the chance for a concurrent attack on Syria.
3. Israel will attack Hizballah’s strongholds in Lebanon.
4. A broad, coordinated US-Israeli offensive will be mounted against Iran, Syria and Hizballah.
Iran and Syria view Israel’s four-day home defense exercise against missile attack, conventional or non-conventional, beginning Sunday, as setting the stage for these attacks.
Both believe Washington and Jerusalem are in close military step. Neither is reassured by soothing statements from prime minister Ehud Olmert and defense minister Barak that Israel does not seek violent confrontation - especially when the US administration is withholding all comment. Hence the high state of preparedness ordered by the jittery governments in Tehran, Damascus and Beirut.
Thanks for this send of Paul Craig Roberts' latest piece (included after the following) for counterpunch.org. However, only apparent problem with it though is that the Russian article referenced was dated 2007 making it somewhat out of date (Paul Craig Roberts links to it at the following URL):
Russians, Saudis Expect U.S. Attack On Iran
Here is the actual article (as you can clearly see the '2007' date shown):
Russian intelligence sees U.S. military buildup on Iran border
Saudi Arabia 'braces for nuclear war'
I pieced together the same information Secretary Roberts notes below in his excellent CounterPunch article, writing these words last night to a friend:
"xxxxx, this [the Russian colonel's intelligence] seems to be of a piece with the notice you circulated today re Saudi Arabia's preparation for nuclear fallout. Are we a criminal country -- acting on Israel's behest -- or what? We don't give a damn how many people -- Lebanese, Palestinians, Iraqis, Iranis -- we murder, how many lives we ruin, how many lands we devastate on the path to imperial MidEast hegemony for USrael...."
Oddly, Secretary Roberts -- unlike many of his commentaries of late -- makes no mention below of Militant Zionist Israel, and the machinations in which beyond doubt it is involved toward war on Iran for its sake and in its ultimate interests....
To repeat a recurring theme expressed by me, I simply cannot understand why Secretary Roberts, Admiral Fallon, retired Ambassadors of any number of names and eminences, a principled Christian leader or two, a principled journalist or two, university/thinktank scholars, retired members of Congress, human-rights NGOs, etc., are not banding together, calling a press conference, denouncing this administration and the entire fabric of current governance (sic), and establishing/building a momentum designed to pre-empt the execution of three million Iranis (Iran's population = thrice that of Iraq...).
Full-bore insanity is upon us...Bob
March 31, 2008
Iran in the Crosshairs
A Third American War in the Making?
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The US Congress, the US media, the American people, and the United Nations, are looking the other way as Cheney prepares his attack on Iran.
If only America had an independent media and an opposition party. If there were a shred of integrity left in American political life, perhaps a third act of naked aggression--a third war crime under the Nuremberg standard--by the Bush Regime could be prevented.
On March 30, the Russian News & Information Agency, Novosti, cited "a high-ranking security source: "The latest military intelligence data point to heightened US military preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran."
According to Novosti, Russian Colonel General Leonid Ivashov said "that the Pentagon is planning to deliver a massive air strike on Iran's military infrastructure in the near future."
The chief of Russia's general staff, Yuri Baluyevsky, said last November that Russia was beefing up its military in response to US aggression, but that the Russian military is not "obliged to defend the world from the evil Americans."
On March 29, OpEdNews cited a report by the Saudi Arabian newspaper Okaz, which was picked up by the German news service, DPA. The Saudi newspaper reported on March 22, the day following Cheney's visit with the kingdom's rulers, that the Saudi Shura Council is preparing "national plans to deal with any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards that may affect the kingdom following experts' warnings of possible attacks on Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactors."
And Admiral William "there will be no attack on Iran on my watch" Fallon has been removed as US chief of Central Command, thus clearing the way for Cheney's planned attack on Iran.
The Iranians don't seem to believe it, despite the dispatch of US nuclear submarines and another aircraft carrier attack group to the Persian Gulf. To counter any Iranian missiles launched in response to an attack, the US is deploying anti-missile defenses to protect US bases and Saudi oil fields.
Two massive failures by the American media, the Democratic Party, and the American people have paved the way for Cheney's long planned attack on Iran. One failure is the lack of skepticism about the US government's explanation of 9/11. The other failure is the Democrats' refusal to begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush for lying to the Congress, the American people, and the world and launching an invasion of Iraq based on deception and fabricated evidence.
If an American president can start a war exactly as Adolf Hitler did with pure lies and not be held accountable, he can get away with anything. And Bush and his evil regime have.
Hitler launched World War II with his invasion of Poland after staging a "Polish attack" on a German radio station. On the night of August 31, 1939, a group of Nazis disguised in Polish uniforms seized a radio station in Germany. Hitler announced that "last night Polish troops crossed the frontier and attacked Germany," a claim no more true than the Bush Regime's claim that "Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction." Hitler's lie failed, because his invasion of Poland, which began the next day allegedly in reprisal for the Polish attack, had obviously been planned for many months.
Iran is a beautiful and developed country. It is an ancient civilization. It has attacked no one. Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. Iran is permitted by the treaty to have a nuclear energy program. The Bush Regime's case against Iran is based on the Bush Regime's desire to deny Iran its rights under the treaty.
The International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors have repeatedly reported that they have found no evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program. Despite all the disinformation from US Gen. Petraeus and other Bush Regime military lackeys, Iran is not arming the Iraqis who are resisting the American occupation.
If Iran were arming insurgents, the insurgents would have two weapons that would neutralize the US advantage in the Iraqi conflict: missiles to knock down US helicopter gunships and rocket-propelled grenades that knock out American tanks. The insurgents do not have these weapons and must construct clumsy anti-tank weapons out of artillery shells. The insurgents are helpless against US air power and cannot mass forces to take on the American troops.
Indiscriminate American violence has reduced Iraq to rubble. The civilian infrastructure is essentially destroyed--electricity, water and sewer systems, medical care and schools. Depleted uranium is everywhere poisoning everyone, including US troops. There is no economy, and half or more of Iraqis are unemployed. Literally no Iraqi family has escaped an injury or a death as a consequence of the US invasion. Millions of Iraqis have become displaced persons. A developed country with a professional middle class has been destroyed because of lies told by the President and Vice President of the US. The Bush Regime's lies are echoed by a neoconservative media, and have gone unchallenged by the opposition party and an indifferent American public.
In Afghanistan, death and destruction rains on even the smallest village from the air. America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are wars against the civilian populations.
Just as the world could not believe Hitler's next horror and thus was always unprepared, the Iranians despite all the evidence cannot believe that even the Great Satan would gratuitously attack Iran based on nothing but lies about non-existent nuclear weapons.
Iran's only chance would be to strike before the US delivers the first blow. Instead of using its missiles to take out the Saudi oil fields and to sink the US aircraft carriers, instead of closing the Strait of Hormuz, instead of arming the Iraqi Shi'ites and moving them to insurgency, Iran is perched like a sitting duck in denial even as the US and its Iraqi puppet Maliki move to eliminate Al Sadr's Iraqi Shi'ite militia in order to avoid supply disruptions and a Shi'ite rebellion in Iraq when the US attack on Iran comes.
It is important to emphasize that Iran is making no moves toward war. Having tamed, blackmailed, and purchased Congress, the US media, and US allies and puppets, Cheney might delight in the arrogance with which he can now attack Iran free of any restraint or fabricated provocation. On the other hand, he might cover himself by orchestrating an "Iranian provocation" to justify his attack as a response. But like Hitler's planned attack against Poland, Cheney's attack on Iran has long been in the works.
On March 29 the Associated Press reported that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi "poured contempt on fellow Arab leaders" at the Arab summit that day. Gadhafi told the Arab "leaders," many of whom are on the American payroll, that their American masters would turn on them all, just as America turned on Saddam Hussein after using him to fight a proxy war against Iran.
Saddam had once been an ally of Washington, Gadhafi reminded the Arabs, "but they sold him out." Gadhafi told the American puppets, "Your turn is next."
Gadhafi asked, "Where is the Arabs' dignity, their future, their very existence?" If Arabs remain disunited, he predicted, "they will turn themselves into protectorates. They will be marginalized and turn into garbage dumps."
Indeed, it is this disunity that permits the US to bomb and murder at will in the Middle East.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com
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