George Bush’s Samson Option

Stephen Lendman

Posted Mar 8, 2007      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
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George Bush’s Samson Option

by Stephen Lendman

The Samson Option is terminology used to explain
Israel’s intention to use its nuclear arsenal as an
ultimate defense strategy if its leaders feel
threatened enough to think they have no alternative.
It comes from the biblical Samson said to have used
his great strength to bring down the pillars of a
Philistine temple, downing its roof and killing
himself and thousands of Philistine tormentors.  It’s
a strategy saying if you try killing me, we’ll all die
together, or put another way, we’ll all go together
when we go.  Richard Wagner had his apocalyptic
version in the last of his four operas of Der Ring des
Nibelungen - Gotterdammerung, or Twilight of the Gods
based on Norse mythology referring to a prophesied war
of the Gods resulting in the end of the world.

The Bush Doctrine isn’t that extreme, and it’s not the
intent of this essay to suggest its unintended
consequences may turn out that way even though the
threat it may is real if they start firing off enough
nukes like they’re king-sized hand grenades.  The
Doctrine refers to the administration’s foreign policy
first aired by George Bush in his commencement speech
to the West Point graduating class in June, 2002.  It
was later formalized in The National Security Strategy
of September, 2002 and updated in more extreme form in
early 2006 that makes for scary reading not
recommended at bedtime.  It mentions Iran in it 16
times stating: “We may face no greater challenge from
a single country than from Iran” while failing to
acknowledge what Pogo said about us on an Earth Day
poster in 1970 and in a 1972 book titled - “We Have
Met the Enemy and He Is Us.”

The updated NSS details an “imperial grand strategy”
with new language more belligerent than the original
version that was intended to be a declaration of
preemptive or preventive war against any country or
force the administration claims threatens our national
security.  It followed from our Nuclear Policy Review
of December, 2001 claiming a unilateral right to
declare and wage future wars using first strike
nuclear weapons that in enough numbers potentially can
destroy all planetary life, save maybe some resilient
roaches and bacteria. In still other national security
documents, the administration intends being ready by
maintaining total control over all land, surface and
sub-surface sea, air, space, electromagnetic spectrum
and information systems with enough overwhelming power
to defeat any potential challengers using all weapons
in the arsenal, including those nukes masquerading as
king-sized grenades.

The doctrine got its baptism in Afghganistan right
after the 9/11 attacks and before the 2002 NSS was
released.  It then played out in real time “shock and
awe” force (without nukes) in Iraq that seemed to work
like a charm until it didn’t.  That brings us to today
and an administration feeling cornered by failure and
needing to change the subject and get a victory in the
face of major defeat or at least buy enough time to
run out the clock on its tenure so a new
administration can take over and deal with the mess
left over.  It’ll be king-sized if the audible war
drums now beating are for real.

Enter Iran to play dual roles for the Bush
administration plus the same one always center stage
when strategic resources are at stake.  It’s the
designated target to pull George Bush’s Middle East
fat out of the fire and fulfill our 28 year commitment
to regime change in the country since its 1979
revolution ousted Shah Reza Pahlavi whom we installed
to replace democratically elected prime minister
Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 in the CIA’s first-ever go
at regime change.  Those events began and ended the
same way - violently, but if George Bush proceeds as
he’s now threatening, they’ll seem like
tempest-in-teapot prologues to the main event ahead
looking like full scale war large enough to engulf the
whole region and entire Muslim world with it. 

CIA’s assessment is blunt.  If the US attacks Iran,
Southern Shia Iraq will light up like a candle and
explode uncontrollably throughout the country.  CIA
ought to know and likely concluded big trouble won’t
just be in Iraq, Shia Islam and the Middle East.  It
may show up anywhere including a neighborhood near you
but not to express reconciliation and friendship.

Washington’s other motive is no mystery to anyone
knowing why we attacked and now occupy Iraq.  It had
nothing to do with nonexistent weapons and everything
to do with removing a leader unwilling to accept our
imperial management rules whose country happens to
have the fourth largest and easily accessible proven
oil reserves in the world we want to control.  The
joke goes - how did our oil end up under his sand.
The same is true for Iran and has since 1979.  The
country’s leaders reject our rules, and it too has
easily accessible oil reserves that are the world’s
third largest behind Saudi Arabia and Canada
(including the country’s heavy reserves).  Further,
both countries have vast untapped more of them adding
to their allure and Washington’s determination to
control them alone to have veto power over who gets

If the US attacks Iran, all bets are off on what’s to
come.  The echoes of Waterloo could turn George Bush’s
Middle East adventurism into his inadvertent Samson
option by expanding the Iraq conflict to a regional
one with impossible to predict consequences that won’t
be good for Western interests and especially US ones.
It will inflame the region and produce a tsunami of
Shia rage and solidarity enough to inflame and unite
the whole Muslim world in fierce opposition to
America, its culture and people.  It may irrevocably
transform the region making it unwelcome for decades
or longer to anything Western that only arrives for
what it can take and doesn’t take no for an answer.

It’s backlash may also affect the administration and
its party as unintended fallout from an ill-conceived
adventure gone sour and beyond repair.  And it may
have further unintended consequences as well - the
painful blowback kind from angry people striking back
in catastrophic payback ways far harsher than ever
before.  It could be a dirty bomb or two detonated in
one more US cities or a nuclear reactor core meltdown
from sabotage or attack releasing lethal radiation in
amounts great enough to make downwind areas from it
forever uninhabitable.  Imagine a nightmarish vision
of New York or Chicago (surrounded by 11 aging nuclear
power plants) as ghost towns, their structures intact
but unfit to be occupied.

There is a macabre bright side, however, once past the
onslaught if it comes and its aftermath.  In six
years, the Bush administration achieved the
near-impossible.  It made the US a pariah state
alienating the whole Muslim world and vast numbers
more everywhere including growing numbers at home with
George Bush’s approval rating at numbers approaching
the lowest ever for a US president.  Its policies of
permanent war on the world, repression at home,
entrenched corruption, worship of wealth and
privilege, and indifference to human needs and the
people he was elected to serve already destroyed any
notion the country is a model democratic state or that
Bush and his neocon fanatics should be governing it.
Their imperial arrogance accelerated the country’s
fading global hegemony well advanced since the 1970s
and likely irreversible.  They buried the nation’s
influence and dominance in Iraq’s smoldering sands and
Afghanistan’s rubble that are now both graveyards for
US ambitions in those regions and beyond.

Attacking Iran will just make things far worse.  It
would be a fanatical “hail Mary” act of insanity that
by one definition is repeating the same mistakes,
expecting different results.  It has no more chance of
success than our misadventures in Iraq and
Afghanistan.  And if nuclear weapons are used,
including so-called low-yield ones, it will be an
appalling crime against humanity and catastrophic
event potentially affecting millions in the region by
radiation poisoning alone.  If it happens, it will
irreversibly weaken US influence and credibility
everywhere accelerating our decline even faster toward
second-class status and loss of world leadership
already hanging by a thread.  It could also be a
potentially lethal blow to the benefits of “Western
civilization” always arriving through the barrel of a
gun and thuggish heel of a colonizer’s boot with the
US having the biggest barrels and largest shoe sizes.

Key US players know the risks and want our losses cut
before it’s too late to act.  They want an end to war,
not more of it in a strategically vital world region
too important to lose while fearing it’s likely too
late.  The National Intelligence Estimate supports
them believing the war in Iraq is unwinnable,
transforming the country into a pro-American state
impossible, and the president’s notion of victory
illusory.  George Bush ignores its assessment and
presses on. 

Reports by Seymour Hersh and others now say the
administration wants to weaken the Bashir Assad-led
Syrian government’s alliance with Iran and further
undermine Hezbollah’s influence in Lebanon and the
region by funding Sunni extremist groups with known
ties to al-Queda in what’s called a “redirection
program.”  It’s the brainchild of Dick Cheney/Elliott
Abrams (of Iran-Contra notoriety)/Zalmay
Khalilzad/Condi Rice/Saudi Prince Bandar bin
Sultan/Israeli elements & Co. with CIA’s hands are all
over it covertly beyond Congress’ reach.  It includes
a larger effort, with Saudi help, to fund and unleash
Sunni extremist elements against Tehran at the same
time Washington is preparing to include Iran and Syria
in regional discussions on the situation in Iraq.  It
proves again duplicity and shameless hypocrisy are
never in short supply in Washington.  They’re only
topped by the neocon leadership’s crazed strategy to
make a hopeless Middle East debacle catastrophic.

The Concocted Myth of Iran’s Threat

The ancient Persian empire became Iran on March 21,
1935.  From that time till now, Iran obeyed
international law, never occupied a foreign territory,
and never threatened or attacked another state beyond
occasional border skirmishes over unsettled disputes
of the kinds other nations engage in that are far
short of all out wars.  It only had full-scale
conflict defensively after Saddam Hussein launched a
full-scale invasion in September, 1980 backed,
equipped and financially aided by Washington that
included supplying chemical and biological weapon
precursors and crucial intelligence on Iranian field
positions and force strength. 

The conflict became known as the Iran-Iraq war.  It
lasted till August, 1988 over which time a million or
more people died, countless numbers more were wounded
and displaced, with America all the while inciting
both sides to keep up the killing.  It hoped to
destroy both countries and then move in to pick up the
pieces like it’s been trying to do since in the Middle
East and elsewhere with growing difficulty as not
everyone likes our rules and some are even bold enough
to renounce them.

Iran became a major US adversary after its 1979
revolution established the Islamic Republic in
February, 1980.  Since then, the two countries have
had no diplomatic ties and relations between them have
been frosty and uncertain at best with Washington only
interested in normalization on its usual one-way
dictated terms. They’re the same kinds offered other
developing states - we’re “boss,” surrender your
sovereignty to ours, and accede to neoliberal
market-based rules made in Washington that aren’t
negotiable.  Iran refuses so it’s public enemy number
one topping the US target queue for regime change.
Rule by extremist mullahs and reactors aren’t the
problems.  They’re just pretexts like all the phony
intelligence about Iran destabilizing Iraq discussed

Despite a hopeless quagmire in Iraq, the Bush
administration seems focused on further escalation
notwithstanding the danger, near-impossible chance of
success, and mounting opposition and anger to its
agenda in the homeland.  It’s coming from the public
on Iraq and even the Congress with some there getting
twitchy enough to voice concern, though still far
short of acting as they can and should with too many
there twitching to fight, not quit.  It’s also heard
in the highest ranks of power from both parties first
circulated in the Jim Baker-led Iraq Study Group that
reported its rumor-leaked findings December 6.  It
represented a clear rejection of Bush administration
Iraq policies gone sour, a proposed rescue plan and
effort to save his family name, and a scheme to
restore US Middle East dominance, fast slipping away,
and near past the point of no return by now from which
there’s likely none.

Despite its clout, its recommendations went unheeded,
especially regarding engaging Iran and Syria to help
bail Bush’s Middle East fat out of its self-made fire.
And nothing’s changed in the wake of Washington’s
agreeing to include those countries’ officials in
initial and follow-up discussions on Iraq’s security
along with members of the Arab League, Organization of
Islamic Unity, G 8 countries, and five permanent
members of the Security Council. 

The decision represents no softening of the US’s
position, and the administration likely will use the
talks to repeat unproved claims Iranian elements
support anti-American forces in Iraq, continue
refusing broader diplomatic discussions unless Tehran
stops enriching uranium which it won’t nor should it
be forced to or be punished for, and keep negotiating
the way it always does - making ultimatums and
accepting no compromise, meaning nothing will be
resolved and tensions will only be further heightened.
And if anyone doubts that’s how things will unfold,
the New York Times was front and center spelling it
out.  It reported any US discussions involving Iran
and Syria won’t be “from a position of weakness (so
the administration intends) ratcheting up the
confrontational talk (to show) the United States was
in more of a driver’s seat” and not planning to
negotiate in good faith.  No surprise.

The Bush administration’s rejectionism has even deeper
roots going back at least to a 2003 “grand bargain”
offer from Iran - unreported, of course, in the
corporate media.  It was approved by Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, former President Mohammad
Khatami and former Foreign Foreign Minister Kamal
Kharrazi.  Former Bush National Security Council
official Flynt Leverett revealed it calling it a
“serious proposal (he knew from multiple sources) went
all the way up to former Secretary of State Colin
Powell (who) ‘couldn’t sell it at the White House.’ ”
It was part of a six year Bush administration pattern
of rejecting all Iranian overtures with responses of
ultimatums, threats and Washington-style bullying all
framed to send the same message.  Washington wants
nothing less than regime change and may go to war for

Fast forward to today and the largely unreported
testimony of former Carter administration National
Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski before the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee February 1.  He
highlighted it in an op ed piece in the Los Angeles
Times February 11 calling “The war in Iraq….a
historic strategic and moral calamity undertaken under
false assumptions…. undermining America’s global
legitimacy (and) tarnishing America’s moral
credentials.  (It’s) driven by Manichean impulses and
imperial hubris, it is intensifying regional
instability.”  It’s too bad he ignored the most
damning fact of all - the Iraq and Afghan wars are
both acts of illegal aggression the Nuremberg Tribunal
called “the supreme international crime” and Nazis
convicted of it were hanged.  Don’t expect a hint of
that from a spear-carrying member of the empire in
good standing.

Brzezinski did say the conflict is ominous for the
national interest, and if the country stays bogged
down in Iraq it’s on track for a “likely head-on
conflict with Iran and much of the Islamic world.” He
believes if it happens it will mean a “spreading and
deepening (protracted) quagmire lasting 20 years or
more and eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran,
Afghanistan and Pakistan (causing) pervasive popular
antagonism” and plunging the US into growing political
isolation.  He stated a “plausible scenario (for war
with Iran) might be “some provocation in Iraq or a
terrorist act (real or otherwise) blamed on Iran.”

Brzezinski represents powerful interests using him as
their influential spokesman.  They want an end to
policies gone sour they see harming “the national
interest” meaning their own.  He and they want “a
significant change in direction” with a strategy to
“end the occupation of Iraq” with a serious US
commitment to “shape a regional security dialogue that
includes all Iraq’s neighbors including Iran and Syria
and other major Muslim countries like Egypt and
Pakistan.”  He’s calling for an unambiguous
“determination to leave Iraq in a reasonably short
period of time,” and believes the US should “activate
a credible and energetic effort (to end the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict without which)
nationalist and fundamentalist passions (will
eventually doom) any Arab regime (perceived
supporting) US regional hegemony.”  Brzezinski sounded
alarmist about the Bush administration’s hostile
intentions toward Iran, and his implications are
clear.  Washington’s agenda is ominous and threatening
the national interest. He denounced the scheme and
pressed Congress to engage Iran, not attack it.  His
message so far is unheeded.

Brzezinski’s influential voice was joined by Russian
President Vladimir Putin’s addressing the
international security conference in Munich February
10.  He stunned listeners with his harsh frankness
accusing the US of endangering the world pursuing
policies aimed at making it “one single master (in a)
unipolar world.” He went on saying “It has nothing in
common with democracy (and the people) teaching us
democracy (but) don’t want to learn it themselves.”
He continued that US policy “overstepped its national
borders in every way….in the economic, political and
cultural policies it imposes on other nations.” 

He claimed the US is responsible for “a greater and
greater disdain for the principles of international
law (and) no one can feel that international law is
like a stone wall that will protect them.”  He also
accused the US of stimulating “an arms race (in an
environment where) peace is not so reliable.”  He
added “Unilateral actions have not resolved conflicts
but have made them worse,” and force should only be
used when authorized as international law requires by
the UN Security Council.  He sounded an alarm gone
unheard in the West that “Today we are witnessing an
almost uncontained hyper use of force - military
force…. that is plunging the world into an abyss of
permanent conflicts (and) Finding a political
settlement….becomes impossible.”  He further warned
about the use of “space (or) high tech weapons” with
implications of a new cold war, nuclear arms race and
frightening possibility of devastating nuclear war
that was unthinkable before the age of George Bush.

The Dominant Media React

As President of a major world power, Putin’s comments
went out to the world getting broad coverage, if only
for a day or so, while Brzezinski’s were largely and
shamelessly ignored by the corrupted corporate media
still carrying the administration’s water and
trumpeting its phony claims like verifiable gospel.
It happened on February 11 in the New York Times as
reported by correspondent James Glanz.  His column
breathed the scantiest hints of skepticism that
smacked of the same kind of Judith Miller-type
journalism about WMDs helping take the country to war
with Iraq in 2003.  He said the US military showed
“their first public evidence of the contentious
assertion that Iran supplies Shiite extremist groups
in Iraq with some of the most lethal weapons in the
war….used to kill more than 170 Americans in the
past three years” with only hints about its
reliability or the source presenting it having none.

He cited senior defense officials in Baghdad February
11 displaying “an array of mortar shells and
rocket-propelled grenades with visible serial numbers
(claimed to be directly linked) to Iranian arms
factories.” Without credible proof, they said “Iranian
leaders had authorized smuggling those weapons into
Iraq for use against Americans (basing their judgment)
on general intelligence assessments (of the same kind
used to justify attacking Iraq, meaning phony ones.)
The specious Times report reeked of innuendos for what
it lacked in hard proof about lethal weapons.  They
could have come from any source, manufactured
anywhere, including by Pentagon contractors easily
able to duplicate anything scattered around the
country and on Iraqi streets for years after the
Iranian conflict and now used by resistance fighters
or anyone else who has them.

Typical Times saber rattling was at it again after
Bush’s inept February 14 news conference trumpeting
his claim Iran was sending weapons to Iraq to
undermine security and kill Americans while never
looking more pathetic and awkward doing it.  In “Times
talk,” reporters Stolberg and Santora stated “Mr.
Bush’s remarks amounted to his most specific
accusation to date that Iran was undermining security
in Iraq….(and he) dismissed as ‘preposterous’ the
contention by some skeptics that the United States was
drawing unwarranted conclusions about Iran’s role.” 
They barely questioned the president’s nonsensical
claim he’s certain “the (paramilitary) Quds Force, a
part of the government, has provided these
sophisticated I.E.D’s that have harmed our troops”
that has as much credibility as those WMDs we had to
fear along with that “mushroom shaped cloud” we
couldn’t afford to wait to see before acting.

Facts On the Ground Trump the Propaganda

Revealed facts on the ground in Iraq belie all
Pentagon and administration phony assertions along
with their shameless daily echoing on the Times front
pages.  The military couldn’t even get its evidence
straight in presenting an 81mm mortar shell Iran
doesn’t make, and the ones shown the media had fake
markings in English for a Farsi-speaking country.
It’s also inconceivable Shia Iran would be fighting
Iraq’s Shia government it’s allied with and aids.  The
US has been fighting an anti-Iranian Sunni resistance
largely in al-Anbar province and the most violent
parts of Baghdad.  It stretches credibility to imagine
Iran is arming its enemy that denounces Iraq’s
dominant Shia puppet government as a US pawn. 

That hardly deters Washington claiming further solid
evidence Iranian agents are involved in what the State
Department calls “networks” (meaning Iranians) working
with individuals and groups in Iraq sent there by the
Iranian government without a shred of evidence to
prove it.  Even General Peter Pace, US Joint Chiefs of
Staff Chairman, dismisses the claim as unproved and
further said during a February trip to the Pacific
region there is “zero” chance of a US war with Iran. 

He may be echoing the kind of sentiment the London
Times reported February 25 that “highly placed defence
and intelligence sources (say) Some of America’s most
senior commanders are prepared to resign (in protest)
if the White House orders a military strike against
Iran.”  The paper calls this type of high-level
internal dissent unprecedented signifying great
distaste and misgivings in the Pentagon for an attack
on Iran.  That’s a sentiment even its Joint Chiefs
Chairman may share as well as the six retired generals
(and likely others) who publicly denounced the
Pentagon’s handling of the Iraq war last spring and
the administration’s incompetence overall.

Nonetheless, preparations for war go on that veteran
journalist Seymour Hersh again wrote about in late
February in the New Yorker magazine.  According to
Hersh’s informed sources: “The Pentagon is continuing
intensive planning for a possible bombing attack on
Iran….at the direction of the President. (It
includes) a contingency plan…that can be implemented
(in) 24 hours….The Iran planning group (is assigned)
to identify targets in Iran that may be involved in
supplying or aiding militants in Iraq (on top of its
previous focus to destroy) Iran’s nuclear facilities
and possible regime change.”  Hersh’s report
supplements others, like one from BBC, saying the US
military is planning an all out “shock and awe”
blitzkrieg on the country’s nuclear facilities,
military and infrastructure that may come in the
spring that’s now just days away.

A clear sign of that possibility is the huge naval
buildup in the Gulf and Eastern Mediterranean with two
heavily equipped and armed carrier groups in theater
and a reported third en route either to replace one
there or add to it.  The combined task force in place
is a formidable assemblage of 50 or more warships with
nuclear weapons, hundreds of planes and contingents of
Marines and Navy personnel.

The buildup is part of former Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld’s plan for preemptive nuclear war
specifically targeting Iran and North Korea.  Earlier,
Dick Cheney originated the idea when he served as GHW
Bush’s Defense Secretary in the early 1990s.  Rumsfeld
picked up the scheme in 2004 as authorized by the 2002
National Security Strategy proclaiming an official
doctrine of preemptive or preventive war for the first
time.  From it he approved a top secret “Interim
Global Strike Alert Order” for military readiness
against hostile countries that included the nuclear
option.  He drew on CONPLAN (contingency/concept plan)
8022 completed in November 2003 detailing a plan to
preemptively strike targets anywhere in the world
judged a national security threat including hardened
structures using tactical so-called low-yield nuclear
bunker busters with Iran the apparent first target of
choice.  The Omaha-based US Strategic Command
(StratCom) would run any operation if undertaken as
it’s the command center for the country’s nuclear
deterrent and overseas the military’s nuclear arsenal.

All military branches have ready battle plans to
implement against Iran under the name TIRANNT for
Theater Iran Near Term.  If an attack order comes, it
can be launched from the assembled Naval task force in
the region and/or by long-range US-based bombers and
other warplanes and missiles strategically based in
locations like Diego Garcia and elsewhere within
striking distance of Iranian targets.  It will be able
to assault Iran round the clock for weeks against a
claimed number of 1500 nuclear-related sites located
at 18 main locations in the country.  Also designated
are thousands of strategic military and civilian
targets including vital infrastructure, industrial
sites, air, naval and ground force bases, missile
facilities and always command-and-control centers with
possible help from Israeli warplanes that might, in
fact, initiate an attack with US forces then joining
in to support their regional partner. 

That kind of devious scheme could persuade Congress to
go along never wanting to offend the Israeli Lobby
that’s been spoiling for a fight with Iran for years
and now may get it horrifically with unimaginable
consequences.  They’ll affect Israel and the US alike
as well as spillover to unstable countries in the
region like the Saudis, Egyptians, Jordanians and
Lebanese and may be unsettling enough to unseat
sitting rulers and governments replacing them with the
kinds of fundamentalist regimes not likely to welcome
US presence or influence in the region and intending
to do something about it.

The Bush Roadmap to War with Iran

Reports circulated as early as last year and in 2005
that the Bush administration signed off on a “shock
and awe” attack against Iran to destroy its perfectly
legal commercial nuclear program that may involve
using so-called “mini-nuke robust earth penetrator
bunker-buster” weapons that won’t be “mini” in their
catastrophic effects if indeed used.  These are
powerful dangerous weapons.  They can be made to any
desired potency, would likely be from one-third to
two-thirds as powerful as the Hiroshima bomb that
destroyed an entire city, but could have far greater
explosive capability that potentially will be
catastrophic to the area struck and well beyond by
radiation contamination alone.

Pentagon false and misleading reports about them claim
they’re “safe for civilians” because they penetrate
the earth and explode underground.  Test results prove
otherwise showing when released from 40,000 feet a
B61-11 nuclear earth-penetrator burrowed about 20 feet
in the soil for a pre-explosion depth able to produce
intense fallout over the area struck that’s
unremediable and would result in enough permanent
surface contamination to be unsafe for human
habitation.  Nonetheless, weapons able to cause a
nuclear holocaust are cleared for use real time along
with conventional ones if a “shock and awe” attack is
ordered against Iran or any other nation on the false
and misleading pretext of protecting the national
security only threatened by a rogue leadership at home
willing to risk catastrophic mass destruction in
pursuit of its insane and unachieveable imperial aims.

Not surprisingly, we have an eager partner in Israel
straining at the leash to fulfill its long-term agenda
to attack Iran alone (possible but doubtful) or along
with its US ally that keeps getting reinforced by
bellicose statements by its high officials like the
one reported February 13 by ultra-right wing Strategic
Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman.  He commented in a
radio interview that if necessary “We will have to
face the Iranians alone, because Israel cannot remain
with its arms folded, waiting for Iran to develop
non-conventional (nuclear) weapons.”  Officials like
Lieberman, current Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert
and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu are
dangerous men on the far right allied with others in
government and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) all
dripping war talk that must be taken seriously from a
nation dedicated to conflict and never shy about
striking the first all out aggressive blow.

The same theme comes from a report published February
11 that vice-president Cheney’s national security
advisor, John Hannah (who replaced Lewis Libby just
convicted of obstruction of justice, perjury and lying
to the FBI), speaking for the Bush administration,
considers 2007 “the year of Iran” saying a US attack
is a real possibility. Hannah played a key role in the
run-up to the Iraq war having written the first draft
of Colin Powell’s infamous pre-war speech to the
Security Council citing bogus evidence.  He also
played a lead role putting out phony pre-war
intelligence from Iraqi exiles.  Now he’s at the seat
of power and must be taken seriously, especially since
his boss barely disguises his aggressive posturing for
war against the Iranian state he’s wanted for 15 years
or more.

They’re both part of the high-level propaganda
messaging similar to the lead-up to the Iraq war.
It’s aim is instill fear to make the administration’s
case that Iran poses serious threat enough to justify
military action against it.  It follows UN Resolutions
1696 in July demanding Iran suspend uranium enrichment
by August 31, which it didn’t, and 1737 in December
imposing limited sanctions on Iran for not abiding by
what the Security Council demanded in July.  A second
deadline passed putting the Iranian matter back in the
Security Council to consider new sanctions be imposed
and ratcheting things closer to a US attack as further
events unfold. 

And so the beat goes on with US oil reserves being
stockpiled, Iranian diplomats apprehended in Iraq, the
Pentagon and Israeli forces scheming together, the US
military buildup in the Gulf and Eastern Mediterranean
continuing, US ground forces moved to the Iran-Iraq
border, Patriot missiles strategically installed in
Israel and neighboring Arab states, a “surge” of up to
50,000 additional troops planned, and a change of
commanders on the ground in Iraq made replacing less
hawkish ones with others supporting the Bush war

They’re part of the new Pentagon team under Defense
Secretary Robert Gates who told the Senate Armed
Services Committee the military needs to prepare for
large-scale operations against countries like Russia,
China, North Korea and Iran that reaffirms the
administration’s commitment to its “long war” Dick
Cheney said won’t end in our lifetime, but may end up
shortening it.  Clearly Iran is the next planned
target, the dominant media echoes the threat, and
Congress is just a talking-shop like always posturing
as the gathering storm in the Gulf intensifies.

Published reports, citing credible sources, point to
an attack on Iran by April by an administration on
total expanded war footing with the president spoiling
for a fight by goading Iran to react in response to
his order to “seek out and destroy” (supposed) Iranian
“networks” in Iraq.  Bush minced no words in a radio
interview saying “If Iran escalates its military
action in Iraq (even though there’s none)....we will
respond firmly.”  Other officials joined the
jingoistic chorus accusing Iran of involvement in
sectarian violence practically signaling an upcoming
attack that easily could follow a manufactured pretext
if Iran fails to provide one on its own which it
won’t.  It’s never hard to do, and the infamous
trumped up Gulf of Tonkin one in August, 1964 shows
how easy it is to fool the public and get Congress to
go along. 

Iran could save us the trouble by responding to US
provocations going on now for months by illegally
flying unmanned aerial surveillance drones across its
airspace and secretly placing special forces
reconnaissance teams on the ground “to collect
targeting data and to establish contact with
anti-government ethnic minority groups” according to
an earlier report by Seymour Hersh.  So far, Iran
hasn’t taken the bait even though it knows what’s
happening and reportedly downed one or more intruding
aircraft it has every legal right to do but is
treading dangerously against an adversary looking for
any pretext to pounce.  It’s leaders also knew what
Washington was up to after being made a charter member
of Bush’s “Axis of Evil.”  In that status, it’s blamed
for the administration’s failure in Iraq with false
claims of arming the resistance and inciting violence.

War on Iran may, in fact, have already started, and
two bombings in Southeastern Iranian Zahedan bordering
Pakistan and Afghanistan the week of February 12 may
have been one of its volleys.  Arrests were made and a
video seized according to provincial police chief
Brigadier General Mohammad Ghafari.  From it he claims
the “rebels (have an) attachment to opposition groups
and some countries’ intelligence services such as
America and Britain.”  An unnamed Iranian official
also told the Islamic Republic News Agency one of
those arrested confessed he was trained by English
speakers, and the attack was part of US plans to
provoke internal unrest. 

While none of this conclusively proves US involvement,
there’s no secret Washington wants regime change, is
actively stirring up internal ethnic and political
opposition toward it, and reportedly is working with
exiled Iranian leaders including the Mujahideen
el-Khalq (MEK) Iranian opposition guerrilla cult the
US State Department lists as a terrorist organization,
but not apparently when it’s on our side.

Full-scale war on Iran may just be a concocted
terrorist attack away from starting the “shock and
awe.”  There’s no secret what’s planned and none
whatever that doing it will be another unprovoked,
unwarranted act of preemptive illegal aggression only
the US and Israel support.  It’s also no secret Iran
is no pushover.  It’s no match for US and/or Israeli
power, but it’s got powerful weapons one writer says
are “unstoppable” like Russian-built SS-N-22 Sunburn
Missiles and more advanced SS-NX-26 Yakhont anti-ship
ones designed to sink a US carrier that’s a formidable
weapon of war but not invulnerable.  Iran also has
Russian 29 Tor M-1 anti-missile systems and NATO-made
Exocet and Chinese Silkworm anti-ship missiles that
pack a punch and can sink our ships when launced from
land, surface ships or submarines along with 300 or
more warplanes, and a large ground force estimated at
around 350,000.

US engaging Iran may now hinge on resolving the
Washington power struggle between Bush administration
neocons and more practical trilateralist types in the
camp of Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jim Baker, and other
powerful Washington figures including the president’s
father.  It’s also up to Congress to decide which side
it’s on and whether it will act or watch from the
sidelines and risk nuclear war and its fallout.  It
may not be long finding out how events will unfold.
Just the kind and level of rhetorical noise will tell
who’s winning with congressional inaction and media
complicity so far giving the hawks a big advantage.
Haven’t we seen this script before, and isn’t the
likely ending clear, except this time the stakes are
far greater and so is the risk to everyone on both

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
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