Wednesday, March 7, 2007

A Slow Day

Today I spent most of my day working on a deck I am building for a local environmental group to use as an outdoor teaching laboratory. It is out in the woods and overlooks a spring, so there is quite a lot of wildlife activity there. It was a beautiful day full of birdsong and sunshine. Saw a yellow rumped warbler along with cardinals, redwing blackbirds, wrens, and lots of waterfowl.The day didn’t leave me much time or energy for writing, though, so I will just share the outline I have started for a presentation I will make to the local peace network next Wednesday. The point is to provide enough information for attendees to meaningfully consider whether or not an attack on Iran is imminent. The outline is not complete, and I am not yet convinced that an attack on Iran is a sure thing, but there are enough indications to make keeping a weather eye in that direction a sensible thing to do.

Please consider the following information in weighing the case for suspecting a build-up for attacking Iran. I will supply more as the outline grows.

1. The pattern established by past behaviors of this administration:

A. The build-up for invading Iraq was foretold in the neo-conservative paper “Rebuilding America’s Defenses which stated that

(1) Iran, Iraq and North Korea are rushing to develop ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons as a deterrent to American intervention in regions they seek to dominate.” (p. 4)

(2) “America’s role as guarantor of the current great-power peace relies upon the preservation of a favorable balance of power in Europe, the Middle East, and surrounding energy producing region, and East Asia.” (p5)

(3) Included in their list of “missions demanded by U.S. global leadership is the objective of “fighting and winning multiple large-scale wars” (p.5 & 6)

(4) Four and one-half years before the declaration of war against Iraq, came this statement, “While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.”(p.14)

(5) “Over the long term, Iran may well prove as large a threat to U.S. interests in the Gulf as Iraq has.”(p.17)

(6) On the same page, the paper discusses how a permanent base in Kuwait can protect against another Iraqi incursion into that country, but now that Saddam has gone, have we pulled any troops out of Kuwait?

(7) “With a substantial permanent Army ground presence in Kuwait, the demands for Marine presence in the Gulf could be scaled back as well.” (p.18) Instead of being scaled back, what do we see today? – Four aircraft carriers plus cruisers, destroyers and submarines being sent into the Gulf. If not for attack, why are they there?

2. Current Administration tactics:

A. Flynt Leverett, a former Bush Administration National Security Council official, told me (Seymour Hersh) that “there is nothing coincidental or ironic” about the new strategy with regard to Iraq. “The Administration is trying to make a case that Iran is more dangerous and more provocative than the Sunni insurgents to American interests in Iraq, when—if you look at the actual casualty numbers—the punishment inflicted on America by the Sunnis is greater by an order of magnitude,” Leverett said. “This is all part of the campaign of provocative steps to increase the pressure on Iran. The idea is that at some point the Iranians will respond and then the Administration will have an open door to strike at them.”

More to follow in the next couple of days. . .

Be the change you wish to see in the world. – M.K. Gandhi

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