There will soon be two US Navy carrier groups in the Persian Gulf.
At this point, there should be little argument that we haven't the troops to engage in a land war against Iran. Even the staunchest neoconservative must agree that our ground-based military is just about over-committed to Iraq and Afghanistan. The same, however, cannot be said for our air forces.
Carrier groups have little to do with ground war. Jets can't occupy territory. Carriers don't exist to carry troops (even if we had some). They do, however, make excellent platforms from which to launch bombing attacks.
Last month, in what may go down as the most ironic statement of the year, General Michael V. Hayden, director of the CIA, said "Iran seems to be conducting a foreign policy with a sense of dangerous triumphalism." I'll ignore for the moment what our presence in Iraq says about the sense informing our own foreign policy. Instead I'll focus on the hubris behind the remarks--an arrogance so great that it borders on naivete. Or it would if it weren't so transparently propaganda.
Instead, I ask this simple question: if Iran were conducting a bungled yet extensive invasion of Canada, causing hundreds of thousands of Canadians to flee to the United States as refugees, would the Government of the United States be involving itself in that conflict in some way? Do you think we might care, just a little, about how it turned out?
Just the same, the Bush people are unhappy that Iran is taking an interest in their little experiment in Iraqi democracy. In the past couple of months, Bushco have been at pains to reiterate that US forces have been encouraged to employ lethal force in dealing with Iranians in Iraq.
Though U.S. forces are not known to have used lethal force against any Iranian to date, Bush administration officials have been urging top military commanders to exercise the authority.Bush has spent the last week firing verbal warning shots. At least, the mainstream press has been treating them as warning shots. Given his track record, however, I would say that Bush's accusations, however substantiated, are not directed at Iran. He can not reasonably expect the Iranians to stand by and wait politely on the outcome of the fearsome sins of our occupation.
The wide-ranging plan has several influential skeptics in the intelligence community, at the State Department and at the Defense Department who said that they worry it could push the growing conflict between Tehran and Washington into the center of a chaotic Iraq war.
...A senior intelligence officer was more wary of the ambitions of the strategy.
"This has little to do with Iraq. It's all about pushing Iran's buttons. It is purely political," the official said. The official expressed similar views about other new efforts aimed at Iran, suggesting that the United States is escalating toward an unnecessary conflict to shift attention away from Iraq and to blame Iran for the United States' increasing inability to stanch the violence there.
No, Bush is not talking at Tehran. He is talking at you. He is preparing you for the bombing of Iran.
Whatever happens must happen within the scope of the Iraq Occupation. Congress (and the public) have been clear that however timid and retiring they have been in attempting to rein in the White House in Iraq, their tolerance for a de novo war with Iran is much more limited. So Bush is beginning to pick up the beat on the war drums, sure as switchgrass grows in Texas. He wants you to want bombs.
"I can say with certainty that the Quds Force, a part of the Iranian government, has provided these sophisticated I.E.D.’s that have harmed our troops," Mr. Bush said.
That's the first step. He's just getting you primed. As the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated in that same article, while some bomb materials were made in Iran, “that does not translate that the Iranian government, per se, for sure, is directly involved in this." That accusation will come later. That's how foreplay works, you see. First you kiss them in the ear. Then you step up the rhetoric, inch by inch, until they're ready for the fireworks.
Iran is a long way from home for me. I don't know any Iranians. I may have gone to school with one or two at some point, but I don't remember. If I ever knew. I do know they're having some troubles over there. Seems a pretty conservative guy is leading their country right now. He's being a little belligerent. The religious right really likes him, though he isn't really religious enough for some of them.
The point of this longish post is to share these pictures with you. "Tehran, the pivot of the axis of evil." I swiped that off of someone else's site. Apparently "Peace Train" is playing in the background (I don't have sound on my computer). Take a good long look at the people we are getting ready to bomb. This is a brief glimpse. If you wonder about those evil freedom haters on the other side of the world, those war-hungry, a-bomb seeking oil mavens, here are a few photos.
So when the high-tech catapult slings the first sortie of fire-dropping US fighter jets off the deck of the USS Nimitz to wipe out apartments and office blocks and symphony halls and parks and schools and, in fact, pretty much everything in Tehran except the oil ministry, you'll know where they're headed.