Another, wider war looms.

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  • #1
turbo
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The signs are very disturbing. Israeli PM Olmert urges action against Iran, but hints that there may be room for diplomacy. His words for action border on ultimatum, however, and he made no offer of diplomacy, insisting instead that the "International Community" needs to take action against Iran.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070124/ap_on_re_mi_ea/israel_olmert_1 [Broken]

In a parallel move, Bush hammered on Iran for being supportive of the Shiites and mentioned Iran a number of times in his State of the Union address. He didn't bother hammering the Saudis, who have said publicly that they will provide support to the Sunnis if Shiites retain the upper hand in Iraq. He also linked the Iraq war to 9-11 as he does at every opportunity, though the majority of the hijackers identified were Saudis. He made mention of "diplomacy" in the region, but has shown no willingness to negotiate with the Iranian government - so similar to the way he manipulated the US into attacking Iraq. His idea of diplomacy is to issue ultimatums, and pursue sanction against "enemies" instead of talking to them to see if we can establish any common ground. When the "enemy" fails to obey his orders, he declares that diplomacy has failed, and just like that we are at an "impasse" with no possible political solution.

The Stennis carrier group will soon be in the Persian Gulf, expanding our presence to two full carrier groups. The Stennis is presently in San Diego taking on supplies and additional weaponry and aircraft and will head for the Gulf soon. I fear that once the group is deployed in the Gulf, Israel will attack Iran's nuclear facilities and Bush will "interpret" Iran's response as an attack on the US, and launch an air war against Iran, thus plunging the region into a wider war, against the wishes of the US voters and our elected representatives. This set of circumstances - the speeches, the lack of diplomatic dialog with the "enemy" and the prepositioning of massive military force all point to another contrived and unnecessary war. If I am right, and I hope to be wrong, this will not be a war of a few "surgical" strikes against military/nuclear targets - those could be launched from distant land bases. It will be a war of non-stop and massive air strikes - the kind of attacks that are made-to-order for close-positioned carriers capable of many, many sorties/day.
 
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  • #2
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Luckily, Bush just doesn't have any political capital left. Anything that he had after 9/11 was spent on Iraq. If he tries to send troops into Iran, the Democrats (as well as the majority of Republicans) will vote to completely cut off funding, leaving him without any recourse. If he goes against the wishes of the Congress and spends money that he wasn't given, you can bet that the Dems will bring articles of impeachment.
 
  • #3
verty
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I don't think Bush can't do anything like that because it is the end of his term and next year it'll be all about the election, they will want the war to be in a somewhat stable situation like it probably will be with the extra troops there to quell Baghdad. It'll look nice and peachy (relatively speaking) going into a possibly democrat-led next term.
 
  • #4
BobG
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Luckily, Bush just doesn't have any political capital left. Anything that he had after 9/11 was spent on Iraq. If he tries to send troops into Iran, the Democrats (as well as the majority of Republicans) will vote to completely cut off funding, leaving him without any recourse. If he goes against the wishes of the Congress and spends money that he wasn't given, you can bet that the Dems will bring articles of impeachment.
I don't think Bush can't do anything like that because it is the end of his term and next year it'll be all about the election, they will want the war to be in a somewhat stable situation like it probably will be with the extra troops there to quell Baghdad. It'll look nice and peachy (relatively speaking) going into a possibly democrat-led next term.
Being near the end of his term also means he has little to lose personally. Neither does Cheney, who has absolutely no plans to run for President (i.e. - Congress can start the second impeachment right after Bush leaves office).

It depends on whether Bush really believes Iraq, Iran, and North Korea are part of an 'Axis of Evil' that need to be eliminated at any cost or whether bad advice trapped him into starting a bad war that he can't get out of. I think he could find a face-saving way to withdraw troops if he wanted to. That means there's a chance that he considers it very important to at least start a war against Iran, even if he won't be around long enough to finish it.

He can't invade Iran because we don't have enough troops to fight in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran at the same time, while still maintaining troops in Asia to protect against North Korea. He can bring Iran into the war with air strikes, though. Once the war is started, Congress will go along the way it has for virtually the entire history of the United States.
 
  • #5
turbo
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He can't invade Iran because we don't have enough troops to fight in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran at the same time, while still maintaining troops in Asia to protect against North Korea. He can bring Iran into the war with air strikes, though. Once the war is started, Congress will go along the way it has for virtually the entire history of the United States.
My biggest fear is that a "Gulf of Tonkin" incident will be fabricated and the US naval air forces will "retaliate" in such a way that the flag-wavers back home will rally around Bush. Make no mistake, many thoughtless people will support murder and destruction if Bush claims that Iran attacked us and the war is necessary.

The recent rhetoric and the deployment of a 2nd carrier group looks to me like Bush is engineering a broad-based expansion of the war. There is simply no need for a second carrier group in the gulf. Al qaida does not have a navy nor an air force, nor do the Sunni insurgents. The only reason I can think that 2 carrier groups are needed is if Bush intends to take out Iran's capability to harass shipping in the Gulf and destroy its aging air force. If Congress does not put a leash on Bush now, the next 5 or 10 presidents of the US are going to have a lot of trouble on their hands, and the Middle East will be even more of a mess than it is presently.
 
  • #6
Gokul43201
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My biggest fear is that a "Gulf of Tonkin" incident will be fabricated and the US naval air forces will "retaliate" in such a way that the flag-wavers back home will rally around Bush. Make no mistake, many thoughtless people will support murder and destruction if Bush claims that Iran attacked us and the war is necessary.
Gulf of Tonkin-like incidents have happened more than once, not always resulting in largescale war. Recall the Gulf of Sidra incidents - likely the same prescription, but much more limited in scope.

The recent rhetoric and the deployment of a 2nd carrier group looks to me like Bush is engineering a broad-based expansion of the war. There is simply no need for a second carrier group in the gulf. Al qaida does not have a navy nor an air force, nor do the Sunni insurgents. The only reason I can think that 2 carrier groups are needed is if Bush intends to take out Iran's capability to harass shipping in the Gulf and destroy its aging air force. If Congress does not put a leash on Bush now, the next 5 or 10 presidents of the US are going to have a lot of trouble on their hands, and the Middle East will be even more of a mess than it is presently.
Or, it's just a projection of force...something to back up the rhetoric.
 
  • #7
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It seems to me that the gulf is a poor place to put our carriers. They will be easy targets for land based missiles. They will also be operating in a very tight area already full of supertankers. This is not a good place to be playing a game of, "who blinks first", or "dodge ball."

We could accidentally end up being the ones who curtail shipping in the Gulf.
http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=19103
 
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  • #8
turbo
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It seems to me that the gulf is a poor place to put our carriers. They will be easy targets for land based missiles. They will also be operating in a very tight area already full of supertankers. This is not a good place to be playing a game of, "who blinks first", or "dodge ball."

We could accidentally end up being the ones who curtail shipping in the Gulf.
That's a big part of what makes me nervous. Any little problem with the the Iranian defense to any attack can be portrayed as an "attack" on US forces and we are sucked into a wider war, with more people being murdered for no reason.
 
  • #10
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Bush authorizes targeting Iranians in Iraq:
http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/01/26/us.iran.reut/index.html" [Broken]
 
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  • #11
Astronuc
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Interesting comments here regarding Bush's speech on Jan 10 -

Bush Warns Iran: ‘I Recently Ordered The Deployment Of An Additional Carrier Strike Group To The Region’

There was not one ounce of sincerity in his admission of guilt for the chaos that has become Iraq. He read it as one would read a pre-scripted speech about why carrots are orange, or how duck down is impervious to water. It was not delivered with the concession of someone with the ability to empathize or hold a regard for other human beings. And it no longer surprises me because sociopaths lack the capacity.

The only thing Bush’s speech convinced me of - is the fact that he will go down in history as a failed leader.
Comment 11.
 
  • #12
verty
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I wouldn't have thought so (about the situation) but it seems turbo is spot on. Deploying more carriers, authorising targets; sounds just about the right environment for an incident to occur.

Of course, it has been said that Iran was a target a long time ago.
 
  • #13
turbo
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I wouldn't have thought so (about the situation) but it seems turbo is spot on. Deploying more carriers, authorising targets; sounds just about the right environment for an incident to occur.

Of course, it has been said that Iran was a target a long time ago.
I have sent letters to my congressional representatives and to my local newspaper, but these will accomplish nothing, if the powers that be will not listen. I fear that soon, the Middle East will be a bombed-out mess (even more so than now!) and the US will be the pariah of the world, thanks to George Bush.
 
  • #14
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He didn't manipulate the US government to attack Iraq, he was in fact the manipulated.
 
  • #15
Garth
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He didn't manipulate the US government to attack Iraq, he was in fact the manipulated.
By Al Qaeda?

Through the planting of false information tortured out of their operatives?
Al-Qaeda lured U.S. to Iraq
By Gwynne Dyer
(Gwynne Dyer is a London-based independent journalist whose articles are published in 45 countries.)

Garth
 
  • #16
verty
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I'm not blaming Bush per se, he's probably just a face.
 
  • #17
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I'm not blaming Bush per se, he's probably just a face.
And the face behind that face is Dick Cheney.

In his book, Woodward describes Cheney as a "powerful, steamrolling force obsessed with Saddam and taking him out."

"Colin Powell, the secretary of state, saw this in Cheney to such an extent, he, Powell, told colleagues that ‘Cheney has a fever. It is an absolute fever. It’s almost as if nothing else exists,’” says Woodward, who adds that Cheney had plenty of opportunities to convince the president.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/04/15/60minutes/main612067.shtml
 
  • #19
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Here I thought the guy was just wanting a job and lots of money, that it was the work of Al Qaeda, who could look a couple moves in advance is intriguing, well Chess has its origins in the ME, no?
JS
 
  • #20
Does anyone actually think they'll bomb Iran? Let alone send in ground troups? I think again this is just posturing in the same way as we saw off China, if the US bombs Iran and it turns out they had nothing, it will be extremelly embarrasing, IMO the only time the US would act is if it had good intelligence, frankly I have seen much sign of that :wink: :smile: if you'll pardon the double entendre.:tongue2:
 
  • #21
Astronuc
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Well, this will ratchet up the tension.

Iranian Reveals Plan to Expand Role in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Jan. 28 — Iran’s ambassador to Baghdad outlined an ambitious plan on Sunday to greatly expand its economic and military ties with Iraq — including an Iranian national bank branch in the heart of the capital — just as the Bush administration has been warning the Iranians to stop meddling in Iraqi affairs.

Iran’s plan, as outlined by the ambassador, carries the potential to bring Iran into further conflict here with the United States, which has detained a number of Iranian operatives in recent weeks and says it has proof of Iranian complicity in attacks on American and Iraqi forces.

The ambassador, Hassan Kazemi Qumi, said Iran was prepared to offer Iraq government forces training, equipment and advisers for what he called “the security fight.” In the economic area, Mr. Qumi said, Iran was ready to assume major responsibility for Iraq reconstruction, an area of failure on the part of the United States since American-led forces overthrew Saddam Hussein nearly four years ago.
I wonder what people will write and think 100 years or 1000 years from now. Probably something like - what the **** were these people thinking back then.
 
  • #22
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Does anyone actually think they'll bomb Iran? Let alone send in ground troups? I think again this is just posturing in the same way as we saw off China, if the US bombs Iran and it turns out they had nothing, it will be extremelly embarrasing, IMO the only time the US would act is if it had good intelligence, frankly I have seen much sign of that :wink: :smile: if you'll pardon the double entendre.:tongue2:
I hope it is posturing, but that is one very expensive and dangerous way of doing it. It is not a bright manuever to put that much extra traffic in the persian Gulf. Carriers task forces and super tankers don't mix in a confined area.
 
  • #23
verty
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From here, August 2005:

A major U.S. intelligence review has projected that Iran is about a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient for a nuclear weapon, roughly doubling the previous estimate of five years, according to government sources with firsthand knowledge of the new analysis.
Now they're talking about striking suspected nuclear sites. Why is it so urgent, huh? I think it is because they want to start a war, before the next election.
 
  • #24
I hope it is posturing, but that is one very expensive and dangerous way of doing it. It is not a bright manuever to put that much extra traffic in the persian Gulf. Carriers task forces and super tankers don't mix in a confined area.
I agree, it's worrying. But it's the usual tactics from the US no? Posture untill the other side backs down, there's little they can do at the moment without firm evidence. And I personally happen to think that Iran is at least 5-10 years off nukes and this is supported by the IAEI, with it's current centrifugal technology you're looking at ten years, assuming it only uses it to build nukes, and it's missile tech won't get alot further than Israel, even if it was planning on using it, which I somehow doubt, even if it is trying to gain them. And that was 30 years in the making and propogated by the US in the first place.

It needs nuclear energy that is without question, but it is playing a very provocative game, I would like to see the US enter into talks with Iran, diplomacy is the act to forestal war, refusing to talk to Ahmidinejhad despite his offers, is bad diplomacy.

Iran is surrounded by nuclear armed powers, but it's stated numerous times, that nuclear weapons are unIslamic? Who do we believe here? Not easy to pick out the truth from the posturing...
 
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  • #25
russ_watters
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There is simply no need for a second carrier group in the gulf. Al qaida does not have a navy nor an air force, nor do the Sunni insurgents. The only reason I can think that 2 carrier groups are needed is if Bush intends to take out Iran's capability to harass shipping in the Gulf and destroy its aging air force..
You do know that naval forces (carriers, their planes, and other ships) have ground attack capabilities, right?
 

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