Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Preparing to Attack Iran: The Neocon Roadmap to War

Liam Bailey

I was talking about the possibility of a U.S. attack on Iran in the very near future with my dad the other day. Now my dad doesn't follow politics or current affairs as avidly as me, i.e. he watches the T.V. news if it happens to be on, but his exact words were, "yeah, it's bubbling away nicely innit." For those not from Yorkshire in England innit means isn't it. "Bubbling away nicely" said it all for me; it put into words my own feelings on the matter. Small steps, none too significant but all in succession are threatening to lead us into another war, and I don't think anything can stop it.

Like everybody else I believed the Afghanistan invasion was purely a response to 9/11. Then the blame for the attack was shifted to Iraq, followed by rapidly intensified pressure over Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction and immediate threat to the Western world, leading very quickly to another invasion. This made me suspicious. So when Iran became the focus shortly after, I immediately started thinking Iran is the next target. Of course by that time I was a fully paid up subscriber to the theory that the two invasions were part of a massive imperialistic drive by the Neoconservatives. I waned on that when Iraq became such a massive failure and its cost spiralled.

I waned further still when I read an article, the gist of which was that the massive amount of U.S. money being spent on funding wars is threatening the very future of America, if Iran is attacked the threat will be multiplied. The U.S. war budget is running higher than America's Gross Domestic Product meaning America is spiralling deeper into debt. It went on to explain that much of America's debt is owned by banks in countries on the opposite side of the Iran debate, in the main China.

The author feared that China could wait till America was at a critically weak point, i.e. another few years of such massive defence spending and pull the rug out from under Washington. I disbelieved America would put its overstretched economy at risk by again putting its overstretched military into another --suicidally-- difficult mission.

Tensions between the U.S. and Russia are currently at an all time high. China and Russia are strong allies. U.S. money is important to the Chinese economy, in capitalist investments, exports and interest payments, but I have no doubt that China would favour Russia over the U.S if the chips were down. So, the rug probably won't be removed until the Chinese economy can, not only survive, but continue to grow without U.S. money, which will probably never happen, or the chips are down, which should make me even surer that the U.S won't attack Iran.

However, in the last two weeks or so, major changes have happened. Firstly when U.S. plans for an Iran attack were released it was stated what would be needed to warrant such an attack and for the first time two things were mentioned, not only proof of a working nuclear weapon, but proof of Iranian involvement in U.S. deaths in Iraq. I saw this as laying the groundwork in preparation for U.S. plans being good to go, and then all of sudden we'll see a "smoking gun" and all hell will break loose.

This was followed just days later by a positive buzz in the mainstream media, from U.S. officials claiming to have "compelling evidence" that components for a new type of roadside bomb, explosively formed projectiles (EFP), which are capable of piercing armoured vehicles at 100 yards, were manufactured in Iran.

There has been a lot of hype also about the EFP's being an advanced weapon, to strengthen the case for Iranian involvement in their manufacture. From what I can gather they aren't all that advanced. A six-nine inch steel pipe, sealed at one end with a projectile of shaped steel or copper either inside the pipe or fitted to the other end, therefore anyone with explosives, metal and a lump of pipe can make an EFP. As most of the attacks on U.S. forces come from Sunni's who are equally as busy killing Iran's Shia brethren, obviously there are many bomb makers in Iraq quite capable of making an EFP and nothing to do with Iran.

U.S. generals in Iraq, who likely see the Bush administration attempting similar propaganda as led to the carnage their troops are struggling to survive in Iraq, have since came out denying the proof of Iranian involvement in U.S. deaths.

The question is: why has the future of such a dominant country been placed in the hands of China, at best a reluctant ally? And why does war with Iran and an increased risk to America's future hegemony seem so likely?

The answer: the Neocon's thirst for oil, allegiance to Israel and control of Bush administration foreign policy.

In the case of Afghanistan, a massively profitable UNOCAL pipeline was being hindered by the uncooperative Taliban regime. When 9/11 provided justification for an invasion and it was rapidly successful in removing the Taliban from power, Hamid Karzai, previously on UNOCAL's payroll was installed as Prime Minister. Neocon Zalmay Khalizad, also on UNOCAL's payroll was installed as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan. That part of the plan was complete, and the blame for 9/11 was then put on Saddam Hussein to, along with other fabrications, justify another invasion of an oil rich country. The Neocons' UNOCAL operative Zalmay Khalizad was moved to Iraq in his U.S. ambassador role to smooth their taking control of Iraq's oil profits.

Now the case is being made for a third invasion of an oil rich country. Iran is in the middle of Iraq and Afghanistan meaning an invasion can easily force Iran to fight a war on two fronts, suggesting that indeed, this may well have been their plan from the start. Many people will believe the line that any attack will be from the air only, but the U.S attack plans released recently suggest otherwise. When the gun starts smoking the plan is to attack not only Iran's fledgling nuclear sites, but to take out their entire military-industrial complex in a series of devastating air-strikes. Shock and Awe all over again.

Of course, it has been written many times that Iran's military will be a lot harder to take out than Iraq's was. So the bombing will probably be intensified, prolonged, will definitely involve bunker busting bombs and possibly even tactical nuclear weapons. Once Iran's military-industrial complex has been decimated Iran's rich oil reserves will be easy pickings for the U.S. forces occupying countries either side. The neocons taking up such prominent positions in the Bush administration will make sure they go in and finish the job.

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