Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Is the Middle East Preparing for War?

Heck, they are always preparing for war, but I mean sometime real soon? This article from seems to think there are many signs that say yes:

Source: U.S. Strike on Iran Nearing
[...] A number of signs indicate that, contrary to the belief President Bush is a lame duck who will not act before he leaves office, the U.S. is poised to strike before Iran can acquire nuclear weapons and carry out the threat of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to “wipe Israel off the map”:

  • According to intelligence sources, the administration now rejects the National Intelligence Estimate report issued in December that asserted Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in late 2003.

    The French daily Le Monde reported in March that newly surfaced documents show that Iran has continued developing nuclear weapons. In late 2006, U.S. intelligence reportedly intercepted a phone conversation in Iran’s Defense Ministry in which the nuclear weapons program was discussed.

  • The commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, Admiral William Fallon, resigned in March amid media reports that he broke with President Bush’s strategy on Iran and did not want to be in the chain of command when the order comes down from the President to launch a strike on the Islamic Republic.

    Democrats suggested he had been forced out because of his candor in opposing Bush’s Iran plans, and Esquire magazine contended that Fallon’s departure signaled that the U.S. is preparing to attack Iran.

  • According to a Tehran-based Iranian news network, Press TV, Saudi Arabia is taking emergency steps in preparing to counter any “radioactive hazards” that may result from an American attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

    The Saudi newspaper Okaz disclosed that the Saudi government has approved nuclear fallout preparations, and the Iranian network reported that the approval came a day after Cheney met with the kingdom’s high-ranking officials, further stating that the U.S. “is now informing its Arab allies of a potential war.”

  • The American commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, has stepped up criticism of Iran, telling Congress last week that Iranian support for Shiite militias posed the most serious threat to Iraq’s stability. He told senators : “Iran has fueled the violence in a particularly damaging way.” Last week, the U.S. said Iran was providing insurgents with missiles that were killing Americans and hitting targets within the U.S. occupied Green Zone in Baghdad.

    MSNBC Commentator Pat Buchanan said Petraeus’ remarks to Congress lay the groundwork for a U.S. attack on Iran.

  • President Bush said in a speech at the White House on April 10 that Iran, along with al-Qaida, are “two of the greatest threats to America.”

    He said Iran “can live in peace with its neighbors,” or “continue to arm and train and fund illegal militant groups which are terrorizing the Iraqi people … If Iran makes the wrong choice, America will act to protect our interests and our troops and our Iraqi partners.” [...]

  • These are just some of the reasons given, there's more details in the article. I've seen articles like this before though. It's easy to speculate, but harder to predict what actually will happen. Much depends on what any of the players do. The potential is certainly there. I've also read arguments about why it won't happen, but I don't think it's a certainty either way.

    Ahmadinejad has been preparing for war for years, and has many reasons for wanting it to happen, based on his strong apocalyptic religious beliefs. As long as he is in power, war seems likely sooner or later. If Iran gets Nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia will want them too, and Turkey will feel compelled to have them as well, etc etc. If war happens THEN, it will be much worse than anything that happens now. If war is going to happen sooner or later, there may be advantages to having it sooner. It could be the lesser of two evils.


    Anonymous said...

    I completely agree, Chas. Ahmadinejad has been preparing for a nuclear conflict for a long time. The only real question is whether their first strike will be against the "Little Satan" (Israel) or the "Big Satan" (the U.S.), or whether we'll strike them first.

    Ahmadinejad is a madman with an apocalyptic agenda. Last year, he hosted a holocaust deniers conference in Iran, at which he promised that Israel will be wiped off the map. Now he's denying 9/11, implying that it was a hoax by the U.S. government to justify our attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Within the next two years (and possibly by the end of this year), it's likely that Iran will have nuclear weapons. (Nuclear Terrorism -- Coming Soon) What are we going to do? -- If Obama is elected, not much...

    Chas said...

    Years ago I believed that George Bush would not leave the White House with Iran continuing the way it is. But now I have doubts he will do anything.

    It could be that he will move against them now, but if he does there will likely be mass chaos to follow. In the long run, that chaos may not be as bad as what would follow if nothing is done now, but how many people will understand that?