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By Robert Parry, www.consortiumnews.com
The first two or three months of 2007 represent a dangerous opening for an escalation of war in the Middle East, as George W. Bush will be tempted to “double-down” his gamble in Iraq by joining with Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair to strike at Syria and Iran, intelligence sources say.
President Bush’s goal would be to transcend the bloody quagmire bogging down U.S. forces in Iraq by achieving “regime change” in Syria and by destroying nuclear facilities in Iran, two blows intended to weaken Islamic militants in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.
By Bill Berkowitz, Inter Press Service
Over the past 20 years, the U.S. Christian right has evolved into one of the most powerful grassroots organising forces within the Republican Party, and a host of Christian Zionists have taken a well-earned seat at the foreign policy table.
At the same time, their support for Israel is not only growing -- it is also becoming an influential political factor.
EXCLUSIVE: White House Forbids Publication Of Op-Ed On Iran By Former Bush Official
Middle East analyst Flynt Leverett, who served under President Bush on the National Security Council and is now a fellow at the New America Foundation, revealed today that the White House has been blocking the publication of an op-ed he wrote for the New York Times. The column is critical of the administration’s refusal to engage Iran.
A conversation About Political, Diplomatic, and Mlitary Options
Thomas Pickering, U.S. Representative to the United Nations, 1989-1992; Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, 1997-2001
Flynt Leverett, Senior Fellow, New America Foundation
Sam Gardiner, Colonel, United States Air Force (retired)
Barry R. Posen, Director, Security Studies Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
By Mohammed Abbas, Reuters
MANAMA (Reuters) - Iran will only hold direct talks with the United
States on Iraq if Washington announces plans to pull its troops out,
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Saturday.
Mottaki was responding to this week's U.S. Iraq Study Group report,
which recommended Washington should directly engage with Iran and
Syria to try to stabilize Iraq.
By Larry C Johnson
Well, the New York Times just got sucked in again to help the Bush Administration make the case for starting a war with Iran and Syria. Sorry, but how obtuse can some folks be? I refer to the so-called news reported by Michael Gordon and Dexter Filkins in today's New York Times. The essence of their breathless report is that Iran, via Hezbollah, is training the Shia militia in Iraq. Well, NO SHIT SHERLOCK! Consider this quote from today's article:
Ellsberg is optimistic that Gates less likely than Rumsfeld to attack Iran, and that Democratic Congress will investigate bogus claims used to justify an attack on Iran: VIDEO.
HOW TO STOP WASHINGTON’S NEXT REGIME CHANGE
RECENTLY RETURNED FROM IRAN
AUTHOR OF "TARGET : IRAN," ON BUSH’S PLANNED ATTACK
FORMER UN WEAPONS INSPECTOR IN IRAQ
FOUNDER, FAIRNESS & ACCURACY IN REPORTING (FAIR)
AUTHOR OF THE NEW "CABLE NEWS CONFIDENTIAL"
IN WHICH HE DESCRIBES NETWORK RESISTANCE TO RITTER INTERVIEW
& OTHER DISINFORMATION
By Robert Parry, http://www.consortiumnews.com
In November 1987, as the Reagan administration was still scrambling to contain the Iran-Contra scandal, then-deputy CIA director Robert M. Gates denied that the spy agency had soft-pedaled intelligence about Iran’s support for terrorism to clear the way for secret U.S. arms shipments to the Islamic regime.
“Only one or two analysts believed Iranian support for terrorism was waning,” Gates wrote in articles that appeared in the Washington Post and Foreign Affairs magazine. “And no CIA publication asserted these things.”
By the Agence France Presse
President George W. Bush could choose military action over diplomacy and bomb Iran's nuclear facilities next year, political analysts in Washington agree.
"I think he is going to do it," John Pike, director of Globalsecurity.org, a military issues think tank, told AFP.
"They are going to bomb WMD facilities next summer," he added, referring to nuclear facilities Iran says are for peaceful uses and Washington insists are really intended to make nuclear bombs, or weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
By Center for American Progress Action Fund
"Make no mistake, President Bush will need to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities before leaving office," writes Joshua Muravchik, a neoconservative scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. "The global thunder against Bush when he pulls the trigger will be deafening, and it will have many echoes at home." So neoconservatives, Muravchik argued, "need to pave the way intellectually now and be prepared to defend the action when it comes." In that vein, Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, said last August, "We could be in a military confrontation with Iran much sooner than people expect." In a startling new article in the New Yorker, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh writes that, despite the recent bluster over Iran's attempts to build a nuclear bomb, a highly classified draft assessment by the CIA found "no conclusive evidence, as yet, of a secret Iranian nuclear-weapons program." According to Hersh, the White House has reacted with hostility to the CIA's report and, as it did with Iraq, is bypassing the agency by collecting and compiling its own intelligence for a possible military strike. On CNN yesterday, Hersh said there is an "internecine fight" going on between the CIA and the White House over the intelligence process, "the same fight, by the way, that we had before Iraq."
By Agence France-Presse
Washington - A classifed draft CIA assessment has found no firm evidence of a secret drive by Iran to develop nuclear weapons, as alleged by the White House, a top US investigative reporter has said.
Seymour Hersh, writing in an article for the November 27 issue of the magazine The New Yorker released in advance, reported on whether the administration of Republican President George W. Bush was more, or less, inclined to attack Iran after Democrats won control of Congress last week.
THE NEXT ACT
By SEYMOUR M. HERSH, www.newyorker.com
A month before the November elections, Vice-President Dick Cheney was sitting in on a national-security discussion at the Executive Office Building. The talk took a political turn: what if the Democrats won both the Senate and the House? How would that affect policy toward Iran, which is believed to be on the verge of becoming a nuclear power? At that point, according to someone familiar with the discussion, Cheney began reminiscing about his job as a lineman, in the early nineteen-sixties, for a power company in Wyoming. Copper wire was expensive, and the linemen were instructed to return all unused pieces three feet or longer. No one wanted to deal with the paperwork that resulted, Cheney said, so he and his colleagues found a solution: putting “shorteners” on the wire—that is, cutting it into short pieces and tossing the leftovers at the end of the workday. If the Democrats won on November 7th, the Vice-President said, that victory would not stop the Administration from pursuing a military option with Iran. The White House would put “shorteners” on any legislative restrictions, Cheney said, and thus stop Congress from getting in its way.
By Ivan Eland
Most of official Washington has long believed that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld needed to be sacked. Unfortunately it took a major Republican loss at the polls to finally prompt George W. Bush to cut loose a key player from his inner circle.
The removal of Rumsfeld signals that Bush is listening to the voters and elected officials. However, the nomination of Robert Gates—a Bush family crony and former Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) under his father’s administration—to replace Rumsfeld will only create new problems for the president.
By AMY TEIBEL, Associated Press
JERUSALEM (AP) - The deputy defense minister suggested Friday that Israel might be forced to launch a military strike against Iran's disputed nuclear program - the clearest statement yet of such a possibility from a high-ranking official.
``I am not advocating an Israeli pre-emptive military action against Iran and I am aware of its possible repercussions,'' Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh, a former general, said in comments published Friday in The Jerusalem Post. ``I consider it a last resort. But even the last resort is sometimes the only resort.''
By David Swanson
On Wednesday, Cindy Sheehan, Ann Wright, Lennox Yearwood, and about 50 other activists for peace met up on the sidewalk in front of the White House. I brought along a box containing 6,000-some pages of names and comments: about 80,000 names with cities and states, about half of them with comments beside them. These were the names of people who have signed the petition at www.DontAttackIran.org The media gathered around, and Cindy read the petition out loud:
By Cindy Sheehan
Democracy Wins----George and his abominable policies and the Repugs Lose!
Technically George was not up for re-election today, but realistically, he lost big time! This election was a referendum on his war of terror and his war lost. Time to change your course, George....
Today in the pouring rain, we read the names of the 2835 killed soldiers in Iraq from a bull-horn that was pointed at the White House. We were calling them out loud and clear for George to hear the names of the people that he has killed in his war of terror.
President Bush will not be the only one traveling to Crawford Texas election day Tuesday Nov 7. Iranians from around the state, alarmed by increasing saber rattling by the Bush Administration, will join peace organizations to demand a nuclear free Middle East and condemn further U.S. military intervention in the region. Leaders of Iranian For Peace, an anti war group, have announced a press conference at the Crawford Peace House, a few blocks from the fire station where the President will cast his vote.
Protests at White House Aim to Prevent War on Iran, End War on Iraq, and Reverse Stolen Elections (Should There Be Any)
Cindy Sheehan has called for a protest at the White House from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, from November 6-9. The protest is in opposition to the war in Iraq and the possible war in Iran, but will develop into a protest of stolen elections should evidence of election fraud emerge. More information: http://www.gsfp.org
On the evening of November 7, citizens will turn Lafayette Square Park, in front of the White House into a Blue Revolution, one of many events around the country. Crowds dressed in blue will be holding vigils outside election offices to demand an accurate counting of votes in at least these locations: AZ-Maricopa, AZ-Yavapai, CA-Kern, CA-Orange, CA-Santa Barbara, CA-San Luis Obispo, CO-Adams, DC-District of Columbia, IN-La Porte, IN-Lake, IN-Porter, MD-Baltimore, MD-Howard, MN-Waseca, MO-St. Louis, OR-Washington, NY-Onondaga, TX-Lamar, WA-Clark, WA-King. More information: http://www.bluerevolution.us
By SCOTT RITTER, http://www.thenation.com
The distance between the northern suburbs of the Iranian capital of Tehran and the nuclear enrichment facility of Natanz is roughly 180 miles. What transpires on the ground between these two geographical points has seized the attention of the international community, and in particular the government of the United States, as the world wrestles with how best to respond to the issues surrounding Iran's decision to pursue indigenous enrichment of uranium in defiance of the United Nations Security Council's resolution demanding that all such activity cease.
Previously scheduled for November 9th, delivery of the Don't-Attack-Iran petition to the White House has been bumped up to 11 a.m. on November 8th.
Please sign the petition and add a personal note to Bush and Cheney at
Then ask you friends to do the same.
Join Cindy Sheehan and others on November 8th in front of the White House.
Together we can stop a war.
This weekend, C-SPAN will broadcast Target Iran, the public conversation produced by The Nation Institute featuring Scott Ritter and Seymour Hersh on the Bush Administration's plans for military action in Iran. This program was filmed last week in New York City, with The Nation Institute President, Hamilton Fish, as moderator.
The Ritter / Hersh event is scheduled to be shown on C-SPAN this Sunday, October 29th at 11:30am and 11:30pm Eastern Standard Time. Please check your local listings for other time zones. You can view the schedule here:
By Daniel Ellsberg, Harper's Magazine
A hidden crisis is under way. Many government insiders are aware of serious plans for war with Iran, but Congress and the public remain largely in the dark. The current situation is very like that of 1964, the year preceding our overt, open-ended escalation of the Vietnam War, and 2002, the year leading up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Tuesday, Oct. 17, the Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group steamed into the Persian Gulf to join the US naval, air and marine concentration piling up opposite Iran’s shores. It consists of the amphibious transport dock USS Nashville, the guided-missile destroyers USS Cole and USS Bulkeley, the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea, the attack submarine USS Albuquerque, and the dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island.
Stop a War!
Cindy Sheehan to lead delivery of petition with all signatures and comments to the White House at 10 a.m. on November 9th. We will demand that the White House accept the petition, and some of us will be willing to go to jail. Join us if you can.
Sign the petition and add your comment to it now!
On October 3 2006 The Eisenhower strike group left its base in
Norfolk, Virginia with a 6,500 deployment force. Naval Officers
contacted Peace Groups to protest the possibility of a planed provoked
war with Iran.
Today the Strike Group is being joined by an armada of ships sailing
to the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and to the Mediterranean.
Military exercises starting October 31 will practice interdicting ships.
A Report by Geoffrey Millard and Scott Galindez
On Wednesday, October 11, Congressman Dennis Kucinich hosted a briefing on the march to war with Iran. Former chief nuclear weapons inspector David Kay testified that Iran currently does not pose an imminent threat to the United States or the region. Retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardner, who was assigned to the War Planning College, presented his analysis of current preparations for war with Iran. VIDEO