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By Mark Mazzetti, New York Times
Washington - The new chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Friday sharply criticized the Bush administration's increasingly combative stance toward Iran, saying that White House efforts to portray it as a growing threat are uncomfortably reminiscent of rhetoric about Iraq before the American invasion of 2003.
Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, the West Virginia Democrat who took control of the committee this month, said that the administration was building a case against Tehran even as American intelligence agencies still know little about either Iran's internal dynamics or its intentions in the Middle East.
U.S. contingency planning for military action against Iran's nuclear program goes beyond limited strikes and would effectively unleash a war against the country, a former U.S. intelligence analyst said on Friday.
"I've seen some of the planning ... You're not talking about a surgical strike," said Wayne White, who was a top Middle East analyst for the State Department's bureau of intelligence and research until March 2005.
By Andrew Kishner, www.StopDivineStrake.com
The defense agency that came up with the stupid name Divine Strake and the more
idiotic purpose for the test – to study the blast effects of a nuclear explosion
– may not be as stupid as they seem. Their recently released draft Revised Environmental
Assessment, which is open for public comment through February 7, contends that the
tremendous mushroom sized cloud from Divine Strake, which will rise to 10,000 feet,
By Associated Press
Paris - The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said Thursday he was concerned that the U.N. sanctions on Iran could escalate the standoff with Western powers over its suspected weapons program.
Mohamed El Baradei called for a resumption of negotiations. Only applying pressure, he suggested, could prompt the Islamic republic to follow the path of North Korea, which kicked out U.N. inspectors, pulled out of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 2003 and then conducted its first-ever nuclear test last October.
Iran offered the US a package of concessions in 2003, but it was rejected, a senior former US official has told the BBC's Newsnight programme.
Tehran proposed ending support for Lebanese and Palestinian militant groups and helping to stabilise Iraq following the US-led invasion.
Offers, including making its nuclear programme more transparent, were conditional on the US ending hostility.
By Liang Youchang, www.chinaview.cn
Special report: Iran Nuclear Crisis
TEHRAN, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Iranian troops have shot down a U.S. pilotless spy plane recently, an Iranian lawmaker announced on Tuesday as the Islamic Republic was facing increasing military pressure from its arch rival -- the United States.
The aircraft was brought down when it was trying to cross the borders "during the last few days," Seyed Nezam Mola Hoveizeh, a member of the parliament, was quoted by the local Fars News Agency as saying.
JONES INTRODUCES RESOLUTION REQUIRING CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL PRIOR TO USE OF MILITARY FORCE AGAINST IRAN
WASHINGTON, DC – Today Representative Walter B. Jones (R-NC) introduced H. J. Res. 14, a joint resolution concerning the use of force by the United States against Iran. The resolution requires that – absent a national emergency created by an attack, or a demonstrably imminent attack, by Iran upon the United States or its armed forces – the President must consult with Congress and receive specific authorization prior to initiating any use of military force against Iran.
By David Morrison
The week beginning 18 December 2006 witnessed another fine example of US double standards on nuclear weapons.
On Monday 18 December 2006, President Bush signed into law an Act paving the way for the lifting of sanctions against India, a nuclear-armed state that never signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), sanctions which have banned India from importing nuclear material and equipment for civil purposes for over 30 years, since its first nuclear test in 1974. India is not required to give up its nuclear weapons (or anything else) in order to get these sanctions lifted.
By SHARON THEIMER, Associated Press
The U.S. military has sold forbidden equipment at least a half-dozen times to middlemen for countries — including Iran and China — who exploited security flaws in the Defense Department's surplus auctions. The sales include fighter jet parts and missile components.
In one case, federal investigators said, the contraband made it to Iran, a country President Bush branded part of an "axis of evil."
By Sam Gardiner
The pieces are moving. They'll be in place by the end of February. The
United States will be able to escalate military operations against Iran.
The second carrier strike group leaves the U.S. west coast on Tuesday.
It will be joined by naval mine clearing assets from both the United
States and the UK. Patriot missile defense systems have also been
ordered to deploy to the Gulf.
The New York Times | Editorial
Monday 15 January 2007
The Bush administration is eager to start work on a new nuclear warhead with all sorts of admirable qualities: sturdy, reliable and secure from terrorists. To sweeten the deal, officials say that if they can replace the current arsenal with Reliable Replacement Warheads (what could sound more comforting?), they probably won't have to keep so many extra warheads to hedge against technical failure. If you're still not sold, the warhead comes with something of a guarantee - that scientists can build the new bombs without ever testing them.
Published on Saturday, January 13, 2007 by CommonDreams.org
by Evan Frisch
For decades, conservatives have railed against liberals as "weak on defense," content to let U.S. military readiness decline to dangerous levels. Such accusations over the nation's military readiness, in personnel as well as equipment, have proven pivotal in numerous elections. Many progressives still have to learn how to express their views on security in more compelling ways, but we can no longer let conservatives remain unchallenged on their security credentials.
US legislator fears Bush preparing to attack Iran Thu Jan 11, 9:33 AM ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Representative Dennis Kucinich, an Iraq war opponent and contender for the 2008 Democratic Party presidential nomination, said he fears that pResident George W. Bush is setting the stage for war with Iran. Bush "appears to be setting the stage for a wider war in the region," Kucinich said in a statement issued after the president's late Wednesday speech on Iraq policy.
"He has blamed Iran for attacks on America. The president is vowing to disrupt Iran. He is going to add an aircraft carrier to the shores off the coast of Iran. He has promised to give Patriot missiles to 'our friends and allies.' Isn't one war enough for this president?" he asked...
Recent U.S. military raids against Iranians in Iraq were authorized by President George W. Bush under an order for a broad offensive against Iranian operatives in the country, the New York Times said on its Web site on Friday.
"There has been a decision to go after these networks," the Times quoted Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice saying in an interview conducted on Friday before leaving on a Middle East trip.
Analysis by Trita Parsi*
WASHINGTON, Jan 12 (IPS) - President George W. Bush's address on Iraq Wednesday night was less about Iraq than about its eastern neighbour, Iran. There was little new about the U.S.'s strategy in Iraq, but on Iran, the president spelled out a plan that appears to be aimed at goading Iran into war with the U.S.
While Washington speculated whether the president would accept or reject the Iraq Study Group's recommendations, few predicted that he would do the opposite of what James Baker and Lee Hamilton advised. Rather than withdrawing troops from Iraq, Bush ordered an augmentation of troop levels. Rather than talking to Iran and Syria, Bush virtually declared war on these states. And rather than pressuring Israel to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the administration is fuelling the factional war in Gaza by arming and training Fatah against Hamas.
By Anne Penketh, The Independent (UK)
American forces stormed Iranian government offices in northern Iraq, hours after President George Bush issued a warning to Tehran that was described as a "declaration of war".
The soldiers detained six people, including diplomats, according to the Iranians, and seized documents and computers in the pre-dawn raid which was condemned by Iran. A leading UK-based Iran specialist, Ali Ansari, said the incident was an "extreme provocation". Dr Ansari said that Mr Bush's speech on future Iraq strategy amounted to "a declaration of war" on Iran.
Forces Also Capture Up to Six Iranians at Location Used to Issue Travel Permits to Iran
By TERRY MCCARTHY, ABC
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Jan. 11, 2007 — - U.S. troops staged two secret raids in northern Iraq today, ABC News has learned, capturing as many as six Iranians and only narrowly avoiding a gun battle with local security forces, according to the Iraqi foreign ministry and local officials in northern Iraq's Kurdish region.
By Dennis Kucinich
"President Bush appears to be setting the stage for a wider war in the region. He has blamed Iran for attacks on America. The President is vowing to disrupt Iran. He is going to add an aircraft carrier to the shores off the coast of Iran. He has promised to give Patriot missiles to 'our friends and allies.' Isn't one war enough for this President? It is time the media and the Congress began to pay attention to this President when he talks aggressively about Iran and Syria.
And WILL CONGRESS STOP THIS MADMAN?
The Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy held a forum in June. Videos of the event speakers are now available on The Free Liberal website. Go here.
The speakers included:
Independent Institute, Antiwar.com Columnist
“The United States Might Have to Accept a Nuclear Iran”
Former CIA officer, partner in Cannistraro Associates
Officials believe White House chose new Intelligence chief in effort to darken Iran Intelligence Estimate, broaden spying
By Larisa Alexandrovna, Raw Story
The nomination of retired Vice Admiral John Michael "Mike" McConnell to be Director of National Intelligence is part of an effort by the Vice President to tighten the Administration’s grip on domestic intelligence and grease the wheels for a more aggressive stance towards Iran, current and former intelligence officials believe.
Catch my interview tonight on satellite TV or online at http://www.innworldreport.net
By Robert Parry, http://www.consortiumnews.com
George W. Bush has purged senior military and intelligence officials who were obstacles to a wider war in the Middle East, broadening his options for both escalating the conflict inside Iraq and expanding the fighting to Iran and Syria with Israel’s help.
On Jan. 4, Bush ousted the top two commanders in the Middle East, Generals John Abizaid and George Casey, who had opposed a military escalation in Iraq, and removed Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte, who had stood by intelligence estimates downplaying the near-term threat from Iran’s nuclear program.
By Uzi Mahnaimi, New York and Sarah Baxter, Sunday Times
Israel has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran's uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons.
Two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear "bunker-busters", according to several Israeli military sources.
The attack would be the first with nuclear weapons since 1945, when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Israeli weapons would each have a force equivalent to one-fifteenth of the Hiroshima bomb.
Yesterday, January 6, 2007, Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman, two-thirds of the trio of tyranny (along with Brother-in-Arms, George W. Bush), held a press conference at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. They were there to hawk the deployment of an increased sustainable (but unknown) number of American troops to Iraq. The war-hawk duo insisted their decision to go forth with an increase in troop strength resulted from their recent trip to Iraq, Afghanistan and Israel. The latter being a logical stop for Joe Lieberman, an avowed zionist.
Speaking at the press conference, Joe Lieberman drew interesting parallels between the social, political and religious crises of today and the rise of fascism in Europe in the 1930's and 1940's during the time of Adolf Hitler (who Lieberman never mentioned by name). According to Lieberman:
"There are people who have spoken of this moment in our history as if it were the '30s. And there's some parallels I fear there.... Some people say the war in Iraq is comparable to the Second World War in the late thirties and the failure to grasp the growing threat of fascism before it was almost too late. The painful irony in this moment in our history is that while in some senses it is comparable to the 1930's, it's also already 1942 because Pearl Harbor in this war has already happened on 9/11/01 and in the progeny of horrific terrorist attacks that have occurred throughout the world."
Lieberman's unspecified references to "There are people" and "Some people say" as the sources promoting the parallels between today's "Islamic extremists" and World War II Nazis, were sheer semantics. A purposeful contrivance to offset allegations that these are Joe Lieberman's views shaped by his zionist ideology.
By Sherwood Ross
If the U.S. or Israel attack Iranian nuclear power facilities "huge amounts of radioactive material will be lofted into the air to contaminate the people of Iran and surrounding countries," an eminent international authority on nuclear weapons warns.
"This fallout will induce cancers, leukemia, and genetic disease in these populations for years to come, both a medical catastrophe and a war crime of immense proportions," Dr. Helen Caldicott writes in her new book, "Nuclear Power Is Not The Answer," published by The New Press.
By Larry C Johnson, www.Noquarter.typepad.com
There are big doings in the intel community that may signal the start of a new effort to cook the books to justify an attack on Iran. Let's start with John Negroponte's move to State Department. I am told by a knowledgeable friend that Negroponte was pressured by the White House to take the job at State. The exodus of key State Department personnel (e.g., Deputy Secretary Zoellick, Counselor Phil Zelikow, and Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Hank Crumpton) left Condi twisting in the wind. Negroponte gives Condi one of the most experienced foreign service officers in the State Department's history.
By Bob Roberts, Mirror
A WAR against Iran could be launched within the next two years, a senior adviser to George Bush warned last night.
CIA specialist on Iran Reuel Marc Gerecht said there had been a "tidal shift" of opinion towards military action, especially in Israel.
George W. Bush Is Going To Bomb Iran by boloboffin | Dec 29 2006 - 10:33am
George W. Bush is going to bomb Iran. This is the purpose of the "surge". No amount of troops is going to fix Iraq; they couldn't if they tried. If Bush wanted to fix Iraq, he'd give them jobs. People who are employed in decent jobs can figure out how to live with their neighbors. More American troops in the Persian Gulf are not going to quell violence in Iraq any more than the ones already there are.
George W. Bush is going to bomb Iran. And there may be almost nothing we can do to stop it...
Why did Russia and China vote to sanction Iran?
By Jorge Hirsch
In the aftermath of the Dec. 23 United Nations Security Council unanimous vote imposing sanctions or Iran for failing to suspend uranium enrichment (see text of resolution here), one has to wonder: why did Russia and China go along with it?
Iran's pursuit of uranium enrichment for civilian nuclear purposes is allowed by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the IAEA has found no indication that Iran has diverted any nuclear material to military purposes. While Russia may prefer for its own reasons that Iran not enrich uranium, it fully recognizes that Iran's pursuit is legal under international law. Furthermore, as Western news media constantly emphasize, Russia and China have extensive commercial ties with Iran, hence it is not in their interest to antagonize Iran. Their support of UNSC1737 doesn't seem to make sense.