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By Chris Hedges, Truthdig
The aircraft carrier Eisenhower, accompanied by the guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio, guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage, guided-missile destroyer USS Mason and the fast-attack submarine USS Newport News, is, as I write, making its way to the Straits of Hormuz off Iran. The ships will be in place to strike Iran by the end of the month. It may be a bluff. It may be a feint. It may be a simple show of American power. But I doubt it.
By Larisa Alexandrovna, www.rawstory.com
The Pentagon's top brass has moved into second-stage contingency planning for a potential military strike on Iran, one senior intelligence official familiar with the plans tells RAW STORY.
The official, who is close to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest ranking officials of each branch of the US military, says the Chiefs have started what is called "branches and sequels" contingency planning.
By Dave Lindorff, www.thiscantbehappening.org
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Eisenhower and its accompanying strike force of cruiser, destroyer and attack submarine slipped their moorings and headed off for the Persian Gulf region on Oct. 2, as I had predicted in a piece in The Nation magazine a few weeks back.
The Eisenhower strike force, according to my sources, is scheduled to arrive in the vicinity of Iran around October 21, at the same time as a second flotilla of minesweepers and other ships.
By Andrew Kishner, www.StopDivineStrake.com
The worldwide media has largely ignored the fact that the North Korean government's first mention of a nuclear test on Sept. 7, 2006, came on the heels of the United States' successful completion eight days earlier of its 23rd subcritical nuclear experiment. In the Sept. 7th annoucement, North Korea's Central News Agency noted that a South Korean group, the National Alliance for the Country's Reunification, made a statement accusing the United States' subcritical test as an "obvious criminal act of disturbing the global peace."
By Phyllis Bennis, www.MinuteManMedia.org
A new U.S. intelligence report, representing the consensus of all 16 intelligence agencies, comes to the same conclusion many have known for a long time: The Iraq War isn’t making us safer. It’s putting us all at greater risk. It's making another terrorist attack more likely. The report is another piece of evidence that the Bush administration is lying about the war.
The Nation Institute Presents:
Co-sponsored by The New York Society for Ethical Culture, Democrats.com, Public Concern Foundation
Join former UN Special Commission weapons inspector Scott Ritter, author of Iraq Confidential and Target Iran (Nation Books) and Pulitzer Prize-winning New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh, for a discussion on the Bush administration’s secret plans for the next front in the War on Terror. Find out why Ritter--an early and outspoken critic of the war in Iraq--believes that in the case of Iran, "we are seeing history repeat itself."
By Russ Wellen, http://www.opednews.com
"They wouldn't dare."
"Congress would never approve it."
These are typical reactions to reports that the administration is considering -- champing at the bit is more like it -- an attack on Iran. Actually, they're normal responses to a harebrained scheme. Come to think of it, isn't that how we felt before Iraq?
If invading Iraq was unthinkable, then attacking Iran is unimaginable. But anyone who doubts the administration's intentions need only read Global Research's October 1 report. "The naval deployment is taking place in two distinct theaters: the Persian Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean," founder Michel Chossudovsky writes in the introduction. "Both Israel and NATO are slated to play a major role in the US-led war."
By Mac McKinney, Staff writer for The Southern 'I', a Hampton Roads, Virginia Independent Media Journal
Protesters held a peace demonstration at Gate 5 at NOB, the Norfolk Naval Operating Base, home of the Atlantic Fleet, this Sunday afternoon, October 1st. This was in response to ongoing, threatening rhetoric toward Iran by the Bush Administration and news that a nuclear carrier strike group led by the USS Eisenhower would be steaming out of Norfolk on Tuesday, October 3. The small strike group, consisting of some half-dozen naval vessels, is said to be under orders to position itself for actions off the coast of Iran by October 21st, 2006.
By Dave Lindorff, http://www.thiscantbehappening.net
As the Bush administration prepares for an illegal and predictably disastrous attack on Iran in the coming weeks (quite possibly with the use of nuclear weapons), and as Congress, the corporate media and the American people carry on as though nothing was happening, it is becoming clear that American democracy and its tradition of constitutional government and rule of law are under attack by two vile and insidious organizations.
What To Do About Iran?
Asked about the best course of action for the U.S. to take to deal with Iran’s apparent pursuit of nuclear weapons, a majority (62%) said they want Washington to increase its diplomatic efforts. ***While nearly half (45%) said they think the U.S. should team up with other nations to pursue diplomacy with Iran, another 17% said they think it would be best if the U.S. exercised its diplomatic muscles by itself.***
By Robert Parry, http://www.consortiumnews.com
Often when we write about the Iraq War and the “war on terror,” we receive angry e-mails from George W. Bush’s supporters who insist there is no alternative but to follow the President’s lead in crushing Islamic militants and fighting World War III.
Typical was one e-mail that asserted, “they started it; now we’re going to finish it.”
By Dave Lindorff
t r u t h o u t | www.truthout.org
War talk is in the air again, and because of the looming November election, it has to be taken extra seriously.
The latest to warn about a Bush War III is former Democratic senator and failed presidential contender Gary Hart, long an expert on national security issues, who says that targeting drones and Special Forces targeting specialists are already operating over and inside Iran, sizing up and locating as many as 400 targets for US cruise missiles and bombers. This is in anticipation of an aerial strike which my own investigating suggests could come as early as late October (See the article "War Signals" in The Nation.).
Assessing U.S. Military Options on Iran
Sam Gardiner, Colonel, USAF (RET.)
In a new report for The Century Foundation, Retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner warns that powerful voices in the Bush administration are making the case for air strikes aimed not only at setting back Iran’s nuclear program, but also at toppling the country’s government. He says that these officials are undeterred by the concerns of military leaders about whether such attacks would be effective.
UFPJ Talking Points - 45
Threats of War in Iran, U.S.-Driven Violence Surges in the Region
By Phyllis Bennis
Institute for Policy Studies
22 September 2006
- Threats of a U.S. attack on Iran continue, although the nature of a possible attack may be different than what was earlier anticipated.
- The Bush administration seems to be shifting away from its effort to coerce the UN Security Council to endorse harsh sanctions or even military force against Iran, but the threat of unilateral action remains.
Former Army Lieutenant and candidate for Congress in Vermont, Dennis Morrisseau, today called for the arrest of President Bush and Vice President Cheney by the American military "if necessary" to prevent an unauthorized attack upon the nation of Iran.
The antiwar Vietnam vet is a Republican, but he has won approval from the State of Vermont to run on the ballot line “Impeach Bush Now,” rather than Democrat or Republican.
By Norman Solomon
The Sept. 25 edition of Time magazine illustrates how the U.S. news
media are gearing up for a military attack on Iran. The headline over the
cover-story interview with Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is “A
Date With a Dangerous Mind.” The big-type subhead calls him “the man
whose swagger is stirring fears of war with the U.S.,” and the second
paragraph concludes: “Though pictures of the Iranian president often show
By David Culp
Published on Friday, September 22, 2006
"We believe the production or use of nuclear weapons is
- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Hours after he spoke to the United Nations, the Iranian
president made this clear, unequivocal statement to a
group of us during a private meeting in New York. The
Kucinich Calls For Congressional Hearings On Negroponte’s Role In The Release Of A False And Misleading Report On Iran
Dennis J. Kucinich
In Letter Kucinich, Ranking Member of the House Government Reform Subcommittee On National Security, Emerging Threats and International, Calls For Congressional Hearings On The Role Of The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) In The Release Of A False And Misleading Report On Iran
The Bush Administration is preparing for war against Iran, using an almost identical drumbeat of weapons of mass destruction, imminent threat, alleged links to Al Queda, and even linking Iran with a future 911.
In the past few months reports have been published in Newsweek, ABC News and GQ Magazine that indicate the US is recruiting members of paramilitary groups to destabilize Iran through violence. The New Yorker magazine and the Guardian have written that US has already deployed military inside Iran. The latest issue of Time writes of plans for a naval blockade of Iran at the Port of Hormuz, through which 40% of the world's oil supply passes. Other news reports have claimed that an air strike, using a variety of bombs including bunker busters to be dropped on over 1,000 targets, including nuclear facilities. This could obviously result in a great long term humanitarian and environmental disaster.
By DAVE LINDORFF
As reports circulate of a sharp debate within the White House over possible US military action against Iran and its nuclear enrichment facilities, The Nation has learned that the Bush Administration and the Pentagon have issued orders for a major "strike group" of ships, including the nuclear aircraft carrier Eisenhower as well as a cruiser, destroyer, frigate, submarine escort and supply ship, to head for the Persian Gulf, just off Iran's western coast. This information follows a report in the current issue of Time magazine, both online and in print, that a group of ships capable of mining harbors has received orders to be ready to sail for the Persian Gulf by October 1.
Published on Saturday, September 16, 2006 by The Progressive
by Amitabh Pal
We’ve been here before.
The House Intelligence Committee stands accused of falsifying information and exaggerating the threat of a country’s nuclear program. Some Democrats are joining in the criticism. Republicans, for their part, maintain that the committee’s report is correct.
Alas, this is not from a couple of years ago, and the country under discussion is not Iraq. Instead, it happened in just the last couple of days and involves Iran. The accuser this time is none other than the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. body that won the Nobel Peace Prize last year. And this time it is proving itself to be more outspoken than in 2003.
In a Replay of Iraq, a Battle Is Brewing Over Intelligence on Iran
By Warren P. Strobel and John Walcott, McClatchy Newspapers
Washington - In an echo of the intelligence wars that preceded the US invasion of Iraq, a high-stakes struggle is brewing within the Bush administration and in Congress over Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program and involvement in terrorism.
US intelligence and counterterrorism officials say Bush political appointees and hard-liners on Capitol Hill have tried recently to portray Iran's nuclear program as more advanced than it is and to exaggerate Tehran's role in Hezbollah's attack on Israel in mid-July.
By Mark Heinrich
Thursday 14 September 2006
Vienna - U.N. inspectors have protested to the U.S. government and a Congressional committee about a report on Iran's nuclear work, calling parts of it "outrageous and dishonest", according to a letter obtained by Reuters.
The letter recalled clashes between the IAEA and the Bush administration before the 2003 Iraq war over findings cited by Washington about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that proved false, and underlined continued tensions over Iran's dossier.
Published on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 by the Inter Press Service
by Jim Lobe
WASHINGTON - Two years before the 2008 presidential election, Newt Gingrich, the former Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, is trying desperately to grab the national spotlight by declaring he'd be a lot tougher than the George W. Bush in prosecuting what he calls "World War III".
In the latest in a series of recent presentations and writings, Gingrich called this week in a speech at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) for, among other things:
NATO to "clear out any Taliban forces" in Waziristan if Pakistan fails to do so;
Washington to "take whatever steps are necessary" to force Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia to stop the flow of weapons, money and people into Iraq;
To help "organise every dissident group in Iran" with the goal of replacing the regime, failing which, "we certainly have to be prepared to use military force...;"
"End" the North Korean regime if it ships nuclear weapons or material anywhere;
Insist that Congress immediately pass legislation "that recognises that we are entering World War III and serves notice that the U.S. will use all its resources to defeat our enemies -- not accommodate, understand or negotiate with them, but defeat them."
Published on Thursday, September 7, 2006 by the Inter Press Service
by Jim Lobe
WASHINGTON - Five years after "9/11", the U.S. public is considerably less enthusiastic about projecting military power abroad, according to a major new survey, the first of a spate of polls that are likely to released in the run-up to Monday's fifth anniversary of the attacks on New York and the Pentagon.
The survey, conducted by the Pew Research Centre for the People and the Press here, found that Republicans remained substantially more supportive of military deployments overseas than both Democrats and independents who also believe -- by a three to one margin -- that the U.S. has lost respect in the world over the last few years.
The survey of more than 1,500 randomly selected adults also found that nearly half (46 percent) of the respondents consider U.S. support for Israel a "major reason" for the rise in anti-U.S. sentiment around the world, a significant increase since Pew last posed the question 10 months ago.
By Ray Close, member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. He worked for the CIA for 27 years
08/25/06 "Information Clearing House" -- -- Like many people, I find it extremely difficult to believe that President Bush could actually do anything so crazy as to launch a military attack against Iran, and that even if he wanted to, the Congress, the Pentagon, and the American public would ever countenance such action. But I remember in the spring of 2002 writing a "Dear Friends" memo just like this one predicting that the apparent intentions of the Bush Administration to invade Iraq would certainly turn out to be nothing but a bluff, and supporting that assertion by listing all the reasons why actually doing so would lead to utter disaster. Many of my friends told me at the time that I was missing the point --- regime change was DEFINITELY going to happen, and I was exaggerating the downside consequences. The problem is that today the downside risks of attacking Iran seem even more horrendous ---- and yet? (As George Will said last Sunday to George Stephanopoulos -- "When was the last time this president ever worried about getting approval in advance from the Congress or the public?") It makes me nervous when my president truly believes he is carrying out the will of God.
By John Prados, www.tompaine.com
John Prados is a senior fellow with the National Security Archive in Washington. His forthcoming book is Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA (Ivan Dee Publisher).
More and more it appears that the pattern of manipulation and misuse of intelligence that served the Bush administration in the drive to start a war with Iraq is being repeated today for its neighbor Iran.
As a reminder and by way of background, the 64-Member Congressional Progressive Caucus began hosting open forums on Capitol Hill in late May on U.S.-Iran relations. Because of escalating tensions on this front these days, we want to encourage you to watch the expert testimony provided on this important foreign policy challenge. For starters, the first CPC-hosted forum is on-line at the Progressive Caucus website: http://cpc.lee.house.gov