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The End of the "Summer Diplomacy"

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.

Threats of War in Iran, U.S.-Driven Violence Surges in the Region

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.

Vermont Congress candidate calls on Pentagon to arrest Bush, Cheney

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.

Media Tall Tales for the Next War

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

Iran Calls for Dialogue with the United States

By David Culp

Published on Friday, September 22, 2006
by CommonDreams.org
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0922-27.htm

"We believe the production or use of nuclear weapons is
immoral."
- 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

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

Urgent Letter from Dennis Kucinich about Bush Administration Plans for a US War vs. Iran

Dear Friends,

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.

War Signals

By DAVE LINDORFF
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20061009/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.

IAEA-House Spat Is Iraq Redux

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.

Iraqing Iran

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.

IAEA Protests "Erroneous" US Report on Iran

By Mark Heinrich
Reuters
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.

Neo-Con Favourite Declares World War III

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."

Poll Finds Waning Faith in Military Interventions

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.

Why Bush will Choose War Against Iran

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.

'Fixing' Iran Intelligence

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.

View on-line Capitol Hill Public Forum(s) on 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

Intelligence officials doubt Iran uranium claims, say Cheney receiving suspect briefings

By Larisa Alexandrovna, www.rawstory.com

The Bush administration continues to bypass standard intelligence channels and use what some believe to be propaganda tactics to create a compelling case for war with Iran, US foreign experts and former US intelligence officials tell RAW STORY.

One former senior intelligence official is particularly concerned by private briefings that Vice President Dick Cheney is getting from former Office of Special Plans (OSP) Director, Abram Shulsky.

Is Lebanon the 'Trigger' for U.S. War With Iran?

By Larisa Alexandrovna, AlterNet
http://www.alternet.org/story/40042

For over a year now I have been reporting on activities that appear to be leading the United States into direct confrontation with Iran. Aside from Sy Hersh and a few others, the majority of the U.S. media largely has ignored this march toward war, mainly because it helped disseminate the pre-war propaganda prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. But failing to connect the dots on Iran is just as bad, if not worse, because Iran is by no means Iraq. A war with Persia will be a catastrophe of unimaginable consequences and the trigger for that action may have already begun.

Nevada site may be out for the blast test

Delayed again: Director of Pentagon agency to assess other locations
By Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune

WASHINGTON - The Defense Department said Tuesday it won't conduct a massive weapons test known as Divine Strake until several months into 2007 at the earliest and it is considering moving the detonation from the Nevada Test Site to a new location.

The Divine Strake test was originally planned for June 2 but was postponed indefinitely after a lawsuit was filed and members of Congress challenged the plans for the test. In late May, the National Nuclear Security Administration withdrew its initial environmental study while it rechecked the data. A few weeks later, the agency said the test would not go forward until September at the earliest.

The Bush Administration’s Iran-Friendly Foreign Policy

By Ivan Eland, http://www.independent.org

Despite growing world outrage, the Bush administration's continued backing of Israel's over-the-top military action in Lebanon can only help Hezbollah and its patron Iran. The administration's foreign policy could not be more pro-Iranian if the White House had become infested with Iranian agents.

Even after the carnage in the Lebanese town of Qana, the administration continues its nonsensical rhetoric about seeking a "sustainable cease fire" in Lebanon as Israeli military action continues. Most casual observers employing any logic would conclude that it would be difficult to determine the sustainability of any ceasefire unless it was first attempted. Obviously, the administration's rhetoric is designed to give Israel more time to damage Hezbollah. Of course, Israel's original and implausible goal was to eradicate Hezbollah without invading Lebanon and becoming bogged down in another quagmire there. Israel has found, however, much like the Bush administration has in Iraq, that guerrilla organizations, especially ones as competent as Hezbollah, are not that easily eliminated. Israel has found Hezbollah's infrastructure and combat skills to be much more formidable than anticipated.

Iran: The Next War

Even before the bombs fell on Baghdad, a group of senior Pentagon officials were plotting to invade another country. Their covert campaign once again relied on false intelligence and shady allies. But this time, the target was Iran. BY JAMES BAMFORD
Read the Article

Mideast Conflict Boosts Chances of Iran-US Showdown

By Jim Lobe, Inter Press Service

WASHINGTON - The week-old Israeli-Hezbollah conflict is likely to boost the chances of U.S. military action against Iran, according to a number of regional experts who see a broad consensus among the U.S. political elite that the ongoing hostilities are part of a broader offensive being waged by Tehran against Washington across the region.

While Israel-centred neo-conservatives have been the most aggressive in arguing that Hezbollah's Jul. 12 cross-border attack could only have been carried out with Iran's approval, if not encouragement, that view has been largely accepted and echoed by the mainstream media, as well as other key political factions, including liberal internationalists identified with the Democratic Party.

Western Shoshone honored for opposition to nuclear weapons tests

By Brenda Norrell / Indian Country Today

Photos courtesy Deanna Taylor -- Carrie Dann, executive director of the Western Shoshone Defense Project, spoke to a crowd gathered at a test site on May 28. The First National Conference on Precaution honored Western Shoshone organizations for their efforts to halt future nuclear testing and contamination in Western Shoshone homelands. Below -- Western Shoshone, environmentalists and other activists marched to the Nevada Test Site over Memorial Day weekend earlier this year, calling for a halt to nuclear and chemical weapons testing at the site. The Western Shoshone were awarded the Pioneer of Precaution award for their struggle against such testing.

Seymour Hersh: Senior Pentagon Officials Challenging President Bush's Iran

www.democracynow.org

Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh reports that the Defense Department has been drawing up plans, at President Bush's direction, for a major bombing campaign inside Iran. Hersh says that generals and admirals have told the Bush Administration the bombing campaign will probably not succeed in destroying Iran's nuclear program and that war planners are not
even sure what to target.

Opposed to Divine Strake

By Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
The Spectrum, UT

On many of my visits to Southern Utah, I am stopped by citizens who tell me about hardships they have faced because of exposure to nuclear testing during the Cold War. I always feel deep compassion for these individuals and empathize with their frustrations and sorrow - and I'll do everything I can to make sure no one else has to suffer like this again.

LAST STAND

LAST STAND
The military’s problem with the President’s Iran policy.
by SEYMOUR M. HERSH, New Yorker
Issue of 2006-07-10
Posted 2006-07-03

On May 31st, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced what appeared to be a major change in U.S. foreign policy. The Bush Administration, she said, would be willing to join Russia, China, and its European allies in direct talks with Iran about its nuclear program. There was a condition, however: the negotiations would not begin until, as the President put it in a June 19th speech at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, “the Iranian regime fully and verifiably suspends its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities.” Iran, which has insisted on its right to enrich uranium, was being asked to concede the main point of the negotiations before they started. The question was whether the Administration expected the Iranians to agree, or was laying the diplomatic groundwork for future military action. In his speech, Bush also talked about “freedom for the Iranian people,” and he added, “Iran’s leaders have a clear choice.” There was an unspoken threat: the U.S. Strategic Command, supported by the Air Force, has been drawing up plans, at the President’s direction, for a major bombing campaign in Iran.

Hersh - The Generals are resisting an attack on Iran

Hersh - The Generals are resisting an attack on Iran
by deepsouthdoug, Daily Kos
Sun Jul 02, 2006

That is according to Seymour Hersh regarding a possible attack on Iran in a new article up on the New Yorker website. Sy was also on CNN this morning discussing the new story with John Roberts.

The bad news is the serious planning is still underway for an attack. And......to prove he's not trainable, Hersh reports that Rummy thinks an attack on Iran will be a cakewalk - just like Iraq was.

LAST STAND

The military’s problem with the President’s Iran policy
By SEYMOUR M. HERSH, http://www.newyorker.com

On May 31st, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced what appeared to be a major change in U.S. foreign policy. The Bush Administration, she said, would be willing to join Russia, China, and its European allies in direct talks with Iran about its nuclear program. There was a condition, however: the negotiations would not begin until, as the President put it in a June 19th speech at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, “the Iranian regime fully and verifiably suspends its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities.” Iran, which has insisted on its right to enrich uranium, was being asked to concede the main point of the negotiations before they started. The question was whether the Administration expected the Iranians to agree, or was laying the diplomatic groundwork for future military action. In his speech, Bush also talked about “freedom for the Iranian people,” and he added, “Iran’s leaders have a clear choice.” There was an unspoken threat: the U.S. Strategic Command, supported by the Air Force, has been drawing up plans, at the President’s direction, for a major bombing campaign in Iran.

Three Nuclear Ironies

By Tad Daley, www.CommonDreams.org

A nuclear first strike to forestall a nuclear Iran can only end with nuclear second strikes here.

An earlier version of this essay appears in the July/August 2006 issue of Tikkun magazine.

"With supreme irony," said historian James Harvey Robinson of the First World War, "the war to 'make the world safe for democracy' ended by leaving democracy more unsafe..." With comparable irony, a nuclear war to make the world safe from nuclear peril could end by leaving America more exposed to nuclear annihilation than at any time since the dawn of the atomic age.

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