Look! The Little People Have Ropes
In the past couple of years, I've needlessly worried about the Neo-Cons getting BushCo to attack Iran for Israel's infinite need for security, and for the general temerity of having nuclear ambitions. The Neo-Con imperatives are still real enough in the context of the Ismerica lobby, but prospects of military success (where "success" = setting Iran's nuclear ambitions back by a couple decades) are nil. Bombing Iran's nuclear facilities, those that are known and deeply buried, would require the use of tactical nukes, and that would provoke a massive response which would almost immediately engulf vulnerable Coalition troops in Iraq. So it was good to see top generals and old intelligence hands go on the record this past week against the Neo-Con wish list:
General John Abizaid, commander of US forces in the Middle East, has warned that striking Iran could cripple oil supplies, unleash a “surrogate” terrorist army and lead to missile attacks on America’s regional allies. The army is particularly concerned about Iran’s ability to destabilise an already chaotic Iraq.
John Negroponte, director of national intelligence, has told President George W Bush that there is no rush to use force as Iran’s nuclear programme is beset with technical errors. “He has been saying, ‘Slow down, it’s not an immediate problem’,” said Patrick Clawson, an Iran expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, has staked her reputation on achieving a negotiated settlement with the help of the “EU3” nations of Britain, France and Germany.
“President Bush is not going to take military action against the advice of the secretary of state, US generals and the director of national intelligence,” Clawson said.
This doesn't mean Iran won't be attacked. Now that Gulliver has walked into Iraq, Israel sees a far more dangerous bete noire (black beast) remaining. If it becomes nuclear-ized, whether in terms of power plants or missiles, these developments are points of no return from the viewpoint of Tel Aviv, which would not take a 30-megaton blast very well. So the Israeli-Cons are still taking a first-strike stance, and with every day that passes, their options are becoming more constrained. Israel is becoming expendable to the realists, obvious enough in the quotes above, and they've learned the US is no longer a trustworthy or effective steward of their interests. Israel will either sit down and negotiate with Iran or attack it. I vote for "sit down and negotiate." As Moshe Dayan once said, "If you can't negotiate with your enemy, you can't negotiate with anyone."
Gotta run Lord Baby to day care. Will source article later.