Saturday, December 31, 2005

Iran's Turn To Be Bombed May Be Getting Closer

Der Spiegel reports that the German media has picked up on a number of strong signs that the U.S. may be planning to make Iran its next bombing target sooner rather than later. The signs include:

  • Greatly increased number of meetings with Turkish officials, in which reportedly Porter Goss and other U.S. bigwigs presented "evidence" of ties between Iran and Al Qaeda, as well as information on Iran's nuclear program -- for the purpose of soliciting Turkey's support for airstrikes against Iran.
  • Personal visits by Bush administration officials to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Pakistan, to prepare their governments for an imminent U.S. attack on Iran.
  • Informing European allies of U.S. military plans.

The Bush administration may be planning an attack now because of the virulently anti-Semitic statements of Iran's new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; he called the Holocaust a myth and said that Israel "should be wiped off the map."

Of course, if Iran is more dangerous now than it was three years ago, and if its government is getting more extreme, Bush's invasion and occupation of Iraq is largely to blame. The invasion of Iraq was supposed to make that region less sympathetic to terrorism; instead, the ground has become even more fertile for violent opposition to the U.S. than it was before. Not only is widening the war to Iran unlikely to change that; it will almost certainly make things even worse.

...[E]ven experts in the West are skeptical of whether a military intervention against nuclear installations in Iran could succeed. The more likely scenario is that an attack aiming to stop Iran's nuclear program could instead simply bolster support for Ahmadinejad in the region.

Then again, the Bush administration has never been known either for its rationality or for its ability to learn from experience.

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