Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ominous news regarding US plans to attack Iran

I’ve posted about the possibility of the U.S. starting a war against Iran four times in the last five months, here, here, here, and here, plus my friend Jim Stoops described the evidence of the likelihood that the Bush Administration will attack Iran here.

Today, however, is the first day I recall getting four articles from four different sources that are collectively persuasive that the Bush Administration is planning military action against Iran.

In the order in which I read them:

1. Nine US Warships Enter Gulf in Show of Force, a Reuters article that described “Nine U.S. warships carrying 17,000 personnel entered the Gulf on Wednesday in a show of force off Iran's coast that navy officials said was the largest daytime assembly of ships since the 2003 Iraq war… The move comes less than two weeks after U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, speaking aboard the Stennis [one of the nine US warships]during a tour of the Gulf, said the United States would stand with others to prevent Iran gaining nuclear weapons and "dominating the region."

2. Neo-Cons to Plot Iran Strategy Amid Caribbean Luxury, posted at Jim Lobe’s blog. Jim is highly respected as the Washington Bureau Chief of the international news service agency, Inter Press Service (IPS).

The conference, to be held May 30 to June 1 at a luxurious hotel in the Grand Bahamas, is sponsored by “The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a neo-conservative group created two days after the 9/11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon. The title of the “policy workshop” is “Confronting The Iranian Threat: The Way Forward,” [and] “is to include ‘30 or so leading experts who will analyze the implications of Iran’s activities, the diplomatic challenges, military and intelligence capabilities, the spread of its ideology within and beyond its borders’…. The purpose will be ‘exploring policy options …and consider solutions to one of the most significant policy issues of our day.’”

Lobe then goes on to describe who will be attending, including “Bernard Lewis, the Princeton emeritus professor who just received the American Enterprise Institute’s annual award, presumably for having done so much to lay the intellectual foundation for the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the subsequent transformation of the Islamic world, [who] is expected to open the proceedings by addressing Iran’s historic, as well as contemporary, ambitions in the region.”

3. Bush Authorizes New Cover Action Against Iran, an ABC News report from yesterday, which opens with, “ The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, say President Bush has signed a ‘nonlethal presidential finding’ that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions.”

This article appears to support the idea that "nonlethal" covert action in Iran means the Bush Administration isn't planning an attack, but take a look at the people are alleged to be involved with this plan.

4. "Buying the War," Now it's Iran, by William Bunch, who is the senior writer for the Philadelphia Daily News and its former political writer, who blogs here. Bunch is justifiably alarmed about how newspapers are lapping up “…unsupported, high-level but anonymous and bellicose allegations about Iran (or anyone else).

(photo: A Persian miniature from

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