Maccabee at The Daily Kos (a left-leaning site fwiw) reports that a US Navy officer of his acquaintance is convinced the United States is going to launch a massive air strike against Iran.
I have a friend who is an LSO on a carrier attack group that is planning and staging a strike group deployment into the Gulf of Hormuz. (LSO: Landing Signal Officer- she directs carrier aircraft while landing) She told me we are going to attack Iran. She said that all the Air Operation Planning and Asset Tasking are finished. That means that all the targets have been chosen, prioritized, and tasked to specific aircraft, bases, carriers, missile cruisers and so forth.
You can argue that Maccabee's correspondent is a figment of his imagination or that this LSO exists but is ignorant and just imagining things. But stop and think about everything you know about George W. Bush. Ask yourself whether you think that, with about 16 months left in office, Bush really feels restrained in terms of what he thinks he can get away with doing.
This LSO says that officers who raise objections to these plans get replaced.
"I know this will sound crazy coming from a Naval officer", she said. "But we’re all just waiting for this administration to end. Things that happen at the senior officer level seem more and more to happen outside of the purview of XOs and other officers who typically have a say-so in daily combat and flight operations. Today, orders just come down from the mountaintop and there’s no questioning. In fact, there is no discussing it. I have seen more than one senior commander disappear and then three weeks later we find out that he has been replaced. That’s really weird. It’s also really weird because everyone who has disappeared has questioned whether or not we should be staging a massive attack on Iran."
"We’re not stupid. Most of the members of the fleet read well enough to know what is going on world-wise. We also realize that anyone who has any doubts is in danger of having a long military career yanked out from under them. Keep in mind that most of the people I serve with are happy to be a part of the global war on terror. It’s just that the touch points are what we see since we are the ones out here who are supposedly implementing this grand strategy. But when you liason with administration officials who don’t know that Iranians don’t speak Arabic and have no idea what Iranians live like, then you start having second thoughts about whether these Administration officials are even competent."
First, does Bush want to attack Iran? I think from his rhetoric the answer is a clear YES. Second, can he order an attack? You might think that Congress will stand in the way. So can President Bush order the US military prepare for and carry out an attack on Iran without even getting a resolution passed in Congress authorizing the attack? I'm thinking he can. Why? Past Presidents have carried out air strikes and other small scale attacks without Congressional approval. Bill Clinton didn't ask for Congressional legislation before shooting off Tomahawks at Afghanistan in order to try to kill Osama Bin Laden. Here, in his own words, Ronald Reagan offers his explanation for why he didn't inform let alone ask for permission from Congress before invading Grenada.
I suspected that, if we told the leaders of Congress about the operation, even under terms of strictest confidentiality, there would be some who would leak it to the press together with the prediction that Grenada was going to become "another Vietnam." We were already running into this phenomenon in our efforts to halt the spread of Communism in Central America, and some congressmen were raising the issue of "another Vietnam" in Lebanon while fighting to restrict the president's constitutional powers as commander in chief.
So Reagan invaded a country and overthrew its government and he did this without Congressional authorization. Reagan also kept Congress out of the loop with a bombing attack against Libya. Bush Sr. kept Congress out of the loop when overthrowing Noriega in Panama if memory serves. Therefore Bush has many precedents he can point to from Presidencies of both Republicans and Democrats. Well, what is to stop George W. Bush from launching a massive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities? I am thinking the odds are greater than 50:50 that Bush will order an air attack against Iran before leaving office. What do you think?
Next question: What will be the aftermath of such an attack?
Speaking at an event organized by the foreign policy journal The National Interest Alexis Debat says the Bush Administration has prepared a 3 day air attack on Iran.
THE Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians’ military capability in three days, according to a national security expert.
Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for “pinprick strikes” against Iran’s nuclear facilities. “They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military,” he said.
What I wonder: Does US intelligence know where all the uranium centrifuges are located? How much of the Iranian nuclear weapons program is reachable with air strikes?
I feel like a spectator in all this. I wonder how it will turn out. Any ideas?
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2007 September 02 02:10 PM MidEast Iran|