ICH / Gary Hart
The October Surprise
Tue Oct 3, 2006 20:42
The October Surprise

By Gary Hart

10/03/06 "HuffingtonPost" --- -- It should come as no surprise if the Bush Administration undertakes a preemptive war against Iran sometime before the November election.

Were these more normal times, this would be a stunning possibility, quickly dismissed by thoughtful people as dangerous, unprovoked, and out of keeping with our national character. But we do not live in normal times.

And we do not have a government much concerned with our national character. If anything, our current Administration is out to remake our national character into something it has never been.

The steps will be these: Air Force tankers will be deployed to fuel B-2 bombers, Navy cruise missile ships will be positioned at strategic points in the northern Indian Ocean and perhaps the Persian Gulf, unmanned drones will collect target data, and commando teams will refine those data. The latter two steps are already being taken.

Then the president will speak on national television. He will say this: Iran is determined to develop nuclear weapons; if this happens, the entire region will go nuclear; our diplomatic efforts to prevent this have failed; Iran is offering a haven to known al Qaeda leaders; the fate of our ally Israel is at stake; Iran persists in supporting terrorism, including in Iraq; and sanctions will have no affect (and besides they are for sissies). He will not say: ...and besides, we need the oil.

Therefore, he will announce, our own national security and the security of the region requires us to act. "Tonight, I have ordered the elimination of all facilities in Iran that are dedicated to the production of weapons of mass destruction....." In the narrowest terms this includes perhaps two dozen targets.

But the authors of the war on Iraq have "regime change" in mind in Iran. According to Colonel Sam Gardiner (author of "The End of the 'Summer of Diplomacy': Assessing U.S. Military Options in Iran," The Century Foundation, 2006) to have any hope of success, such a policy would require attacking at least 400 targets, including the Revolutionary Guard. But even this presumes the Iranian people will respond to a massive U.S. attack on their country by overthrowing their government. Only an Administration inspired by pre-Enlightenment fantasy could believe a notion such as this.

Embracing this reverie requires believing in the Iranian Ahmed Chalabi, or perhaps even Mr. Chalabi himself since he has been working both sides of the street in both countries for some time.

It does not involve much imagination to understand the timing. The U.S. is poised to adopt a Congressional regime change of its own in November. A political strategy totally based on fear can offer few other options to prevent this. Besides, occupation by Democrats of even one house of Congress in January would make this scheme more difficult (one would certainly hope).

Further, time for super-power military conquest may be running short in the emerging age of fourth generation warfare. "...the age of Western military ascendancy is coming to an end." ("No Win," Andrew Bacevich, The Boston Globe, August 27, 2006).

The consequences? The sunny neoconservatives whose goal has been to become the neo-imperial Middle Eastern power all along will forcast few. But prudent leaders calculate all the risks, and they are historic.

These include: violent reaction throughout the Islamic world; a dramatic increase in jihadist attacks in European capitals and the U.S.; radicalization of Islamic youth behind a new generation of jihadist leaders; consolidation of support for Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda, and a rapidly spreading malignant network; escalating expansion of anti-American sentiment throughout the world, including the democratic world; and the formation of WWIII battle lines between the U.S. and the Arab and Islamic worlds.

In more rational times, including at the height of the Cold War, bizarre actions such as unilateral, unprovoked, preventive war are dismissed by thoughtful, seasoned, experienced men and women as mad. But those qualities do not characterize our current leadership.

For a divinely guided president who imagines himself to be a latter day Winston Churchill (albeit lacking the ability to formulate intelligent sentences), and who professedly does not care about public opinion at home or abroad, anything is possible, and dwindling days in power may be seen as making the most apocalyptic actions necessary.

Copyright 2006 © HuffingtonPost.com, LLC

North Korea Vows First Nuclear Test


A statement released by the North Korean state-run news agency declared that “the U.S. extreme threat of a nuclear war and sanctions and pressure” compel the country “to conduct a nuclear test, an essential process for bolstering nuclear deterrent, as a corresponding measure for defense.”

The October Surprise

By Gary Hart

For a divinely guided president who imagines himself to be a latter day Winston Churchill (albeit lacking the ability to formulate intelligent sentences), and who professedly does not care about public opinion at home or abroad, anything is possible, and dwindling days in power may be seen as making the most apocalyptic actions necessary.


Lincoln Weeps

By Bill Moyers

Once upon a time the House of Representatives was known as "the people's house." No more. It belongs to K Street now. That's the address of the lobbyists who swarm all over Capitol Hill. There are 65 lobbyists for every member of Congress. They spend $200 million per month wining, dining and seducing federal officials. Per month!

America the Tyranny

The Road to Authoritarianism

By Manuel Valenzuela

The red, white and blue, sadly enough, has become the symbol of what we most hate, of what we swore to never become. It has become a flag hijacked by tyrants, with the American People unconcerned and unwilling, to the point of embarrassment, to free it from its dungeon, with most too lazy or apathetic to care, most too ignorant to know.

Violence In Iraq Leaves At Least 51 Dead:

A suicide bomber unleashed a blast in a Baghdad fish market Tuesday and two Shiite families were found slain north of the capital as violence across Iraq claimed at least 51 lives.

Bloody Day of Occupation in Iraq Leaves 263 Dead :

At least 16 of a total of 40 kidnap victims are still missing. Roadside bombs, mortars and simple shootings took many lives, while stray fire or mortars took the lives of several children.

11 U.S. Occupation Force Soldiers Killed In Iraq:

Eleven U.S. occupation soldiers have been killed in recent fighting in Iraq. The U.S. command said the toll included nine Army soldiers and two Marines.

Beatings, abductions, shootings: on patrol with the al-Mahdi army:

ABU MAHA admits freely that he kills and kidnaps Sunni “terrorists”. At checkpoints Iraqi soldiers greet him by name and let him pass.

New Militias Push Govt Back Further:

Reports of the setting up of U.S.-backed Sunni militias have brought new uncertainty to deepening chaos within Iraq.

American Narcissism and Iraq:

The Iraq War Isn't a Quagmire. It's Just Wrong.

Allan Weisbecker: Reading Bob Woodward to steep myself in lies:

A question for Bob: What State of Denial were you living in that you could claim that a car bombing that slaughters scores and maims hundreds is rule breaking? - You want a list of laws, international and domestic – plus supreme laws of the land, this land, the U.S. of A.– that were broken in this collusion between the President and CIA Director?

Afghanistan fighting kills 6, including 2 U.S. occupation troops:

Two gunbattles in eastern Afghanistan killed four Afghan and two U.S. troops, officials said today, and NATO prepared to assume military command of all of the country from the U.S.-led coalition.

Musharraf U-turn on Taliban:

Retired Pakistani intelligence officers could be running the Taliban insurgency against coalition forces in Afghanistan, Pakistan's president, Gen Pervez Musharraf, has said.

Afghanistan: Nato is Now US-ATO:

The pre-planned war in Afghanistan will be 5 years old on 7 October. The PNAC gang had their eyes on Afghanistan and its oil prior to 9/11, as seen in R. M. Gerecht’s (March ’01) NY Times article, reprinted on the PNAC website.

US eyes Latin America's help in Iraq, Afghanistan:

The United States is pressing some Latin American countries to send troops to Afghanistan and Iraq for non-combat missions as the Pentagon struggles to transition those operations from war to reconstruction.

Wanted: a world leader:

The U.S. collapse couldn't come at a worse time, says former Canadian diplomat

Two killed in Gaza violence :

Gunbattles between Fatah and Hamas fighters erupted on Monday night in the southern Gaza town of Rafah, killing two and wounding 14.

Al-Aqsa issues threat to kill Hamas chief Meshal:

Fatah gunmen threatened on Tuesday to kill leaders of the governing Hamas group, escalating a power struggle marked by the worst internal Palestinian violence since the Palestinian Authority was created in 1994.

Report: Hamas weighing large-scale conflict with Israel :

Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party says Hamas smuggled hundreds of tons of weapons from Egypt into Gaza Strip

The threat of civil war in Palestine :

This is the most dangerous stage in the history of the Palestinian nation’s struggle because the United States, Israel, and the European Union are making serious efforts to spark a civil war in Palestine.

Building of illegal outposts stepped-up during war :

According to Israel Radio, the Peace Now organization reports that building in illegal outposts in the occupied West Bank was accelerated during the war in Lebanon.

The Mideast, the Jewish voters and Israel :

Support for Israel is one of the few issues that remains truly bipartisan. This gives Israel confidence that no matter which party occupies the White House or controls the House and Senate, the United States will always be committed to Israel's security

Protest Against Bush Attack on Iran at Norfolk Naval Base:

Nuclear carrier strike group led by the USS Eisenhower said to be steaming out of Norfolk on Tuesday, October 3.

Britain revives threat of sanctions on Iran :

Renewed tensions over Iran’s nuclear programme emerged on Tuesday as Britain warned that world powers would return to the United Nations

Security Council to consider targeted sanctions against Tehran.

Russia says talks to solve Iran atomic case : Russia believes a dispute over Iran's nuclear programme should be resolved by negotiations, the secretary of Russia's Security Council, Igor Ivanov, said on Tuesday.

Iranian nuclear official proposes that France enrich Iran's uranium :

A top Iranian nuclear official proposed Tuesday that France create a consortium to enrich uranium in Iran, saying that could satisfy international demands for outside oversight of Tehran's nuclear program

France rejects Iran uranium offer :

France has distanced itself from an Iranian proposal for French investment in Iran's atomic industry, enabling it to supervise Tehran's nuclear programme

Ted Koppel : Let 'em have nukes. But... :

The elimination of American opposition on this issue would open the way to genuine normalization between our two nations. It might even convince the Iranians that their country can flourish without nuclear weapons

War pimp alert:

Rumsfeld: Venezuela build-up is concern:

"I don't know of anyone threatening Venezuela, anyone in this hemisphere," said Rumsfeld, who is attending a meeting here of Western hemisphere military leaders - many of them concerned about the weapons, jets and helicopters Chavez is buying.

U.S. General Says Chávez Worries Region:

The commander of United States military activities in Latin America said Monday that Venezuela under President Hugo Chávez had become a destabilizing force, and that other countries in the Western hemisphere shared that concern.

Putin: No third party involved in Georgia-Russia spy row :

Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with his U.S. counterpart George W. Bush, saying no third party should be involved in the row over Georgia's arrest of four Russian officers last week, a president spokesman said on Monday.

Putin's ultimate weapon – control of worldwide energy sources :

India, China and Eastern Europe will be soon dependant on energy from ‘Russian Oil Block’. China is already dependant on it. The Eastern Europe that rebelled out of Soviet Union ultimately realizes that in order sustain and achieve prosperity they need cheap energy resources

Britain to US: we don't want Guantánamo nine back :

Documents obtained by the Guardian show US authorities are demanding that the detainees be kept under 24-hour surveillance if set free - restrictions that are dismissed by the British as unnecessary and unworkable.

'I thought Britain stood for justice, but the British government has abandoned us' :

At least nine former British residents are being held at Guantánamo. They include two former public schoolboys and two political refugees, a one -time MI5 informer and a man with a history of mental illness. US authorities say they want to send most back to the UK, but the British say they have no right to be in this country.

Records Show Tenet Briefed Rice on Al Qaeda Threat :

A review of White House records has determined that George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, did brief Condoleezza Rice and other top officials on July 10, 2001, about the looming threat from Al Qaeda, a State Department spokesman said Monday.

Video: Condoleezza Rice Facing 9 - 11 Commission. :

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice may have committed perjury in her testimony before the 9/11 Commission in May of 2004.

Rumsfeld, Ashcroft received warning of al Qaida attack before 9/11

Main Page - Wednesday, 10/04/06

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