Drum Beats for War, Month 2
The Administration's other house-organ, The Washington Times, is part of a well-orchestrated leak with France to scare the hell of Iran.
Not gonna work. Would we blink if Russia were threatening us?
I don't think so.
After a brief interruption of his New Hampshire vacation to meet President Bush in the family compound at Kenebunkport, Maine, French President Nicolas Sarkozy came away convinced his U.S. counterpart is serious about bombing Iran's secret nuclear facilities. That's the reading as it filtered back to Europe's foreign ministries:
Addressing the annual meeting of France's ambassadors to 188 countries, Mr. Sarkozy said either Iran lives up to its international obligations and relinquishes its nuclear ambitions — or it will be bombed into compliance. Mr. Sarkozy also made it clear he did not agree with the Iranian-bomb-or-bombing-of-Iran position, which reflects the pledge of Mr. Bush to his loyalists, endorsed by Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut Independent. But Mr. Sarkozy recognized unless Iran's theocrats stop enriching uranium to weapons-grade levels under inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), we will all be "faced with an alternative that I call catastrophic."
A ranking Swiss official privately said, "Anyone with a modicum of experience in the Middle East knows that any bombing of Iran would touch off at the very least regional instability and what could be an unmitigated disaster for Western interests."
Leaks about the administration's plan to brand Iran's 125,000-strong Revolutionary Guards a global terrorist organization is widely interpreted as a major step on the escalator to military action.
Hoping to head off a U.S.-Iran military confrontation, European countries are still pinning their hopes on major Iranian concessions at the International Atomic Energy Commission in Vienna. Iran is back to cooperating with IAEA — but only one comma or semicolon at a time. The three European Union countries acting as U.S. surrogates on nuclear matters with Iran, and IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei, detect progress where the U.S. sees only stalling. Iran is still resisting short-notice inspections of sites that are not officially declared nuclear facilities, and where secret nuclear work is believed to be taking place.
Both the Bush administration and Israel are painstakingly fashioning a casus belli with Iran. For Israel, the training and weapons support Iran furnishes Hezbollah in Lebanon (now with more rockets of all kinds than it had before the 2006 war when it fired 4,000 into Israel) and Hamas in Gaza (now equipped with Katyusha rockets and a range of 10.6 miles), coupled with Mr. Ahmadinejad's existential threats against the Jewish state, are sufficient evidence to justify air attacks against Iran's nuclear facilities. And for the White House, there is daily evidence of Iran's Revolutionary Guards meddling in Iraq, from improved explosive devices made in Iran to behind-the-scenes dominance in the affairs of the oil-rich south.
Hat tip: TPM