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8/11/2005

Time to go to war again?

I am worried. The war drums are beginning to beat again ... and this time the Fighting Keyboarders have their eye on Iran. From All Things Conservative (my emphasis):
The United States and Britain have warned Iran on its interference in Iraq:
Britain formally protested to Iran yesterday over its growing interference in Iraq's internal affairs, citing the smuggling of sophisticated explosives that threaten to send coalition casualties soaring.

The move came after British and American intelligence officials said they uncovered evidence that Iran's Revolutionary Guard was providing deadly "shaped" charges to Iraq's insurgents.

A British intelligence source said there were indications that the devices are "increasingly being designed and built in neighbouring Iran and then transported to Iraq".

...Britain's statement came hours after Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, also accused Iran of smuggling weaponry. He said: "It's notably unhelpful for the Iranians to be allowing weapons of those types to be crossing the border."

This created problems for the Iraqi government, coalition forces and the international community. "And ultimately, it's a problem for Iran," he said.
...There should be no more warnings. If this doesn't stop it, and I don't think it will, the next step should be military action against targets inside Iran such as terrorist training camps or border crossings used by terrorists crossing into Iraq.
Some right-wingers have been chomping at the bit to go after Iran - vicariously, of course - for some time now. This is from blogger Varifrank:
To me, Iran has always been the real target of the war on terror. Forget about Afghanistan, Iraq or Saudi Arabia, Iran is the ‘home of the whopper’ when it comes to bile spitting anti-US, anti-Israel, anti-western governments and organizations. Iran is where it all started, for us anyway...

...for me, it’s always been about Iran. On September 12,2001 I was thinking, “ How do we get to Iran?” I wasn’t thinking Afghanistan, Iraq or anyone else, for me it was all about what was the most direct route to Tehran.

...Now we find ourselves with two countries that share Iran’s border, Iraq and Afghanistan. Our navy patrols the Straits of Hormuz, checks all the shipping in and out of Iran on the ocean and by all the land routes as well. Iran is completely surrounded by US troops and Navy. I don’t know for sure, but we have to be doing over flight reconnaissance.
Note: the US is indeed flying unmanned drones over Iran and has been doing so for a while now. Incidentally, this could be construed as an act of war in and of itself; that airspace belongs to Iran. As Scott Ritter has pointed out, how do you suppose the US would react if they found out that Cuba was violating its airspace?

Varifrank continues:
It’s in this environment that Iran decides that now is the best time to “go nuclear”. Why? Why bring all that heat down on you from the UN. Why take the risk of embargo from Germany, France, and the UK, not to mention the US.
Um... maybe because they aren't completely fucking oblivious and they realize that the US is clamping down on them and a nuclear weapon or two might be the only way to deter an attack? Assuming, that is, that they don't really just want to use nuclear energy, a motivation which the US seems incapable of understanding - "They're sitting on a shitload of oil! Why do they need nuclear energy?!?" - because Americans apparently can't fathom that anyone might want to, you know, think further than six months into the future, conserve their petroleum resources, and develop alternative energy sources.

But even if Iran does want to build nuclear weapons ... can anyone blame them?

Oh yeah ... they support terrorism, and the US is fighting a war on terror, damn it! The US hates terrorism, and if it has to, it will invade a sovereign nation to help defeat it! In fact, if it is necessary, in order to defeat terrorism, to go to war with nations that support terrorism, the US will even ... support terrorism itself! Ha! Bet you didn't see that coming! I suppose to truly vanquish your enemy, you must become your enemy, just like Bruce Wayne became a criminal in Batman Begins. Or something like that.

Ever heard of the Mojahedin-e-Khalq, or the MEK for short? The State Department has - the MEK, a group of Iranian militants that has been operating out of Iraq since the 1980s, is on their official list of terrorist organizations. And for good reason: remember the whole Iran hostage crisis? That was the work of the MEK. After falling out of favor with the Ayatollah, Saddam invited them to set up shop in Iraq, where they helped him commit some of his human rights abuses that the Bush administration claims to have been so bothered by. The MEK also attacked and killed US military personnel both in Iran in the late 1970s and in Iraq during the first Gulf War.

But oddly, some members of the Bush administration, along with allies in Congress, now want the State Department to remove the MEK from the list of terrorist organizations. Hmm...

Also, the US, soon after invading Iraq, granted Geneva Convention protections - those 'quaint' prohibitions against torture, etc. - to members of the MEK in its custody, and worked out a ceasefire with the group. Why are they treating this anti-American terrorist organization with kid gloves?

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that they are considering (and maybe already are) using the MEK for incursions into Iraq to gain information about possible military targets, and are perhaps even planning to use the MEK to conduct a proxy war against Iran.

Weird. George W. Bush, the biggest terrorist-hater of them all, and his administration are climbing into bed with a terrorist group. What is Bush thinking?

Oh well, I'm sure there's nothing to worry about. It's probably just another instance of Bush, the "man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius," unveiling another one of his masterpieces that the rest of us are too feeble-minded to understand.

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