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The US war with Iran has already begun

As we speak, American over flights of Iranian soil are taking place, using pilotless drones and other, more sophisticated, capabilities.
Sunday 19 June 2005 - Americans, along with the rest of the world, are starting to wake up to the uncomfortable fact that President George Bush not only lied to them about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (the ostensible excuse for the March 2003 invasion and occupation of that country by US forces), but also about the very process that led to war.

On 16 October 2002, President Bush told the American people that "I have not ordered the use of force. I hope that the use of force will not become necessary."

We know now that this statement was itself a lie, that the president, by late August 2002, had, in fact, signed off on the 'execute' orders authorising the US military to begin active military operations inside Iraq, and that these orders were being implemented as early as September 2002, when the US Air Force, assisted by the British Royal Air Force, began expanding its bombardment of targets inside and outside the so-called no-fly zone in Iraq.

These operations were designed to degrade Iraqi air defence and command and control capabilities. They also paved the way for the insertion of US Special Operations units, who were conducting strategic reconnaissance, and later direct action, operations against specific targets inside Iraq, prior to the 19 March 2003 commencement of hostilities.

President Bush had signed a covert finding in late spring 2002, which authorised the CIA and US Special Operations forces to dispatch clandestine units into Iraq for the purpose of removing Saddam Hussein from power.

The fact is that the Iraq war had begun by the beginning of summer 2002, if not earlier.

This timeline of events has ramifications that go beyond historical trivia or political investigation into the events of the past.

It represents a record of precedent on the part of the Bush administration which must be acknowledged when considering the ongoing events regarding US-Iran relations. As was the case with Iraq pre-March 2003, the Bush administration today speaks of "diplomacy" and a desire for a "peaceful" resolution to the Iranian question.

But the facts speak of another agenda, that of war and the forceful removal of the theocratic regime, currently wielding the reigns of power in Tehran.

As with Iraq, the president has paved the way for the conditioning of the American public and an all-too-compliant media to accept at face value the merits of a regime change policy regarding Iran, linking the regime of the Mullah's to an "axis of evil" (together with the newly "liberated" Iraq and North Korea), and speaking of the absolute requirement for the spread of "democracy" to the Iranian people.

"Liberation" and the spread of "democracy" have become none-too-subtle code words within the neo-conservative cabal that formulates and executes American foreign policy today for militarism and war.

By the intensity of the "liberation/democracy" rhetoric alone, Americans should be put on notice that Iran is well-fixed in the cross-hairs as the next target for the illegal policy of regime change being implemented by the Bush administration.

But Americans, and indeed much of the rest of the world, continue to be lulled into a false sense of complacency by the fact that overt conventional military operations have not yet commenced between the United States and Iran.

As such, many hold out the false hope that an extension of the current insanity in Iraq can be postponed or prevented in the case of Iran. But this is a fool's dream.

The reality is that the US war with Iran has already begun. As we speak, American over flights of Iranian soil are taking place, using pilotless drones and other, more sophisticated, capabilities.

The violation of a sovereign nation's airspace is an act of war in and of itself. But the war with Iran has gone far beyond the intelligence-gathering phase.

President Bush has taken advantage of the sweeping powers granted to him in the aftermath of 11 September 2001, to wage a global war against terror and to initiate several covert offensive operations inside Iran.

The most visible of these is the CIA-backed actions recently undertaken by the Mujahadeen el-Khalq, or MEK, an Iranian opposition group, once run by Saddam Hussein's dreaded intelligence services, but now working exclusively for the CIA's Directorate of Operations.

It is bitter irony that the CIA is using a group still labelled as a terrorist organisation, a group trained in the art of explosive assassination by the same intelligence units of the former regime of Saddam Hussein, who are slaughtering American soldiers in Iraq today, to carry out remote bombings in Iran of the sort that the Bush administration condemns on a daily basis inside Iraq.

Perhaps the adage of "one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist" has finally been embraced by the White House, exposing as utter hypocrisy the entire underlying notions governing the ongoing global war on terror.

But the CIA-backed campaign of MEK terror bombings in Iran are not the only action ongoing against Iran.

To the north, in neighbouring Azerbaijan, the US military is preparing a base of operations for a massive military presence that will foretell a major land-based campaign designed to capture Tehran.

Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld's interest in Azerbaijan may have escaped the blinkered Western media, but Russia and the Caucasus nations understand only too well that the die has been cast regarding Azerbaijan's role in the upcoming war with Iran.

The ethnic links between the Azeri of northern Iran and Azerbaijan were long exploited by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and this vehicle for internal manipulation has been seized upon by CIA paramilitary operatives and US Special Operations units who are training with Azerbaijan forces to form special units capable of operating inside Iran for the purpose of intelligence gathering, direct action, and mobilising indigenous opposition to the Mullahs in Tehran.

But this is only one use the US has planned for Azerbaijan. American military aircraft, operating from forward bases in Azerbaijan, will have a much shorter distance to fly when striking targets in and around Tehran.

In fact, US air power should be able to maintain a nearly 24-hour a day presence over Tehran airspace once military hostilities commence.

No longer will the United States need to consider employment of Cold War-dated plans which called for moving on Tehran from the Persian Gulf cities of Chah Bahar and Bandar Abbas. US Marine Corps units will be able to secure these towns in order to protect the vital Straits of Hormuz, but the need to advance inland has been eliminated.

A much shorter route to Tehran now exists - the coastal highway running along the Caspian Sea from Azerbaijan to Tehran.

US military planners have already begun war games calling for the deployment of multi-divisional forces into Azerbaijan.

Logistical planning is well advanced concerning the basing of US air and ground power in Azerbaijan.

Given the fact that the bulk of the logistical support and command and control capability required to wage a war with Iran is already forward deployed in the region thanks to the massive US presence in Iraq, the build-up time for a war with Iran will be significantly reduced compared to even the accelerated time tables witnessed with Iraq in 2002-2003.

America and the Western nations continue to be fixated on the ongoing tragedy and debacle that is Iraq. Much needed debate on the reasoning behind the war with Iraq and the failed post-war occupation of Iraq is finally starting to spring up in the United States and elsewhere.

Normally, this would represent a good turn of events. But with everyone's heads rooted in the events of the past, many are missing out on the crime that is about to be repeated by the Bush administration in Iran - an illegal war of aggression, based on false premise, carried out with little regard to either the people of Iran or the United States.

Most Americans, together with the mainstream American media, are blind to the tell-tale signs of war, waiting, instead, for some formal declaration of hostility, a made-for-TV moment such as was witnessed on 19 March 2003.

We now know that the war had started much earlier. Likewise, history will show that the US-led war with Iran will not have begun once a similar formal statement is offered by the Bush administration, but, rather, had already been under way since June 2005, when the CIA began its programme of MEK-executed terror bombings in Iran.

Scott Ritter is a former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, 1991-1998, and author of Iraq Confidential: The Untold Story of America's Intelligence Conspiracy, to be published by I B Tauris in October 2005.
Repost from Uruknet  http://www.uruknet.info/?p=12776&hd=0&size=1&l=x  http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/7896BBD4-28AB-48BA-A949-2096A02F864D.htm
bush denounces iranian election 19.Jun.2005 18:54

reposter

By KATHY GANNON, Associated Press Writer
14 minutes ago

TEHRAN, Iran - The front-runner in Iran's presidential runoff sought to rally moderates Sunday by warning that his hard-line opponent would run a totalitarian regime. The statement from the campaign manager for Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani came amid suspicions the powerful Revolutionary Guard would rig the runoff vote for conservatives.

Rafsanjani's campaign manager, Mohammed Baghir Nowbakht, said Friday's runoff was crucial because hard-liners would not tolerate differences of opinions if elected and would run a "totalitarian" regime.

"They would never let other groups participate in the government," he said.

One losing candidate already has accused the Revolutionary Guard and its vigilante supporters of fixing votes during the first round of balloting. None of the seven candidates received the necessary 51 percent to win outright, forcing the runoff.

Rafsanjani president in 1989-1997 finished first in Friday's balloting with only 21 percent of the vote. That was barely half the 40 percent most political analysts had predicted he would get.

But an even bigger surprise was the emergence of Tehran's hard-line Mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a former Revolutionary Guard commander as the voters' second choice. He received more than 19 percent.

Ahmadinejad, 49, is unabashedly conservative, resurrecting the fervor of the 1979 Islamic Revolution during the campaign by saying Iran "did not have a revolution in order to have democracy."

"Under no circumstances was Ahmadinejad regarded as a close rival to Rafsanjani. The result has been a shock and has generated doubts in people's minds who think that the election may have been rigged," Iranian analyst Davoud Hermidas Bavand told The Associated Press. "It seems the process was manipulated."

Former Parliament speaker Mahdi Karroubi, who finished behind Ahmadinejad by less than two-tenths of a percentage point, has written to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei demanding he guarantee that the Revolutionary Guard will not manipulate the runoff, which is set for next Friday.

The letter also asked for an investigation into charges the Revolutionary Guard and vigilante groups pressured voters in four provinces. Khamenei heads the Islamic theocracy and can overrule the president or parliament.

Karroubi's senior campaign manager, Ibrahim Amini, accused the armed forces of "meddling in the political affairs and in some of the provinces like Esfahan, Yazd, Qom, Khorazon Razavi and Tehran where they changed the votes."

Karroubi has not received a reply, Amini said.

The Revolutionary Guard, a well-funded force of about 200,000 troops, is independent of the armed forces and answers directly to the Islamic leadership and not elected officials.

Gen. Alireza Afshar, deputy head of Iran's armed forces, reveled in the results.

"A political tsunami in Iran has taken its enemies by surprise and has caused a loss of face for (President) Bush and showed the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic of Iran," Afshar said in a statement carried by the state-run Islamic Republic New Agency.

Bush denounced the election a day before voting, saying it was designed to maintain power in the hands of an unelected few who denied ballot access to more than 1,000 potential candidates. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice repeated that criticism Sunday, noting that women were not allowed on the ballot.

"I just don't see the Iranian elections as being a serious attempt to move Iran closer to a democratic future," she said on ABC's "This Week."

Rafsanjani, 70, once was considered a hard-liner but since has moderated his stand and now is referred to as a pragmatist and savvy politician. He remains a powerful political figure as chairman of the Expediency Council, which arbitrates between the Parliament and the Guardian Council loyal to the ruling theocracy.

Rafsanjani's campaign manager, Nowbakht, called for Iran's various factions to rally behind Rafsanjani.

"What happens in next Friday's vote should be a symbol of national solidarity for Iranians," he said.

National voter turnout during the first round was 63 percent, but in liberal-minded Tehran it was less than 50 percent. Bavand said some of the reform-minded voters, already frustrated by the weak performance of outgoing reformist President Mohammad Khatami, may not vote in the runoff, benefiting Ahmadinejad.

A Ground Invasion of Iran is a Fantasy 20.Jun.2005 04:01

Roland

The Neocon call for a U.S. military capability of successfully fighting and winning multi-front wars is a fantasy whose utter falsity is being proven daily in the mountains of Afghanistan and the cities of Iraq. The armed forces are already over extended and with diminishing recruitments there isn't even the prospect of sufficient replacement troops.

So, from where will the troops for this "major land-based campaign designed to capture Tehran" materialize? Although bombing Iran is certainly an easy option for the Bush Junta to choose, it won't by itself subdue this nation of seventy-five million people and lead to regime change.

NO matter what goes on in those elections, we have no business in there!! 20.Jun.2005 06:47

gfd

and if the retard in the White House will use that as an excuse to get us into another war so that his buddies can make even mor moeny than they are already making witht the deaths he is directly responsible for, then that is another reason to take him, kicking and screaming, to the ICC and then to make sure that he and the rest of the devils stay in jail for decades, if they are not executed.

wtf 20.Jun.2005 08:38

el toro

kinda weird that a person named "Kathy Gannon" would write that article re: iran's election.

btw, seemed like there were a buncha reports that called foul on that election...

*thinks on past 2 elections* this country is spineless.

which comes first, the war or the draft... 20.Jun.2005 17:48

this thing here

it is true that right now the u.s. military is threadbare and over extended.

but if the neo-cons and the bush admin. really want to invade iran, while occupying iraq and afghanistan, and they are crazy enough to do all three, they will find the neccessary manpower in the draft.

or, to put it another way, if there is a new draft, then please be certain there will be war in iran soon after.

personally, i think they will do the draft first, and then the war, because that gives them the time they need for build-up. one way they could get around the obvious unpopularity of the draft is by orchestrating another "terrorist" attack, getting the country nice and scared and toothless again, then doing the draft, then the build up, and then launching the war to "protect" us.