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Desperation Politics
by major mitchell Saturday, Feb 24 2007, 10:43am
national / peace/war / commentary

A picture is worth considerably more than a thousand words; the picture below depicts two very old and ossified conservatives unable to adequately deal with a rapidly changing New World. Antiquated and redundant divisionist ideologies have failed dramatically in today’s world – Iraq is the obvious example.

Antiquated 'solutions': Howard and Cheney
Antiquated 'solutions': Howard and Cheney

Conservatives specialise in simplistic approaches to complex problems, the application of which creates catastrophic results – Iraq again is the obvious example! The ‘them and us’ conflict based ideologies and philosophies of conservatism have proven, after approximately a decade of conservative rule, that conservatism is not only a totally inadequate and inappropriate political philosophy but is extremely dangerous. In today’s world conservatism has proven it readily equates with insanity or severe mental and political retardation – George W Bush and his neo-cons are the obvious examples!

We need not press the point further, however, we would mention that ‘God’ is always on the side of the many warring conservative factions in the world today – the implication that religionism is ultra-conservatism is clear.

Conservatives are readily identifiable regardless of culture or geography; the three pillars upon which conservatism rests are nationalism/tribalism, racism and religionism. Is it therefore coincidental that the NSW Conservative Party would hold its campaign launch at Cronulla, the internationally known site of Australia’s shameful race riots? The crude symbolic message of choosing Cronulla is not lost on anyone, however, it is ill-advised. In attendance at the ‘launch’ was the arch-conservative Australian Prime Minister, John Howard and a number of government ministers; it is hoped their support will assist their State counterpart, Peter Debnam, in his bid to oust the entrenched Labor Party from office.

The timing of the launch couldn’t have been worse; Sydney is in the process of recovering from the hugely inconvenient Cheney visit, which was a public relations disaster – local conservatives are well aware that Cheney is a liability at any time, let alone in an election year. Howard’s absence from Cheney’s public speech was a clear indication of the ‘awkwardness’ of the occasion.

It has been a bad week for Oz conservatives in general, the Defence Minister, Brendan (studs) Nelson was forced to ‘put a sock in it’ after his naive attempt to compare the heroic Kokoda campaign of WWII with the current ‘threat’ from a bunch of disparate terrorist criminal groups on the other side of the world. If Nelson wore long blonde hair we would call him Custer-face; the ear-studded, motorbike-riding, dimwit Nelson, should have been ‘spotted’ prior to his appointment to the front bench – but it’s too late now and the Labor Party are loving it!

The past week has been very costly for the Oz-cons – the Cheney lead-balloon visit in particular. The world is under no illusions regarding the real nature of the visit – briefing Howard on the imminent attack on Iran and the new aggressive approach to China were high on the conservative conflict list.

Take a long hard look at the picture and recall every lie and the present international nightmare the conservatives have created. Two antiquated, philosophically bankrupt old men are deciding our fate on a national and international level. Have absolutely no doubts that the same simplistic violent ‘solutions’ will be applied and have no doubt as to the results, MORE horror, murder and destabilisation designed to increase the need for more horror, murder and destabilisation. The nihilistic insanity of conservative ideology is naked in the blood-filled streets – but the sheeple aren’t looking!

Diggers on the Kokoda Track, WWII
Diggers on the Kokoda Track, WWII

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Iran Must Get Ready to Repel a Nuclear Attack
by General Leonid Ivashov via rialator - Strategic Cultural Foundation (Russia) Saturday, Feb 24 2007, 9:06pm

In the overall flow of information coming from the Middle East, there are increasingly frequent reports indicating that within several months from now the US will deliver nuclear strikes on Iran. For example, citing well-informed but undisclosed sources, the Kuwaiti Arab Times wrote that the US plans to launch a missile and bomb attack on the territory of Iran before the end of April, 2007. The campaign will start from the sea and will be supported by the Patriot missile defense systems in order to let the US forces avoid a ground operation and to reduce the efficiency of the return strike by “any Persian Gulf country”.

“Any country” mostly refers to Iran. The source which supplied the information to the Kuwaiti paper believes that the US forces in Iraq and other countries of the region will be defended from any Iranian missile strikes by the frontier Patriots.

So, the preparations for a new US aggression entered the completion phase. The executions of S. Hussein and his closest associates were a part of these preparations. Their purpose was to serve as a “disguise operation” for the efforts of the US strategists to deliberately escalate the situation both around Iran and in the entire Middle East.

Analyzing the consequences of the move, the US did order to hang the former Iraqi leader and his associates. This shows that the US has adopted irreversibly the plan of partitioning Iraq into three warring pseudo-states – the Shiite, the Sunnite, and the Kurdish ones. Washington reckons that the situation of a controlled chaos will help it to dominate the Persian Gulf oil supplies and other strategically important oil transportation routes.

The most important aspect of the matter is that a zone of an endless bloody conflict will be created at the core of the Middle East, and that the countries neighboring Iraq – Iran, Syria, Turkey (Kurdistan) – will inevitably be getting drawn into it. This will solve the problem of completely destabilizing the region, a task of major importance for the US and especially for Israel. The war in Iraq was just one element in a series of steps in the process of regional destabilization. It was only a phase in the process of getting closer to dealing with Iran and other countries, which the US declared or will declare rouge.

However it is not easy for the US to get involved in yet another military campaign while Iraq and Afghanistan are not “pacified” (the US lacks the resources necessary for the operation). Besides, protests against the politics of the Washington neocons intensify all over the world. Due to all of the above, the US will use nuclear weapon against Iran. This will be the second case of the use of nuclear weapons in combat after the 1945 US attack on Japan.

The Israeli military and political circles had been making statements on the possibility of nuclear and missile strikes on Iran openly since October, 2006, when the idea was immediately supported by G. Bush. Currently it is touted in the form of a “necessity” of nuclear strikes. The public is taught to believe that there is nothing monstrous about such a possibility and that, on the contrary, a nuclear strike is quite feasible. Allegedly, there is no other way to “stop” Iran.

How will other nuclear powers react? As for Russia, at best it will limit itself to condemning the strikes, and at worst – as in the case of the aggression against Yugoslavia – its response will be something like “though by this the US makes a mistake, the victim itself provoked the attack”.

Europe will react in essentially the same way. Possibly, the negative reaction of China and several other countries to the nuclear aggression will be stronger. In any case, there will be no retaliation nuclear strike on the US forces (the US is absolutely sure of this).

The UN means nothing in this context. Having failed to condemn the aggression against Yugoslavia, the UN Security Council effectively shared the responsibility for it. This institution is only capable to adopt resolutions which the Russian and also the French diplomacy understands as banning the use of force, but the US and British ones interpret in exactly the opposite sense – as authorizing their aggression.

Speaking of Israel, it is sure to come under the Iranian missile strikes. Possibly, the Hezbollah and the Palestinian resistance will become more active. Posing as victims, the Israelis will resort to provocations to justify their aggression, suffer some tolerable damage, and then the outraged US will destabilize Iran finally, making it look like a noble mission of retribution.

Some people tend to believe that concerns over the world’s protests can stop the US. I do not think so. The importance of this factor should not be overstated. In the past, I have spent hours talking to Milosevic, trying to convince him that NATO was preparing to attack Yugoslavia. For a long time, he could not believe this and kept telling me: “Just read the UN Charter. What grounds will they have to do it?”

But they did it. They ignored the international law outrageously and did it. What do we have now? Yes, there was a shock, there was indignation. But the result is exactly what the aggressors wanted – Milosevic is dead, Yugoslavia is partitioned, and Serbia is colonized – NATO officers have set up their headquarters in the country’s ministry of defense.

The same things happened to Iraq. There were a shock and indignation. But what matters to the Americans is not how big the shock is, but how high are the revenues of their military-industrial complex.

The information that a second US aircraft-carrier is due to arrive at the Persian Gulf till the end of January makes it possible to analyze the possible evolution of the war situation. Attacking Iran, the US will mostly use air delivery of the nuclear munitions. Cruise missiles (carried by the US aircrafts as well as ships and submarines) and, possibly, ballistic missiles will be used. Probably, nuclear strikes will be followed by air raids from aircraft carriers and by other means of attack.

The US command is trying to exclude a ground operation: Iran has a strong army and the US forces are likely to suffer massive casualties. This is unacceptable for G. Bush who already finds himself in a difficult situation. It does not take a ground operation to destroy infrastructures in Iran, to reverse the development of the country, to cause panic, and to create a political, economic and military chaos. This can be accomplished by using first the nuclear, and subsequently the conventional means of warfare. Such is the purpose of bringing the aircraft carrier group closer to the Iranian coast.

What resources for self-defense does Iran have? They are considerable, but incomparably inferior to the US forces. Iran has 29 Russian Tor systems. Definitely, they are an important reinforcement of the Iranian air defense. However, at present Iran has no guaranteed protection from air raids.

The US tactics will be the same as usual: first, to neutralize the air defense and radars, and then to attack aircrafts in the air and on land, the control installations, and the infrastructure, while taking no risks.

Within weeks from now, we will see the informational warfare machine start working. The public opinion is already under pressure. There will be a growing anti-Iranian militaristic hysteria, new information leaks, disinformation, etc.

At the same time all of the above sends a signal to the pro-Western opposition and to a fraction of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s elite to get ready for the coming developments. The US hopes that an attack on Iran will inevitably result in a chaos in the country, and that it will be possible to bribe some of the Iranian generals and thus to create a fifth column in the country.

Of course, Iran is very different from Iraq. However, if the aggressor succeeds in instigating a conflict between the two branches of the Iranian armed forces – the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and the army – the country will find itself in a critical situation, especially in case at the very beginning of the campaign the US manages to hit the Iranian leadership and delivers a nuclear strike or a massive one by conventional warfare on the country’s central command.

Today, the probability of a US aggression against Iran is extremely high. It does remain unclear, though, whether the US Congress is going to authorize the war. It may take a provocation to eliminate this obstacle (an attack on Israel or the US targets including military bases). The scale of the provocation may be comparable to the 9-11 attack in NY. Then the Congress will certainly say “Yes” to the US President.

General Leonid Ivashov is the vice-president of the Academy on geopolitical affairs. He was the chief of the department for General affairs in the Soviet Union’s ministry of Defense, secretary of the Council of defense ministers of the Community of independant states (CIS), chief of the Military cooperation department at the Russian federation’s Ministry of defense and Joint chief of staff of the Russian armies.


© Copyright Leonid Ivashov , Strategic Cultural Foundation (Russia) , 2007

U.S. Generals ‘will quit’ if Bush orders Iran attack
by Michael Smith and Sarah Baxter via rialator - The Sunday Times Saturday, Feb 24 2007, 11:05pm

Some of America’s most senior military commanders are prepared to resign if the White House orders a military strike against Iran, according to highly placed defence and intelligence sources.

Tension in the Gulf region has raised fears that an attack on Iran is becoming increasingly likely before President George Bush leaves office. The Sunday Times has learnt that up to five generals and admirals are willing to resign rather than approve what they consider would be a reckless attack.

“There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran,” a source with close ties to British intelligence said. “There is simply no stomach for it in the Pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible.”

A British defence source confirmed that there were deep misgivings inside the Pentagon about a military strike. “All the generals are perfectly clear that they don’t have the military capacity to take Iran on in any meaningful fashion. Nobody wants to do it and it would be a matter of conscience for them.

“There are enough people who feel this would be an error of judgment too far for there to be resignations.”

A generals’ revolt on such a scale would be unprecedented. “American generals usually stay and fight until they get fired,” said a Pentagon source. Robert Gates, the defence secretary, has repeatedly warned against striking Iran and is believed to represent the view of his senior commanders.

The threat of a wave of resignations coincided with a warning by Vice-President Dick Cheney that all options, including military action, remained on the table. He was responding to a comment by Tony Blair that it would not “be right to take military action against Iran”.

Iran ignored a United Nations deadline to suspend its uranium enrichment programme last week. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted that his country “will not withdraw from its nuclear stances even one single step”.

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran could soon produce enough enriched uranium for two nuclear bombs a year, although Tehran claims its programme is purely for civilian energy purposes.

Nicholas Burns, the top US negotiator, is to meet British, French, German, Chinese and Russian officials in London tomorrow to discuss additional penalties against Iran. But UN diplomats cautioned that further measures would take weeks to agree and would be mild at best.

A second US navy aircraft carrier strike group led by the USS John C Stennis arrived in the Gulf last week, doubling the US presence there. Vice Admiral Patrick Walsh, the commander of the US Fifth Fleet, warned: “The US will take military action if ships are attacked or if countries in the region are targeted or US troops come under direct attack.”

But General Peter Pace, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said recently there was “zero chance” of a war with Iran. He played down claims by US intelligence that the Iranian government was responsible for supplying insurgents in Iraq, forcing Bush on the defensive.

Pace’s view was backed up by British intelligence officials who said the extent of the Iranian government’s involvement in activities inside Iraq by a small number of Revolutionary Guards was “far from clear”.

Hillary Mann, the National Security Council’s main Iran expert until 2004, said Pace’s repudiation of the administration’s claims was a sign of grave discontent at the top.

“He is a very serious and a very loyal soldier,” she said. “It is extraordinary for him to have made these comments publicly, and it suggests there are serious problems between the White House, the National Security Council and the Pentagon.”

Mann fears the administration is seeking to provoke Iran into a reaction that could be used as an excuse for an attack. A British official said the US navy was well aware of the risks of confrontation and was being “seriously careful” in the Gulf.

The US air force is regarded as being more willing to attack Iran. General Michael Moseley, the head of the air force, cited Iran as the main likely target for American aircraft at a military conference earlier this month.

According to a report in The New Yorker magazine, the Pentagon has already set up a working group to plan airstrikes on Iran. The panel initially focused on destroying Iran’s nuclear facilities and on regime change but has more recently been instructed to identify targets in Iran that may be involved in supplying or aiding militants in Iraq.

However, army chiefs fear an attack on Iran would backfire on American troops in Iraq and lead to more terrorist attacks, a rise in oil prices and the threat of a regional war.

Britain is concerned that its own troops in Iraq might be drawn into any American conflict with Iran, regardless of whether the government takes part in the attack.

One retired general who participated in the “generals’ revolt” against Donald Rumsfeld’s handling of the Iraq war said he hoped his former colleagues would resign in the event of an order to attack. “We don’t want to take another initiative unless we’ve really thought through the consequences of our strategy,” he warned.

© Copyright 2007 Times Newspapers Ltd


 
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