Before Bush, I was always one to pooh pooh conspiracy theories. The Bushies ability to transcend irony in self-caricature has made me a believer, though. Cheney is type cast as the sinister sociopath at the core.
Gareth Porter, writing in The Huffington Post, has some new slants on Cheney's long time itch for a fight with Iran. Joe Lieberman figures in the story as well, playing the role of the amiable priest with a shiv up his sleeve.
I was never one of those who believed the Bush administration was getting ready to attack Iran in 2006 or early 2007. But it is now clear that at least Vice President Dick Cheney is conspiring to push through a specific plan for war with Iran. And Senator Joe Lieberman is an active part of that conspiracy.
We have known for a long time that Cheney wants a major air attack on Iranian nuclear sites and other military and economic targets. But an August 9 story published by McClatchy newspapers reveals that, instead of waiting for a decision to go ahead with such a strategic attack against Iran, Cheney now hopes to get Bush to approve an attack on camps in Iran where Iraqi Shiite militiamen have allegedly been trained in recent years.
. . .
The Cheney proposal for an airstrike against three bases in Iran can have only one purpose -- to provoke an Iranian retaliation that would then make it possible to unleash a full-fledged strategic air attack against Iran. The provocation strategy would be an obvious way around the political obstacles in the way of an unprovoked attack.
This is not the first time that such a provocation strategy has been attributed to the Bush administration. In February 2007, Hillary Mann, the National Security Council director for Iran and Persian Gulf Affairs until 2004, told CNN that the Bush administration was "pushing a series of increasing provocations against the Iranians in, I think, anticipation that Iran will eventually retaliate, and that will give the United States the ability to launch limited strikes against Iran, to take out targets in Iran that we consider to be important."
The revelation of the Cheney attack proposal throws a new light on a series of developments relating to Iraq since early June. The first event that takes on new meaning is Joe Lieberman's public call on June 11 for exactly the same kind of attack on the alleged training bases in Iran as Cheney was advocating inside the administration.
Lieberman, appearing on CBS's Face the Nation, said, "I think we've got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq. And to me that would include a strike over the border into Iran, where we have good evidence that they have a base at which they are training these people coming back into Iraq to kill our soldiers."
Lieberman is noted for his sense of humor, so the irony of calling for actions that would get a lot of Americans here and in Iraq killed in the name of stopping "them from killing Americans in Iraq" was probably not lost on him.
From averagejoe in the comments on that story:
A few weeks back, according to UPI's Arnaud De Borchgrave, Netanyahu declared that Israel "must immediately launch an intense, international public relations front first and foremost on the United States -- the goal being to encourage President Bush to live up to specific pledges he would not allow Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons. We must make clear to the (U.S.) government, the Congress and the American public that a nuclear Iran is a threat to the U.S. and the entire world, not only Israel."
Israel's war is to be sold as America's war.
The project is underway. According to Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor of the Guardian, Israeli media are reporting that the assignment to convince the world of the need for tough action on Iran has been given to Meir Dagan, head of Mossad.
I can sympathize with Israel's alarm, but that doesn't mean we should allow ourselves to become their patsy in this folly.