Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Sunday, February 25, 2007
War Plan
I figured this was happening, but Sy Hersh now has a source for it:
Feb 24, 2007 — NEW YORK (Reuters) - Despite the Bush administration's insistence it has no plans to go to war with Iran, a Pentagon panel has been created to plan a bombing attack that could be implemented within 24 hours of getting the go-ahead from President George W. Bush, The New Yorker magazine reported in its latest issue.

The special planning group was established within the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in recent months, according to an unidentified former U.S. intelligence official cited in the article by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh in the March 4 issue.
More smoke. Still wondering about the fire. Certainly I lean in the direction that they're going to do it. That third carrier group is not yet in place, so they're unlikely to attack imminently. But, still, this looks like more evidence of an plan to attack. I think Bush's mindset is such that he has nothing to lose as a lame-duck President who now see's his legacy in being a President who stood up to public opinion and "did the right thing". I really think the only way an attack on Iran can be stopped is through Congressional impeachment, which is unlikely.

Update: I was reading an article describing some of the details of the U.S. military deployment in the Persian Gulf. The deployment is extensive and on a hair trigger. I found this quote particularly interesting:
Lieutenant Commander Matt Pothier returned yesterday from Afghanistan having delivered air support to British soldiers. He said: "Right now I have more opportunities than I've ever had to use weapons where we know there aren't any friendly people. In combat that's very rewarding."
Nothing like those pesky friendlies to prevent you from playing that video game a full throttle. Maybe Lt. Commander Pothier needs to spend some time in Baghdad to get a feel for what it's like on the ground during such operations? I understand that warriors are trained to be, well, warriors. But this kind of attitude grates on me. War should be a reluctant experience, not one that you relish for the fun of using your new toys.

Update II: I think this explains why the messages are so mixed on attacking Iran:
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.
I think history will show that there is a war going on within the administration about policy in the middle east. The Cheney wing of the government wants to attack Iran, the majority of the Pentagon (including Robert Gates) does not want an attack thinking it would be suicide.

Update III: More evidence that Israel will lead the charge against Iran.

Please take note that most of the information in this post that I link to is from the British press. Afterall, it's a weekend and the American press can't be bothered. Besides, even if it was a weekday, reporters wouldn't report these stories because they'd lose their place in the weenie line at the D.C. cock-tail parties. Here's a link to Sy Hersh's latest article in the New Yorker, a must read.