The noise of war is getting louder with General Petraeus proclaiming that Iran was behind the attacks on the Green Zone (so called because the rest of Bagdad is now a gray dead sort of color) the other day.
The most senior US general in Iraq has said he has evidence that Iran was behind Sunday’s bombardment of Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone.
Gen David Petraeus told the BBC he thought Tehran had trained, equipped and funded insurgents who fired the barrage of mortars and rockets.
He said Iran was adding what he described as “lethal accelerants” to a very combustible mix.
Chris Floyd of the Baltimore Chronicle has an excellent analysis of Petraeus’s claims and their effect on the march to war with Iran in an article entitled, “Still not worried? Petraeus blames Iran for Green Zone attack.”:
Actually, of course, these charges aren’t meant to make logical or geopolitical sense. They are simply being tossed out there, week after week, month after month, to “catapult the propaganda” for war with Iran “at the time, place, and in the manner of our choosing,” to quote Bush’s doctrine of preemptive war in the official “National Defense Strategy of the United States.” Or as I noted here last year about an earlier round of charges:
[Petraeus] is asserting as unassailable fact accusations which have never been substantiated, not even by the Regime’s own intelligence agencies — whose bar for “confirming” provocative intelligence is, as we all know, preternaturally low. Petraeus doesn’t intend for his words to be taken seriously — that is, not in the real world, where military attacks by one nation on another lead to an immediate response. No, his words are intended for the media echo chamber, where they will bounce around in the midst of all the other mind-obliterating noise, with a few key scraps falling into the mix: “Iran” — “killing Americans” — “Qods” — “Iran” — “killing Americans” — “Qods.” That’s all they want — and that’s all they need — to get across. They certainly don’t want anyone to pay close attention to the details of the patter they’re putting out. They just want a few keywords to filter into the battered public consciousness, because these are the elements they will invoke when the time comes to launch their own unprovoked military agression against Iran: “Iran’s Qods Force is killing Americans, and we must, reluctantly, retaliate. Therefore, tonight I have ordered a series of air raids on Qods Force bases in Iran….”
And hey: “Qods” sounds a lot like “al Qaeda,” doesn’t it? That gives you extra traction in the echo chamber — more bang for the propaganda buck.
Let’s be clear about this. This is an administration that claims the right to go to war on the merest suspicion that some evil foreign entity might attack Americans at some time in some way. This is an administration that has already acted on this deranged — but oh-so-war-profitable — “national defense strategy.” This is an administration that specifically named Iran as a dire threat to the nation in the most recent version of this official strategy.
And now, we have Petraeus’ j’accuse — the culmination of more than a year of statements by U.S. officials accusing Iran of direct involvement in attacking and killing American personnel in Iraq. By the morally demented but consistent “principles” enunciated and acted upon by the Bush Administration (principles which of course include the use of manufactured evidence and knowing deception to launch wars in the name of “national security”), the White House has already established an iron-clad case for attacking Iran. Indeed, by their own lights, they have actually been criminally negligent and weak-kneed for not having attacked Iran long ago — as the most vociferous wingnuts and con-jobs out there keep insisting.
As we said last week, the groundwork for the attack has already been laid. When and if a strike comes, it will almost certainly come quickly, without warning. There will be no new major PR campaign, just a “surge” in the same “mind-obliterating noise” of lies and accusations that has barraged us for so long. And no doubt we will see the redoubtable Petraeus take the lead in this surge against the American people — with the same slickness and vigor with which he has perpetrated the murderous ethnic cleansing of Baghdad — when he comes to Congress for another tongue-bath next month.
President Bush is of course, marching in step with his General, not letting the accusations against Iran rest for one day, perhaps proving Floyd’s theory, providing more of the constant drum-beat so that we will be completely brain-washed by the time we go to war with Iran:
“The terrorist movement could emerge emboldened – with new recruits, new resources, and an even greater determination to dominate the region and harm America. An emboldened al-Qaida with access to Iraq’s oil resources could pursue its ambitions to acquire weapons of mass destruction to attack America and other free nations. Iran would be emboldened as well – with a renewed determination to develop nuclear weapons and impose its brand of hegemony across the Middle East.”
In an interview with VOA’s Persian News Network, Mr. Bush had a message for those in Iran who are supporting destructive activities in Iraq:
“Stop importing your weapons, your sophisticated I-E-Ds [improvised explosive devices], or there will be consequences inside of Iraq. And when we find people transporting weapons that are aimed to harm innocent people or to arm militias that are aiming to harm innocent people, then they will be brought to justice.”
Mr. Bush said he fully understands that Iraq and Iran will have relations with one another. They are neighbors who share a long border. “But there is a better way to deal inside Iraq than the [way the] Iranians are now dealing,” he said.
President Bush said that the U.S. will continue to fight extremist forces in Iraq and will continue to help the Iraqi people establish a democracy in the heart of the Middle East. By so doing, he said, “We will show that the future of the Middle East does not belong to terror — the future of the Middle East belongs to freedom.”
Of course Cheney has been beating the drums in his middle-east visit as well:
Speculation has been rampant that the main purpose of Mr Cheney’s visit is for top-secret discussions with the Israeli leadership on possible military action against Iran. This speculation has been given credence by public announcements made by Mr Cheney, Israeli Defence Minister and Israeli President Shimon Peres, among others. Mr Barak stressed that all options should remain on the table.
Mr Peres said, “Iran’s only intention of developing ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads is to destroy Israel and threaten the entire world.” Mr Cheney was eager to assure the Israeli leadership that the current US administration would do everything in its power to deal with the “Iranian threat”.
Last week Mr Bush signalled once again his readiness to deal with Iran when he said the Iranian leadership has “declared they want a nuclear programme to destroy people”. This simplistic and inaccurate statement was made on a US government radio broadcast beamed into Iran. The truth is that no one outside the small group made up of the US president, the VP and their closet confidantes really knows if this is just sabre-rattling or an attempt to prepare the public for imminent military action.
This is precisely the problem. Given their track record – manipulating intelligence to hype the threat posed by Saddam Hussein in Iraq in order to launch a war that has caused incalculable misery, destabilised the region and allowed Iran to gain much greater influence – why should this bunch be allowed to decide whether it is appropriate to begin another war, which likely would have far worse consequences for the entire world?
The US military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff is probably the best qualified to make this judgement, and despite the fact that it is almost unprecedented for active military commanders to publicly disagree with their commander-in-chief, they have let it become known through media sources that they are opposed to military action against Iran, for a variety of reasons.