Monday, June 30, 2008

What's Bush Up To?

Apparently not satisfied with the nation-rending disaster of the war in Iraq, Seymour M. Hersh of The New Yorker now reports that The Decider is "Preparing the Battlefield..... The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran."

A gutless or ill-informed Democratic Congress approved Bush's request for funding for a major escalation of covert operations in Iran late last year.... at about the same time that the National Intelligence Estimate (released in December) concluded that Iran had halted its work on nuclear weapons in 2003.

The administration didn't want to hear that kind of talk. Bush questioned the N.I.E.'s conclusions, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain all bobble-headed into line in his dismissal of the report.

But, evidently having second thoughts about the headlong rush down the hawkish road The Decider wants to travel, Gates and the "Joint Chiefs of Staff are 'pushing back hard' against White House pressure to undertake a military strike against Iran.... 'at least ten senior flag and general officers, including combatant commanders have weighed in on that issue."

And late last year Gates met with the Senate Democratic caucus where he warned of the consequences of a preemptive strike on Iran.... "We'll create generations of jihadists, and our grandchildren will be battling our enemies here in America." Asked if he was speaking for Bush and Vice President Cheney, Gates replied, "Let's just say that I'm here speaking for myself."

Admiral William Fallon, former head of U.S. Central Command in charge of American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, was outspoken in his reservations about an armed attack on Iran.... which resulted in his resigning under pressure in March.

What about Congress?.... "The Democratic leadership's agreement to commit hundreds of millions of dollars for more secret operations in Iran was remarkable.... 'The oversight process has not kept pace - it's been co-opted' by the Administration.... The process is broken, and this is dangerous stuff we're authorizing.' " according to someone familiar with the process.

How did that happen? "After September 11 the President signed an Executive Order giving the Pentagon license to do things that it had never been able to do before without notifying Congress.... called 'preparing battle space'.... circumventing congressional oversight."

While an overwhelmed America watches these events with alarm and frustration at being led further into the explosive Middle East quicksand by the reckless Bush/Cheney cabal, the no-longer-hibernating Russian bear, and oil-hungry China are seizing the day.

As reported by assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration Richard Perle in "Coalition Of the Ineffectual,"..... (WaPo) " 'A successful multilateral coalition' is how Condoleezza Rice described those countries, 'united in confronting Iran,' on which the administration's Iran policy critically depends.

" 'A complete failure' is Barack Obama's description of the Bush administration's Iran policy."

Perle points out that they are both right, but that the "coalition that Rice thinks is a success, and Obama a failure, is, at best, a 'do-nothing decisive' group, with at least half its members - Germany, Russia and China - maneuvering for self-serving advantage in their dealings with the mullahs in Iran."

"Russia continues to assist Iran's nuclear program while selling Iran advanced weapons. China is prowling for oil deals and selling advanced weapons. German businessmen fill the lobbies of Iranian hotels.... the Russians and Chinese have made it clear that they will not support sanctions that are severe enough to exert any real influence."

And what about Iran?.... "Report: Iran to hit Israel if attacked." (WaPo) "The commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard warned that Tehran would respond to an attack against it by barraging Israel with missiles and controlling a key oil passageway in the Persian Gulf," according to a Tehran newspaper report published Saturday.

Soooo...... what has all of this saber rattling produced? "Oil near $143 on Israel-Iran tensions." (WaPo) "Oil rose more than $3 a barrel on Monday to a new record above $143, propelled by heightened market fears of conflict between Israel and Iran over Tehran's nuclear program.

"A fall in the U.S. dollar to three-week low versus the euro helped boost the market..... oil prices have jumped more than 40 percent this year, extending a six-year rally, in response to Middle East tensions...."

It's one minute until midnight.... do you know where your government is?


elgringocolombiano said...

TH, what's your take on Obama's cowardly anti-Constitution take on FISA/telecom immunity

Truth Hunter said...

elgringocolombiano.... I put my take in today's post on the blog. Thanks for asking. Have a flag-waving 4th!