Monday, April 10, 2006

Laura Rozen forwards tonight's Nelson Report:
Every paper and magazine of national stature has pieces with increasingly anxious quotes from past and present US officials, increasingly frank about their fears for the future.
Step back, and think about what we are really hearing from the US intelligence and military community: on one level, sure, there is a big psy-war operation being conducted by both Washington and Teheran (see today’s Washington Post) as each seeks to influence the sanctions debate at the United Nations, and whatever comes next.

But if you look at the pattern of stories in recent weeks, examine the details of both anonymous and on-the-record quotes, you see that there’s another game underway, and our sources say it’s called “pre-empting Bush” by laying out contingency plans, including the most bizarre, such as using tactical nuclear weapons on the Natanz reactor complex.

The rising drum beat of revelations, our sources argue, can have only one serious meaning: US military leaders want to force a public debate which makes it difficult for the President to talk himself into ordering a military solution to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. [...]

What terrifies serious US military, intelligence, and diplomatic players is how this Administration can turn a tactical military victory into strategic catastrophe.

Hit Natanz...then what? That’s the big question our sources are asking. After any US air strikes, does Iran meekly fold its nuclear tent and bow to the all-mighty will of George Bush? Or does Iran escalate its intervention in Iraq against US troops and interests...then Jordan...then Turkey...and, always, Israel...not to mention the Asian and European oil lifelines in the Gulf?
It would be nice if this were thing to crush George W. Bush. He deserves it. But the democratic party won't have anything to do with it.

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