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    Middle East
     Nov 11, 2011


THE ROVING EYE
Do the bomb Iran shuffle
By Pepe Escobar

Get ready for a flurry of fuzzy satellite ''intelligence'' of generic warehouses all across Iran frantically described as segments of a nuclear bomb assembly line (Remember a famous ''secret nuclear facility'' in Syria not long ago? It was a textile factory.)

Get ready for a flurry of crude diagrams depicting suspect devices, or the containers that hide them, all capable of reaching Europe in 45 minutes.

Get ready for a flurry of ''experts'' on Fox, CNN and the BBC endlessly dissecting all this extended black ops dressed up as ''evidence''. For instance, former UN weapons inspector David Albright, now at the Institute for Science and International

 
Security (ISIS), has already pulled his return of the living dead stunt, displaying his ''bomb Iran'' credentials complete with diagrams and satellite intel.

Forget Iraq - it's sooo 2003. Hit the new groove; hyping overdrive for the war on Iran.

Turning Japanese
First of all, ditch common sense.

If Iran were developing a nuclear weapon, it would be diverting uranium for it. The report released by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) this week - as politicized as it may be - flatly denies it.

If Iran were developing a nuclear weapon, UN inspectors working for the IAEA would have been thrown out of the country.

Iraq did not have a nuclear weapons program in 2002. And yet it was shocked and awed. The same rationale applies to Iran.

What Tehran may have conducted - if the compromised intel used in the IAEA report is to be believed - is a bunch of experiments and computer simulations. Everybody does it - for instance countries which have renounced the bomb, such as Brazil and South Africa.

What the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) - in charge of the civilian nuclear program - certainly wants is a deterrent.

That is, the possibility of building up a nuclear bomb in case they face an unequivocally established threat of regime change, provoked, most likely, by a US attack and invasion.

Doubts swirl about the competence - or the impartiality - of the new IAEA head, the meek Japanese Yukya Amano. The best answer is in this WikiLeaks cable.

As for the origin of most of the IAEA's self-described ''credible'' intel, even the New York Times was forced to report that ''some of that information came from the United States, Israel and Europe.'' Gareth Porter offers the definitive debunking of the report.

Moreover, expect major pressure on the CIA to renege the crucial 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), which established - irrefutably - that Tehran had ditched a nuclear weapons program way back in 2003.

All this dovetails with the dogs of war already barking.

European minions may be incompetent enough to win a war in Libya (they did it only when the Pentagon took over satellite intelligence).

They may be incompetent enough to manage Europe's financial disaster. But France, Germany and the UK have already started barking - calling for further stringent sanctions on Iran.

In the US, Democrats and Republicans alike are calling not only for sanctions; in the case of wacko Republicans, which of course, is an oxymoron, they're calling for a new version of Shock and Awe.

It's never enough to repeat how things work in Washington. The Banjamin Netanyahu government in Israel tells the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee what to do, and the AIPAC orders the US Congress what to do.

That's how the House Foreign Affairs Committee is considering a bipartisan bill that is essentially a declaration of war.

According to the bill, neither President Barack Obama, nor Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, nor in fact any US diplomat can engage in any kind of diplomacy with Iran - unless Obama convinces the ''appropriate congressional committees'' that not talking would mean an ''extraordinary threat to the vital national security interests of the United States''.

''Appropriate congressional committees'' happens to define exactly the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which gets its martial marching orders from Bibi in Israel via AIPAC in Washington.

Try telling any of these Israeli-firsters at the United States Congress what are the real immediate consequences of an attack on Iran; the Strait of Hormuz closed within minutes, at least 6 million barrels of oil out of the world economy (already in recession in the industrialized North), a barrel of oil hitting $300 or $400.

It doesn't matter; they're incapable of doing the math.

Prep well, and stick to the agenda
Rumors swirl about the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) recently claiming, according to the Fars news agency, that only four Iranian missiles can deter Israel.

These missiles might - or might not - be Soviet Kh-55 nuclear cruise missiles from the Ukraine and Belarus, with a maximum range of 2,500 kilometers, that Iran may have bought years ago in the black market.

The IRGC, of course, is mum. That only feeds the fog of (pre)war - as nobody exactly knows how well defended Iran is.

It's an open secret in Washington that regime change in Iran is being war-gamed by the Pentagon since at least 2004.

The favorite neo-con 2002 road map still applies, the targets being Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan - all key nodes in the Pentagon-coined ''arc of instability''.

Imagine PhDs in warmongering examining the chessboard. Iraq was duly shocked and awed (even though the US is now being booted out). Syria is too hard to crack for incompetent North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Lebanon (Hezbollah) can only be captured if Syria falls first. Libya was a victory (forget about a protracted civil war). Somalia is containable with Uganda and drones. And South Sudan is in the bag.

That leaves - for hardcore practitioners of Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine - the enticing possibility of a successful attack on Iran as the ultimate creative destruction move, reshuffling all the cards from the Middle East to Central Asia. The ''arc of instability'' terminally destabilized.

How to accomplish it? So simple - as the warmongers see it. Convince Obama that instead of being whacked around, conservatives will kiss his brogues and he'll be canonized as the re-energizer of the US economy if he just went to fight another war.

Anyone for Occupy Iran - literally?

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.

(Copyright 2011 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)


A bad case of nuclear Iranophobia (Nov 9, '11)

Israel mulls US support for Iran strike (Nov 9, '11)


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A bad case of nuclear Iranophobia

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