Friday, March 02, 2007

Operation Iranian Liberation (OIL)

Regardless of this new eagerness on the part of the administration to talk to Iran and Syria about Iraq's security, I'm not buying into the notion that somehow W. & Co. are all of a sudden seeking to "assuage congressional concerns about the administration's Iraq policy", as the WaPo puts it.

They've never cared about assuaging the concerns of Congress before, why would they care now? Another fairy tale I'm not swallowing is that Cheney's influence inside the White House has been diminished by all the serial errors of judgment he's been responsible for since he picked himself for the VP job. W. and him are peas in a pod when it comes to regime change in Tehran. The fact that they don't know for sure whether Iran is even trying to make a bomb is no impediment to their plans for "decapitating" the leadership in Tehran before they leave office. [The suicide bombing at the gates of Bagram, though probably not aimed at Cheney, will only fire him up even more. We all know how he reacted to the news that there was a plane aimed right at him on 9/11. He's a physical coward so we can expect him to lash out.]

The way I see it, Cheney may figure he'll give Condi one more chance to prove that diplomacy never works. Sure she went behind his back on the North Korean thing and she got away with it, but she's not going to be allowed to pull that crap with Iran. The Dark One knows W.'s got the idea in his head that he's on a mission from the big guy up stairs to deal with the regime in Tehran once and for all. So, as soon as these upcoming talks fall apart -- Ahmadinejad can be counted on to say something stupid -- Darth can say "see, I told you so.' If by some misfortune these initial discussions wind up bearing fruit and they move on to the higher level in early April, there's still time for everything to fall apart before mid-April when, Sy Hersh writes, two more US aircraft carrier battle groups will be in the area to relieve the two there now, but "they may be ordered to stay in the area after the new carriers arrive."

And as I've pointed out previously, there's a new moon in mid-April. Several moonless nights between the 14th and 18th will make Stealth bombers really stealthy. As long as it doesn't rain that is: Remember, during the bombing of Serbia in '99 rain made the zillion dollar B-2's visible to Serbian radar. [Which led to one of them being shot down, which led to the Serbs getting hold of the special, super secret material the Stealth bombers are made of, bits of which they may have been handed over to the Chinese (or the Russians) in exchange for tracking US bombing runs from thier embassy, that may have led to the "accidental" bombing of their embassy in Belgrade.]

The rush to wrap up this diplomatic nonsense before mid-April would also tend to explain the suddenness of Rice's announcement this week. All we've heard for the past six months is how pointless talking to Tehran would be. But now, out of the blue, we want to visit with them? Don't they have terrorist training camps? Aren't they providing these new so called Explosively Formed Penatrators to insurgents who are killing American soldiers? Why would we even think about dealing with those evil doers?

If the desire to talk is actually genuine, then it's a pretty big about-face for the bomb-first-ask-questions-later crowd in the White House bunker. I don't see how they're going to convince the Iranians to play ball in Iraq while we've got a two naval armadas and half the US air force breathing down their necks. And what about that pesky nuclear issue; there's one big elephant sitting in the room everyone will have to ignore. The whole idea of having talks presupposes that both sides will be willing to give something up, but judging by what Condi said last month: "The only reason to talk would be to exact a price, and that's not diplomacy, that's extortion," I'd have to say one side, at least, is going into this wanting complete surrender before anything else can be discussed. I don't think that's likely to happen, though, hence the heavy hardware sitting in the Persian Gulf.

Batten down the hatches and clear the decks for battle, Operation Iranian Liberation (OIL) is about to begin.


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