Viewpoint: Will June bring attack on Iran?

Recently, President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice both said the administration has no plans to attack Iran. That’s a pretty good indication that we intend to attack Iran, according to Orwellian speech patterns.

As reported by Mark Jensen of United for Peace of Pierce County (Wash.), former U.N. weapons inspector and ex-Marine Scott Ritter, in an appearance in Washington state last week, told his audience that Bush has already approved plans to make pre-emptive bombing strikes against Iran this coming June. Ritter also asserted the U.S. government manipulated the “elections” in Iraq Jan. 30.

As Jensen reported, Ritter said the president has authorized the raids to be aimed at destroying Iran’s nuclear facilities and its alleged program to make nuclear weapons. Ritter said neo-cons in the government believe the attacks would launch an internal effort to overthrow the Islamic government of the mullahs and bring about a more democratic regime in the oil-rich nation of 70 million strong. Ritter is highly skeptical of that premise.

Bush is proceeding with the Iran attack plans despite recent polls that show a majority of Americans are opposed to any such venture.

The former weapons inspector said the recent Iraqi elections, which President Bush termed “a turning point in the history of Iraq, a milestone in the advance of freedom,” were not so free as Bush contends. Ritter said U.S. authorities in Iraq had juggled the results to reduce the percentage of the vote received by the United Iraqi Alliance from 56 percen to 48 percent.

Ritter told his hosts—UPPC—that he learned of the vote manipulation from an official who was involved in it. He also said a detailed story about it soon would be reported by who he described as a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist in a major metropolitan magazine. That reporter is believed to be Seymour Hersh.

In January, Hersh published an article in The New Yorker magazine titled “The Coming Wars.” In that piece, Hersh stated that the Bush administration has decided that “The next strategic target is Iran.” It also is an objective of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who regards Iran as a potential threat to Israel, both as a nuclear foe and as a sponsor of anti-Israeli militants.

Hersh wrote: “Defense Department civilians, under the leadership of Douglas Feith, have been working with Israeli planners and consultants to develop and refine potential nuclear, chemical weapons and missile targets inside Iran.”

He said U.S. military commanders have been asked to update plans for an air and ground assault on Iran, calling for a maximum effort. “The hawks in the administration believe that it will soon become clear that the Europeans’ negotiated approach [to Iran] cannot succeed, and at that time the administration will act,” Hersh said.

Major Gen. Eliezer Shakedi, Israel Air Force Commander-in-Chief, said in an Associated Press report that Israel must be prepared for an air strike on Iran in light of that country’s nuclear activity. He would not say if he thought Israel could carry out such a strike on its own. “I must be prepared for everything,” he said.

Asked Israel has a plan for attacking Iran’s nuclear program, Shakedi said: “You know that for obvious reasons, I won’t say even a word.” He added: “We have a job to protect the citizens of Israel. I hope that there won’t be a war–but you know, no one knows.” (

Ritter said the peace movement has failed to halt the war in Iraq, but it has a chance to keep it from spreading to other nations like Iran and Syria, both of whom have been threatened by the Bushites. He said if the wrong course is pursued, the day may come when the Iraq war will seem like a minor episode that went before a much larger and more violent eruption in the Mideast (

A ground invasion of Iran appears out of the question at the moment because American forces are stretched razor-thin in some 130 countries. An air strike is doable, but the consequences may be more disastrous than the neocons or the Israelis expect. Iran has hinted it has some surprises waiting for anyone who is brave enough or foolish enough to attack its territory.

Some in Washington are well aware that Russia and China are behind the scenes on this one and have substantial financial interests in Iran. Russia also has been assisting the Iranians with their nuclear program. Any reckless assault on Iranian territory may draw one or both of these Asian giants into the conflict, and where will we be then?

Independent journalist Dahr Jamail, who appeared with Ritter in Olympia, charged that U.S. national media are complicit in the Iraq war and keep up support for it by lying about the death and destruction it is causing. More than 1,500 Americans have been reported killed in that conflict to date.

Jamail’s reports are available online at He was one of the few unembedded journalists in Iraq until recently.

Some Americans are beginning to wake as to what is happening in this world, but many others remain dozing peacefully while the neocons prepare to activate a time bomb in the Mideast.

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