October 23, 2007

Why We Haven't Bombed Iran (Yet)

Because our military commanders are more sane than their civilian leadership. Gareth Porter reports:

The George W. Bush administration's shift from the military option of a massive strategic attack against Iran to a surgical strike against selected targets associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), reported by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker earlier this month, appears to have been prompted not by new alarm at Iran's role in Iraq but by the explicit opposition of the nation's top military leaders to an unprovoked attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

... The introduction of a new reason for striking Iran, which also implied a much more limited set of targets related to Iraq, followed a meeting between Bush and the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Dec. 13, 2006 in which the uniformed military leaders rejected a strike against Iran's nuclear programme. Time magazine political columnist Joe Klein, reported last May that military and intelligence sources told him that Bush had asked the Joint Chiefs at the meeting about a possible strike against the Iranian nuclear programme, and that they had unanimously opposed such an attack.

[Hillary Mann, who was director for Persian Gulf and Afghanistan Affairs on the National Security Council staff in 2003,] says that she was also told by her own contacts in the Pentagon that the Joint Chiefs had expressed opposition to a strike against Iran.

The Joint Chiefs were soon joined in opposition to a strike on Iran by Admiral William Fallon, who was nominated to become CENTCOM commander in January. Mann says Pentagon contacts have also told her that Fallon made his opposition to war against Iran clear to the White House. ...

Our military must be doing something right if the commanders have clearer heads on this issue than the president and Congress, put together. Read the article all the way to the end, where it's revealed that Sen. Joe Lieberman is impatient with waiting to attack until proof can be found that Iran is actually doing something worth going to war over.

Update: Paul Starr at the Prospect thinks the Vice President's warmongering might be an attempt to save the Republican party's political prospects.

I used to watch Batman when I was a kid, and these piker bad guys would all be threatening to destroy Gotham. A mere city. And we in the audience were supposed to understand that this was bad because that means a lot of people dying. Now, our nation is ruled by people who like to threaten to destroy entire countries, just for kicks. Whole countries.

But the political press corps doesn't seem to have the collective sense of a seven year old watching cartoons, because they can't seem to understand that destroying whole countries isn't 'strong.' It's evil.

Maybe we need to pass a law forcing Cheney to wear green spandex, see if they get it.

Posted by natasha at October 23, 2007 06:53 AM | Iran | Technorati links |

Pretty cool that you could bring Batman into an Iran discussion! WHAM!! SOCKO!!

Sadly, these military folks did not stand stronger a few years ago.

Posted by: Scott at October 23, 2007 04:56 PM