The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increase clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligenc officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government, ethnic-minority groups. The officials say that President Bush is determined to deny the Iranian regime the opportunity to begin a pilot program, planned for this spring, to enrich uranium.
Fool me once; shame on you. Fool me twice; shame on me. No matter how undeniable the threat from Iran is, George W. Bush is not the man to face it for me. Put in people like Powell or Zinni on this, who think and tell the truth before they act. W. has absolutely no creditability with me.
The attention given to the nuclear option has created serious misgivings inside the offices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he added, and some officers have talked about resigning. Late this winter, the Joint Chiefs of Staff sought to remove the nuclear option from the evolving war plans for Iran—without success, the former intelligence official said. “The White House said, ‘Why are you challenging this? The option came from you.’ ”
Once again the professionals are saying no and Administration is overriding them with so-called experts. Political neo-con craziness, which is proven stupidity as Iraq clearly demonstrates. We know what happens when this Administration does this.
The Pentagon adviser on the war on terror confirmed that some in the Administration were looking seriously at this option, which he linked to a resurgence of interest in tactical nuclear weapons among Pentagon civilians and in policy circles. He called it “a juggernaut that has to be stopped.” He also confirmed that some senior officers and officials were considering resigning over the issue. “There are very strong sentiments within the military against brandishing nuclear weapons against other countries,” the adviser told me. “This goes to high levels.” The matter may soon reach a decisive point, he said, because the Joint Chiefs had agreed to give President Bush a formal recommendation stating that they are strongly opposed to considering the nuclear option for Iran. “The internal debate on this has hardened in recent weeks,” the adviser said. “And, if senior Pentagon officers express their opposition to the use of offensive nuclear weapons, then it will never happen.”
Let’s hope so.