Do not forget that we in the reality-based community are at a disadvantage. While we analyse what has already happened, the Bush administration makes its own reality by moving forward to the next faith-based objective - the Ahwaz region of Iran which holds 90 percent of Iran's proven oil reserves.
Emiritus members of the Aspen Strategy Group include:
Richard B. (Dick) Cheney
R. James Woolsey
They meet each year in August.
More about Aspens, fake letters, fake terror, fake news and real war after the jump.
I think it will be air strikes on the supposed nuclear facilities, but only as a ruse to justify the occupation of the oil-rich Ahwazi region bordering southern Iraq as a "security zone".
The USA and UK regimes are manufacturing a rationale for air strikes against Iranian nuclear and military targets. I also expect occupation to the Ahwaz region. The fact that so many are on to their fraud this time has forced them to accelerate beyond prudence. I don't think they care that we know it's a fraud. They just want to have plausible deniability once the bunker-buster bombs have done their damage. They will say it is essential to occupy Ahwazi lands to create a "security zone" to prevent retailiation or aid to Iraqi insurgents. The current US/UK campaign to tar Iran with guilt for bombs around Basra is a key element in this plot.
The world may be disgusted and shocked by the carnage and devastation, but America and the United Kingdom can claim that they "had to act on the intelligence available" even if they had to manufacture the intelligence themselves through their agent Chalabi, their tame media pundits like Judith Miller and Michael Ledeen, and plants in fake exile groups in London.
While the Aspen Institute may appear bipartisan and include many individuals we approve, such as Al Gore, it provides cover for darker, more sinister enterprises. What are described as "vacations out West" may be meetings of the neo-con wing of Aspens - those "joined at the roots" of the Middle East enterprise. Their August holidays are used to plan the September disinformation campaigns that precede their wars. As Andrew Card famously said in 2002, "You don't launch a new product in August."
Ahmad Chalabi - convicted embezzler and fraudster, alleged counterfeiter and known forgery practitioner - is also an Aspen. He is now the Iraqi minister for oil. I believe he is the principal source for all the forged documents we know about - the WMD forgeries before the war, including the Niger uranium letter, and now for the forged Zarqawi-Zawahiri letter and the forged Iranian letters causing problems in the oil-rich Ahwaz region of Iran, conveniently adjacent to southern Iraq. Chalabi first came to the attention of Dick Cheney and the neo-con warmongers through the Aspen Institute according to the Wall Street Journal:
Chalabi has been involved with Aspen Institute Berlin. Jeff Gedmin, director of the Aspen Institute Berlin, will now become number 2 to John Bolton at the United Nations. Of course, Judith Miller, ASG Emiritus, used Chalabi and psuedo-defectors supplied by his Iraqi National Congress as a principal source for all the warmongering articles published by the New York Times in the run up to invasion in 2002 and 2003.
The CIA and Israelis equipped Chalabi with a huge forgery operation in northern Iraq for production of much of the pre-war "intelligence" which supported the WMD threat. I don't have to wonder what it's being used for today with so many forged letters popping up in the region.
Chalabi is a frequent visitor in Iran. One journalist even described his summer holidays there as "like the Aspen Institute Persia". We know he passes intelligence to the Iranians, he may also have a hand in setting the stage for invasion of the Ahwazi region. As oil minister in Iraq, the Ahwazi oil fields will come under his control once occupied by the coalition. Ahwaz was part of Iraq at the turn of the last century, and I'm sure Chalabi and his Bushco friends would like its oil to be under Iraqi dominion again.
In April Michael Ledeen - yes, the neo-con warmonger Niger uranium forgery guy - called on President Bush to get on with it and attack Iran following riots in the Ahwaz region. In his piece in the National Review he closes with, "Enough already. Let's Roll."
Ledeen quotes with approval the founder of a group set up here in Britain just last December: The British Ahwazi Friendship Society. BAFS was first to publish an English translation of a forged letter which was used to start riots in Ahwaz, Iran, and hyped the casualties and arrests in the Western media. I thought then the forgery sounded like Chalabi's work and wrote about it here, here and here. I was almost convinced I had wrongly maligned BAFS founder Mr Brett until I learned that he organised a similar Swazi exile group in 2002 which was implicated in riots, bombs and strikes in Swaziland. See this (Swazi Solidarity), this and this. Too much of a pattern for coincidence in my book, even if the guy pretends to be a bleeding-heart left-winger.
Are there British connections to Aspen? Oh yes, my children! Lord Charles Powell. Formerly of the Diplomatic Service and Private Secretary to then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, is a Trustee of the Aspen Institute. His brother Jonathan is Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Condi was in Britain this weekend. I fear she is marketing the "let's roll" policy to Bush's poodle Tony Blair as Iran headlined their meeting. With an oil crisis already roiling, she ratchets up the hysteria.
Judith Miller - who spoke at the Aspen Strategy Group in 2003 on "What About Iran Should (or Shouldn't) Concern You" - will indeed have "work to do", as Scooter suggested. He wants her to focus on areas of interest already to the Aspen Institute: Biological threats and the Middle East.
Add to this the Ahwazi bombs of the weekend which killed six and injured scores. Iran blames the British. With British commandos being caught in wigs and costumes, carrying no ID, in a car loaded with explosives, detonators and automatic weapons across the border in Basra last month, the Iranians may have some legitimate grounds for suspicion on their side. We have never been told what these commandos were engaged in - but the bomb-making equipment displayed in the police station afterwards for the media needed little elaboration.
Since the Basra fiasco, Britain has loudly accused Iran of involvement in attacks on British soldiers, asserting that the detonator technology used to kill 8 British troops came from Iran. It was revealed yesterday that the detonators are in fact of British military origin, although provided to the IRA and other terrorist groups in a botched sting operation.
On BBC Newsnight last week, the foreign secretary Jack Straw indicated that British troops may well be operating across the border in Iran already. The Conservative shadow foreign secretary has written to Tony Blair demanding a clarification of whether British troops are operating in Iran.
Sending our Armed Forces across an international border clearly is a major political decision, with profound implications for Britain's international relations. It is inconceivable that military commanders would permit their troops to cross an international border without explicit political authorisation to do so. That clearly would be a decision solely for your Government.
General MacArthur had a dictum: "When in doubt, attack." I think the Aspens are following that dictum today. While we analyse, they will change our reality. Despite Plamegate and pending indictments and plunging popularity, the Aspens are turning - toward Iran. They are setting the stage to seize the Ahwazi region as a "security zone" - and control at a stroke nearly a fifth of global oil reserves.
I pity the Ahwazi region. The Iranian regime may be bad, as Saddam was bad, but the people have homes, schools, jobs, electricity, healthcare, clean water, sewers, food, the rule of law, and relative security. The dominion of the coalition troops and Ahmad Chalabi is guaranteed to be much, much worse in every respect.