Dick Cheney is at it again. He is trying to force the intel brain trust into doing to Iran what he managed to do to Iraq. In September of 2002, Cheney assigned the newly created Office of Special Plans to Doug Feith, a man accurately described as the stupidest fucker on the face of this planet.
Feith stove-piped intel, removing anything contrary to Cheney's wishes. By mangling, changing and ignoring all data that did not fit the desired goal, along with the help of the criminal Ahmad Chalabi and a nutcase code-named "Curveball", a sense of fear and insecurity was created by the White House. Condi Rice, then Nat. Sec. Chair, Cheney, and others beat the pavement, leaked false intel, and used and abused the media harder than an overworked hooker at a frat-based bachelor party.
What Bush and Cheney don't like to talk about is how Iran offered to help eradicate the Taliban and Al Qaida, to recognize Israel, and to open up diplomatic dialogues on every issue that was causing strife between Iran and the US.
One month later, Bush called Iran part of the Axis of Evil. History is about to repeat itself.
Before we invaded Iraq, our country was nervous, kept so by incredibly timed color coded terror alerts, announcements by AG Ashcroft of new arrests of the #3 man in Al Qaida, and the previously mentioned P.R. scheme by Rice, Bush and Cheney. At the same time, we were willing to take risks to safeguard our nation. Almost every pol, from Bush 1, Clinton, Gore, and many currently in congress, had called Saddam Hussein a danger to Israel and the US. In retrospect, setting the stage for Iraq's invasion was easy. The execution? not so much. TO make things worse, Kyl-Lieberman is now law. And our congress appears to have no need for a spine, making many in America think that they had them surgically removed.
Just how badly served America has been by Cheney remains at issue. Feith's "office had asserted in a briefing given to Cheney's chief of staff in September 2002 that the relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda was 'mature' and 'symbiotic,' marked by shared interests and evidenced by cooperation across 10 categories, including training, financing and logistics. (the CIA concluded in mid-2002 that there were few substantiated contacts with al-Qaeda operatives. Feith's erroneous (deliberately?) conclusions were leaked to the Weekly Standard magazine, possibly by Dick Cheney himself. (Source - Washington Post)
Chalabi was trotted out repeatedly, just as Curveball leaks were given to key people in the MSM, ready, willing and hungry enablers of Bush/Cheney war policies. Israel, through AIPAC and other contacts, also pushed for war with Iraq, thinking that our vastly superior army could change the character of Iraq in weeks. Neither Israel nor our Administration seem to have learned anything since the resulting disaster.
There were other lies, deceptions, and bungling by Cheney/Rumsfeld. Every single admiral or general who dared stand up to the push for war, or who realistically assessed the issues they would face in a nation of 26,000,000, was unceremoniously pushed out of office and replaced by military, ass-kissing toadies who could be manipulated more readily by Rumsfeld.
Lastly, the Office of Special Plans was not the only offensive attack on pre-war intel. Cheney personally visited the CIA possibly six times, until their reports were rewritten to suit his needs. I am not aware of any other circumstance where an executive forced an intel body to cook the books the way Cheney did. He also effectively shut down the wonderful little intel agency run by State, and made sure that no contrary facts or opinions got out.
Unfortunately, Israel, AIPAC, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, and the president are at it again, this time with Iran in their sights.
In a series of public statements in recent months, President Bush and members of his Administration have redefined the war in Iraq, to an increasing degree, as a strategic battle between the United States and Iran. “Shia extremists, backed by Iran, are training Iraqis to carry out attacks on our forces and the Iraqi people,” Bush told the national convention of the American Legion in August. “The attacks on our bases and our troops by Iranian-supplied munitions have increased. . . . The Iranian regime must halt these actions. And, until it does, I will take actions necessary to protect our troops.” He then concluded, to applause, “I have authorized our military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran’s murderous activities.”
Until calmer heads prevailed in the Navy, Cheney personally demanded that three carrier groups stay parked on the edge of Iranian waters. This was a very bad idea, for reasons that will be discussed below. Cheney also ordered the CIA to train, arm and provide intel to tribesmen north of Iran, who since 2005 have been murdering Iranian citizens and attacking military posts and village centers.
Cheney is playing the same intel game that he played with respect to Iraq. He is refusing to allow the NIE (Intel's method of communicating with Congress) release its report on Iran. Not a day goes by without someone in the Administration pushing for war, even though there is absolutely no evidence that Iran has WMD or is building a nuclear weapon. The IAEA repeatedly stated that Iran is cooperating with all anti-proliferation laws and statutes, and is abiding by all international agreements with respect to nuclear power, unlike Israel. (Israel, with little prodding from Cheney, just called for the firing of the head of IAEA, El Baradei)
There are many reasons why we should not invade Iran, and no good reason why we should. Iran, unlike Iraq, has not been under crippling economic sanctions for ten years. Instead, Iran has traded for, purchased, and trained its army and navy in the use of some of the highest tech tools, some of which we don't even have in our arsenal.
In an effort to intimidate Iran, the Bush administration has regularly placed two aircraft carrier group formations in the Persian Gulf http://www.worldtribune.com/... . In the naval exercises that began on Novembers 2, the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) and a helicopter carrier, the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), are in the Persian Gulf simulating “a quick response to possible crises” http://www.cusnc.navy.mil/... . The size and timing of possible U.S. military attacks on Iran’s nuclear and/or military facilities, will influence the speed and scale of an Iranian response. Iran’s response will predictably result in a military escalation that culminates in Iran using its arsenal of anti-ship cruise missiles on the U.S. Fifth Fleet and closing off the Strait of Hormuz to all shipping. Iran’s ability to hide and launch cruise missiles from mountainous positions all along the Persian Gulf will make all Fifth Fleet ships in the Persian Gulf vulnerable. The Fifth Fleet would be trapped and unable to escape to safer waters. The Millennium Challenge wargames in 2002 witnessed the sinking of most of the Fifth fleet. Less advanced Silkworm cruise missiles, when compared to Iran’s stock of Sunburn and Yakhonts missiles, were used in a simulated asymmetric warfare that would resemble what would occur if Iran and the U.S. went to war. The sunk ships included an aircraft carrier, two helicopter carriers in the total of 16 ships that were ‘refloated’ in the exercise to produce a scripted outcome.
If an attack on Iran were to occur before the end of 2007, it would lead to the destruction of the USS Enterprise with its complement of 5000 personnel on board. Further losses in terms of support ships and other Fifth Fleet naval forces in the Persian Gulf would be catastrophic. An Iranian cruise missile attack would replicate losses at Pearl Harbor where the sinking of five ships, destruction of 188 aircraft and deaths of 2,333 quickly led to a declaration of total war against Imperial Japan by the U.S. Congress.
The instant that we attacked Iran, hundreds of missiles would fall not only on US ships, probably causing the deaths of 10,000 or more, but they would also fall on all oil production sites in Iraq. Americans have simply not been told just how advanced Iran's missile forces are, and how depleted our military option has become.
Wait, you might be saying. Our military just announced the simultaneous kill of a bunch of Scud missiles! Surely our Patriot defenses, our close support weapons on ships, and our famous AWACs will protect us. Ahem. Wake up.
Yes, the US military did have a recent SIMULATED AEGIS exercise. I repeat, simulated. And against 30 yr old technology.
U.S. stages 1st dual-missile intercept test in space
Unfortunately for us, Iran is not relying on Scuds or Exocets (Our last US navy ship seriously damaged in action was done in by an aging Exocet). The Iranian missile armory is far more advanced, and better than anything the US has on offense or defense. Many of their anti-ship missiles are supersonic, too fast, flying too low to be detected, and impossible for the US to stop.
The supersonic P-800 Yakhont (Gem) is a ramjet version of P-80 Zubr [SS-N-7 Starbright]. The ship, submarine and coastal-launched Yakhont is launched from the unified ampoule-shaped transport-launching container (TLC). The container is 9 m long, is 0.71 m in diameter. The firing range reaches 300 km (162 nmi.) when flying along a combined trajectory and 120 kg (265 lb.) when following only a low-altitude trajectory. Flight speed varying over the range from M=2.0 to M=2.5 is provided by the kerosene-fueled multi-mode liquid-fuel ramjet. The P-800 Bolid is the encapsulated, submarine launched version of Yakhont. An air-launched version of the missile with the take-off weight of 2,500 kg (5,507 lb.) is also being developed. The closest American counterparts, the Tomahawk and Harpoon missiles, are subsonic; the best French antiship missile, the Exocet, has a range of only 45 miles.
If Cheney succeeds in starting a "limited, well-directed, attack on certain assets", is there any doubt that a country armed with thousands of unstoppable missiles, would use them to against an invader?
Just three weeks ago, President Bush talked about World War III starting against Iran. Despite our joking about his slips of tongue, Bush is anything but stupid. Misguided, dissembling, detached from reality, and untrustworthy, absolutely, but stupid he is not. His use of WWIII was deliberate, planned and a signal that another war is about to start.
Today, an Israeli deputy prime minister, Shaul Mofaz, said after a US visit that "all options are on the table" to halt Iran's nuclear energy program. That does not bode well for our country or theirs. Some of the missiles in Iran's closet can reach Israel, and carry a far bigger punch than a Scud.
Two more things to consider: Our military leadership has been less than honest on a number of issues. They don't call him "betray us" for nothing. As a self-promoting, political hound dog, he probably is the best that America has to offer. As a military leader, just remember who promoted him.
More than a decade ago, we failed to stop a single Iraqi Scud. Despite the military self-congratulations about how capable our Patriots were, the opposite was actually true. Only now, under simulated conditions, on a computer screen, can we supposedly stop the ancient Scud.
Iran has the Shahab 2, 3, and 4, far more advanced, faster, larger, and mobile. Not only have we NOT tested our equipment against their top of the line weapons, our defenses aren't even designed with those capabilities in mind.
This was not the first time that the US military has misled Americans about the reality we face. There is also the disturbing issue of the Millenium Challange.
Millennium Challenge 2002 (MC02) was a major wargame exercise conducted by the United States armed forces in mid-2002, likely the largest such exercise in history. The exercise, which ran from July 24 to August 15 and cost 250 million dollars, involved both live exercises and computer simulations. MC02 was meant to be a test of future military "transformation"—a transition toward new technologies that enable network-centric warfare and provide more powerful weaponry and tactics. The simulated combatants were the United States, denoted "Blue", and an initially unknown adversary in the Middle East, "Red". Most of the people on the U.S. side assumed that the adversary in the game would be Iraq, but according to a Nova show on PBS, it was later revealed that the other side was simulating the military forces of Israel, since U.S. military officials felt it was the only state in the region that would be a worthy adversary for American military power.
Red, commanded by retired Marine Corps general Paul K. Van Riper, used motorcycle messengers to transmit orders to front-line troops, evading Blue's sophisticated electronic surveillance network. They also used a fleet of small boats to determine the position of Blue's ships without being detected. In the early days of the exercise, Red launched a massive salvo of cruise missiles, overwhelming the Blue forces' electronic sensors, destroying sixteen warships. Soon after that offensive, another significant portion of Blue's navy was "sunk" by an armada of small Red boats carrying out both conventional and suicide attacks, able to engage Blue forces due to Blue's inability to detect them as well as expected.
At this point, the exercise was suspended and Blue's ships were "re-floated." There were many within the upper echelons of the Department of Defense that found the results displeasing, and it was decided that the wargame should be started over. The rules of the exercise were essentially changed shortly thereafter, with the different sides ordered to follow predetermined, scripted plans of action, leading to allegations that the exercise was scripted and "$250 million was wasted" . General Van Riper resigned soon after, concerned that the wargame would serve to merely reinforce an increasing notion of infallibility within the U.S. military rather than serve as a learning experience. He was quoted in the BBC/Discovery Channel documentary A Perfect War as saying that what he saw in MC02 echoed the same attitudes taken on by the Department of Defense of Robert McNamara going in to and during the Vietnam War, namely the idea that the U.S. military could not and cannot be defeated. Despite these results and criticisms, some within the Department of Defense and the Bush Administration claim that MC02 still provided an important real-world test of many of the systems used by the current U.S. military
Feel better now?