Sunday, August 19, 2007

According to news reports, as in this story in theDetroit Free Press, one the McClatchy Newspapers, the Bush administration is considering labeling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization.

News of the decision was leaked in what a senior State Department official and Washington-based diplomats called a sign of an intensifying struggle within the U.S. government between proponents of military action and opponents, led by Rice.

State Department officials and foreign diplomats see Rice's push for the declaration against the Revolutionary Guard as an effort to blunt arguments by Vice President Dick Cheney and his allies for air strikes on Iran
This action may be considered as an alternative to war, but it would seem also that is moves us at least one step closer to war with Iran, afact not lost on military commanders, who are not eager to expand the war to Iran.

On Iran's role in Iraq, U.S. ground commanders in Iraq oppose proposals from Cheney and his allies to counter-attack inside Iran itself. Commanders say they can contain Iran's growing influence without acting outside Iraq.

Some are hostile to suggestions that the military strike another country, saying they are mired in Iraq.

"Let them put on the uniform and go there then," said one military official in Baghdad who asked not to be identified.
Emphasis added. This is good time to take another look at the February testimony of Zbigniew Brzezinski before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

If the United States continues to be bogged down in protracted, bloody involvement in Iraq -- and I emphasize what I am about to say -- the final destination on this downhill track is likely to be a head-on conflict with Iran, and with much of the world of Islam at large.

A plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran involves Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks, followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure, then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the United States blamed on Iran, culminating in a quote-unquote "defensive" U.S. military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire, eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
We cannot say that we have not been warned. He stated the same point even more strongly in answer to a question by Senator Biden:

My horror scenario is that if we simply stay put this will continue, and then the dynamic of the conflict will produce an escalating situation in which Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks will be blamed on the Iranians. There'll be, then, some clashes, collisions, and the war expands.
The neoconservatives, and their Fundamentalist Christian allies, see the Iran war, and the possibly imminent Iran war, as fronts in a larger World War against "islamo-fascists". Brzezinski deconstructs that war in these words:

Indeed, a mythical historical narrative to justify the case for such a protracted and potential expanding war is already being articulated. Initially justified by false claims about WMDs in Iraq, the war is now being redefined as the decisive ideological struggle of our time, reminiscent of the earlier collisions with Nazism and Stalinism. In that context, Islamist extremism and al Qaeda are presented as the equivalents of the threat posed by Nazi Germany and then Soviet Russia, and 9/11 as the equivalent of the Pearl Harbor attack which precipitated America's involvement in World War II.

This simplistic and demagogic narrative overlooks the fact that Nazism was based on the military power of the industrially most advanced European state, and that Stalinism was able to mobilize not only the resources of the victorious and militarily powerful Soviet Union but also had worldwide appeal through its Marxist doctrine.

In contrast, most Muslims are not embracing Islamic fundamentalism. Al Qaeda is an isolated fundamentalist, Islamist aberration, most Iraqis are engaged in strife because of the American occupation, which destroyed the Iraqi state, while Iran, though gaining in regional influence, is itself politically divided, economically and militarily weak. To argue that America is already at war in a region with a wider Islamic threat of which Iran is the epicenter is to promote a self-fulfilling prophecy.


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