Thursday, October 04, 2007

Seymour Hersh's latest New Yorker piece has attracted less blogsphere attention than one might expect, perhaps because, for a minute or two, you might think it's good news:

This summer, the White House, pushed by the office of Vice-President Dick Cheney, requested that the Joint Chiefs of Staff redraw long-standing plans for a possible attack on Iran, according to former officials and government consultants. The focus of the plans had been a broad bombing attack, with targets including Iran’s known and suspected nuclear facilities and other military and infrastructure sites. Now the emphasis is on “surgical” strikes on Revolutionary Guard Corps facilities in Tehran and elsewhere, which, the Administration claims, have been the source of attacks on Americans in Iraq.
They're scaling back! The insanity is on the wane! Woo-hoo!

Until you think about it.

The Bush administration claims that the Revolutionary Guards have been aiding attacks by supplying small arms and EFP. But small arms are ubiquitous in the region, and you can make EFPs in any decent machine shop. So, barring "surgical strikes" on every machine shop and police station in the country, these bombings haven't got a prayer of abating whatever aid the Iranians might be supplying to whoever might be getting it.

But the "pinpoint raids" would, quite likely, produce some kind of response from the Revolutionary Guard which might then be used as the excuse for unleashing the larger bombing campaign which Dubya's crew originally sought to justify with the nuclear scare stories --- and which is, obviously, still the goal. Not bombing any particular target. Not bombing for any particular reason. Just bombing because the Iranians are annoying generally, and it would feel good to blow their stuff up.

Isn't it good to have the grownups in charge?


Blogger Nell said...

Cernig at Newshoggers makes the same good point; such a plan is designed to provoke a response that will 'justify' a wider war.

FWIW, I think the Israeli raid on Syria in early September was something of the same type -- intended to draw a response that could be the 'justification' for larger Israeli attacks.
The comparatively mild response around the blogs has a lot to do with how much more war-drumming there is now, and with fatigue in dealing with the whipsaw emotions of 'it's going to happen/no way it's gonna happen/there's nothing we can do either way'.

As an antidote for that I highly recommend this post by Robert Naiman at Just Foreign Policy.

12:09 PM  
Blogger LaPopessa said...

Your right, it does look good at first glance. Except that knowing this President, and especially Darth Cheney, we know better than to suppose that it's anything other than a feint to distract. The only thing that makes less sense than going into Iraq is going into Iran - and that's the one reason I know Bush & crew have just that on their minds.

(oops, sorry, I did not mean to suggest that anyone in this administration actually has a functioning brain)

1:30 PM  

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