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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Oh, what a lovely war? 

Robert Parry describes the broader Middle East war which he thinks the Bush administration is trying to start:
. . . Bush announced other steps that could be interpreted as building a military infrastructure for a regional war or at least for air strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities . . .
Militarily, a second aircraft carrier strike force would do little to interdict arms smuggling across the Iran-Iraq border. Similarly, Patriot anti-missile batteries would be of no use in defeating lightly armed insurgent forces and militias inside Iraq.
However, both deployments would be useful to deter – or defend against – retaliatory missile strikes from Iran if the Israelis or the United States bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities or stage military raids inside Iranian territory.
Iran has a relatively sophisticated arsenal of short- and medium-range missiles. Those short-range missiles could be fired at U.S. bases in Iraq or elsewhere in the Persian Gulf. The medium-range missiles could conceivably hit Tel Aviv.
Not only could Patriot missiles be used to knock down Iranian missiles while they’re heading toward their targets, but the fearsome firepower of two aircraft carrier strike forces could deter any Iranian retaliatory strike following a U.S. or Israeli attack.
In other words, the deployments would fit with Israel or the United States bombing Iran’s nuclear sites and then trying to tamp down any Iranian response.
Another danger to American interests, however, would be pro-Iranian Shiite militias in Iraq seeking revenge against U.S. troops. If that were to happen, Bush’s escalation of troop levels in Iraq would make sense as a way to protect the Green Zone and other sensitive targets.
So, Bush’s actions and rhetoric over the past several weeks continue to mesh with a scenario for a wider regional war . . .
And in the meantime, the Patriot air missile defense units are mobilized and USS F-16's have arrived at the Incirlik Air base in southern Turkey.
My question is this, is the rest of the world going to tell the Bush administration to stop?
Or are we going to stand around twiddling our thumbs while Bush starts a devastating war?

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