Thursday, March 15, 2007

Recommended Links

Apocalypticism in Action

"We’re conducting military operations inside Iran right now. The evidence is overwhelming. From both the Iranians, Americans, and from Congressional sources."

Col. Sam Gardiner
Army War College
CNN, September 18, 2006

I call attention to my earlier allusions to the Bush Administration's penchant for apocalyptic thinking here, here and here to provide context for what's going on now.

Now, consider how the Bush administration funds it's "Islamo-Fascist" enemies in the "War on Terror" and sponsors terrorism itself in an intentional effort to extend the sectarian bloodbath to the wider region. Tom Englehardt and Seymour Hersh explain..

Let me see if I've got this straight. Perhaps two years ago, an "informal" meeting of "veterans" of the 1980s Iran-Contra scandal -- holding positions in the Bush administration -- was convened by Deputy National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams. Discussed were the "lessons learned" from [the Iran Contra scandal]... In terms of getting around Congress, the Iran-Contra vets concluded, the complex operation had been a success -- and would have worked far better if the CIA and the military had been kept out of the loop and the whole thing had been run out of the Vice President's office.

Subsequently, some of those conspirators... began running a similar operation, aimed at avoiding congressional scrutiny or public accountability of any sort, out of Vice President Cheney's office. They dipped into "black pools of money," possibly stolen from the billions of Iraqi oil dollars that have never been accounted for since the American occupation began. Some of these funds, as well as Saudi ones, were evidently funneled through the embattled, Sunni-dominated Lebanese government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora to the sort of Sunni jihadi groups ("some sympathetic to al-Qaeda") whose members might normally fear ending up in Guantanamo and to a group, or groups, associated with the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood...


In "The Coming Wars" in January of 2005, [Hersh] first reported that the Bush administration, like the Israelis, had been "conducting secret reconnaissance missions inside Iran at least since" the summer of 2004... He also reported that American combat units were "on the ground" in Iran, marking targets for any future air attack, and quoted an unnamed source as claiming that they were also "working with minority groups in Iran, including the Azeris, in the north, the Baluchis, in the southeast, and the Kurds, in the northeast. The troops ‘are studying the terrain, and giving away walking-around money to ethnic tribes, and recruiting scouts from local tribes and shepherds,' the consultant said. One goal is to get ‘eyes on the ground'… The broader aim, the consultant said, is to ‘encourage ethnic tensions' and undermine the regime"...

The Seymour Hersh Mystery: A Journalist Writing Bloody Murder… And No One Notices
By Tom Engelhardt
Tom Dispatch

In the past few months, as the situation in Iraq has deteriorated, the Bush Administration, in both its public diplomacy and its covert operations, has significantly shifted its Middle East strategy. The “redirection,” as some inside the White House have called the new strategy, has brought the United States closer to an open confrontation with Iran and, in parts of the region, propelled it into a widening sectarian conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda...

The Redirection: A Strategic Shift
By Seymour Hersh
The New Yorker

Add to this list my own post from September of last year...
Early last year Seymour Hersh of the The New Yorker wrote this piece outlining what his sources told him was a plan by the Bush administration to put special forces inside Iran -- to perform search & destroy missions, target identification and foment unrest -- in preparation for an attack on that country. At the time the article was published his assertions were ridiculed as "far-fetched" and "riddled with errors" by the Bush administration. Not much has been spoken of this since that time.

But then a strange thing happened, something I noticed shortly after seeing that article and in the months before I started this blog. Stuff in Iran started blowing up. Each time the explosions were dismissed as something innocuous but, yet and still, stuff kept blowing up. I got curious so decided to continue to check up on it from time to time and, amazingly, these explosions kept happening. I'm talking about an unusually high number of freak explosions for one country that size without any kind of war (that we know of) going on. It was in the process of this little project that I first thought, "I should start a blog".

As I tracked these explosions and listened to the Bush Administration's simultaneous pronouncements that any talk of attacking Iran in the short term was ridiculous (but not off the table) I couldn't help but think about how, if Hersh was correct, this would all mirror the M.O. used in Iraq. So it all fits together, you know? Mind you, this was nothing one could present as a "smoking gun" for predicting future events or anything but it was interesting nevertheless.

Finally, explosions in Iran compiled from this collection:

Explosion in Iran sets off fears
USA Today
February 16, 2005

Explosion in Tehran Kills 1
Iran Focus
June 12, 2005

Deadly blasts hit two Iranian cities
Al Jazeera English
June 14, 2005

Explosion Hits Office in Southwest Iran
ABC News International
May 8, 2006

Bomb Kills 11 on Military Bus in Iran
February 14, 2007

Order restored after blast at girls school in Iran
February 17, 2007

"Birth pangs of a new Middle-East"...