On to Iran?
While President Bush gets ready to explain his “surge” in Iraq tonight, machinations continue behind the scenes for an attack on Iran, whether carried out by the United States, Israel, or both.
First, we see a report on Raw Story that the president’s pick for the new Director of National Intelligence, retired Vice Admiral John McConnell, may have won the job in part based on his willingness to, as the Brits would say, “sex up” the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran. The current iteration of that document, reflecting the consensus of Washington’s many intelligence agencies, says Iran is at least ten years away from The Bomb — if it’s trying to build one. For Cheney and his bunch, that obviously won’t do. It’s Iraq all over again.
The news comes as Israeli hawks talk more and more about going after Iran if the United States won’t. Steve Clemons at The Washington Note is hearing ominous noises about just what that would entail :
…such a military strike is NOT against concrete and mortar facilities and warehouses storing centrifuges. The strike would attempt to kill 5,000 to 6,000 of Iran’s top tier nuclear engineer talent.
To kill those approximately 6,000 people, many more will be injured and killed — and that human nightmare will agitate huge cross sections of Iranian society far beyond any of the limited groups that have thus far supported Ahmadinejad.
A military strike of this sort would allow a total consolidation of power behind Ahmadinejad and rip power away from all other power centers inside Iraq.
What it would also do is create a massive “terrorist super-highway” stretching from Iran through Iraq, into Syria and permeating Jordan, overrunning Lebanon — up to the edge of Israel.
Just something to keep in the back of your mind if you watch the president tonight. Or if it’s too depressing to think about, how about an informal pool with your friends, betting on how many times he’ll invoke 9/11? (I figure at least once, but not more than twice.)