IRAN-Deja vu all over again?

by JWdaughter 318 Replies latest social current

  • leavingwt

    ABC News: Is the U.S. Preparing to Bomb Iran?

    Is the U.S. Stepping Up Preparations for a Possible Attack on Iran's Nuclear Facilities?

    Oct. 6, 2009—

    Is the U.S. stepping up preparations for a possible attack on Iran's nuclear facilities?

    The Pentagon is always making plans, but based on a little-noticed funding request recently sent to Congress, the answer to that question appears to be yes.

    First, some background: Back in October 2007, ABC News reported that the Pentagon had asked Congress for $88 million in the emergency Iraq/Afghanistan war funding request to develop a gargantuan bunker-busting bomb called the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP). It's a 30,000-pound bomb designed to hit targets buried 200 feet below ground. Back then, the Pentagon cited an "urgent operational need" for the new weapon.

    Now the Pentagon is shifting spending from other programs to fast forward the development and procurement of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator. The Pentagon comptroller sent a request to shift the funds to the House and Senate Appropriations and Armed Services Committees over the summer.

    Click here to see a copy of the Pentagon's request, provided to ABC News.

    The comptroller said the Pentagon planned to spend $19.1 million to procure four of the bombs, $28.3 million to accelerate the bomb's "development and testing", and $21 million to accelerate the integration of the bomb onto B-2 stealth bombers.

    'Urgent Operational Need'

    The notification was tucked inside a 93-page "reprogramming" request that included a couple hundred other more mundane items.

    Why now? The notification says simply, "The Department has an Urgent Operational Need (UON) for the capability to strike hard and deeply buried targets in high threat environments. The MOP is the weapon of choice to meet the requirements of the UON." It further states that the request is endorsed by Pacific Command (which has responsibility over North Korea) and Central Command (which has responsibility over Iran).

    Is the U.S. Preparing to Bomb Iran?

    The request was quietly approved. On Friday, McDonnell Douglas was awarded a $51.9 million contract to provide "Massive Penetrator Ordnance Integration" on B-2 aircraft.

    This is not the kind of weapon that would be particularly useful in Iraq or Afghanistan, but it is ideally suited to hit deeply buried nuclear facilities such as Natanz or Qom in Iran.

  • BurnTheShips

    It is possible that the accusations of Obama "waffling" on Afghanistan have a foundation in ignorance. There may be a reason for it rooted in possible military action against Iran. We don't know what their plans are. I hope for the best.


  • Spook

    Hitchens said it best: Some day we will hear from the democratic activists in Iran. What do you think they will say?

    H e sets it up with these observations:

    1. There is nothing at all that any Western country can do to avoid the charge of intervening in Iran's foreign affairs. The deep belief that everything--especially anything in English--is already and by definition an intervention is part of the very identity and ideology of the theocracy.

    2. It is a mistake to assume that the ayatollahs, cynical and corrupt as they may be, are acting rationally. They are frequently in the grip of archaic beliefs and fears that would make a stupefied medieval European peasant seem mentally sturdy and resourceful by comparison.

    3. The tendency of outside media to check the temperature of the clerics, rather than consult the writers and poets of the country, shows our own cultural backwardness in regrettably sharp relief. Anyone who had been reading Pezeshkzad and Nafisi, or talking to their students and readers in Tabriz and Esfahan and Mashad, would have been able to avoid the awful embarrassment by which everything that has occurred on the streets of Iran during recent days has come as one surprise after another to most of our uncultured "experts."

    And he brings it home with this:

    That last observation also applies to the Obama administration. Want to take a noninterventionist position? All right, then, take a noninterventionist position. This would mean not referring to Khamenei in fawning tones as the supreme leader and not calling Iran itself by the tyrannical title of "the Islamic republic." But be aware that nothing will stop the theocrats from slandering you for interfering anyway. Also try to bear in mind that one day you will have to face the young Iranian democrats who risked their all in the battle and explain to them just what you were doing when they were being beaten and gassed. [emphasis mine].

  • leavingwt

    CBS News: Iran Supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan

    The ancient city of Herat is Afghanistan's best-kept secret.

    For years, it has enjoyed 24-hour electricity and a booming economy, reports CBS News chief foreign affairs correspondent Lara Logan.

    But it's not thanks to U.S. efforts - it's all because of Iran.

    The city lies right on Afghanistan's border with Iran, fueling strong economic ties. But lately Iran's been making a different kind-of investment - one increasingly worrying to the United States: it's backing the Taliban.

    A soldier from 7th Group Special Forces finds rocket propelled grenades in a hard-core Taliban village that he knows from experience, are made in Iran.

    "Like right here, it says 82 mm "h-e" lot 02 slash 87," the solider said. "The Iranians pretty much copy all of our ordinance, pretty much verbatim. They'll even put English writing on there. But these lot numbers you'll never see a U.S. lot number like that."

    The find confirms what U.S. commanders and troops in Afghanistan are seeing more often - a rise in the level of cooperation between Iran and the Taliban.

    "I think Iran feels threatened," said David Kilcullen, a counterinsurgency expert. "And I think it feels that its interests are best served by being able to hurt the United States in Afghanistan."

  • edward612

    Iran is using this along the lines of N.Korea, its a barganing chip.

    Fact is Iran KNOWS that one step into the "nuclear arena" and they would get wiped out, period.

  • leavingwt

    Clinton, Avrov Agree to Delay Sanctions Against Iran

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after talks with Russia's foreign minister on Tuesday that neither country is seeking to impose sanctions against Iran under the current circumstances.

    Clinton said sanctions over Iran’s controversial uranium enrichment program would be premature, and that Russia was being “extremely cooperative in the work we have done together” on the issue.

    Lavrov said Russia is “in principle very reserved on sanctions, as they rarely produce results.”

    He said sanctions should only be used when all diplomatic means have been exhausted, and that “in the situation with Iran, this is far from the case.”

    Lavrov also and the U.S. and Russia have shared positions the issue.

    “We are not asking anything of each other on Iran, because it would be ridiculous to make requests on an issue where our positions coincide,” he said.

    However, Clinton said that sanctions over North Korea's nuclear program would remain in place.

    "We have absolutely no intention of relaxing or offering to relax North Korean sanctions at this point whatsoever," she said.

    Clinton will later meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Before her arrival in Russia as part of a European tour, Clinton had visited Switzerland, the U.K., and Ireland.

  • JWdaughter

    All this is hitting a lot closer to home for me these days-literally. I am moving to the persian gulf in 2 weeks:) Wish that something I had read here was more reassuring, but the fact that these games have been played for my entire life lends some balance to the rhetoric of it all. Still, kinda weird when you are reading this news to consider how likely they are to hit your new home town if they get pissy;)

  • leavingwt

    NY Times: Russia Resists U.S. Position on Sanctions for Iran

  • leavingwt
  • leavingwt

    Hitchens: Why Wait to Disarm Iran?

    I have never been present for any discussion of any measures that could even thinkably be taken against Tehran that does not focus obsessively and exclusively on the possibly calamitous outcomes. Israel hits Iran and—well, you fill in the rest. The target sites are, anyway, too much dispersed and too deeply buried. You know how it goes. Apparently, nothing can be done that does not make a bad situation worse. It is as if there could be a worse outcome than the nuclear armament of a lawless messianic state that tore up every agreement it signed even as it bought further time while signing it.
    In that case, Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and many others should never have said that such an eventuality was unacceptable. They should have said that there were some conditions under which it was acceptable, and also clearly specified what those conditions were. If there's no saber in the scabbard, then at least don't make the vulgar mistake of rattling it.
    Against this, we are at least entitled to consider the idea that a decaying regime that is bluffing and buying (or rather stealing) time on weapons of mass destruction is in a condition that makes this the best moment to do at least something to raise the cost of the lawlessness and to slow down and sabotage the preparations. Or might it be better to wait and to fight later on more equal terms? Just asking.

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