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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/16/2005 4:36:16 AM EDT
Posted on Mon, Aug. 15, 2005

U.S. can't afford risk of attacking Iran's nuclear facilities

By Patrick J. Buchanan

www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/opinion/12386700.htm

Are the Iranian mullahs close to acquiring the bomb? Has Iran violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by restarting its conversion of yellowcake into uranium hexaflouride? The answer to both is no.

By a recent U.S. intelligence review, Iran may be 10 years away from a bomb. And under the treaty, Iran is allowed to enrich uranium for use in her own nuclear power plants.

Why, then, this talk of confrontation and pre-emptive strikes? Even if Iran had a weapon, to give it to a terrorist or to use it on a U.S. target would be an act of suicidal insanity by a regime that, no matter how militant, has shown no desire for war with America.

What is the worry? Just this. If or when Iran goes nuclear, she has a deterrent to intimidation. U.S. freedom of action in the Persian Gulf comes to an end. We would have to behave as gingerly with the mullahs as we do with Kim Jong Il, something intolerable to our neoconservatives and President Bush.

For the Israelis, an Iranian bomb would have the same impact as Stalin's explosion of a bomb had on us in 1949. Israel's invulnerability would come to an end. She would enter the world of Mutual Assured Destruction, like the one we had to live in during the Cold War. Thus, for Israel, the sooner the Americans pulverize Iran's infant nuclear facilities, the better. But herein lies the problem for President Bush.

Britain, France and Germany do not want to take the first step to confrontation by asking the U.N. Security Council to vote sanctions on Iran for restarting the enrichment process. And even if the Europeans agree to go to the Security Council, a resolution calling for sanctions would face vetoes by Russia and China.

If the council then rejects sanctions, but America and her NATO allies impose them, the world will be divided between Russia-China-Iran on one side and the United States and its backers on the other. It would be interesting to see how many U.S. allies are willing to support sanctions on the third-largest oil producer on Earth when oil is running at $65 a barrel.

Moreover, if the present negotiations end in sanctions on Iran, then, just as North Korea sped up its nuclear program when talks broke down, Iran might do the same. That would leave the United States with the final option: air and missile strikes to destroy all of Iran's known facilities for the enrichment of uranium.

But as Iran is permitted such facilities as long as it allows absolute freedom for U.N. inspectors, how could we justify such acts of war?

After all, we give a $160 billion trade surplus to China, though she is targeting our cities with nuclear missiles. President Bush cut a deal to help India develop nuclear power, though she has tested bombs. We give foreign aid to Pakistan and Israel, which had clandestine and successful programs that built atomic weapons. And we have a basket of goodies on offer to Kim Jong Il if he will shut down his nuclear facilities and hand over any bombs.

Where is the consistency here?

There is another consideration. Iran's response to any U.S. strike is unlikely to be to go limp like a peacenik demonstrator. As Michael Mazeer of the U.S. National War College writes in the New Republic, Iran's best strategy might be to lash out in retaliation.

What could Iran do? Plenty. Send Revolutionary Guards into Iraq to make that country a worse hell for the 135,000 U.S. service members. Incite Hezbollah to launch rockets on Israel to widen the war. Attack U.S. allies in the gulf. Encourage the Shias in Iraq and Saudi Arabia to attack Americans. Mine the Strait of Hormuz. Activate Islamist loyalists to bring terror home to the United States.

In short, a U.S. attack on Iran could lead to war across the region and interruption of the 15 million barrels of oil a day that come from the gulf, which would drive the world economy into instant cardiac arrest.

And as the United States lacks the ground forces to invade Iran and topple the leadership, U.S. retaliation would be restricted to air and cruise missile strikes. But just as Sept. 11 united Americans behind President Bush, attacks on Iran might unite the Iranian people behind the mullahs' regime, enhancing its prestige as it fought America to protect Iran's equal right to pursue nuclear power and nuclear technology, an issue upon which almost all Iranians agree.

President Bush should think long and hard before yielding to the War Party a second time. Iran is a nation three times the size of Iraq and with three times the population. This would be no cakewalk.

PATRICK J. BUCHANAN is a syndicated columnist.



© 2005 MercuryNews.com and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
http://www.mercurynews.com

Link Posted: 8/16/2005 4:48:10 AM EDT
I disagree with the notion that nuclear proliferation in the Islamic world is not a fundamental threat to our security. Iran's governmemt has been implacably hostile to the interests of the United States for decades since the takeover in Iran of the Muslim fundamentalists. There is also the disturbing reality of the muslim world's violent streak as exemplified by their extremist elements. Add to this the foreign policy of fundamentalist Islamic states towards Israel and you've got an extraordinarily dangerous mix.
Nuclear proliferation in the Islamic world poses an enormous threat to everyone in the West. IMO it's THE most dangerous problem we face for the foreseeable future.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 4:53:13 AM EDT
I agree with Coolio.

Also, Buchanan is one brilliant man. I'd like to see him cut out the "preaching" part of his mesage but as far as geo-political theory goes, he's freighteningly accurate.

Grab his book, "The Death of the West," and you'll want to go dig a bunker and stck it with food & ammo.

CMOS
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 4:57:07 AM EDT
Anyone who thinks that Iranian nukes are nothing to worry about needs to have his head examined.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 5:00:36 AM EDT
The accuracy of Buchanan's assessment regarding the balance of power in the region is dependent upon Iran's leaders being sane, reasonable people. That is something they are not. If they get nukes, they won't be just a deterent as the US, Russia, Israel, India, etc use them. They will be used to "make Israel burn"....and possibly the US as well.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 5:06:09 AM EDT
This is what happens when you have to depend on oil. If it weren't for their oil, the whole ME would be just another shit stain on the planet Earth. Too late now. The cat is out of the bag.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 5:07:51 AM EDT
We shoulda nuked their ass back in 81.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 6:29:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
The accuracy of Buchanan's assessment regarding the balance of power in the region is dependent upon Iran's leaders being sane, reasonable people. That is something they are not. If they get nukes, they won't be just a deterent as the US, Russia, Israel, India, etc use them. They will be used to "make Israel burn"....and possibly the US as well.



I seriously doubt it. Committing suicide isnt something the mullahs seem too keen on. As Buchanan said, the Iranians have gone out of their way to avoid a direct confrontation with the U.S. Nuking Israel would obviously bring about not only an Israeli nuclear retalitory strike, but would also would cause us to respond as well. If there is one thing the mullahs want more than anything else, it is to ensure their survival. Committing nuclear suicide runs counter to that logic

However, we still should try to prevent them from getting nukes, if for nothing else, so others in the region dont try to proliferate. Could you imagine Saudi Arabia with nukes
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 7:01:03 AM EDT

We would have to behave as gingerly with the mullahs as we do with Kim Jong Il, something intolerable to our neoconservatives and President Bush.

For the Israelis, an Iranian bomb would have the same impact as Stalin's explosion of a bomb had on us in 1949. Israel's invulnerability would come to an end. She would enter the world of Mutual Assured Destruction, like the one we had to live in during the Cold War. Thus, for Israel, the sooner the Americans pulverize Iran's infant nuclear facilities, the better. But herein lies the problem for President Bush.


Plain fact is Beuchannan is a hot potato! Look at the way he talks and he alienates a lot of people. Though he might be right. He hates "neo-cons" and is no friend of Isreal, so what constituancy is he going for ? the left? Jew hating rednecks? Ask any bush asslicker on this site and they;ll tell you i aint no Neo-con but i think Iran should'nt get the bomb, Isreal not withstanding! But he is also right in that I dont think America is any real positin to do anything about it. Unless something really bad happens (not likely) we wont have the ability to fight in Iraq and Iran at the same time.
And that so called "isreali strike" againist Iran might just be a bluff. Could they do it and not widen the war?
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 7:11:26 AM EDT
Damned if we do damned more if we dont. Cant you just see the inevitable march to WWIII? It is so coming. IMHO
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 7:15:51 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 7:16:44 AM EDT
Just further proof of Buchanan's lack of judgment. I stopped listening to anything he said years ago.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 7:17:27 AM EDT
Hollow threats don't touch Iran

8/16/2005

By FAREED ZAKARIA

www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20050816/1065317.asp

Two things are very expensive in international politics, the game-theorist Thomas Schelling once observed: threats when they fail and promises when they succeed. President Bush appears to be headed down a path that could teach him this lesson.

Last week he responded to Iran's decision to resume work on its nuclear program by asserting that "all options are on the table" to stop Iran's nuclear development. He also implied that were Israel to strike at Iran's nuclear facilities, the United States would support it. Unfortunately, these are hollow threats, unlikely to have much effect other than to cheapen America's credibility around the world.

Air strikes against Iran would be extremely unwise. They would have minimal military effect: the facilities are scattered, are reasonably well hidden and could be repaired within months. With oil at $66 a barrel, the mullahs are swimming in money. (The high price of oil and Iran's boldness are directly related.) More important, a foreign attack would strengthen local support for the nuclear program and bolster an unpopular regime.

With 150,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, Tehran has many ways to retaliate against a U.S.-backed strike. Last week Donald Rumsfeld was listing conditions that would allow U.S. troops to begin leaving Iraq. High on his list was the question of whether Iranians would be more helpful in creating stability there. My guess is that dropping bombs on them is unlikely to produce a helpful attitude.

Economic sanctions are the other weapon of choice. The United States already has them in place against Tehran - with little effect - and the chances of widening them are low. To get comprehensive sanctions against Iran, Russia and China would have to agree. But Moscow is helping build one of Iran's reactors, and China is busy signing deals to buy oil and natural gas from it. Both countries will condemn Iran's actions, but they will not shut down their economic ties with it.

Many Iranians believe they should and will be a nuclear power. But however it looks from Tehran's perspective, a nuclear Iran would radically change the security atmosphere of the Middle East. It would also make Saudi Arabia and Egypt rethink their own security needs, leading to a potential nuclear spiral. All of which suggests that efforts to stop or at least delay the Iranian program are worth undertaking - intelligently.

But sticks are not going to work. In its second term, the Bush administration has softened its Iran policy and yet it remains unwilling to talk, let alone negotiate, on anything substantive. As with North Korea, the shift toward a less hostile policy is so slight that it can't possibly succeed. In fact, I sometimes wonder whether this new "soft" policy has been designed by Vice President Cheney's office, so that it fails, discredits any prospect of negotiating and thus returns us to the old policy, which is to do nothing and hope the regime falls.

The one man who has had extensive negotiations with the Iranians, Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said a few months ago that Tehran is seeking a grand bargain: a comprehensive normalization of relations with the West in exchange for concessions on nuclear issues. It will never give up its right to a nuclear program, he argues, but it would allow such a program to be monitored to ensure that it doesn't morph into a weapons project. But the prize Iranians seek, above all, is better relations with the United States. "That is their ultimate goal," he said.

There are lots of reasons to be suspicious of Iran. But the real question is, "Do we want to try to stop it from going nuclear?" If so, why not explore this path? Washington could authorize the European negotiators to make certain conditional offers, and see how Tehran responds. What's the worst that can happen? It doesn't work, the deal doesn't happen and Tehran resumes its nuclear activities. That's where we are today.


Newsweek
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 7:20:01 AM EDT
He's wrong as well. The worst that could happen is that Iran could string the world along with promises of compliance all the while keeping their nuclear weapons program going, so that by the time we find out they're lying, it's too late and they are a nuclear power.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 7:26:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By glockguy40:

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
The accuracy of Buchanan's assessment regarding the balance of power in the region is dependent upon Iran's leaders being sane, reasonable people. That is something they are not. If they get nukes, they won't be just a deterent as the US, Russia, Israel, India, etc use them. They will be used to "make Israel burn"....and possibly the US as well.



I seriously doubt it. Committing suicide isnt something the mullahs seem too keen on. As Buchanan said, the Iranians have gone out of their way to avoid a direct confrontation with the U.S. Nuking Israel would obviously bring about not only an Israeli nuclear retalitory strike, but would also would cause us to respond as well. If there is one thing the mullahs want more than anything else, it is to ensure their survival. Committing nuclear suicide runs counter to that logic

However, we still should try to prevent them from getting nukes, if for nothing else, so others in the region dont try to proliferate. Could you imagine Saudi Arabia with nukes



You're right, the leaders preach suiciuide as a noble way to go but live as comfortably as they can for as long as they can themselves.

I suspect they'll try to make it look like someone else (Pakistand, perhaps) did the nuking. I have no doubt whatsoever that Iran will do something stupid as soon as they are capable.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 7:36:21 AM EDT
Bush's blind spot on Iran
Robert Scheer

August 16, 2005

www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-scheer16aug16,0,610889.column?coll=la-util-opinion-commentary

WE DON'T respect or understand any religious or nationalist fervor other than our own. That myopic distortion has been a persistent historical failure of U.S. foreign policy, but it has reached the point of total blindness in the Bush administration.

The latest exhibition of this approach was President Bush's thinly veiled threat this weekend to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities or even invade the country as a last resort, sparked by Tehran's troubled negotiations with the West over its nuclear program.

It is telling that Bush made the comments on Israeli television, which makes them exponentially more provocative. Israel is, of course, not only Iran's archenemy but is also believed to be the sole possessor of nuclear weapons in the immediate region.

It is as if Bush is not content to rattle his saber at Tehran's hard-liners; he also wants to ensure that he infuriates and publicly embarrasses even moderate Iranians.



If diplomacy fails, "all options are on the table," Bush said. "You know, we've used force in the recent past to secure our country." But it was precisely Bush's use of preemptive force against Iraq that now makes it so difficult to pressure Iran to abandon its worrisome nuclear program.

Neither the security of the Iranians nor of the world is enhanced by any nuclear program that includes weapon capabilities. Nuclear weapons are inherently weapons of terrorism, and international monitoring of nuclear programs for all countries is in order. Iran insists that it only wants peaceful nuclear power, but we cannot assume it is telling the truth. If Tehran refuses to be transparent and open to inspections, the U.N. Security Council can take up the issue of imposing sanctions.

Yet as the head of the only nation to have used nuclear weapons on human beings and the one currently devising the next generation of "battlefield" nukes, it would seem that Bush should be a little more careful about trying to seize the moral high ground. This is especially the case because Washington has accommodated the nuclear programs of three allies (Pakistan, India and Israel).

The timing of Bush's bombast is particularly unfortunate. Only last week the world marked the 60th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The mayor of the latter city, which was apparently destroyed at least partly because the U.S. military wanted to test a plutonium-based bomb, was bold enough in his anniversary remarks to point out the hypocrisy of our current stance.

"To the citizens of the United States of America: We understand your anger and anxiety over the memories of the horror of the 9/11 terrorist attacks," he said. "Yet, is your security enhanced by your government's policies of maintaining 10,000 nuclear weapons?"

Bush's Iran policy is rife with contradictions and idiocies. What, for example, is the point of publicly threatening Iran when doing so immeasurably strengthens the hand of hard-line nationalists and religious fundamentalists in Tehran? These are the people who, for more than a century, have secured much of their appeal by posturing as the protectors of the Muslim populace against Western imperialism.

And the reality is that we are in a much, much weaker position vis-a-vis Iran than we should be because of our invasion and disastrous occupation of neighboring Iraq.

Iran now holds some high cards in this poker match. It is closely allied with the most powerful force in post-Hussein Iraq: Shiite religious leaders. Any invasion of Iran might break our already strained military machine. If Iran were to send its fanatical revolutionary guards into Iraq as saboteurs, they could make the current carnage seem like a walk in the park.

And finally, Iran is one of the world's biggest oil exporters. At a time when oil prices are soaring, much of the rest of the world would be hesitant to back the United States in any adventure that could cut off the flow.

As German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder put it accurately on Sunday in response to Bush's comments: "Let's take the military option off the table. We have seen it doesn't work."

What can work is what has worked in the past: carefully maximizing international pressure on Tehran to comply with the demands of the International Atomic Energy Agency so that Iran's program can be monitored and limited to nonmilitary purposes.

Perhaps this isn't as exciting to the neocon chicken-hawks in the Bush administration who love treating the world like a big game of "Risk," but it is certainly the most prudent approach if the goal is a more peaceful world.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 7:58:18 AM EDT
Is there any particular reason you keep cutting and pasting articles about Iran?
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 7:58:39 AM EDT
Monday, Aug. 15, 2005

Inside Iran's Secret War for Iraq
A TIME investigation reveals the Tehran regime's strategy to gain influence in Iraq--and why U.S. troops may now face greater dangers as a result

By MICHAEL WARE/BAGHDAD

www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1093747,00.html

The U.S. Military's new nemesis in Iraq is named Abu Mustafa al-Sheibani, and he is not a Baathist or a member of al-Qaeda. He is working for Iran. According to a U.S. military-intelligence document obtained by TIME, al-Sheibani heads a network of insurgents created by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps with the express purpose of committing violence against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. Over the past eight months, his group has introduced a new breed of roadside bomb more lethal than any seen before; based on a design from the Iranian-backed Lebanese militia Hizballah, the weapon employs "shaped" explosive charges that can punch through a battle tank's armor like a fist through the wall. According to the document, the U.S. believes al-Sheibani's team consists of 280 members, divided into 17 bombmaking teams and death squads. The U.S. believes they train in Lebanon, in Baghdad's predominantly Shi'ite Sadr City district and "in another country" and have detonated at least 37 bombs against U.S. forces this year in Baghdad alone.

Since the start of the insurgency in Iraq, the most persistent danger to U.S. troops has come from the Sunni Arab insurgents and terrorists who roam the center and west of the country. But some U.S. officials are worried about a potentially greater challenge to order in Iraq and U.S. interests there: the growing influence of Iran. With an elected Shi'ite-dominated government in place in Baghdad and the U.S. preoccupied with quelling the Sunni-led insurgency, the Iranian regime has deepened its imprint on the political and social fabric of Iraq, buying influence in the new Iraqi government, running intelligence-gathering networks and funneling money and guns to Shi'ite militant groups--all with the aim of fostering a Shi'ite-run state friendly to Iran. In parts of southern Iraq, fundamentalist Shi'ite militias--some of them funded and armed by Iran--have imposed restrictions on the daily lives of Iraqis, banning alcohol and curbing the rights of women. Iraq's Shi'ite leaders, including Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, have tried to forge a strategic alliance with Tehran, even seeking to have Iranians recognized as a minority group under Iraq's proposed constitution. "We have to think anything we tell or share with the Iraqi government ends up in Tehran," says a Western diplomat.

Perhaps most troubling are signs that the rising influence of Iran--a country with which Iraq waged an eight-year war and whose brand of theocracy most Iraqis reject--is exacerbating sectarian tensions between Sunnis and Shi'ites, pulling Iraq closer to all-out civil war. And while top intelligence officials have sought to play down any state-sponsored role by Tehran's regime in directing violence against the coalition, the emergence of al-Sheibani has cast greater suspicion on Iran. Coalition sources told TIME that it was one of al-Sheibani's devices that killed three British soldiers in Amarah last month. "One suspects this would have to have a higher degree of approval [in Tehran]," says a senior U.S. military official in Baghdad. The official says the U.S. believes that Iran has brokered a partnership between Iraqi Shi'ite militants and Hizballah and facilitated the import of sophisticated weapons that are killing and wounding U.S. and British troops. "It is true that weapons clearly, unambiguously, from Iran have been found in Iraq," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said last week.

How real is the threat? A TIME investigation, based on documents smuggled out of Iran and dozens of interviews with U.S., British and Iraqi intelligence officials, as well as an Iranian agent, armed dissidents and Iraqi militia and political allies, reveals an Iranian plan for gaining influence in Iraq that began before the U.S. invaded. In their scope and ambition, Iran's activities rival those of the U.S. and its allies, especially in the south. There is a gnawing worry within some intelligence circles that the failure to counter Iranian influence may come back to haunt the U.S. and its allies, if Shi'ite factions with heavy Iranian backing eventually come to power and provoke the Sunnis to revolt. Says a British military intelligence officer, about the relative inattention paid to Iranian meddling: "It's as though we are sleepwalking."

The Iranian penetration of Iraq was a long time in planning. On Sept. 9, 2002, with U.S. bases being readied in Kuwait, Supreme Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei summoned his war council in Tehran. According to Iranian sources, the Supreme National Security Council concluded, "It is necessary to adopt an active policy in order to prevent long-term and short-term dangers to Iran." Iran's security services had supported the armed wings of several Iraqi groups they had sheltered in Iran from Saddam. Iranian intelligence sources say that the various groups were organized under the command of Brigadier General Qassim Sullaimani, an adviser to Khamenei on both Afghanistan and Iraq and a top officer in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Before the March 2003 invasion, military sources say, elements of up to 46 Iranian infantry and missile brigades moved to buttress the border. Positioned among them were units of the Badr Corps, formed in the 1980s as the armed wing of the Iraqi Shi'ite group known by its acronym SCIRI, now the most powerful party in Iraq. Divided into northern, central and southern axes, Badr's mission was to pour into Iraq in the chaos of the invasion to seize towns and government offices, filling the vacuum left by the collapse of Saddam's regime. As many as 12,000 armed men, along with Iranian intelligence officers, swarmed into Iraq. TIME has obtained copies of what U.S. and British military intelligence say appears to be Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps intelligence reports sent in April 2003. One, dated April 10 and marked CONFIDENTIAL, logs U.S. troops backed by armor moving through the city of Kut. But, it asserts, "we are in control of the city." Another, with the same date, from a unit code-named 1546, claims "forces attached to us" had control of the city of Amarah and had occupied Baath Party properties. A 2004 British army inquiry noted that the Badr organization and another militia were so powerful in Amarah, "it quickly became clear that the coalition needed to work with them to ensure a secure environment in the province."

For many Iraqis in the south, the exile militia groups brought with them forbidding religious strictures. "These guys with beards and Kalashnikovs showed up saying they'd come to protect the campus," says a student leader at a Basra university. "The problem is, they never left." Militants frequently "investigate" youths accused of un-Islamic behavior, such as couples holding hands or girls wearing makeup. "They're watching us, and they're the ones who control the streets, while the police, who are with them, stand by," says a student leader who did not wish to be identified. "From the beginning, the Islamic parties filled the void," says a police lieutenant colonel working closely with British forces. "They still hold the real power. The rank and file all belong to the parties. Everyone does. You can't do anything without them."

Military officials say they believe Iranian-funded militias helped organize a mob attack in the southern township of Majarr al-Kabir on June 24, 2003, that resulted in the execution of six British military-police officers. According to a classified British military-intelligence document, a local militia leader is "implicated in the murder of the 6 RMP [Royal Military Police]." The man heads a cell of the Mujahedin for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (MIRI), a paramilitary outfit coordinated out of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's base in Ahvaz, Iran. Although U.S. and British officers think it unlikely the soldiers were killed on orders from Revolutionary Guard officers, they agree that the slayings fit within the Iranian generals' broad guidelines to bog coalition forces down in sporadic hit-and-run attacks.

The Iranian program is as impressive as it is comprehensive, competing with and sometimes bettering the coalition's endeavors. Businesses, front companies, religious groups, NGOs and aid for schools and universities are all part of the mix. Just as Washington backs Iraqi news outlets like al-Hurra television station, Tehran has funded broadcast and print outlets in Iraq. A 2003 Supreme National Security Council memo, smuggled out of Iran, suggests even the Iranian Red Crescent society, akin to the Red Cross, has coordinated its activities through the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The memo instructs officials that "the immediate needs of the Iraqi people should be determined" by the Guard's al-Quds Force.

More sinister are signs of death squads charged with eliminating potential opponents and former Baathists. U.S. intelligence sources confirm that early targets included former members of the Iran section of Saddam's intelligence services. In southern cities, Thar-Allah (Vengeance of God) is one of a number of militant groups suspected of assassinations. U.S. commanders in Baghdad and in eastern provinces say similar cells operate in their sectors. The chief of the Iraqi National Intelligence Service, General Mohammed Abdullah al-Shahwani, has publicly accused Iranian-backed cells of hunting down and killing his officers. In October he blamed agents in Iran's Baghdad embassy of coordinating assassinations of up to 18 of his people, claiming that raids on three safe houses uncovered a trove of documents linking the agents to funds funneled to the Badr Corps for the purposes of "physical liquidation."

A former Iraqi official and member of Saddam's armored corps, who identifies himself as Abu Hassan, told TIME last summer that he was recruited by an Iranian intelligence agent in 2004 to compile the names and addresses of Ministry of Interior officials in close contact with American military officers and liaisons. Abu Hassan's Iranian handler wanted to know "who the Americans trusted and where they were" and pestered him to find out if Abu Hassan, using his membership in the Iraqi National Accord political party, could get someone inside the office of then Prime Minister Iyad Allawi without being searched. (Allawi has told TIME he believes Iranian agents plotted to assassinate him.) And the handler also demanded information on U.S. troop concentrations in a particular area of Baghdad and details of U.S. weaponry, armor, routes and reaction times. After revealing his conversations to U.S. and Iraqi authorities, Abu Hassan disappeared; earlier this year, one of his Iraqi superiors was convicted of espionage.

Intelligence agencies say Tehran still funds various political parties in Iraq. Documents from Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps files obtained by TIME include voluminous pay records from August 2004 that appear to indicate that Iran was paying the salaries of at least 11,740 members of the Badr Corps. British and U.S. military intelligence suspect those salaries are still being paid, although Badr leader Hadi al-Amri denies that. "I've told the American officers to bring us the evidence that we have a deal with Iran, and we will be ready, but they say they don't have any," he says.

What remains murky is the extent to which Iran is encouraging its proxies to stage attacks against the U.S.-led coalition. Military intelligence officers describe their Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps counterparts' strategy as one of using "nonattributable attacks" by proxy forces to maximize deniability. What's uncertain, says a senior U.S. officer, is what factions within Tehran's splintered security apparatus are behind the strategy and how much the top leaders have endorsed it. Intelligence sources claim that Brigadier General Sullaimani ordained in a meeting of his militia proxies in the spring of last year that "any move that would wear out the U.S. forces in Iraq should be done. Every possible means should be used to keep the U.S. forces engaged in Iraq." Secret British military-intelligence documents show that British forces are tracking several paramilitary outfits in Southern Iraq that are backed by the Revolutionary Guard. Coalition and Iraqi intelligence agencies track Iranian officers' visits to Iraq on inspection tours akin to those of their American counterparts. "We know they come, but often not until after they've left," says a British intelligence officer.

Shi'ite political parties do not dispute that the visits occur. And a steady flow of weapons continues to arrive from Iran through the porous southern border. "They use the legal checkpoints to move personnel, and the weapons travel through the marshes and areas to our north," says a British officer in Basra. Top diplomats and intelligence officials know that some Iranian officers are providing assistance to Shi'ite insurgents, but it's dwarfed by the amount of money and matériel flowing in from Iraq's Arab neighbors to Sunni insurgents.

Western diplomats say that so far, the ayatullahs appear to be acting defensively rather than offensively. An encouraging sign is that even Shi'ite beneficiaries of Tehran exhibit strains of Iraqi and Arab nationalism; and many have strong familial and tribal ties with the Sunnis. "We are sons of Iraq. The circumstances that forced me to leave did not change my identity," says Badr leader al-Amri. He's proud of his cooperation with the Revolutionary Guard to battle Saddam but says it extended only "to the limit of our interests." An informed Western observer thinks that while those groups maintain a "shared world view" with Tehran, much as Brits and Americans share each other's, they are now trying to balance their interests with those of their backers and are eager to wield power in Baghdad in their own right. "I think you'll never break a lifelong relationship," says the senior U.S. military officer, "but as time goes by, as they become politicians fighting local issues, they will change."

That may be true. But Iran shows every sign of upping the ante in Iraq, which may ultimately force the U.S. to search out new allies in Iraq--including some of the same elements it has been trying to subdue for almost 2½ years--who can counter the mullahs' encroachment. The Western diplomat acknowledges that Iran's seemingly manageable activities could still escalate into a bigger crisis. "We've dealt with governments allied to our enemies many times in the past," he says. "The rub, however, is, Could it affect [counterinsurgency efforts]? To that I say, 'It hasn't happened yet, but it could.'" The war in Iraq could get a whole lot messier if it does.

Copyright © 2005 Time Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 7:59:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RikWriter:
Is there any particular reason you keep cutting and pasting articles about Iran?



Google is a bitch
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 7:59:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By glockguy40:

Originally Posted By RikWriter:
Is there any particular reason you keep cutting and pasting articles about Iran?



Google is a bitch



I thought you got it from your homeland newspaper
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 8:08:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By glockguy40:

Originally Posted By RikWriter:
Is there any particular reason you keep cutting and pasting articles about Iran?



Google is a bitch



That doesn't answer my question. I think I know why, but it would be honest if you would come out and say it.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 8:13:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RikWriter:

Originally Posted By glockguy40:

Originally Posted By RikWriter:
Is there any particular reason you keep cutting and pasting articles about Iran?



Google is a bitch



That doesn't answer my question. I think I know why, but it would be honest if you would come out and say it.



I'm not quite getting what you are driving at??? You want to spell it out for me???
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 8:14:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MrClean4Hire:

Originally Posted By glockguy40:

Originally Posted By RikWriter:
Is there any particular reason you keep cutting and pasting articles about Iran?



Google is a bitch



I thought you got it from your homeland newspaper



My homeland would be the U.S.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 8:14:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/16/2005 8:15:26 AM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 8:15:57 AM EDT
Robert Scheer!!!!!!!!

Top of the list of Bush Haters

www.usefulwork.com/shark/canard-o-matic.html

Link Posted: 8/16/2005 8:16:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By RikWriter:

Originally Posted By glockguy40:

Originally Posted By RikWriter:
Is there any particular reason you keep cutting and pasting articles about Iran?



Google is a bitch



That doesn't answer my question. I think I know why, but it would be honest if you would come out and say it.



GlockGuy40 is Iranian…



Not true... I am American.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 8:20:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By glockguy40:

Originally Posted By RikWriter:

Originally Posted By glockguy40:

Originally Posted By RikWriter:
Is there any particular reason you keep cutting and pasting articles about Iran?



Google is a bitch



That doesn't answer my question. I think I know why, but it would be honest if you would come out and say it.



I'm not quite getting what you are driving at??? You want to spell it out for me???



No, I'd like you to answer my question. I can understand posting the article by Buchanan, but why go find a bunch of articles on Iran and post them here?
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 8:23:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/16/2005 8:26:07 AM EDT by glockguy40]
because I thought they were all interesting and were all about the same topic. I wanted people to have the chance to see them but it didnt make sense to start a new thread for each article. That would have been overkill and would have probably been annoying to some people.

You knew what this thread was about... if you didnt want to read about the topic you could have just read Buchanan's article and then moved on....

Why go find a bunch of articles on Iran????

I went to google. Clicked on news. Typed Iran. out came articles. I didnt really have to do much looking. It wasn't really work to find them. You make it seem like it was some ordeal to post these articles in addition to the one Buchanan wrote...
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 8:30:36 AM EDT

President Bush should think long and hard before yielding to the War Party a second time. Iran is a nation three times the size of Iraq and with three times the population. This would be no cakewalk.
I call BS! Iran has three times more mouths to feed. Iran has three times more territory to defend and is surrounded by US ground, air, and water forces currently deployed in the region. Iran has an active anti-Mullah resistance and their economy is weak and totally dependent on oil exports (which we will stop or take). It will be a cakewalk for us and will result in horrendous losses for the Iranians if they do not surrender.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 8:34:32 AM EDT
More Buchanan's ignorance: Enriched uranium for power plants is not the same enriched uranium used for bombs. Iran's going after the latter.

Of course, it doesn't matter since Buchy seems to think that a nuclear cold war with Iran is just peachy keen and of no consequence to our security. Right.

Merlin
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 8:35:44 AM EDT
This is the same Pat Buchanan that a few months ago proposed fighting the Nazi’s was a waste of time.

Looks like Pat has finally let his Jew hating to get out of hand…
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 8:36:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By glockguy40:
because I thought they were all interesting and were all about the same topic.



Beyond that, though, they all have one thing in common besides Iran.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 8:39:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/16/2005 8:40:47 AM EDT by glockguy40]

Originally Posted By RikWriter:

Originally Posted By glockguy40:
because I thought they were all interesting and were all about the same topic.



Beyond that, though, they all have one thing in common besides Iran.



Yes... my intent was to show that Buchanan wasnt the only one that was taking this line of thinking. People retorted that Buchanan was off his rocker. But apparently, it isnt only Buchanan.

ETA: I didnt specifically search for articles with this view point. These are the ones that came up.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 8:51:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By glockguy40:

Originally Posted By RikWriter:

Originally Posted By glockguy40:
because I thought they were all interesting and were all about the same topic.



Beyond that, though, they all have one thing in common besides Iran.



Yes... my intent was to show that Buchanan wasnt the only one that was taking this line of thinking. People retorted that Buchanan was off his rocker. But apparently, it isnt only Buchanan.



Yes, it's very revealing that Buchanan has gone so far to the right that he's back on the left. He's in total agreement with the liberals.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 8:55:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By glockguy40:

Originally Posted By RikWriter:

Originally Posted By glockguy40:
because I thought they were all interesting and were all about the same topic.



Beyond that, though, they all have one thing in common besides Iran.



Yes... my intent was to show that Buchanan wasnt the only one that was taking this line of thinking. People retorted that Buchanan was off his rocker. But apparently, it isnt only Buchanan.

ETA: I didnt specifically search for articles with this view point. These are the ones that came up.



No it is not just Buchanan... fools tend to herd.
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