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Obama, The New NeoCon -
Military Confrontation Rising

By Joel Skousen
Editor - World Affairs Brief February
Begin Excerpt -
Foreign policy and war issues have taken a back seat to the Democratic administration's push to cram a health care reform bill down our throats. But the world won't wait any longer as it reacts to US provocations on several fronts. The Iran crisis is ripening towards a military confrontation after Obama's diplomacy charade collapsed in failure. It was never intended to succeed. Israel is going to be a major player, if not the instigator, of the coming Iran war but it currently has its hands full with the growing unrest in Gaza. Will the attack on Iran give them an excuse to take decisive military action in both Gaza and Lebanon? I believe it will. If the Iran attack blossoms into a full blown war in the Middle East, as I expect, we might see a major explosion of long-standing tensions between Israel, Iran, Syria and Egypt--with the US right in the middle. This week, I'll also cover the growing tensions with China over Taiwan arms sales and with Pakistan as it reacts to more news of US troop deaths in areas where no US forces are supposed to be.
I'll begin with some commentary on a somewhat inflammatory piece from the Left written by Shamus Cooke of Global Research [my comments in brackets]: "This grand chessboard of corporate and military maneuvering reached a dangerous standoff yesterday, with the U.S. military provoking Iran. The New York Times explains: 'The Obama administration is accelerating the deployment of new defenses against possible Iranian missile attacks in the Persian Gulf, placing special ships [Aegis missile cruisers] off the Iranian coast and anti-missile systems in at least four Arab countries, according to administration and military officials.'
"The same article mentions that U.S. General Petraeus admitted that '...the United States was now keeping Aegis cruisers on patrol in the Persian Gulf at all times. Those cruisers are equipped with advanced radar and anti-missile systems designed to intercept medium-range missiles." Iran knows full well that anti-missile systems are perfectly capable of going on the offensive -- their real purpose [Actually, not true. Even if so, the Navy would be foolish to use them offensively since they need to be held in reserve to defend against enemy missile attacks, to which naval forces are particularly vulnerable. However, Aegis cruisers do have dedicated offensive cruise missiles aboard for offensive purposes].
"Iran is completely surrounded by countries occupied by the U.S. military, whether it be the mass occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the U.S. puppet states that house U.S. military bases in Arab nations [true]. Contrary to the statements of President Obama, Iran is already well contained militarily [that is why Iran must be provoked into a military reaction by a triggering pre-emptive strike]. It is possible that these aggressive U.S. actions will eventually force Iran's government to act out militarily, giving the U.S. military the 'defensive' excuse it's been waiting for [The stationing of Aegis cruisers may be provocative, but certainly not aggressive as long as they aren't involved in a pre-emptive attack--they are there in position to counter a predictable Iranian counter to an Israeli pre-emptive strike, and then to add offensive cruise missile capability].
"A separate New York Times editorial outlines the basic agreement on Iran shared by the Democrats and the Republicans. It says: 'It is time for President Obama and other leaders to ratchet up the pressure with tougher sanctions,' and, 'If the Security Council does not act quickly, then the United States and Europe must apply more pressure on their own [the planned provocation]. The Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would punish companies for exporting gasoline to Iran or helping Iran expand its own petroleum refining capability [Iran's lack of domestic gasoline production is the main target of sanctions. Why Iran doesn't remedy that lack of gasoline production, while spending billions on nuclear enrichment, is a question that begs an answer].'"
UK writer Mohammed A. Salih of IPS News comments that, "The recent expansion of U.S. missile defense systems in the Persian Gulf just days after President Barack Obama warned Iran of 'growing consequences' if it did not accept the West's conditions over its nuclear program signals a possible change of approach by Washington even as uncertainty still prevails how it will deal with Iran eventually. The U.S. has based upgraded Patriot missile systems in the four small Gulf nations of Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain. Iran has strongly criticized the U.S. move, accusing the West of trying to create 'rift and insecurity' in the Gulf.
"The move has raised questions about U.S. motives for expanding and upgrading its missile defense systems in the region. 'It's hard to say whether it's preparation for military action or essentially part of U.S. policy to further isolate Iran from the regional states and indeed sell more arms to regional states [it is the former],' Nader Entessar, an Iran expert and chair of the Political Science Department at the University of South Alabama, told IPS. 'But any time that you have an up-the-ante like that, the consequences of what may follow are unpredictable even if the intention is not necessarily to have near term or medium term military confrontation,' Entessar said."
It is true that Iran's leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is unpredictable and tends to make statements that are unnecessarily provocative and appear to be stupid. But he is not stupid. --Controlled, perhaps, but not stupid. He seems to have the same cockiness that Saddam Hussein possessed prior to the Gulf War when he was being continually and falsely assured by the Russians that they would back him up. While Russia plays both sides of the Iran-US conflict verbally, I think it intends to betray Iran in the end so as to further its strategic goal of making the West, and particular the US and Israel, out to be predators.
In short, I don't believe the US will bet on Ahmadinejad's unpredictability to start a war. If they can goad him into something, so much the better, but if not, they will certainly and secretly give Israel the green light to strike. It's a one-two punch in the planning. Israel will strike with a limited pre-emptive strike on a nuclear facility. Iran will surely respond with missile attacks on Israel and perhaps US troops in Iraq. This will give the US the excuse to respond with disproportionate force that wipes out Iran's military, nuclear and civilian infrastructure. The result will be a neutered Iran which will quickly become an international welfare state not much better than Haiti--with no necessity of occupation forces.
Barry Chamish recently spoke with Dr. Stan Monteith of Radio Liberty about events in Israel which indicate that Israeli preparations for a wider Middle East war are going forward. Military forces were once again handing out gas masks to Israeli communities after having collected them a few years back. Politicians forced the hand outs to stop for fear of giving a clear signal to other nations that Israel was preparing for an attack. No one seems to care if its citizens are unprepared. Hezbollah has imported new and more deadly guided missiles capable of precision targeting of most military bases in Israel.
Chamish also revealed that the Israeli military is starting to withdraw troops from the strategic Golan Heights. I suspect that either they intend to give this high ground away in a false overture for peace or they intend to lure Syria into retaking the Golan so Israel can justify going to war with that country. If they want to root out Hezbollah from Lebanon, the IDF will have to take Syria out first, Lebanon's main supply line from Iran.
As for timing, the US will not give Israel the green light to attack Iran until another carrier task for joins the two already in the Gulf (USS Enterprise and USS Stennis). The Pentagon has indicated they are prepared to send the USS Nimitz to the Gulf to arrive in April. This indicates that the most likely timing of the attack will be between April and July of this year. The transfer of the Nimitz is being contested by CENTCOM commander Admiral Fallon. He may even be replaced for making statements inferring that an attack on Iran will not occur on his watch.
End Excerpt -
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