25 January, 2005


Seymour Hersh, who sometime last year made my "List of People Who Fucking r0x0rs" (along with... um... I'll get back to you on this), appeared last night on the Daily Show, mostly as a result of this article in his donjon, the New Yorker. I was actually going to post about that a few days back when it appeared, but whatever weird ifreet it is that controls my blogga-whimsy aborted it, like it does with 90% of my posts.

Anyway, Sy writes mostly about the issue that Dan Keshet commented on below, viz., "What army?" As in, with what army will Bush invade Iran? Iran is obviously a far more formidable opponent than Iraq; it has a larger population, a stronger economy, has active weapons-development programs and, of course, a nuclear power program (with rumored associate nuclear weapons program). A full-scale invasion of Iran is unlikely. Hopefully, even the Bush administration has learned that much from Iraq. And it's a good guess that Iran has learned its lessons, too: no one is likely to get away with a simple, Israel-style bombing as with Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981. If Iran is at all savvy, they've hidden their weapons program away quite carefully.

The American response, says Hersh, is to send in covert reconnaissance teams to definitvely identify strike sites (along with intelligence help from Pakistan). Hersh claims these teams are operating in Iran even now, ferreting out the locations of Iran's secret weapons program, so that it can be destroyed.

After that? Hersh says that force WILL be used against Iran, quoting an unnamed source:
“We’re not dealing with a set of National Security Council option papers here,” the former high-level intelligence official told me. “They’ve already passed that wicket. It’s not if we’re going to do anything against Iran. They’re doing it.”
And now, enter the neoconservative fantasy, apparently wrought in the same furnace that brought us the assurances that Iraqis would greet us with garlands as liberators.
The immediate goals of the attacks would be to destroy, or at least temporarily derail, Iran’s ability to go nuclear. But there are other, equally purposeful, motives at work. The government consultant told me that the hawks in the Pentagon, in private discussions, have been urging a limited attack on Iran because they believe it could lead to a toppling of the religious leadership. “Within the soul of Iran there is a struggle between secular nationalists and reformers, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the fundamentalist Islamic movement,” the consultant told me. “The minute the aura of invincibility which the mullahs enjoy is shattered, and with it the ability to hoodwink the West, the Iranian regime will collapse”—like the former Communist regimes in Romania, East Germany, and the Soviet Union. Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz share that belief, he said.
Huzzah. Last night Hersh repeatedly said this could go down "this summer". It'll be an interesting year, anyway.

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