We are going to war with Iran and the campaign is underway. The military acronym is OPE. It means, “Operational Preparation of the Enviornment”. The first step is to persuade the American people that Iran is attacking and killing our soldiers. The Bush Administration is calculating (correctly in my view) that this justification will allow them to bomb Iranian targets without fear of Congressional interference. What politician in their right mind is going to argue that the United States should not punish those who are killing U.S. soldiers? Hell, even Barack Obama is on this bandwagon.

Forget that it is a disingenuous twisting of the facts. While it is true Iran is wielding enormous influence in Iraq among the various Shia factions, it is not the major force funding or directing insurgent groups. They do not have to rely on violence because they are achieving their objectives through intelligence and diplomatic efforts. The idea that the current Iraqi government is turning against Tehran is utter nonsense. Moreover, most of the insurgent action directed against U.S. forces has come from the Sunni side, not the Shia side.

Here’s the latest in the propaganda campaign:

General Davey Petraeus warned on Monday:

the flow of Iranian weapons into Iraq has increased but that Iranian Quds force trainers had withdrawn.

“It appears that that is increasing and we do not see a sign of that abating,” Petraeus said of weapons flows, citing increased attacks by one type of roadside bomb technology and rockets that U.S. military officials link to Iran.

Jon Stewart’s Daily Show masterfully captured the nonsense spewing from Petraeus, who used statistics collected with questionable methodology to parrot policy points that George Bush has been spouting for four months.

We were told for months setting a timeline or deadline would hurt the troops, yet Petraeus and Bush are announcing a timeline for withdrawal this week.

We are told that we cannot predict when the U.S. presence in Iraq will come to an end but, by God, Petraeus can tick off the precise negative consequences if the United States withdraws from Iraq. And all of this is being spun against the backdrop of the “growing threat from Iran”.

Then there is good old reliable Faux News advising that the bombing plan is being prepped:

A recent decision by German officials to withhold support for any new sanctions against Iran has pushed a broad spectrum of officials in Washington to develop potential scenarios for a military attack on the Islamic regime, FOX News confirmed Tuesday. . . .

Political and military officers, as well as weapons of mass destruction specialists at the State Department, are now advising Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the diplomatic approach favored by Burns has failed and the administration must actively prepare for military intervention of some kind. Among those advising Rice along these lines are John Rood, the assistant secretary for the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation; and a number of Mideast experts, including Ambassador James Jeffrey, deputy White House national security adviser under Stephen Hadley and formerly the principal deputy assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs.

And let’s not forget the Freedom Watch commercials that are repeating the disgusting lie that Iraq and Al Qaeda and 9-11 are the same threat. As with any propaganda, you repeat the lie enough and it will eventually be accepted as true.

I sat by during the lead up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and did nothing. Not this time. George Bush must not be allowed to take this country into a new and more devastating war. A new preemptive war of choice with Iran will jeopardize the security of this nation.

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.
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  • Sandy

    Shirin is correct — Barack Obama and others have come out strongly — on the record — for an attack on Iran:



    By: Nicole Belle on Tuesday, September 4th, 2007 at 9:46 AM – PDT  

      This headline made my heart sink:


    Democratic presidential hopeful takes a get-tough stance against tyrant of Tehran


    “Americans need to come together to confront the challenge posed by Iran. Yet the Bush administration and an anonymous senator are blocking a bill with bipartisan support that would ratchet up the pressure on the Iranian regime. It’s time for this obstructionism to stop.

    The decision to wage a misguided war in Iraq has substantially strengthened Iran, which now poses the greatest strategic challenge to U.S. interests in the Middle East in a generation. Iran supports violent groups and sectarian politics in Iraq, fuels terror and extremism across the Middle East and continues to make progress on its nuclear program in defiance of the international community. Meanwhile, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has declared that Israel must be ‘wiped off the map.'”

    Hook, line and sinker.  He bought the whole thing.   Please, other than the increasingly hysterical rhetoric of the Bush White House (that is eerily similar–if not outright identical–to the 2001-2002 rhetoric against Saddam Hussein), why would Barack Obama believe that Iran is such a threat?  Given the past seven years, should Bush’s say so truly carry that much credibility?

    In fairness to Obama, much of his op-ed is actually very critical of the Bush administration for their lack of diplomacy, but it hardly matters, because by accepting the Bush framing of a looming crisis against Iran, he’s given all the right wing pundits the ammo of saying, “Even that liberal Obama thinks we have to take out Ahmadinejad!”  He even justifies the threat by citing Ahmadinejad’s words against Israel, although, unfortunately, he relies on the Bush administration’s translation of Farsi, which as we’ve seen before, only has a glancing relationship with reality.

    This is not to single out Obama either; all of the top tier candidates have tried to earn their “I’m not a wimpy Democrat but a strong leader” bona fides with tough talk against Iran. But this kind of talk is incredibly irresponsible and we–as the progressive community–MUST be clear with the Democratic contenders who are seeking our support that if they think the occupation in Iraq is going bad, any military actions against Iran would be like Iraq on steroids.  We’ve already seen how much damage a president with no understanding of the geo-political or cultural circumstances of an area can do.  We simply cannot afford another one.

    • Shirin

      Thanks, Sandy. And now Wes Clark, who just because he has criticized the CONDUCT

    • Shirin

      Thanks, Sandy.

      And now Hillary has the endorsement of Wes Clark, who though he has criticized the CONDUCT of the Iraq disaster, is praising Petraeus and beating the drums for the “next war” – i.e. unprovoked aggression – against Iran.