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May 6, 2008

Summertime War with Iran?

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Quote of the Day:

“The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.”
— James Madison

Subject: Summertime War with Iran?

Is another war brewing? …this time with Iran? 

The administration claims Iranian-backed Shia militias are attacking U.S. troops in Iraq. Iran denies its involvement. Other reports say that Sunnis have been responsible for 2/3rds of the attacks in Iraq. It’s also important to note that Al Qaeda is a Sunni group, not Shia.

So who is responsible for most of the killing? Is is really the Shia Mullah’s in Iran?

These Sunni-Shia distinctions confuse John McCain, Bill O’Reilly, and millions of Americans. General David Petraeus played on this ignorance in testimony to Congress last month. He blamed Iran’s support of Shia militias for MOST of the remaining problems in Iraq. He said,

Iran has fueled the violence… with the Iraqi Security Forces, we have also focused on the Special Groups. These elements are funded, trained, armed, and directed by Iran’s Qods Force… It is clearly in our national interest to resist Iranian encroachment.

Petraeus’ rhetorical performance earned him a promotion, from military boss in Iraq, to chief of Central Command. His military responsibility now includes virtually the entire Middle East, including Iran.

Is this promotion another sign that President Bush wants to attack Iran before he leaves office? Andrew Cockburn reports,

The administration faced a serious obstacle to action against Iran in the form of Centcom commander Admiral William Fallon, who made no secret of his contempt for official determination to take us to war. In a widely publicized incident last January, Iranian patrol boats approached a U.S. ship in what the Pentagon described as a “taunting” manner. According to Centcom staff officers, the American commander on the spot was about to open fire. At that point, the U.S. was close to war. He desisted only when Fallon personally and explicitly ordered him not to shoot. The White House, according to the staff officers, was “absolutely furious” with Fallon for defusing the incident.

There are other signs of a pending war with Iran. Headlines and newsclips over the past month tell the story. Here’s a partial list:

* Diplomats: Iran Assembling Centrifuges, The New York Times, April 3, 2008
* Iran And Al Qaeda Among Greatest Threats to U.S.: Bush, The New York Times, April 10, 2008
* Cheney on the War Path Again? By Dan Froomkin,, April 11, 2008 (The Vice President portrayed Iran as apocalyptic zealots who yearn for a nuclear conflagration).
* Iran Nuclear Ambitions are Major Gulf Threat: NATO, The Washington Post, April 24, 2008
* Hawkish Engagement Needed with Iran?, by Michael O’Hanlon, Brookings Institution (A call for military action).
* Hamas are Iran’s proxy warriors: Rice, AFP, April 30, 2008
* CIA Director Says Iran Wants to Kill Americans in Iraq, AP, April 30, 2008

But the evidence isn’t limited to heated rhetoric and hand-wringing. The U.S. government has also taken physical steps to prepare for war. Just last week CBS News reported that the Pentagon ordered military commanders to develop new options for attacking Iran. A second aircraft carrier has also arrived in the Persian Gulf, and a Marine amphibious force was allegedly sent there Sunday.

Even worse, Republicans aren’t the only ones rattling sabres. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has suggested a scenario where she could, as President, “totally obliterate” Iran.

Do you want another war in the Middle East? We already have two wars there that are bleeding us dry.

Do you want your gasoline bill to soar? Bombing Iran would make that happen.

And ask yourself this: would bombing Iran really deter the Shia militas in Iraq, or simply cause them to increase their attacks on U.S. forces and the local Sunni population?

Here’s something else to consider: The Iranian population is now pro-American, in opposition to their clerical leaders. Do we really want to throw away their support? We have done this before. We squandered the post-9/11 support and sympathy of the whole world, including even Iran’s Shia leaders, by invading Iraq. Do we really want to repeat this mistake?

President Bush has shown that he really doesn’t care what anybody else thinks. He is going to do what he wants to do. Only Congress can stop him, by taking firm action to prohibit an attack. But Congress is too spineless to take this action unless it knows the public is passionate to avoid another war.

If you want to avoid war it’s up to you to let Congress know. You can send your message here.

Meanwhile, we set a new record for monthly pledges last month. We’d like to do it again this month. Monthly pledges are the key to our becoming bigger and stronger, faster. You can start a monthly pledge here.

Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army.

Jim Babka
President, Inc.

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