Jul 252004

I see the dust cloud rising over the horizon. The Bush Administration is now beginning to blow the war bugle over Iran. Now why would they suddenly start kicking up a ruckus right about now?

The recent 9/11 Commission report indicates that some of the 9/11 hijackers passed through Iran. While it claimed Iran allowed eight al-Qaida future airplane hijackers to pass through Iran from Afghanistan between seven and 11 months prior to the attacks on America. Let?s remember that thousands of Mexicans manage to pass through our porous borders, and the irrespective of where they went before coming to America, the hijackers managed to clear our border security.

There has been no real evidence produced that Iran knew of the 9/11 attacks or assisted them. In fact, the Bush administration has still never produced the white paper promised by Colin Powell in late 2001 proving bin Laden and al-Qaida were behind 9/11.

Why would Iran, knowing it was in Bush’s gunsights, join in a terrorist attack that, if linked to Tehran, could have conceivably brought U.S. nuclear retaliation?

But the drumbeat has begun. To get you distracted from the declining economy, the failing of our policies in Iraq, and the lack of WMDs, the administration is increasing the rhetoric over Iran’s nuclear intentions, with rumblings about air strikes against Iran’s reactors in the fall. Did anyone see the move ?Wag the Dog??

Remember, these latest fevered claims about Iran come from the same "reliable intelligence sources" and neo-conservative hawks who insisted Iraq had a vast arsenal of weapons of mass destruction that threatened the U.S., with intimate links to al-Qaida. Yeah boy?give me some more of that.

Of course, the media and government won’t be telling you the whole story. The fact is, Iran and al-Qaida were bitter enemies.

In Afghanistan, al-Qaida ardently backed the Pushtun-dominated, Sunni Taliban movement, which hated Shia as heretics and killed large numbers of them. Shia Iran (and Russia) armed and supported the Taliban’s greatest foe, Ahmad Shah Massoud and his Northern Alliance, composed of Dari (a Persian dialect)-speaking Tajiks, Afghan communists, and Shia. Massoud was a long-time collaborator with Soviet/Russian intelligence.

After the Taliban killed a group of Iranian intelligence agents, Iran almost invaded Afghanistan to overthrow them.? Just before 9/11, al-Qaida assassinated Massoud.

Because it has not been widely reported, we tend to forget that Iran quietly aided the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan that overthrew the Taliban, and jailed scores of al-Qaida members, including one of bin Laden’s sons.

Now, is the government in Iran ?friendly? to U.S.? Mostly likely, they are not the kind of friends we want, but active cooperation between Iran and al-Quaida just isn?t logical. Of course the administration may not play that card. It?ll be the whole hand?nuclear threats, assisting al-Quaida?they?ll put it all out there, and the media will, once again, swallow it hook line and sinker.

I foresee a lot of trumped up and inflammatory rhetoric at the Republican Convention. That will begin to lay the groundwork. Later in August the administration will begin to send out their spin bulldogs to get the media to do their bidding, and start reporting about some atrocities in Iran, the fact that they gave comfort and aid to al-Quaida, and their own WMDs.

By late September or early October, I would expect to see military actions against Iran. We probably won?t launch a full-scale invasion (not enough available military anyway), but some nice clean air strikes. Just enough to make Bush again look like the hard-charging, take no prisoners, commander-in-chief he?s not. And the Fox News pundits, and the ill informed and stupid will shout the cry that we can?t change horses in the middle of war.

Has the dog ever been wagged so hard, and why do we fall for this over and over again?

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