Posted Mon., April 28—Over the past week top Pentagon officials have upped the Bush regime’s verbal attacks against Iran in what may be a prelude to actual military attacks.
On April 21, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates delivered a speech at the West Point military academy where he accused Iran of being a rogue nation that supports “terrorism; that is a destabilizing force throughout the Middle East and Southwest Asia and, in my judgment, is hellbent on acquiring nuclear weapons.” He went on to say, “Another war in the Middle East is the last thing we need. And in fact, I believe it would be disastrous on a number of levels. But the military option must be kept on the table, given the destabilizing policies of the regime and the risks inherent in a future Iranian nuclear threat – either directly or through nuclear proliferation.” Gates and all other top Bush administration officials, including the president, continually emphasize that the military option is always on the table in regard to Iran.
On April 25, in an indication of how real the “military option” is, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, stated, “I have no expectations that we’re going to get into a conflict with Iran in the immediate future,”but he emphasized the U.S. military has reserve capability, particularly in the Navy and Air Force and based in other regions. “So it would be a mistake to think that we are out of combat capability.”
Mullen did not define what he meant by “immediate future,” but he went on to say he is “increasingly concerned about Iran’s activity, not just in Iraq, but throughout the region. I believe recent events, especially the Basra operation, have revealed just how much and just how far Iran is reaching into Iraq to foment instability. Their support to criminal groups in the form of munitions and training, as well as other assistance they are providing and the attacks they are encouraging continues to kill coalition and Iraqi personnel.” Mullen said that General David Petraeus is preparing a briefing that details these activities and that the report is expected in the next couple of weeks. The report is expected to detail the discovery in Iraq of weapons that were very recently manufactured in Iran, according to Mullen.
We can expect that this latest Petraeus report will be used as further justification for a possible future attack on Iran by the White House. In the midst of the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is frightening to think of a third war being launched by the Bush regime, but given the administration’s record it is a very real possibility.
The same day Mullen was launching his verbal attack at Iran, a U.S. Navy official reported that a U.S. military contracted cargo ship on Thursday fired several “warning” shots at two boats that approached it off the Iranian coast. This is similar to other incidents in Iranian coastal waters. Will such an incident be used as the “trigger” to justify war against Iran in the future? It is not beyond the realm of possibility if we remember the alleged incident in the Tonkin Gulf which led to Congress approving war against Vietnam.
These recent verbal assaults are a continuation of previous rhetoric aimed at Iran by the Bush regime. They do not necessarily mean that war is imminent, but we should not be lulled into thinking the Bush regime will remain content to only fire verbal shots at Iran. The White House and its military machine have done everything possible to keep tensions high in the region and will continue to do so. The Bush administration regularly links Iran to terrorism and accuses it of supplying weapons and training to those fighting U.S. forces in Iraq. In addition, the accusation that Iran is attempting to obtain nukes has been levied by just about every top official in the Bush regime.
Keep in mind that similar charges were made by the Bush regime before it invaded Iraq. Because of this, we can not afford to be complacent in the face of this latest round of attacks. The only guarantee that the Bush administration will not be able to launch another war that will be devastating to the people of the world is if we drive the regime from power. As long as Bush and his henchmen and women remain in the White House, they are a threat to not only the Iranian people, but to all of the world.
Kenneth J. Theisen is an organizer with the World Can’t Wait! Drive out the Bush Regime! and an Oakland resident.