Monday, October 30, 2006

Provoking Iran

Q.: President Bush, you've abandoned Afghanistan. You've turned Iraq into a nightmare without end. What's next?

Bush: I'm going to Disneyland Iran!

WMD intercept exercise set to begin in the Gulf

When you can't get your way, you just have to flex your military muscles.

That's the motto of this US administration.

War games designed to intercept ships carrying weapons of mass destruction will take place for the first time today in the Gulf opposite Iran.

The naval exercise – organised under the US’s 2003 Proliferation Security Initiative – will include Bahrain, one of the regional states and host to a US naval base.

Although the US says the move is not specifically aimed at Iran, the PSI exercise comes amid heightened concerns over Tehran’s nuclear programme.
[...]
Bahrain’s participation is a first for an Arab country. Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are sending observers. Australia, France, Italy, the UK, the US and Bahrain are providing vessels and other assets.

Mohammad Ali Hosseini, foreign ministry spokesman in Tehran, refused on Sunday to describe the exercise as a threat to Iran but called for security co-operation between the states of the region without the participation of foreign forces.
[...]
US officials suggest Gulf Arab states have a keen interest in closer security co-operation and that all, except Saudi Arabia, had “formally endorsed” PSI, motivated by concerns over Iran’s nuclear intentions.

Well of course Saudi Arabia won't participate. There's oil supremacy to think about, after all. And you know they'll get a free pass from Bushco for that reason alone. No, you won't hear Rumsfeld or Cheney coming out in public and saying that SA isn't helping in the so-called war on terrorism. That would seriously screw up their friendly meetings with the sheiks and we can't have that.



And no matter what Iran's foreign ministry says, this will no doubt be seen as a provocation that's sure to rattle Ahmadinejad. Meanwhile, Bush will crow on about diplomacy (which to him means that Iran must do as he says before he'll even talk to anyone there) and the saber rattling will continue. He'd better watch what he asks for by pushing Iran with this little 'war game' (which is basically a show of US testosterone on water) or he just might get it. The he'll run to the UN again and say 'See? They were mean to me. Do something!' - just like the spoiled little brat he is.

Oh - and in case you missed it - the US congress passed the nice-sounding 'Iran Freedom Act while you weren't paying attention.

The new law got virtually no coverage in the congressional rush to adjourn and amid the controversy surrounding e-mails between Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) and teenage boys serving in the House page program. It has been overshadowed since by North Korea's explosion of a nuclear device and the world's debate about how to respond.

But if the confrontation over Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program ends in war — initiated by this administration or the next — you can bet this law will be cited as proof that Congress was onboard all along.

Nothing to see here folks. Move along now...

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