Exit Strategies

Guns of August?

Arnaud de Borchgrave, the son of a Belgian count who became a legendary Cold War journalist at UPI, Newsweek, and the Washington Times, and who has recently morphed into a Terror Warrior, has penned a fascinating column for UPI that raises the real possibility of an Israeli, or joint U.S.-Israeli, attack on Iran in the coming weeks. Borchgrave relies on the intel of American Conservative and Antiwar.com columnist Philip Giraldi, intel which Giraldi looks at with horror and Borchgrave, with anticipation.

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, he wrote, had tasked the Strategic Command with drawing up a contingency plan in response to another Sept. 11-type terrorist attack on the United States. The plan was for a large-scale air assault on Iran (never mind if Iran wasn't involved) employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. More than 450 major strategic targets were listed in the plan -- evidently leaked to Giraldi by "appalled" senior U.S. Air Force officers.

I’m extremely wary of “9/11 Truth” theories, though, I must admit, information like this reminds one of the fact that Pentagon and Military Industrial Complex Big Boys can expedite their plans with false flag operations…  though, thankfully, no such incident occurred.

If Israel has decided to strike against what most Israelis see as an existential threat, it would presumably wait until the U.S. Congress' return from vacation Sept. 10. A resolution (HR 1553) is winding its way through Congress that endorses an Israeli attack on Iran, which, writes Giraldi, "would be going to war by proxy as the U.S. would almost immediately be drawn into conflict when Tehran retaliates."

Leading neo-conservatives pooh-pooh Iran's asymmetrical retaliatory capabilities as overblown anti-Israeli rhetoric. Reuel Marc Gerecht, a neo-con commentator, predicts Iran's response would be minimal and recommends Israel attack Iran to "rock the system" to make the regime "lose face" and suffer a military defeat from which its recovery would be doubtful.

This reporter first began covering Iran in August 1953 when the shah fled a revolutionary upheaval (returning 10 days later after a military crackdown and covert CIA assistance).

There is little doubt that an Israeli attack on Iran would trigger mayhem up and down the Persian Gulf and trigger a third war that would be yet another force multiplier for the U.S. deficit: Federal spending is now at $3.6 trillion; the national debt, $13.4 trillion; cost per citizen $43,000; cost per taxpayer $120,000. Check the debt clock online -- in real time.

Borchgrave seconds my contention that the neocons sincerely believe in their rosy scenarios. In Iraq, we were to be greeted as liberators and the whole operation was to be an inexpensive, perhaps even profitable, foray. The myth of Iran is that Jerusalem and/or Washington could launch a surgical, limited attack that would prevent the “Second Holocaust” and not spill over into an international conflict. Borchgrave’s passing mention of a “third world war” and the coming bankruptcy of the U.S. Treasury indicates that he’s not so deceived. Sad to say, reports of Cheney’s “large-scale air-assault” plan for Iran reveal that there are many in Washington for whom World War III is devoutly to be wished.