Thursday, April 13, 2006

Media Continues To Prepare Nation For Iran War

The groundwork in the media to prepare the battlefield of public opinion for war with Iran continues today with a number of well-placed nuggets.

America's new bogeyman features prominently
:

Bush is especially frustrated with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has abandoned negotiations with the Europeans and defied international pressure while talking of wiping Israel "off the map." Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, complained during an appearance yesterday in Houston that it is hard to find a diplomatic resolution because Ahmadinejad "is not a rational human being."

The U.S. strategy is concisely summed up:

"Their Plan A is to put incremental pressure on Iran so it will cave," said retired Air Force Col. P.J. Crowley, a National Security Council aide under President Bill Clinton who now works at the liberal Center for American Progress. "And there is no Plan B."

The evil Iranians are shown to be getting provocative:

Iran escalated the standoff by announcing that it has enriched uranium in a 164-centrifuge network to 3.5 percent. If true, the achievement would be a milestone but not one that necessarily makes a bomb imminent. Iran has insisted it wants nuclear energy for civilian purposes. Weapons-grade uranium would have to be enriched to at least 80 percent and would need thousands of centrifuges operating in tandem.

Iran reiterated yesterday that it plans to construct 3,000 centrifuges at its facility in Natanz within a year and declared it would eventually expand to 54,000. Making so many centrifuges work together is especially tricky, according to scientists. Acting Assistant Secretary of State Stephen G. Rademaker told reporters in Moscow yesterday that, once built, a 3,000-centrifuge cascade could produce enough highly enriched uranium to build a bomb within 271 days. A 50,000-centrifuge cascade, he said, would need 16 days to yield enough fissile material.

A long-distrusted (by Washington) Egyptian is probably wasting his time searching for a peaceful resolution to the looming crisis:

Mohamed ElBaradei, who heads the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, arrived in Tehran on Wednesday evening for talks on the program. The Security Council gave Iran's theocratic government until April 28 to freeze the program, which was kept secret for 18 years. The demand carries no specific threat of consequences, however.

The reliably hawkish editorial page of the Washington Post throws in it's two cents:

Though the technological breakthrough Mr. Ahmadinejad touted -- the successful operation of a cascade of centrifuges to enrich uranium to the degree needed for nuclear fuel -- leaves Iran well short of the means to build a nuclear bomb, it is significant. It ought to prompt some rethinking about how long it might be before the Iranian regime can back up, with a nuclear weapon, its president's threat to wipe Israel from the map...

(U)nless the diplomacy on Iran can be made to work, this administration or its successor may have to choose between war and accepting Iran as a nuclear power.

"Just look at what you made me do, Stanley", as Oliver Hardy would describe the dominant meme of the propaganda campaign.

Today's Iran info-op coverage concludes with an op-ed with the foregone conclusionally-challenged title of After Diplomacy Fails.

(W)ith an intermediate-range strategic nuclear capacity, it could deter American intervention, reign over the Persian Gulf, further separate Europe from American Middle East policy, correct a nuclear imbalance with Pakistan, lead and perhaps unify the Islamic world, and thus create the chance to end Western dominance of the Middle East and/or with a single shot destroy Israel.

You would think that the author, Mark Helprin, identified as being a former Israeli Army and Air Force veteran, would have a more realistic appreciation of the limitations of nuclear weapons. Even one of the largest nuclear weapons in Russia's inventory (they have the biggest nukes ever made) could not destroy Israel.

The op-ed also exaggerates the realistic intentions of the Islamic Republic:

Because they believe absolutely in the miraculous, one must credit their stated aim to defeat us in the short term by hurling our armies from the Middle East and in the long term by causing the collapse of Western civilization.

Get a grip, dude.

It gets worse:

If, like his predecessors Saladin, the Mahdi of Sudan and Nasser, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad goes for the long shot, he may have in mind to draw out and damage any American onslaught with his thousands of surface-to-air missiles and antiaircraft guns; by a concentrated air and naval attack to sink one or more major American warships; and to mobilize the Iraqi Shia in a general uprising, with aid from infiltrated Revolutionary Guard and conventional elements, that would threaten U.S. forces in Iraq and sever their lines of supply. This by itself would be a victory for those who see in the colors of martyrdom, but if he could knock us back and put enough of our blood in the water, the real prize might come into reach. That is: to make such a fury in the Islamic world that, as it has done before and not long ago, it would throw over caution in favor of jihad. As simply as it can be said, were Egypt to close the canal, and Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to lock up their airspace -- which, with their combined modern air forces, they could -- the U.S. military in Iraq and the Gulf, bereft of adequate supply, would be beleaguered and imperiled.

There is hope. Albeit bizarre:

Because the Iranian drive for deployable nuclear weapons will take years, we have a period of grace. In that time, we would do well to strengthen -- in numbers and mass as well as quality -- the means with which we fight, to reinforce the fleet train with which to supply the fighting lines, and to plan for a land route from the Mediterranean across Israel and Jordan to the Tigris and Euphrates.

You gotta love the inescapable "Late, Great Planet Earth" imagery.

Given Helprin's recommendation, I can foresee the great armies trekking past Har Megiddo on their way to the apocalypse.

8 Comments:

Anonymous THE BOX MEN said...

Uranium is just a small piece of the puzzle. Even if the Iranians could enrich uranium to the 80% weaponry threshold, the amount of deuterium and heavy water needed to actually produce the weaponry is still unattainable to them. So it's a mute point.

4/13/2006 11:59 AM  
Blogger Effwit said...

The Box Men:

I'm not big on page whoring or non-sequiturs.

So it's a mute point.

It's also a moot point.

4/13/2006 12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow,Y'all are so smart.Uranium or not we're gonna bomb the bejesus out of these assholes.Yeah guess it's a moot point,Yeehaw.

4/13/2006 8:25 PM  
Blogger DrewL said...

This entire escapade continues to amuse me. The fact is that Pakistan is in all likelihood a far more dangerous nuclear situation than Iran may EVER be. Pakistan has nukes. They have a somewhat despised leader who could be taken down in a coup at ANY time. And they have the fundamentalist element that could point their weaponry in a myriad of directions. But are we concerned about Pakistan? Nope.

Meanwhile, the Iran bluster continues...

4/13/2006 11:18 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

Anon:

GFY

4/14/2006 7:46 AM  
Blogger Effwit said...

DrewL:

The Pakistan situation is interesting, and can be managed even if Musharraf falls.

Why do you think we are cultivating India after all these years on the outs with them?

It is to play a Metternich-like "balance of power" in South Asia.

4/14/2006 7:49 AM  
Blogger DrewL said...

Yes, I suspect the India connection can serve two purposes: a check on Pakistan's nuclear threat as well as a counter to China's influence and power.

4/14/2006 10:16 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

DrewL:

True. The former leader of the "Non-Aligned Nations" movement can be very useful geopolitically.

4/15/2006 7:38 AM  

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