The US inches ever closer to attacking Iran

Saturday, September 16, 2006

News for 09-16-06

09-16-06 - In a replay of Iraq, a battle is brewing over intelligence on Iran ** Several former U.S. defense officials who maintain close ties to the Pentagon say they've been told that plans for airstrikes - if Bush deems them necessary - are being updated. ....But they said this time, intelligence analysts and others are more forcefully challenging claims they believe to be false or questionable.....Adding to the unease, Rumsfeld's office earlier this year set up a new Iranian directorate, reported to be under the leadership of neoconservatives who played a role in planning the Iraq war.

Current and former officials said the Pentagon's Iranian directorate has been headed by Abram Shulsky. Shulsky also was the head of the now-defunct Office of Special Plans, whose role in allegedly manipulating Iraq intelligence is under investigation by the Pentagon's inspector general

09-16-06 - China urges Iran to be flexible on nuclear issue Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has urged Iran to show more flexibility on its nuclear program but said there was still hope for a negotiated settlement to the stand-off, state media has reported.

09-16-06 - Going Far, Far Beyond the NPT ** Last year our intelligence community produced ? at the request of Congress ? a National Intelligence Estimate which, inter allia, addressed Iran?s nuclear programs. Although that 2005 NIE was highly classified, Dafna Linzer reported that "A major U.S. intelligence review has projected that Iran is about a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient for a nuclear weapon, roughly doubling the previous estimate of five years, according to government sources with firsthand knowledge of the new analysis." Our intelligence says ten years, folks. Whom are you going to believe (this time)?

09-16-06 - Europeans may meet with Iran, sans U.S.

09-16-06 - U.S. had better be ready to raze Iran?s nuclear sites Charles Krauthammer is, not surprisingly, a neocon.

09-16-06 - Analysis: Bush sees fewer policy options It's what happens when you allow bellicose neocons and "ex"-Halliburton execs into your administration. This is not rocket science. Wait a minute, this is Bush we are talking about here. I guess in light of that, it really IS rocket science!

09-16-06 - Pressures mount on Bush to bomb Iran ** President George W Bush is coming under enormous pressure from Israel - and from Israel's neoconservative friends inside and outside the US administration - to harden still further his stance toward Iran....Another cause of anxiety for Israel's right wing - the settler movement, the nationalist-religious parties, the Likud and the right-dominated Kadima - is that Israel is coming under increasing international pressure to negotiate with the Palestinians, with a view to the creation of a Palestinian state. Influential voices are calling for an international conference - a sort of Madrid II - to re-launch the peace process. The above excerpt is of particular concern. I would be wary of any attacks that might be blamed on Iran to set up a pretext to attack Iran. Whenever there is pressure on Israel to negotiate, there are suddenly terror attacks. This is based on the timing of bombings in the past three years, which seem to occur just before peace conferences between Israel and the Palestinians.

09-16-06 - 77% Believe Iran is Likely to Have Nukes "Soon" ** Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Americans believe that Iran is likely to develop nuclear weapons in the near future. Most doubt that anything can be done to prevent such a development.

09-16-06 - 77% in U.S. Unable to Learn a Lesson ** 77% percent of the people of this country believe that Iran will have nukes soon.

09-16-06 - Major powers mull meeting to break logjam with Iran

09-16-06 - Syria Seeks Release of Cyprus-Held Defense Systems There are no U.N. restriction on weapons supplies to Syria -- widely regarded as a conduit for arms to the Lebanese Hizbollah group. However, Cyprus has refused to release the cargo because the papers were not in order.

09-16-06 - Foiled hit shows intelligence service clout An aborted bid to bomb the U.S. Embassy in Damascus this week, which resulted in the deaths of the four attackers, has brought to the fore the growing role of Syria's shadowy intelligence service, one of the regime's pillars.

09-16-06 - US urges G7 action on Iranian 'terror' banking The United States appealed to its G7 partners to join a financial offensive against Iran to choke off the alleged flow of funds to Iranian-backed "terrorists".

09-16-06 - U.S. diplomats begin viewing Lebanon war as success In her meetings in Washington, Livni discussed the prisoners' release and an arms embargo to prevent Hezbollah from rearming itself. She also spoke about the open Syrian-Lebanon border, and the Americans said this problem, which they also consider crucial, could also be solved. The U.S. House Committee of International Relations said at the beginning of the week that it would not permit transferring support funds to rehabilitate Lebanon as long as the border problem remained unsolved. And all of Israel's demands of Uncle Sam are met once again.

09-16-06 - Documentary slams corporate profits in Iraq war The film's premise that billions are being diverted to companies that are overcharging U.S. taxpayers for shoddy services, as illustrated by the expensive soda pop or a purported $100 fee for washing a bag of laundry.

09-16-06 - Jewish heavy-hitters swing at Iran The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs announced Tuesday that it had enlisted Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel and internationally renowned lawyers Irwin Cotler and Alan Dershowitz to its campaign to expel Iran from the United Nations.

09-16-06 - No News Is Slow News Slow news: The Israeli attack on Lebanon was part of a sequence of carefully planned military operations, of which the next is Iran. US forces are ready to destroy 10,000 targets. The US and Israel contemplate the use of tactical nuclear weapons against Iran, even though Iran's nuclear weapons programme is non-existent.

09-16-06 - Japan banks to halt dollar trade with Iran bank Three major Japanese lenders have decided to stop dollar business with a state-funded Iranian bank to stay in line with U.S. sanctions, bank sources said on Saturday.

09-16-06 - Friendship, then missiles in terror sting "I've seen it on television," Hossain said. "I had never seen it ... but it's not legal." "What is legal in this world," the informant responded, laughing loudly.

09-16-06 - From 1999: Report: Pollard stole 10-volume intelligence 'Bible' As it relates to comments by Eitan in yesterday's news.

09-16-06 - Neocons Amid Lebanon?s Rubble: A Challenge to Krauthammer's Israel-as-Strategic-Asset Argument

09-16-06 - Does the Israel Lobby Have Too Much Influence on U.S. Foreign Policy? A prominent panel of leading academics, politicians, and intellectuals will debate the extent of the pro-Israel lobby's influence on United States foreign policy -- in an effort to foster a rational and open discussion on our national strategic interests. The event, hosted by the London Review of Books, will be held at Cooper Union's Great Hall, located at 7 East 7th Street, New York. The debate will take place at 7PM, Thursday, September 28th, and tickets may be purchased at or 212.279.4200.

09-16-06 - Lebanon Must Disarm Hezbollah, Israeli Foreign Minister Warns To which the Lebanese might reply.

09-16-06 - Ex-Palestinian PM may see Hamas chief in Syria "I bring a message," he added ahead of a meeting with Faisal Meqdad, Syria's deputy foreign minister.

09-16-06 - Pope voices regret over Muslim anger Relations between Palestinian Muslims and the small Palestinian Christian minority are generally peaceful, so the attacks on four of Nablus' 10 churches, and on the Greek Orthodox Church in Gaza City sparked concern that tensions would widen. ...Ayman Daraghmeh, a legislator from the ruling Islamic militant Hamas group, denounced the attacks.

09-16-06 - Hezbollah sends UN peacekeepers veiled warning Hezbollah said it would have no problem with UN peacekeepers as long as they stick to defending Lebanon against Israel, two days after the French general who leads the troops hinted they would disarm the Shiite group if the Lebanese army does not.

09-16-06 - EU considers deployment of troops on Lebanon-Syria border

09-16-06 - Israel's report on strike is "far-fetched" -Finnish officer "Surely the original map had the UN positions marked. If not, their attitude towards UN observers is rather disrespectful and negligent."

09-16-06 - Contractors Sue Over Deaths In Iraq So why would KBR bosses, despite all the warnings, still send so many civilians into harm's way? KBR is a subsidary of Halliburton.

09-16-06 - Honey Trap why did then Governor Jim McGreevey hire an Israeli citizen to the position of Homeland Security Advisor for the state of New Jersey?


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