U.S. Def. Dept. insiders are saying that a first strike nuclear waragainst Iran in the final planning stages.U.S. led Coalition partners, which include the US, Israel and Turkeyare stating publicly that they are in "an advanced stage ofreadiness". This is seen by some as saber rattling but to others inthe know this is no idle threat. A DOD insider states off recordthat "Things have become very serious."
In early 2005 various military exercises have been conductedconcering the 'IRAN Issue.' In turn, the Iranian Armed Forces havealso conducted large scale military maneuvers in the Persian Gulf inDecember in anticipation of a US sponsored attack.
Since late 2004, there has been intense shuttle diplomacy between Washington, Tel Aviv, Ankara and NATO headquarters in BrusselsIn recent developments, CIA Director Porter Goss on a mission toAnkara, requested Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan "toprovide political and logistic support for air strikes againstIranian nuclear and military targets." Goss reportedly asked " forspecial cooperation from Turkish intelligence to help prepare andmonitor the operation." (DDP, 30 December 2005).In turn, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has given the green light to theIsraeli Armed Forces to launch the attacks by the end of March.
A more recent event, Sharon being sidelined by a massive stroke, mayhave given Iran a small meause of breathing room. Insider sources sayhowever that even with Sharon being side lined the matter has gainedto much momentum to be halted by Sharon's absence. All top Israeli officials have pronounced a desire for the the end ofMarch, 2006, as being the deadline for launching a military assaulton Iran. The end of March date also coincides with the IAEA report to the UNon Iran's nuclear energy program. Israeli policymakers believe thattheir threats may influence the report, or at least force the kind ofambiguities, which can be exploited by its overseas supporters topromote Security Council sanctions or justify Israeli military action.(James Petras, Israel's War Deadline: Iran in the Crosshairs, GlobalResearch, December 2005)
As to who will lead the military coalition it has been reported bythe U.S. DOD that the various components of the military operationare firmly under US Command, coordinated by the Pentagon and USStrategic Command Headquarters (USSTRATCOM) at the Offutt Air Forcebase in Nebraska. To prove to both the world and the Iranian Military Higherarchy thatthe USA is both capable and ready for a Nuclear War, in November, theUS Strategic Command conducted a major exercise of a "global strikeplan" entitled "Global Lightening". The excersice involved asimulated attack using both conventional and nuclear weapons againsta "fictious enemy".Following the "Global Lightening" exercise, US Strategic Commanddeclared an advanced state of readiness. This has been seen on the world stage as a last ditch effort by the Doves within the USgoverment to send a message to the Iranian president that the US is indeed prepared to go to war.
Further pointing to an inevitable confict over the Nuclear issue isthe fact that no dissenting political voices have emerged from withinthe European Union. There are ongoing consultations between Washington, Paris and Berlin.Contrary to the invasion of Iraq, which was opposed at the diplomaticlevel by France and Germany, Washington has been building "a consensus" both within the Atlantic Alliance and the UN SecurityCouncil. This consensus pertains to the conduct of a nuclear war,which could potentially affect a large part of the Middle EastCentral Asian region.
Further evidence is the fact that since late 2004, Israel has beenstockpiling US made conventional and nuclear weapons systems inanticipation of an attack on Iran. This stockpiling which is financedby US military aid was largely completed in June 2005. Israel hastaken delivery from the US of several thousand "smart air launchedweapons" including some 500 'bunker-buster bombs, which can also beused to deliver tactical nuclear bombs.
The Iranian military has not been blind to the weapons build up byboth the Us and Isreal. Tehran has beefed up its air defenses throughthe acquisition of Russian 29 Tor M-1 anti-missile systems. Tehranhas confirmed that it will retaliate if attacked, in the form ofballistic missile strikes directed against Israel (CNN, 8 Feb 2005).These attacks, would also target US military facilities in Iraq andPersian Gulf, which would immediately lead us into a scenario ofmilitary escalation and all out war.
What seems inevitable, is only so, ' If Good Men do Nothing!'
What isneeded if peace and common sense is to win the day is a major thrust,nationally and internationally towards a more middle of the roadapproach to stopping both Iran and North Korea from using their only ACE card in the game of International Politics. If this does not occur then we may be seeing the opening stages ofWWIII shortly.