“War With Iran Might Be Closer Than You Think”

Philip Giraldi warns of an immanent strike by the US at Iran, in a post on 9 May 2008 at The American Conservative blog. For your convenience, it is printed in full below — along with his somewhat similar warning dated 1 August 2005, from The American Conservative magazine. Such warnings have circulated for several years, in various forms.

That they have been consistently wrong does not mean that they will never prove correct. Perhaps the excitement with which some folks greet each new rumor is undeserved. Instead we should rejoice that the rumors concern small strikes at training camps, not strikes at Iran’s best-guarded strategic industrial sites.

Warning #1

There is considerable speculation and buzz in Washington today suggesting that the National Security Council has agreed in principle to proceed with plans to attack an Iranian al-Qods-run camp that is believed to be training Iraqi militants. The camp that will be targeted is one of several located near Tehran. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was the only senior official urging delay in taking any offensive action. The decision to go ahead with plans to attack Iran is the direct result of concerns being expressed over the deteriorating situation in Lebanon, where Iranian ally Hezbollah appears to have gained the upper hand against government forces and might be able to dominate the fractious political situation.

The White House contacted the Iranian government directly yesterday through a channel provided by the leadership of the Kurdish region in Iraq, which has traditionally had close ties to Tehran. The US demanded that Iran admit that it has been interfering in Iraq and also commit itself to taking steps to end the support of various militant groups. There was also a warning about interfering in Lebanon. The Iranian government reportedly responded quickly, restating its position that it would not discuss the matter until the US ceases its own meddling employing Iranian dissident groups.

The perceived Iranian intransigence coupled with the Lebanese situation convinced the White House that some sort of unambiguous signal has to be sent to the Iranian leadership, presumably in the form of cruise missiles. It is to be presumed that the attack will be as “pinpoint” and limited as possible, intended to target only al-Qods and avoid civilian casualties. The decision to proceed with plans for an attack is not final. The President will still have to give the order to launch after all preparations are made.

A second warning. Or is this first warning, and the above the second warning?

In Washington it is hardly a secret that the same people in and around the administration who brought you Iraq are preparing to do the same for Iran. The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney’s office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States.

The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option.

As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing-that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack-but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections.

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Other Posts on this topic

  1. War with Iran (9 November 2007)
  2. Is Iran dangerous, or a paper tiger? (13 November 2007)
  3. Will Israel commit suicide? More rumors of a strike at Iran. (22 December 2007)
  4. A 4GW puzzle: what happened in the Straits of Hormuz? (17 January 2008)
  5. Cable Cut Fever grips the conspiracy-hungry fringes of the web (7 February 2008)
  6. Resolution of the Great Submarine Cable Crisis – and some lessons learned (8 February 2008)
  7. Will we bomb Iran, now that Admiral Fallon is gone? (17 March 2008)
  8. More post-Fallon overheating: “6 signs the US may be headed for war in Iran” (18 March 2008)
  9. A militant America, ready for war with Iran (6 May 2008)
  10. Another step towards war with Iran? (7 May 2008)

3 thoughts on ““War With Iran Might Be Closer Than You Think””

  1. There are two groups that think an attack on Iran is (or should) be immanent.

    A small clique with an ideological perspective that thinks it is necessary for Middle East peace. This group is much more prominent outside the administration than in it, and actually consists of people who the administration never hired or encouraged to find other pursuits in the private sector

    Those whose ideological orientation requires them to believe the administration will order and attack on Iran in the next ten minutes.

    These groups play on and feed each other.

    But assuming Iran does not do something in Iraq that can’t be ignored, I rather doubt it. Military deployments are not right and there does not appear to be a move in that direction. It would unbelievably complicate Iraq. Action does not need to be done soon. Any threat is a bigger threat to Europe than the US. If Europe is not willing to fly the first wave the US will wait.

    Could be wrong but there is more hype pro and con than substance.

  2. Nicholas Weaver

    The problem and why I worry:

    Back in 05-06, the cries for war against Iran were following almost the exact same playbook that was used to justify the invasion of Iraq. Scarily so. But there ended up being a huge amount of pushback (including publicied rumors of internal pushback in the military).

    It did seem to settle down for a while, but the same drums are beating AGAIN, so thus I think its right to worry again: with the current administration, you can’t count on them not doing something incredibly stupid, especially with an election approaching.

    They have beat the war-drums in this way twice: Once got us into Iraq. So when you hear them beating the war-drums again, its right to worry.

    As for the second listed warning, this ties into some of the reports of immediately after Sept 11 there was a movement to attack Iraq even when it was clear that the problems lay in Afghanistan, so it unfortunatly also fits with the preestablished MO of the current administration.

    On the other hand, I’d hope that we have standard contingency plans for everything, including invading Canada to secure our supply of maple syrup, which I’m sure the press would be happy to misconstrew.

  3. All talk and no substance

    If the contact was made only yesterday through Kurdish contacts chances are we are reading this before the Iranian leadership. Yet who exactly this is aimed at is not clear as the idea of an ‘Iranian Leadership’ is in itself vague as are we referring to the politicians or the religious leaders?

    Further, if you would like to think of the Iraq war as little more then an attempted ‘oil grab’, then It does not make much sense to do anything with Iran now. Yes, always good to have a little war to divert public attention for the ineptitude of national politicians and domestic crisis’s (fears of resecession and so on) while President Bush has nothing to lose. But the threat of conflict has driven prices to $125 a barrel, imagine the economic consequences of actual conflict.

    No, I believe ‘balance of power’ in the region using proxy states/groups is what lies ahead. Then again, being pragmatic does not win elections.

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