Dave Lindorff: It’s the “Oh Shit!” Moment on Iran


Richard Moore


It's the "Oh Shit!" Moment on Iran
Wed, 12 Mar 2008 08:06:00

by Dave Lindorff

(This Can't Be Happening) -- Every horror movie has that "Oh Shit!" moment, when
the hero or heroes are huddled in some creepy hideout, and suddenly something 
happens that tells you that the monster is just around the corner, or just about
to attack. In "Jurassic Park" it was the pulsing ripples in a cup of water, 
heralding the arrival of a T-Rex. In "Jaws" it was the deep base music, letting 
you know that a monstrous shark was about to attack.

Well, we just got our "Oh Shit!" moment with the just-announced resignation of 
Admiral William J. Fallon, the military commander of US Middle East operations.

Adm. Fallon, 63, famously said that an attack on Iran would not happen "on my 
watch," and is widely believed to have already threatened, along with a number 
of other top generals and admirals, to quit the service if the Bush 
administration were to launch an air attack on Iran.

Put the pieces together. We know that the vice president is obsessed with a 
desire to attack Iran, and has been since before he even took office. Bush has 
repeatedly stressed that Iran cannot be permitted to continue with its nuclear 
processing (he calls it their "nukular" bomb program, though there is no 
evidence that the country has a nuclear bomb development program, and in fact 
the last National Intelligence Estimate on Iran said there was not and hadn't 
been since 2003). And Fallon has now quit.

The Eisenhower nuclear aircraft carrier strike force has departed for stationing
off Iran, joining forces already in place there, and loaded to the brim with 
strike aircraft, Tomahawk missiles, and even nuclear weapons. It was long ago 
reported that stealth bombers had been put in place in come of the countries of 
the old Soviet Union north of Iran, as well as on the island of Diego Garcia in 
the Indian Ocean.

All the elements, that is to say, are in place for a massive air assault on 
Iranian targets, designed to destroy its nuclear program, cripple its military 
command and control, and--at least this is a stated Cheney goal--to lead to the 
overthrow of the Iranian government by its own people.

It is, of course, the strategy of madmen.

The US has no forces to send into Iran. All they can do is bomb it. And bombing 
a country doesn't lead its people to rise up. It leads them to rally 'round the 
flag. Especially when the civilian casualties of our not-so-"smart" bombs start 
to soar.

If such an attack were to happen, we can kiss goodbye to six years of domestic 
peace, such as we've had. The Iranians have considerable capability to inflict 
damage on US targets of interest, both overseas and here in the domestic US 
using assymetrical warfare techniques. The worse part is, they'd be completely 
justified in doing so, since any attack on them would be a crime against 
peace--the gravest of all international crimes.

American troops already mired and pinned down in a war in Iraq, would find 
themselves suddenly under attack by Shia forces there, who for several years now
have been largely leaving them alone.

And oil, which just bumped up against $110 a barrel, an all-time record, will 
double in price overnight, as the whole Persian Gulf becomes a war zone.

We can expect massive launches of small boats armed with missiles and torpedoes,
as well as sophisticated anti-ship missiles from shore batteries, all fired at 
US ships in the Gulf, and it would be astounding if some or even many vessels of
the US fleet weren't sunk.

Meanwhile, tanker traffic in the Gulf, which accounts for 20% or more of the 
world's oil, will cease as insurance rates for those vessels goes through the 

The monster of war will be unleashed, and will not easily be defeated. That's 
why Adm. Fallon was so opposed to the whole idea. He knows that it will be a 
disaster for the US militarily, economically and politically.

The worst part is that Cheney knows this, too. He just doesn't care. This is the
man's parting shot as he leaves office--to put the country into the throes of a 
war so vicious that no one will think of pursuing him for his long list of 
crimes against the nation and the Constitution.

He is guessing--and he may be right--that the American public will, sheep-like 
as always, rally to the cause, with a new round of yellow magnet "ribbons" on 
their cars. He is hoping--and he may be right--that war will be a boon for the 
candidacy of Republican John McCain and for embattled Republicans running for 

It's a kind of political Hail Mary.
Oh Shit! Here it comes!

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