Meditation Focus #158

Preventing Nuclear Armageddon


Hello!

What follows is the 158th Meditation Focus suggested for the next 3 (three) weeks beginning Sunday, October 1st, 2006.

PREVENTING NUCLEAR ARMAGEDDON

1. Summary
2. Meditation times
3. More information related to this Meditation Focus

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE IN PASSING THIS ON TO OTHERS

Important notice: Because of the large amount of information pertaining to this Meditation Focus and because it would make the networking of this material too unwieldy, your are requested exceptionally to review this information online through accessing the following compilations whose contents deals to a large extent with the subject matter of this important Meditation Focus.

George The Menace #2: Gutting Constitutional Rights and Creating a Banana Republic (October 1) This new compilation has just been emailed separately to the ERN subscribers
http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2006/GeorgeTheMenace2.htm

The Empire of Darkness Series #35: Marching Into Nuclear Oblivion (Posted on September 28)
http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2006/EmpireDarkness35.htm

Some of the key articles recommended to your attention in these 2 compilations are...

Detainee Bill and the Dawning of a Fascist America
http://kurtnimmo.com/?p=580

Rushing Off a Cliff - New York Times Editorial
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article15142.htm

CONCEPT PLAN (CONPLAN) 8022
http://www.nolajbs.net/forum/index.php?topic=6470.msg50652#msg50652
Advanced state of readiness to trigger nuclear attacks directed against Iran or North Korea.

War Signals?
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20061009/lindorff
(...) Colonel Gardiner, who has taught military strategy at the National War College, says that the carrier deployment and a scheduled Persian Gulf arrival date of October 21 is "very important evidence" of war planning. He says, "I know that some naval forces have already received 'prepare to deploy orders' [PTDOs], which have set the date for being ready to go as October 1. Given that it would take about from October 2 to October 21 to get those forces to the Gulf region, that looks about like the date" of any possible military action against Iran. (A PTDO means that all crews should be at their stations, and ships and planes should be ready to go, by a certain date--in this case, reportedly, October 1.) Gardiner notes, "You cannot issue a PTDO and then stay ready for very long. It's a very significant order, and it's not done as a training exercise."

The March to War: Iran Preparing for US Air Attacks (September 21, 2006)
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=N20060921&articleId=3299
Iran is bracing itself for an expected American-led air campaign. The latter is in the advanced stages of military planning. If there were to be war between the United States and Iran, the aerial campaign would unleash fierce combat. It would be fully interactive on multiple fronts. It would be a difficult battle involving active movement in the air from both sides. If war were to occur, the estimates of casualties envisaged by American and British war planners would be high. The expected wave of aerial attacks would resemble the tactics of the Israeli air-war against Lebanon and would follow the same template, but on a larger scale of execution. The U.S. government and the Pentagon had an active role in graphing, both militarily and politically, the template of confrontation in Lebanon. The Israeli siege against Lebanon is in many regards a dress rehearsal for a planned attack on Iran. A war against Iran is one that could also include military operations against Syria. Multiple theatres would engulf many of the neighbors of Iran and Syria, including Iraq and Israel/Palestine. It must also be noted that an attack on Iran would be of a scale which would dwarf the events in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Levant. A full blown war on Iran would not only swallow up and incorporate these other conflicts. It would engulf the entire Middle East and Central Asian region into an extensive confrontation. CLIP

Bush Administration Plans for a US War vs. Iran by Dennis Kucinich (September 23, 2006)
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=KUC20060923&articleId=3310
Dear Friends, The Bush Administration is preparing for war against Iran, using an almost identical drumbeat of weapons of mass destruction, imminent threat, alleged links to Al Queda, and even linking Iran with a future 911. CLIP

In addition to this you will find three other relevant articles below.



1) SUMMARY

As the United States government, under the control of a dark cabal of globalist elitists, has just enacted a new bill that gives extraordinary dictatorial powers to George W Bush to legally arrest, indefinitely detain and even torture anyone on Earth deemed an "illegal enemy combatant" or accused of "wrongfully aiding the enemy", a law that even gives the power to the president to define what abusive interrogation methods he considers permissible, an armada of war is almost secretly en route towards Iran which could be pre-emptively attacked near the end of October during an air campaign that will most likely dwarf the brute force applied against Iraq in 2003. While most mainstream media studiously avoid alarming people over the inevitable consequences both of these new repressive powers and of what such an attack could unleash, or even in most cases properly informing the public about all this, governments around the world are feverishly preparing and implementing plans either to go along with the U.S. hegemonious aims or to oppose them depending on where they stand in this global confrontation now underway.

What is certainly the most disturbing aspect of these war plans, is the alleged desire by the U.S. and/or the Israeli government to resort to tactical nuclear weapons to achieve their claimed objective of neutralizing the secret nuclear weapon program Iran is thought to develop in several deeply buried and heavily fortified locations, some of them being near populated areas. Although numerous military analysts have pointed to the near suicidal nature of such an attack that would have far-reaching consequences for the attacking country whose ground forces are currently bogged down in 2 intractable conflicts slowly grinding down its much vaunted military capabilities and demoralizing its troops with hardly any support left at home for these very unpopular wars, opening such a third war front seems to be an option seriously considered as a way to stunt the American voting constituents into a submissive stance on the eve of the midterm elections that could otherwise prove to be disastrous for the party in power.

Please dedicate your prayers and meditations, as guided by Spirit, in the coming three weeks, and especially in synchronous attunement at the usual time this Sunday and the following Sunday to contribute in fostering the will in all concerned people, particularly in the United States, to undertake any and all possible peaceful actions that could help vigorously demonstrate that those in power have lost the last shred of legitimacy and thus do not represent the will of the people who are invested with the ultimate democratic power to decide what course their nation should take, for the Highest Good of All.

This whole Meditation Focus has been archived for your convenience at
http://www.aei.ca/~cep/MeditationFocus158.htm



2. MEDITATION TIMES

i) Global Meditation Day: Sunday at 16:00 Universal Time (GMT) or at noon local time. Suggested duration: 30 minutes. Please dedicate the last few minutes of your Sunday meditation to the healing of the Earth as a whole. See the Earth as healthy and vibrant with life, and experience the healing of all relations as we awaken globally to the sacredness of all Life and to our underlying unity with All That Is.

ii) Golden Moment of At-Onement: Daily, at the top of any hour, or whenever it better suits you.

These times below correspond to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT:

Honolulu 6:00 AM -- Anchorage 7:00 AM -- Los Angeles 8:00 AM -- Denver 9:00 AM -- San Salvador, Mexico City, Houston & Chicago 10:00 AM -- New York, Toronto & Montreal 11:00 AM -- Halifax, Santo Domingo, La Paz & Caracas 12:00 PM -- Montevideo, Asuncion * & Santiago * 1:00 PM -- Rio de Janeiro * 2:00 PM -- London, Dublin, Lisbon, Reykjavik & Casablanca 4:00 PM -- Lagos, Algiers, Geneva, Rome, Berlin, Paris & Madrid 5:00 PM -- Ankara, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Athens, Helsinki & Istanbul 6:00 PM -- Baghdad, Moscow & Nairobi 7:00 PM -- Tehran 7:30 PM -- Islamabad 9:00 PM -- Calcutta & New Delhi 9:30 PM -- Dhaka 10:00 PM -- Rangoon 10:30 PM -- Hanoi, Bangkok & Jakarta 11:00 PM -- Hong Kong, Perth, Beijing & Kuala Lumpur +12:00 AM -- Seoul & Tokyo +1:00 AM -- Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne +2:00 AM -- Wellington * +5:00 AM

You may also check at http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?day=1&month=10&year=2006&hour=16&min=0&sec=0&p1=0 to find your corresponding local time if a nearby city is not listed above.



3. MORE INFORMATION RELATED TO THIS MEDITATION FOCUS

This complement of information may help you to better understand the various aspects pertaining to the summary description of the subject of this Meditation Focus. It is recommended to view this information from a positive perspective, and not allow the details to tinge the positive vision we wish to hold in meditation. Since what we focus on grows, the more positive our mind-set, the more successful we will be in manifesting a vision of peace and healing. This complementary information is provided so that a greater knowledge of what needs healing and peace-nurturing vibrations may assist us to have an in-depth understanding of what is at stake and thus achieve a greater collective effectiveness.


CONTENTS

1. In Case I Disappear
2. How to Avoid World War III
3. Rattling the Cage: The big con about Iran


See also:

President signs Iran sanctions bill (Sep 30)
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_iran;_ylt=Ajrc.uPwD2wnrSt5Zy3xOO9Sw60A;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl
WASHINGTON - President Bush on Saturday signed legislation that would impose mandatory sanctions on entities that provide goods or services for Iran's weapons programs. The Senate passed the bill with no debate Saturday, two days after the House approved the measure following a debate over the wisdom of toughening unilateral sanctions on Tehran at the same time the United States was trying to work with its U.N. partners on a multinational approach to Iran's nuclear threat.The measure sanctions any entity that contributes to Iran's ability to acquire chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. CLIP

Poll: Europeans oppose Iran strike (Sep. 25, 2006)
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1159125863038&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
Support for a preemptive military strike against Iran's nuclear weapons facilities if Teheran continues to produce nuclear fuel finds support in Iraq, Israel and the US, according to a new survey published by the BBC.However, public opinion in 25 countries finds limited global support for the military option, with only 17% of respondents surveyed backing aggressive action. CLIP

Full Coverage on Iran
http://news.yahoo.com/fc/World/Iran;_ylt=ApTynfyEoB82UO1zbtLSnw52y14A;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

More News on Iran
http://news.yahoo.com/fc/world/iran/news_stories/1;_ylt=AvqzGYWILIOzWeEGxTgWK1JSw60A;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl




1.

From: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/092906J.shtml

In Case I Disappear

By William Rivers Pitt

t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Friday 29 September 2006

I have been told a thousand times at least, in the years I have spent reporting on the astonishing and repugnant abuses, lies and failures of the Bush administration, to watch my back. "Be careful," people always tell me. "These people are capable of anything. Stay off small planes, make sure you aren't being followed." A running joke between my mother and me is that she has a "safe room" set up for me in her cabin in the woods, in the event I have to flee because of something I wrote or said.

I always laughed and shook my head whenever I heard this stuff. Extreme paranoia wrapped in the tinfoil of conspiracy, I thought. This is still America, and these Bush fools will soon pass into history, I thought. I am a citizen, and the First Amendment hasn't yet been red-lined, I thought.

Matters are different now.

It seems, perhaps, that the people who warned me were not so paranoid. It seems, perhaps, that I was not paranoid enough. Legislation passed by the Republican House and Senate, legislation now marching up to the Republican White House for signature, has shattered a number of bedrock legal protections for suspects, prisoners, and pretty much anyone else George W. Bush deems to be an enemy.

So much of this legislation is wretched on the surface. Habeas corpus has been suspended for detainees suspected of terrorism or of aiding terrorism, so the Magna Carta-era rule that a person can face his accusers is now gone. Once a suspect has been thrown into prison, he does not have the right to a trial by his peers. Suspects cannot even stand in representation of themselves, another ancient protection, but must accept a military lawyer as their defender.

Illegally-obtained evidence can be used against suspects, whether that illegal evidence was gathered abroad or right here at home. To my way of thinking, this pretty much eradicates our security in persons, houses, papers, and effects, as stated in the Fourth Amendment, against illegal searches and seizures.

Speaking of collecting evidence, the torture of suspects and detainees has been broadly protected by this new legislation. While it tries to delineate what is and is not acceptable treatment of detainees, in the end, it gives George W. Bush the final word on what constitutes torture. US officials who use cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment to extract information from detainees are now shielded from prosecution.

It was two Supreme Court decisions, Hamdi v. Rumsfeld and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, that compelled the creation of this legislation. The Hamdi decision held that a prisoner has the right of habeas corpus, and can challenge his detention before an impartial judge. The Hamdan decision held that the military commissions set up to try detainees violated both the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Conventions.

In short, the Supreme Court wiped out virtually every legal argument the Bush administration put forth to defend its extraordinary and dangerous behavior. The passage of this legislation came after a scramble by Republicans to paper over the torture and murder of a number of detainees. As columnist Molly Ivins wrote on Wednesday, "Of the over 700 prisoners sent to Gitmo, only 10 have ever been formally charged with anything. Among other things, this bill is a CYA for torture of the innocent that has already taken place."

It seems almost certain that, at some point, the Supreme Court will hear a case to challenge the legality of this legislation, but even this is questionable. If a detainee is not allowed access to a fair trial or to the evidence against him, how can he bring a legal challenge to a court? The legislation, in anticipation of court challenges like Hamdi and Hamdan, even includes severe restrictions on judicial review over the legislation itself.

The Republicans in Congress have managed, at the behest of Mr. Bush, to draft a bill that all but erases the judicial branch of the government. Time will tell whether this aspect, along with all the others, will withstand legal challenges. If such a challenge comes, it will take time, and meanwhile there is this bill. All of the above is deplorable on its face, indefensible in a nation that prides itself on Constitutional rights, protections and the rule of law.

Underneath all this, however, is where the paranoia sets in.

Underneath all this is the definition of "enemy combatant" that has been established by this legislation. An "enemy combatant" is now no longer just someone captured "during an armed conflict" against our forces. Thanks to this legislation, George W. Bush is now able to designate as an "enemy combatant" anyone who has "purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States."

Consider that language a moment. "Purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States" is in the eye of the beholder, and this administration has proven itself to be astonishingly impatient with criticism of any kind. The broad powers given to Bush by this legislation allow him to capture, indefinitely detain, and refuse a hearing to any American citizen who speaks out against Iraq or any other part of the so-called "War on Terror."

If you write a letter to the editor attacking Bush, you could be deemed as purposefully and materially supporting hostilities against the United States. If you organize or join a public demonstration against Iraq, or against the administration, the same designation could befall you. One dark-comedy aspect of the legislation is that senators or House members who publicly disagree with Bush, criticize him, or organize investigations into his dealings could be placed under the same designation. In effect, Congress just gave Bush the power to lock them up.

By writing this essay, I could be deemed an "enemy combatant." It's that simple, and very soon, it will be the law. I always laughed when people told me to be careful. I'm not laughing anymore.

In case I disappear, remember this. America is an idea, a dream, and that is all. We have borders and armies and citizens and commerce and industry, but all this merely makes us like every other nation on this Earth. What separates us is the idea, the simple idea, that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are our organizing principles. We can think as we please, speak as we please, write as we please, worship as we please, go where we please. We are protected from the kinds of tyranny that inspired our creation as a nation in the first place.

That was the idea. That was the dream. It may all be over now, but once upon a time, it existed. No good idea ever truly dies. The dream was here, and so was I, and so were you.

William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of two books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know and The Greatest Sedition Is Silence. His newest book, House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America's Ravaged Reputation, will be available this winter from PoliPointPress.




2.

From: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0609/S00437.htm

How to Avoid World War III

By Robert Parry
Consortium News & Truthout,Org
Thursday 28 September 2006

Often when we write about the Iraq War and the "war on terror," we receive angry e-mails from George W. Bush's supporters who insist there is no alternative but to follow the President's lead in crushing Islamic militants and fighting World War III.

Typical was one e-mail that asserted, "they started it; now we're going to finish it."

But I'm never clear who "they" are or exactly what "it" is. If "they" are the Sunni Islamic fundamentalist terrorists of al-Qaeda and "it" is 9/11, U.S. forces could have concentrated on al-Qaeda strongholds along the Afghan-Pakistani border until Osama bin Laden, Ayman Zawahiri and their followers were captured or killed.

Bush, however, expanded the "they" to include the secular dictatorship of Iraq, the Shiite government of Iran, Syria's Assad family dynasty, Lebanese Shiite militants of Hezbollah, Palestinian Sunni militants of Hamas, and a hodgepodge of other Islamic radicals around the globe.

So, instead of finishing a winnable war against al-Qaeda, Bush veered off into a diffused struggle against a diverse grouping of Muslim leaders, nations and organizations lumped under a terrorism umbrella.

Bush also has offered no coherent strategy for winning what amounts to a global counterinsurgency war against Islamic militants. Beyond vowing to stay on "the offensive" in Iraq and elsewhere, Bush has promulgated a dubious theory that widespread anti-Americanism can be overcome by imposing "democracy," through force if needed.

But this "democracy" theory has run aground on the hard reality that Muslim hatred of Bush is so intense that almost whenever citizens get to vote they either act on behalf of narrow sectarian interests (as in Iraq) or they vote for people who have earned popular support by standing up to the United States (as in Iran, Palestine and Lebanon).

That means that the only "reliable" U.S. allies are still the "moderate" autocrats, such as the Saudi royal family, the Jordanian monarchy, or the dictators of Egypt and Pakistan. If the popular will in those countries were respected, the likelihood is that the elected governments would join the "coalition of the hostile" against the United States.

In other words, Bush has no real strategic plan for winning the "war on terror," short of waging a bloodbath against large segments of the world's one billion Muslims, a global version of the carnage on display in Iraq since 2003 and in Lebanon during the Israeli war against Hezbollah last summer.

Yet, even a bloodbath strategy along the lines of the Iraq War is certain to fail. As the U.S. intelligence community has recognized, the Iraq War has become a case study in how not to conduct counterinsurgency warfare - as well as an example of how wishful thinking and incompetent military strategies can make a bad situation worse.

Neocon Goal

Still, the neoconservatives who surround Bush have learned little or nothing from these lessons.

They insist that the United States must pursue a "long war" or "World War III" by seeking violent "regime change" in Iran, Syria and any area controlled by militant Islamists. During the Lebanon conflict, Bush was so eager to spread the violence that he reportedly urged Israel to launch an attack against Syria. [See Consortiumnews.com's "Bush Wants Wider War."]

But these widening circles of violence will surely provoke more attacks on Western targets and then more retaliatory strikes by the United States against a multiplying Islamic enemy, like the chaos in the Disney fable, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice."

The downward spiral of violence also will be accompanied by a drastic curtailment of constitutional rights in the United States. As the terrorist threat continues to grow, so will the pressure to transform America into a modern-day police state, with arbitrary detention of terrorism suspects and high-technology spying on citizens and non-citizens alike.

This future of endless war and expanding repression represents Bush's grim vision. But the countervailing question is this: Is there a realistic alternative?

The answer is "yes, but." There are still routes available that might lead to a more peaceful world that isolates, marginalizes and eventually eradicates terrorist ideologues. But these strategies would require extraordinary bravery, wisdom, patience, humility and tolerance.

Most importantly, Israel and the West would need to reach out to the Muslim world with generosity and understanding, despite continuing terrorist outrages that would cry out for revenge. Jesus's age-old teachings about "turning the other cheek" would be tested.

This alternative strategy would seek to reduce - not escalate - tensions with Muslims. It would address their legitimate grievances. It might include apologies for past Western wrongdoing. It would try to build positive economic, commercial and political bonds. It would seek to reduce Western dependency on Middle Eastern oil.

Also, given the Bush administration's strategic intransigence, new international players - such as the European Union or Russia - might have to fill the leadership void in the region. Israel's Kadima leadership would have to reverse course from its crackdown in Gaza and its bombardment of Lebanon, and start pursuing innovative peace initiatives.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, whose political star has fallen since the disastrous war in Lebanon, would need to rise to the occasion despite strong opposition from the Israeli right wing.

Olmert might start by seeking a peace treaty with Syria that gives back the Golan Heights; make an overture to Iran offering economic cooperation, such as technological help in building a modern oil refinery; and begin unconditional talks with the elected Hamas leadership in the Palestinian territories.

Though a permanent resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would take time, Israel and international parties could, in the meantime, take action to improve the living conditions of the Palestinian people, thus lancing one of the festering boils of animosity in the Middle East.

Another important step back from World War III would come with a phased American withdrawal from Iraq.

Though Iraq would surely continue to suffer civil strife, a U.S. military departure would remove what the U.S. intelligence community has called the "cause celebre" for the jihadist movement and would create a dynamic for Iraqis to go after any remaining foreign al-Qaeda operatives.

As we have noted in the past, one of the major worries of the al-Qaeda leadership - expressed in the so-called "Zawahiri letter" - is that a rapid U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq would cause the non-Iraqi jihadists to lay down their arms and go home. [See Consortiumnews.com's "Al-Qaeda Letter Belies Bush's Iraq Claims."]

Bush-bin Laden Symbiosis

Though Bush presents himself as the tough-guy enemy of bin Laden, Bush's policies, in reality, often have served al-Qaeda's interests. For instance, Bush's decision to divert U.S. military resources from Afghanistan to the Iraq War enabled al-Qaeda's top leaders to survive and it gave them an issue to exploit in their rebuilding effort.

Indeed, Bush's policies have dovetailed so perfectly with al-Qaeda's dream of engaging the West in a worldwide struggle that CIA analysts believe bin Laden took the risk of releasing a videotape only days before Election 2004 to help Bush gain a second term. [See Consortiumnews.com's "CIA: Osama Helped Bush in '04."]

This "Bush-bin Laden symbiosis" is likely to continue until Congress finally asserts its power over making war or until Bush leaves office.

Given Bush's personality, it seems unthinkable that he would ever admit that he had made a mistake by invading Iraq or that he would order a full troop withdrawal. Nor is he likely to cooperate with peace initiatives by other nations that involve real compromise.

But a Republican defeat in the Nov. 7 elections could at least limit Bush's ability to interfere with initiatives by other international players who might want to step back from the brink of World War III.

Conversely, another Republican victory might well lock in a future of near-endless war abroad and ever-increasing political repression at home.

---

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at Amazon.com, as is his 1999 book, Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth.'




3.

From: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1159193330631&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Sep. 27, 2006 - Updated Sep. 29, 2006

Rattling the Cage: The big con about Iran

By LARRY DERFNER

Despite all the skepticism, the US and Israel do have a military option in Iran: preemptive nuclear annihilation.

The US and Israel, or the US by itself, or maybe even Israel by itself, can destroy Iran and its 69 million people, probably in a matter of hours or even less, and then nobody in the world will have to worry about those crazy maniacs getting the bomb. Things would be sort of weird afterward, it's hard to say what the consequences might be, but the Iranian threat would be behind us.

Other than that, though, there is no military option in Iran. If we didn't learn this from the Americans' ongoing experience in Iraq, we should have learned it from Israel's recent experience in Lebanon.

Many people think it's possible to wipe out Iran's nuclear facilities, or at least cripple them, from the air. But did Israel manage to wipe out or cripple Hizbullah's weapons from the air? Incidentally, Iran is about 150 times the size of Lebanon. And Hizbullah's underground military bunkers were built by the Iranians; imagine what they've built for themselves at home.

But I don't want to misrepresent the case for an air attack on Iran's nuclear works; those in favor allow that it might well require commandos and maybe small infantry units to ferret out the nukes and make sure they're destroyed.

When I hear this, I think of American soldiers roaming around Iraq looking futilely for weapons of mass destruction, then I remember that Iran is four times bigger than Iraq, with more than twice the population, and a military that dwarfs what Iraq had when the US invaded in 2003.

I think, also, of how small units of Israeli infantry went into south Lebanon at the start of this summer's war, and how everyone soon realized that those soldiers wouldn't be enough - which happened at about the same time everyone realized the Air Force wouldn't be enough, either - and that instead, a massive ground invasion would be necessary.

And all that was just for tiny little Hizbullah and south Lebanon. How many troops and how big a war effort would be needed to take on Iran?

No one knows. How long would the soldiers have to stay in Iran before the nuclear threat were removed, if it could be removed? How would Iran fight back? Would it fire missiles at Israel? Would it use chemical and biological weapons? How far beyond Iran would the war spread? How many soldiers and civilians would die?

Again, nobody knows. And on the basis of what we've seen in Iraq and Lebanon, nobody can even make a decent guess, least of all the calm, confident generals and politicians who are so good at promising "victory."

But I think people know by now that before a country goes to war, it has to be prepared to weather the worst possibilities, not just the most blissful ones. I don't think anybody will believe the same sort of pie-in-the-sky predictions about fighting war in Iran that they believed about fighting one in Iraq and in Lebanon. And I suspect the non-believers include George W. Bush and Ehud Olmert, no matter what they say publicly.

I FIGURE they know that trying to take out Iran's nuclear facilities by conventional means requires a huge military commitment and huge risks with no guarantee of success. It means being prepared for a much bigger war than the US has been fighting in Iraq for the last 3-1/2 years, and counting.

America won't do it. No way on earth. With the US so hopelessly out of its depth in Iraq, the American people will as soon let Bush start a war in Iran as they'd let him bring back the draft, which would be necessary to fight such a war. So forget it. America might be up for a quick little in-and-out operation, something like it did in Granada or Panama, but that's not a military option with the likes of Iran.

And what is Israel going to do? It would be nice to have maps and satellite photos of a big, vulnerable Iranian nuclear reactor sitting out there on the ground in plain sight, so a few jets could fly over, bomb it to hell and fly back in time for dinner, just like they did in Iraq in 1981. But that isn't an option this time, either. Iran's nuclear facilities, wherever they all might be, are spread out, underground, thickly defended - and the element of surprise is long gone.

So with no quick, painless solution available, is Israel willing to start the kind of war necessary to even have a chance of getting rid of Iran's nuclear potential - to start the kind of war America clearly won't?

No, Israel isn't willing. For a war of choice, this is too big and dangerous, and that's what it would be - a war of choice. Israelis may have convinced themselves that Iran will nuke us once they get the chance, but while this is a possibility - a remote one, I think - it is by no means an inevitability, and to treat it as such is hysterical, which is what Israelis, inevitably, have become over Iran.

I'm not saying Iran, especially a nuclear Iran, is nothing to worry about. Iran is plenty to worry about, but as for what to do about Iran, how to stop it from getting nuclear weapons, neither the US nor Israel nor anyone else has a conventional military way to go about it.

There are all sorts of diplomatic pressures that can be applied to Iran and its arms suppliers, but if Iran gets the bomb, which I think is likely, we are going to have to learn to live with it like we lived with Stalin and Mao having the bomb. They weren't any less fanatical than the Iranians, and when it comes to genocide and conquest, the Iranians talk about it, but Stalin and Mao did it. So there's good reason for worry, but not for hysteria.

Still, like I said at the beginning, there is an option for preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons by nuking it first. Now I know some of you reading this are thinking: "Yeah!" And I know you're not kidding, you really mean it.

But I'm sorry, even if it sounds unfair to you, preemptive nuclear annihilation is only a theoretical option, not a real, live one. A country, even the US or Israel, can't just snuff another country because of what it thinks that country might do to it in the future. Some of you may be asking: "Why not?" I'd explain, but it would probably make you angry. That's just the way it is - no mushroom clouds for Iran. All you can do is dream.

---

See also:

Air Strikes Won't Solve Iran Crisis (Sept 27)
http://english.ohmynews.com/articleview/article_view.asp?article_class=3&no=319380&rel_no=1
(...) Meanwhile, though there are some reports suggesting that Bush is determined to invade Iran on "false pretenses." Let's hope that the Bush administration looks back towards what happened in Iraq and makes a decision more according to international norms and opinions while dealing with Iran. We already have got a proof from the Iraq War that military is less effective in terms of fighting terror or reforming a nation. One could easily imagine that the fate of the Iraqi citizens would be repeated with the Iranians. So it would be humanely sane and politically bold to stick with peaceful means to tackle the Iranian nuclear crisis, rather than making another mistake of a forceful military invasion. Besides the bitter atmosphere of distrust and confrontation, there is some positive signs for solving the issue through diplomatic negotiation. While the U.S. government had been cold-shouldering any negotiation proposals by Iran in the past, its posture seems to have loosened a little, considering President Bush's recent remarks that he has no objection to truly peaceful nuclear power use by Iran. He also hinted that "there could be the day when America and Iran can be good friends and close partners in the cause of peace." While President Ahmadinejad also expressed his willingness to negotiate, it would be a positive step if Iran fairly and openly allows its nuclear program to be scrutinized by the international inspectors, as this would also be significant to deter any military action based on the suspicion of the "hidden military threat" of Iran's nuclear development program.



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