Friday, May 25, 2007

On to Iran, Part MVXVI

Confirming what we already know, ABC News reports that Bush has indeed signed off on an order for the CIA "to mount a covert 'black' operation to destabilize the Iranian government."

In related news, Steve Clemons claims that Cheney and his boys are working hard to undermine any diplomatic track with Iran, thus paving the way for an outright military confrontation:

Multiple sources have reported that a senior aide on Vice President Cheney's national security team has been meeting with policy hands of the American Enterprise Institute, one other think tank, and more than one national security consulting house and explicitly stating that Vice President Cheney does not support President Bush's tack towards Condoleezza Rice's diplomatic efforts and fears that the President is taking diplomacy with Iran too seriously.

...The thinking on Cheney's team is to collude with Israel, nudging Israel at some key moment in the ongoing standoff between Iran's nuclear activities and international frustration over this to mount a small-scale conventional strike against Natanz using cruise missiles (i.e., not ballistic missiles).

This strategy would sidestep controversies over bomber aircraft and overflight rights over other Middle East nations and could be expected to trigger a sufficient Iranian counter-strike against US forces in the Gulf -- which just became significantly larger -- as to compel Bush to forgo the diplomatic track that the administration realists are advocating and engage in another war.
I think the Israel angle is important here. It's what I've been speculating about for quite some time. It would tidy things up nicely.