Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Deja Vu All Over Iran

An excellent, horrifying article from Robert Dreyfuss.

An excerpt:

In the past few weeks, we’ve seen the Bush administration create a brand-new Office of Iranian Affairs at the State Department, which looks suspiciously like a step toward creating the Iraq war planning office at the Pentagon called the Office of Special Plans. No word yet on whether the Department of Defense plans to create a parallel Office of Iranian Affairs, but it can’t be far behind. So that’s déjà vu, for sure.

The United States is pressing the U.N. to sanction Iran, to be more aggressive in shutting down a nuclear program that, so far at least, the International Atomic Energy Agency has not been able to find, exactly. Even the least charitable among us might forgive the U.N.’s diplomats, including Lavrov, for being suspicious of the Bush administration when it pledges to take Iran to the U.N. Security Council and to abide by the result. In 2002, the Bush administration took Iraq to the UNSC, got the IAEA inspectors invited back in, began pressing for further U.N. action—and then gave up the whole thing and invaded Iraq unilaterally. So that, for sure, sounds like déjà vu.

Then there are the exiles. The Bush administration, backed once again by a bloodthirsty Republican Congress—with the same cast of characters, led once again by Sen. Sam Brownback—is planning to spend $75 million to support Iranian “democrats” and to back Iranian exile television stations. And, according to a recent State Department planning document, the United States is busily setting up anti-Iranian intelligence and mobilization centers in Dubai, Istanbul, Ankara, Adana, Tel Aviv, Frankfurt, London and Baku to work with “Iranian expatriate communities.” I wonder how many Ahmad Chalabis they can find in those places. Dozens, I’d guess. More déjà vu.

Finally, believe it or not, almost as if the United States were deliberately trying to undercut its own diplomacy at the U.N., various U.S. officials are talking openly about bypassing the U.N., ignoring international legitimacy, and forging yet another ad hoc coalition of allies—a “coalition of the willing”—to confront Iran. Still more déjà vu.


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