Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Imminent October Surprise: Iran Showdown Quotes

Long story short: it looks like the GOP is going to get creamed in November. So I'm betting the Cheney/Rove/ Bush White House is going to pull a pre-election Showdown with Iran October Surprise stunt. See my posts on this here, here, here and here. We'll know very soon whether my speculation is on the money or (as I hope) not.

Here are some America is Heading for a Showdown With Iran quotes from recent news articles. If my prediction is correct, we'll be seeing way more of these articles in the coming days, with increasingly ominous headlines and increasingly hysterical official quotes. And the wingnuts will start typing up feverish op-ed pieces about the importance of invading Iran immediately.

1) Iran’s Proposal to End Nuclear Standoff Is Rejected by the West, by Elaine Sciolino, NYT, October 4.

The United States, meanwhile, is giving Iran until the end of the week to declare whether it will agree to fully stop making enriched uranium or face sanctions. Enriched uranium can be used to make energy or to fuel weapons, and Washington has consistently taken the position that any uranium enrichment on Iranian soil is out of the question because it could give Iran the ability to master the nuclear fuel cycle.

2) PM: Iranian nukes threaten our existence, by Aluf Benn, Yoav Stern and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz, October 4.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told visiting members of the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday that "for the first time in my life I feel that there is an existential threat against the state of Israel." Olmert will reiterate this message when he meets Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Wednesday. Rice is due to arrive Wednesday for a visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Olmert is expected to stress in talks with Rice that the United States must play a central role in countering the threat posed by Iran and its nuclear ambitions.
3) Rice says time running out over Iran nuclear programme, Reuters, October 3.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Tuesday the international community is running out of time to act on Iran's nuclear ambitions and risks losing credibility.

"I hope that there is still room to resolve this, but the international community is running out of time because soon its own credibility ... will be a matter of question," Rice said at a joint news conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit.
4) US: Iran Could Have Nuclear Bomb in Four Years, by Gary Thomas, Voice of America News, October 3.

The top U.S. intelligence official says Iran could have a nuclear weapon within four to nine years, but that it still has time to turn away from that path.

Speaking in his top floor office overlooking the Potomac River, Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte says Iran is determined to get nuclear weapons and will have them soon if not deterred from its current course.
5) Arabs Pressure Rice On U.S. Peace Efforts, By Robin Wright, WaPo, October 4.
Arab officials also expressed frustration that the United States seems far more focused on the issue of Iran's nuclear program. Although Arab states share concern about Iran's nuclear potential, Rice and her Arab interlocutors sometimes seemed to be talking at cross-purposes, according to Arab officials involved in the talks in Cairo. One senior Arab official described the talks as warm but unproductive.

UPDATED 8:32 am

6) Peres: Iran also has a human bomb, by Ronny Sofer, Ynet News, October 4.
Vice Premier Shimon Peres said Wednesday morning during a press conference in Berlin that "Iran constitutes a danger due to two bombs, one nuclear and the other human – Ahmadinejad."

According to Peres, Iran's strength is a consequence of the international weakness.

"If the countries of the international community countries would have acted, we could have cancelled the Iranian danger. The great fear is that the Iranian nuclear capabilities would be used for terror. All world leaders should unite in order to stop Iran," he said.


spocko said...

I like your analysis. Do you think the "invasion" will take the form of bombing or something else.

BTW, US troops are already in Iran. Seymore Hersh in the New Yorker several months ago did a story and talked about how the troops are working to get the people to actively confront their government. I don't remember the date of the article, but that bit of info just really struck me. It was solidly sourced.

We are already there. They are also looking for targets so that a bombing campaign can be "effective" and not kill too many civilians.

Eric said...

As you say, Hersh reports they've done the groundwork for an attack on Iran's nuclear program, including putting special forces on the ground to do target reconnaissance. I think an outright invasion is pretty much out of the question. I also think their options for a sudden, outright series of airstrikes are pretty limited. Their lack of credibility really constrains their ability to put on a "wild man" show.

I think the likelier play for them is a very fast escalation/transformation of the current Security Council negotiations with Iran into a U.S. Showdown with Iran. I would think the model for Rove is the Cuban Missile Crisis -- a showdown, lots of drama, forces the Dems to pick sides, etc.