“From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.”- Former White House chief of staff Andrew Card, on the Bush admin’s ‘Onward to Baghdad’ Autumn ’02 PR blitz
“If Iran continues to be singled out for egregious human rights violations–and for its alleged role in the ongoing Iraq insurgency–don’t be surprised if, come September, a new imperial product is officially launched (so to speak).”- matttbastard, June ’07
Yep, it’s definitely September again, although this time the War Marketeers aren’t waiting until Labour Day to shill their wares via compliant overseas proxies (apparently Michael Gordon was otherwise occupied [edit: shilling the ‘Sunni turnaround’ meme]):
THE Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians’ military capability in three days, according to a national security expert.
Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for “pinprick strikes” against Iran’s nuclear facilities. “They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military,” he said.
Debat was speaking at a meeting organised by The National Interest, a conservative foreign policy journal. He told The Sunday Times that the US military had concluded: “Whether you go for pinprick strikes or all-out military action, the reaction from the Iranians will be the same.” It was, he added, a “very legitimate strategic calculus”.
President George Bush intensified the rhetoric against Iran last week, accusing Tehran of putting the Middle East “under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust”. He warned that the US and its allies would confront Iran “before it is too late”.
One Washington source said the “temperature was rising” inside the administration. Bush was “sending a message to a number of audiences”, he said – to the Iranians and to members of the United Nations security council who are trying to weaken a tough third resolution on sanctions against Iran for flouting a UN ban on uranium enrichment.
Cernig, who notes that “[e]very single source cited [by the Times] is either a neocon think-tanker or in the neocon’s pockets” (be sure to check out the Newshog’s very informative dot-connecting), also links to the Torygraph’s contribution to the weekend propaganda rollout, which contains this telling passage:
…Mr Bush’s escalation of the rhetoric was deliberate. A former White House aide said that the reference to a “nuclear holocaust” was a precise attempt to bracket Mr Ahmadinejad’s quest for nuclear weapons and stated desire to wipe Israel off the map with Hitler’s destruction of the Jews.
“By using that word ‘holocaust’, Mr Bush has provided a moral reason to allow the Jewish state to do what it needs to do,” said the former aide. “He is reinvoking the notion of ‘never again’. If you believe that there could be another Holocaust, it becomes morally indefensible to stand back. It is a powerful and loaded term. Those people in Europe who believed that the neo-cons have gone away and shrunk under a rock had better wise up fast.”
It truly does appear that the rumours of Neoconservatism’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Looks like the wildest, wettest dreams of Joshua Muravchik and Michael Ledeen are about to finally come true.
Update: Kyle asks some pertinent questions (as he’s wont to do) regarding the “very legitimate strategic calculus” Alexis Debat mentioned in the Times:
-So if the IAEA comes back in November and says, “Hey, it’s okay, they really are just putting up power plants,” are we going to stand down?
-Are we even going to bother giving the IAEA time to do its job?
-Have we thought about what happens after this time? No, I’m curious. We fucked Iraq up completely and totally, and I just want to know if we can expect more of the same this time around.
-Have we spent any time at all exploring the very likely political fall out in the region? Have we looked at what our responsibilities in the country would be following a complete and total destruction of the military? Have we looked at what other states in the region may seek to take control of Iran should we cripple it as the Pentagon would have us do? And what do we plan on doing against those states?
Finally, are we prepared to completely and totally isolate the entire muslim world? Are we prepared for truly endless war? Are we prepared for the hotbed of terrorism such an action would create?
We’re standing about as far out on the brink of war as we possibly can. Are we really prepared to jump?