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this is a chilling interview with former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter (you know, one of the guys who knew our "leaders" were lying about Iraq long before the bombs fell)...
he's fairly convinced our boneheaded administration is hell-bent on attacking Iran... if so, say goodbye to a carrier, or a U.S. base in the region... these clowns under Cheney just don't get it, do they?
anyhow, what he says here makes good sense regarding Israel... the logistics just don't allow for the Israelis to take things into their own hands...
Metro Times: One of the scenarios that's been raised has Israel launching the first strike, prompting a response from Iran that would then pull us in.
Scott Ritter: I think Israel is capable of doing a one-time limited shot into Iran. One has to take a look at the distances involved and the complexity of military operations ... the lack of friendly airspace between corridors into and out of Iran. It's nice to talk about an Israeli attack, but the reality is far different. Israel had trouble dominating Hezbollah right on its own border with air power.
I think Israel could actually go into Iran and get their butts kicked. It may not go off as well as they think it's going to go off. It is too long of a distance, too much warning for the Iranians. The Iranians are too locked-in; they're too well prepared. It doesn't make any sense. Israel doesn't have the ability to sustain a strike. Like I said, they might be able to pull off a limited one-time shot. But I think the fallout from that would be devastating for the United States. As much as we've worked to get an Arab alliance against Iran, that would just fall apart overnight with an Israeli attack. No Muslim state will stand by and defend Israel after it initiated a strike against Iran. It just will not happen. And the United States knows this. I just think it's ludicrous to talk about an Israeli attack.
I think what we're looking at is an American attack. It's the only viable option both in terms of initiation and sustainment of the strike. Israel might be drawn in after that. There's no doubt in my mind the Iranians will launch missiles against Israeli targets, either directly or through proxies, and that Israel will suffer. This is something I try to warn all my Israeli friends about. If you think Saddam Hussein firing 41 missiles was inconvenient, wait until the Iranians fire a thousand of them. It goes well beyond an inconvenience; it becomes a national tragedy. And then the escalation that can occur from there.
I think right now what the Bush administration is conceiving is a limited strike against Iran to take out certain Revolutionary Guard sites and perhaps identified nuclear infrastructure. Not a massive, sustained bombardment, but a limited strike. But we were always told in the Marine Corps that the enemy has a vote and no plan survives initial contact with the enemy. So we may seek to have a limited strike, but if the Iranians do a massive response, things could spin out of control quickly.
Last edited by PressCoverage; 11-30-2007 at 06:03 PM..
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Metro Times: So what do you think the United States should be doing to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons?
Scott Ritter: I think that is the wrong question. That presumes Iran is seeking nuclear weapons. There's no evidence of that whatsoever. ... I think we should be seeking to normalize relations with Iran. We should be seeking stability in the region. This concept that the United States gets to dictate to sovereign people the makeup of their government is absurd. First of all, the theocracy in Iran, while not a model, for instance ... it's an Iranian problem, not an American problem.
I liked the article overall, I disagree that there is zero evidence they are seeking nuclear weapons, you can make a case that everything they are doing is for nuclear power only, but recent reports from the IAEA make this seem less likely to me. Here was the part of the article where I thought he totally hit the nail on the head:
Ritter: It's difficult to explain. First of all you have to note, from the public side, that very few Americans actually function as citizens anymore. What I mean by that are people who invest themselves in this country, people who care, who give a damn. Americans are primarily consumers today, and so long as they continue to wrap themselves in the cocoon of comfort, and the system keeps them walking down a road to the perceived path of prosperity, they don't want to rock the boat. If it doesn't have a direct impact on their day-to-day existence, they simply don't care.
There's a minority of people who do, but the majority of Americans don't. And if the people don't care — and remember, the people are the constituents — if the constituents don't care, then those they elect to higher office won't feel the pressure to change.
It seems like more and more it is an uninformed constituency, digesting only what they are fed from quick soundbites on the nightly news, or only reinforcing their beliefs by only listening to those with whom they agree, like only listening to Rush, or only Air America, etc.