Monday, August 14, 2006

$200-a-barrel oil postponed (for now)

Seymour Hersh's latest piece in the New Yorker reveals that Team Bush "was closely involved" in the planning of Israel's assault on Lebanon, seeing it as a dry run for a U.S. assault on Iran.

Cheney’s point, the former senior intelligence official said, was “What if the Israelis execute their part of this first, and it’s really successful? It’d be great. We can learn what to do in Iran by watching what the Israelis do in Lebanon.”

Or what not to do, as the case may be:

Israel believed that, by targeting Lebanon’s infrastructure, including highways, fuel depots, and even the civilian runways at the main Beirut airport, it could persuade Lebanon’s large Christian and Sunni populations to turn against Hezbollah, according to the former senior intelligence official. The airport, highways, and bridges, among other things, have been hit in the bombing campaign.

Oops, guess that didn't work. So much for the idea that bombing Iran would somehow inspire Iranians to rise up and overthrow the mullahs. But it would seem Team Bush won't be dissuaded:

Nonetheless, some officers serving with the Joint Chiefs of Staff remain deeply concerned that the Administration will have a far more positive assessment of the air campaign than they should, the former senior intelligence official said. “There is no way that Rumsfeld and Cheney will draw the right conclusion about this,” he said. “When the smoke clears, they’ll say it was a success, and they’ll draw reinforcement for their plan to attack Iran.”
Which might yet occur sooner rather than later.

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