Feb 20, 2007

Why Iran? Why Now?

The idea that all the bluster from the U.S. about Iran is an info-op seems to be gaining traction.

So, why the dramatic flurry of "revelations" and ratcheting-up of hostility towards Iran? A serious theory - which could be a coherent military strategy in the hands of any but the Bush administration - is that the anti-Iran PR campaign is to assist Bush's so-called military "surge" in Iraq. Wayne White, a former Middle East analyst with the state department's bureau of intelligence and research, believes that the sudden tough-talk campaign (which has been so pliantly relayed by the US and UK media) is to intimidate Iran into scaling back its operations inside Iraq and thus help the "surge" succeed.

But if and when it fails, White says, the administration is also setting up Iran as a convenient scapegoat. Taking swingeing military action against Iranian elements inside Iraq therefore becomes much more politically acceptable to the American public if it is convinced that it is Iranians - rather than those vague, shadowy Iraqi "insurgents" - who are actually killing American boys in ever greater numbers in Iraq. If this theory is correct, the administration is thus providing itself with a handy excuse to go on the military offensive inside Iraq, and at the same time providing a reason for why its escalation fails.

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