Sunday :: Jun 19, 2005

Leslie Gelb Thinks Bush Is Planning For Iran


by Steve

Would the PNAC crowd in the White House be so deluded to think that the alleged ten divisions of Iraqis that Rummy claims to be training for their own Army, internal security, and policing are in fact being trained as a new invasion force into Iran 12-24 months from now? Check out the comments from Leslie Gelb of the Council on Foreign Relations, who has just returned from Iraq with an assessment quite at odds from the detached-from-reality views of Dick “Last Throes” Cheney and George “No Timetable” Bush. His assessment, aside from thinking that things are worse on the ground than the Bush Administration wants admitted, is that the forces being trained will never be ready or have the will to fight a counterinsurgency. But Gelb does feel that the forces being trained more closely resemble a conventional invasion force.

In a report to the council, Gelb was scathing about America efforts to train an Iraqi army. ''If you ask any Iraqi leader, they will tell you these people can't fight. They just aren't trained. And yet we're cranking them out like rabbits." As for plans to train a 10 division Iraqi army by next year, Gelb was scathing. ''It became very apparent to me that these 10 divisions were to fight some future war against Iran. It had nothing to do, nothing to do," with taking Iraq over from the Americans and fighting the insurgents.

It wouldn't be surprising that Bush and Cheney immediately reject any call for a timetable or withdrawal, if in fact we aren't leaving until our new client state in Iraq is ready to invade Iran and then…..well, then what?

Let’s say Gelb is correct that these forces are actually readying to invade Iran in 12-24 months on the pretense (pick one) that:

a) Iran is sponsoring the insurgency;
b) Iran is not complying with its EU commitments;
c) Iran is suppressing its people through rigged elections.

(well, that last one would apply here as well.)

Does the PNAC crowd think that ten Iraqi divisions, backed up with our air power, will be a military challenge for Iran? Does the PNAC crowd think that the moment we/Iraq invade Iran there will be a popular uprising amongst the Iranians and that they will topple the mullahs, because (obviously) after seeing what great things we have brought to Iraq these last two years, they want some of that occupation, terrorism, drug-running, lawlessness, and American resource-grabbing as well? I say our air power, because I don’t see how we can split off any significant number of our 152,000 troops tied down in Iraq to support an invasion into Iran without losing parts of Iraq to the terrorists for good.

Exactly what international support does Bush think he would have for invading Iran, probably just before the 2006 elections? Exactly what support does Bush think he would have amongst the Iraqi government, al-Sistani, and the Kurds for such an invasion? And wouldn’t the PNAC cabal be grossly underestimating once again the will of the Iranian people to rise up and fight against the American proxy invasion? These two countries fought to the death almost twenty years ago; what makes Bush think that the Iranians would lay down to the Iraqis and their American masters now, and what makes Bush think an Iraqi force that can’t even muster the will to fight against insurgents in their own country will muster the will to fight the Iranians now without Saddam’s boot in their asses?

But I guess if Gelb is right, we should start looking for signs that this is the plan. Look for a gradually amped-up rhetoric about how Iran is supporting the insurgency, how Iran is suppressing the will of its own people, about how Iran is giving lip service to its EU commitments on its nuclear power. And look for this to be ramped up in time for the 2006 midterms, just like it was in 2002.

Beltway Democrats this time need to be ready for this, and for the pro-war part of the party that supported the Iraq war to reconsider their support for an Iranian invasion. It may be fine and dandy to side with Bush now when he resists calls for a timetable to bring troops home, like the Clintons and others are doing for their own political purposes. But if it becomes clear that he is resisting these calls to bring troops home because he is readying them for our next illegal war, this time without international support (Blair won’t be around by then, and Putin and China will oppose Bush on this one), then even those pro-war Democrats from the Iraq war must be pressured to stop Bush this time, or told to join the GOP.

Steve :: 9:48 AM :: Comments (21) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!