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Opening The Files: 4/16/06

War, What is it good for?

The drumbeat towards war with Iran keeps getting awfully louder. More recent events give me this nagging feeling we will soon be seeing Shock & Awe II over the skies of Tehran.

First there was the news that Iran had successfully enriched uranium. Then came yet more threats against Israel by Iranian President Ahmadinejad. Now comes word that Iran has suicide battalions ready to retaliate should the US bomb their nuclear facilities.

The war-mongering hasn't been limited solely to the Iranian side either. Even though the Bush administration dismisses talk of plans to deploy tactical nukes against Iran as 'wild speculation', they stop short of denying that there aren't any plans of attacking Iran. Plus, in a move which harkens back to the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans, a similar group was created for dealing with Iran last month. And although the IAEA has yet to produce evidence of a parallel weapons program and analysts say Iran is years away from becoming a nuclear power, that didn't stop the claim that they could build a bomb in just 16 days from being put forth.

But there have been a few bits of bad news for the Bushies. A recent poll shows that while Americans are worried about Iran's nuclear ambitions, with 48% backing military action should Iran continue on its current path, 54% don't trust President Bush's judgment on whether or not we should go to war. Ouch. We've also been told by the British that we'd be going it alone should we decide to attack. I guess Tony decided he had enough of that 'Bush's poodle' moniker. (Update: Maybe not)

To me, the most damaging revelation was that the Pentagon may in fact be outsourcing our special ops details inside Iran to a known terrorist group. It definitely seems rather odd given our supposed "we do not negotiate with terrorists" stance.

So what is war good for? Why keeping the GOP in control of Congress of course!

For anyone who thinks "But he wouldn't do that", Paul Krugman and
Thom Hartmann beg to differ. Spengler calls it Bush's "October Surprise".

Juan Cole talks about enrichment rhetoric and Iran's newest line of timepieces.

Tristero points out how all this trouble with Iran is apparently Bill Clinton's fault and shows us the two-step process for making tactical nuclear weapons. Who knew it was so easy!

John calls that "16 days" bit for what it is: BS. He also weighs in on what the Democrat's message should be on Iran. Steve wonders if the Dems will pull another "ostrich" routine.

Swopa, guest blogging at FDL, has a couple of simple to understand graphics that may explain why the Iranians might think having WMD isn't such a bad idea.