Is the US rattling the sabre in advance of an attack on Iran? Or is it merely rattling its cage, as it still pretends to be a power in the region in spite of being locked into an unwinnable war in Iraq?
The most obvious aim to divert attention from the catastrophe of Iraq. The US is reaping the expected bitter fruits of its ill-conceived adventurism in Mesopotamia.
Now it's trying to sell an escalated version of the same failed policy by trying to make Iran its scapegoat and fabricating evidence of Iranian activities in Iraq.
Ironically, Saddam Hussein used the very same scare tactic, invoking the “Iranian threat” to extort money, loyalty and military hardware from the region and the world, only to turn them later against his suppliers.
The hardline Zionists [is that tautology?] have been working overtime to demonize Iran and Ahmadinejad.
With such vicious rhetoric, like lumping Iran into the "axis of evil," it's understandable that Iranians would want to develop the means to defend themselves against nuclear threats. They're afraid America/Israel will invade on any pretext, as the US did with Iraq.
You only have to read the Zionist zealot, Alan Dershowitz, who compares the governments of Iran and Nazi Germany and advocates regime change in Iran, to fear the ever-growing spectre of propaganda and terror that has enveloped the situation in Iran.
Calling Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the next Hitler, as Dershowitz did during a recent speech, undoubtedly makes the situation far worse. Zionists have learned the propaganda of anti-semitism, using the same techniques to create hate against Arabs and Muslims.
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Attack Iran? A Neocon Wet Dream
Left-leaning websites are getting hysterical about the Bush Regime's impending war against Iran. Is it possible that they are becoming mouthpieces for Bush's 'rhetorical' war on Iran?
Why do these websites get so over-excited, almost orgiastic, in predicting a middle-east apocalypse? It's more likely that Bush is rattling his sabre in an attempt to scare Tehran. The Left are playing into his hands.
Is the rhetoric threat or bluff? It's really not about the worry that Iran will enrich a little bit of uranium. This is about the Bush Regime wanting regime change.
It is also about the neocons' last stand, an final attempt to ensure that Israel [armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons] remains the dominant state in the Middle East. Attacking Iran is a neocon wet dream. 
Bush Plays Poker with Olmert & Ahmadinejad
President Nixon, a very good poker player, once defined the art of brinkmanship as persuading your opponent that you are insane and, unless appeased by pledges of surrender, quite capable of blowing up the planet.
By these robust standards George Bush is doing a moderately competent job in suggesting that if balked by Iran on the matter of halting its nuclear program, he'll dump a couple of nukes on that country's relevant research sites, or tell Israel to do the job for him.
The Bush administration is capable of almost any folly, but is it likely that it would bomb Iran's nuclear research labs? Would it really prod Israel into taking on the job?
Israel, of course, has been making plenty of quite predictable hay out of President Ahmadinejad's crack about how "the regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the pages of time."
Of course the let's-stay-calm types say it was just a stale old one-liner from the Ayatollah Khomeini and please to note he used the word "regime," not "Israel."
Plant that one in the graveyard of wimpy rationalizations. Along with the recent "holocaust conference," it's probably the biggest leg up for Israeli bond drives since the Yom Kippur war. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert quotes it on an almost daily basis. 
The Ignorant Ideologues
The ignorant ideologues who brought us Iraq have learned nothing. They are still reading from the same delusional neoconservative script.
So, with Iraq a bloody nightmare, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process dead, Lebanon and Gaza on the brink of civil war, the entire Middle East dangerously unstable, and America's standing in the Arab/Muslim world at an all-time low, the Bush administration geniuses have come up with another grand plan:
Demonize Iran, push it to the brink of war, strong-arm U.S. allies into confronting it, and whip up sectarian hatred in the region.
By now, nothing that the Bush administration does in the Middle East should come as a surprise. But its Iran gambit is so delusional that it raises the question of whether Bush is in fact playing an inept game of power politics, as I have suggested, or whether he is half-hoping to provoke open conflict with Iran.
In a last desperate bid to save his disastrous presidency, does he actually want to provoke a war with a country three times larger than Iraq?
It's hard to believe, but then his whole reign is becoming increasingly phantasmagorical. Unfortunately, this is one nightmare we're not going to wake up from for two more years. 
Demonizing Ahmadinejad: The Tyrant of Tehran
It is striking how swiftly Washington is seeking to escalate its confrontation with Iran. Its rhetoric has returned to the stridency used when the US was accusing Saddam Hussein of hiding weapons of mass destruction that threatened the world.
Iran is now being promoted as the new demon. It is supposedly behind the provision of roadside bombs that have killed so many US and British troops - though the technology involved in these simple but deadly devices could generally be found in a garden shed.
The anti-Iranian tilt of the Bush administration has more to do with American than Iraqi politics.
A fresh target to blame for the fuck-up is being presented to the US voter. Iran is portrayed as the hidden hand behind US failure in both Iraq and in Lebanon.
The US media, gullible over WMD, is showing itself equally gullible over this exaggerated Iranian threat.
The Bush administration has always shown itself more interested in holding power in Washington than in Baghdad.
Whatever its failures on the battlefield, the Republicans were able to retain the presidency and both Houses of Congress in 2004.
Confrontation with Iran, diverting attention from the fiasco in Iraq, may be their best chance of holding the White House in 2008. 
Warmonger Bush [Volume III]
Attacking Iran would be a catastrophic mistake, even if all the allegations now being made about Iranian actions in Iraq are true.
But it wouldn’t be the first catastrophic mistake this administration has made, and there are indications that, at the very least, a powerful faction in the administration is spoiling for a fight.
Before we get to the apparent war-mongering, let’s talk about the basics. Are there people in Iran providing aid to factions in Iraq, factions that sometimes kill Americans as well as other Iraqis? Yes, probably.
But you can say the same about Saudi Arabia, which is believed to be a major source of financial support for Sunni insurgents — and Sunnis, not Iranian-backed Shiites, are still responsible for most American combat deaths.
The Bush administration, however, with its close personal and financial ties to the Saudis, has always downplayed Saudi connections to America’s enemies.
It's almost impossible to believe that they’re really planning to attack Iran, when it’s so obvious that another war would be a recipe for even bigger disaster. But remember who’s calling the shots: Dick Cheney thinks we’ve had “enormous successes” in Iraq. 
Bush on the Brink
Brinkmanship suits everyone's book. Ahmadinejad, facing serious political problems, can posture about standing up to the Great Satan. Olmert can say Ahmadinejad wants to finish off Israel and kill all the Jews.
Bush sees Iran as a terrific way of changing the subject from the mess in Iraq and putting the Democrats on the spot.
The Democrats take the lead of their presidential hopefuls, who have no intention of being corralled by the Republicans as simps of Holocaust deniers who want to destroy Israel.
These days, to be a player, any candidate for the U.S. presidency has to raise about $100 million, of which a large tranche will come from American Jews. Barack Obama and John Edwards call for swift withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.
When it comes to Iran they roar in unison with Hillary Clinton that no option can be left off the table. In other words, if it comes to it, nuke 'em. 
 Ed Strong
 Alexander Cockburn
 Gary Kamiya
 Patrick Cockburn
 Paul Krugman
 Alexander Cockburn
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