Preparation of the Iranian Battlefield

by David Isenberg | August 18th, 2006 | |Subscribe

As the smoke and dust of the Lebanese battlefield hopefully begin to settle let us turn, in the spirit of Dicken’s ghost of Christmas future, to the battlefield that may yet be, Iran. News from that front has overshadowed by the fighting in Lebanon and the daily carnage in Iraq- what Bush administration flaks call “sectarian violence” and what those in the real world call civil war.

But the past week or so has seen some noteworthy events that should give us pause. For example, consider Seymour Hersh’s recent New Yorker article on how the United States was closely involved in the planning of Israel’s attack on Lebanon. He writes that, President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney were convinced that a successful Israeli Air Force bombing campaign against Hezbollah’s heavily fortified underground-missile and command-and-control complexes in Lebanon could also serve as a prelude to a potential American preemptive attack to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations. This particular passage is noteworthy:

The United States and Israel have shared intelligence and enjoyed close military cooperation for decades, but early this spring, according to a former senior intelligence official, high-level planners from the U.S. Air Force—under pressure from the White House to develop a war plan for a decisive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities—began consulting with their counterparts in the Israeli Air Force.

“The big question for our Air Force was how to hit a series of hard targets in Iran successfully,” the former senior intelligence official said. “Who is the closest ally of the U.S. Air Force in its planning? It’s not Congo—it’s Israel. Everybody knows that Iranian engineers have been advising Hezbollah on tunnels and underground gun emplacements. And so the Air Force went to the Israelis with some new tactics and said to them, ‘Let’s concentrate on the bombing and share what we have on Iran and what you have on Lebanon.’ ” The discussions reached the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, he said.

“The Israelis told us it would be a cheap war with many benefits,” a U.S. government consultant with close ties to Israel said. “Why oppose it? We’ll be able to hunt down and bomb missiles, tunnels, and bunkers from the air. It would be a demo for Iran.”

Then there was the alleged “news” in a Sunday-Times article during the first week of August that Iran was seeking to import large consignments of bomb-making U-238 uranium from the Lubumbashi mines in the Congo. This was subsequently denied by the DRC government, which noted all its mines are under the control of the IAEA. Left unexplained was why Iran would need to import uranium considering it has its own uranium mines and a plant to reprocess the ore. Furthermore, the size of the reported container was far too small to contain any significant quantities of bomb making uranium, considering how much is lost during the conversion and enrichment process.

And a UN report, cited in the article does not even mention Iran This fact, which flatly contradicts the headline (“Iran’s plot to mine uranium in Africa”), is safely buried in the seventh paragraph. All together it had all the earmarks of a classic disinformation plot, a la uranium from Niger, prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq

Then there was the recent interview of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with once upon a time famously fearless and independent newsman Mike Wallace of CBS’s 60 Minutes. Wallace’s interview was both aggressive and shallow. Consider this excerpt:

WALLACE:  Israel, you have said time and again, Israel must be wiped off the
map. Please explain why, and what is Iran doing about that?

AHMADINEJAD:  (Translated.)  Well, allow me to finish with the nuclear
dossier first.

WALLACE:  Oh, you finished with that.  You finished with that.  Tell me.

That is not the sort of exchange one has when trying to get the truth. That is the exchange of someone desperate to boost his ratings and avoid being sent off the media knackering plant. The bright side for Iran was that Wallace was so clumsy that Ahmadinejad handled him with ease and gained sympathy around the world; not to mention boost his own personal standing.

Plus now we know, thanks to documents posted by the Arms Control Association on its website that contrary to the usual rightwing propaganda, that Iran has no serious intent of negotiating over its nuclear program, that since the 2003 exposure of its nuclear program, Iran has devised at least five proposals which included provisions designed to assure the international community that its nuclear activities are exclusively for peaceful purposes, rather than nuclear weapons.

In fact, the charge of a lack of serious intent can just as easily be laid against the United States. Secretary of State Rice spins the issue this way, saying that if Iran insists on negotiating revisions to the proposal given to Iran in June that should that be viewed as the end the diplomatic process. But very few commentators are familiar with the actual content of the proposal, which was not released to the public when it was given to Iran. A careful reading of the proposal, now available on the French foreign ministry website, reveals that it fails to offer Iran even the potential for the kind of security benefits that might be expected to accompany the demands that the same proposal makes on Iran.

While there are occasional moments of sanity such as the 21 former generals, diplomats and national security officials who released an open letter yesterday calling on the Bush administration to engage immediately in direct talks with the government of Iran without preconditions to resolve the Iranian nuclear program they are rare.

All together the above actions constitute what the Pentagon refers to as IPB, Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield. They also serve notice, per Mark Twain’s famous saying, that the news of the death of U.S. neocon influence is premature.


  1. John in Door County wrote,

    Not much coming from this very strange and unresponsive Bush governement can surprise me any longer. But what i do find surprising is that so few members of the press seem willing to press this administration for explanations of the specious stuff they hand out as fact.

    The parallels of the population of pre-war germany and the current US is strikingly similar.

    Comment on August 19, 2006 @ 6:52 am

  2. Nell wrote,

    The only press attention to the letter from the 21 is a LATimes article the day before the open letter. Since its release Thursday, it’s sunk like a stone. I hope it gets some discussion on the Sunday shows, but am not holding my breath.

    Comment on August 19, 2006 @ 12:13 pm

  3. Nell wrote,

    What we really need is for Dem candidates to endorse the approach of the open letter, and hammer home with the public “there is no crisis.” That’s what keeps it from being an electoral hammer, and what sets the stage for a decent policy.

    Unfortunately, I’m sure the WH is ready to whip up the crisis talk if Iran’s response to the Security Council is anything less than abject. Which of course it won’t be; it wouldn’t have been six weeks ago, but after the last month there’s no way they’ll be anything but defiant.

    Comment on August 19, 2006 @ 12:17 pm

  4. Myra M. Jackson wrote,

    “In the beginning, a patriot is a scarce man, hated, feared and scorned, but in time the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.”
    -Mark Twain
    S O M E O F T H E A B O V E N E W S
    O, yes, I say it plain, America never was America to me, And yet I swear this oath – America will be!
    ~~Langston Hughes

    All Dressed Up And No Where to Go

    R A P T U R E C A N C E L E D !

    Ancient Burial Site Discovered

    Archeologists recently discovered more than a thousand corpses in a previously unknown part of Rome’s catacombs. The corpses, dating to the second century A.D. (the 100s), were dressed in fine clothes that were embroidered with gold thread. Christians at that time buried everyone elegantly in expectation of the resurrection.

    “These were not galleries or cubicles, but big rooms completely full of skeletons,” said Raffaella Giuliani, the chief inspector of the Roman catacombs. She said that workmen had to work very carefully with the corpses in order to excavate them without destroying them.
    National Catholic Register


    Under Fire! U.S. Army Intelligence Analyst Targeted For Suggesting New Independent 9/11 Investigation

    Monday, August 21, 2006
    By Stephen Webster, Investigative Reporter

    Army: Doubting Official 9/11 Story Is ‘Disloyal To The United States’


    A message from Charles W. Sanders:



    On Friday, August 18th, I filed the necessary nominating petition signatures to compete for the Democratic party nomination for the U.S. House
    in the 3rd District of OH. Due to the sudden and unexpected withdrawal of our candidate, it has been determined that there must be a special election on September 15 to fill the election vacancy

    We now have a fresh opportunity to make the case to my constituents that the Bush administration must be peaceably removed from office. This is made all the more urgent by the ruling of a federal judge that the
    president has categorically broken the law in deliberately violating the 1st and 4th amendments to the Constitution by wiretapping American citizens without warrant….



    British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott did not call President Bush “crap.” He was merely referring to the President’s policies and behavior as “crap.”

    Exterminator Tom Delay did not state that the World Trade Center buildings were brought down by termites. The office girl who mans our phones has an age-related hearing impairment and misunderstood “thermite” for
    “termites,” and the word “Mandalay” for “Tom Delay.”

    Virginia Senator George Allen did not refer to United States Senator John McCain as “McSenator Makaka McCain” as reported, but was light-heartedly remarking about the Congressman’s “mcHair-do” which whimsically incorporates screwdrivers held in place by large quantities of vaseline.

    Some of the Above News berates itself, profusely apologizes all over itself, and regrets any inconvenience, but stops well short of admitting any civil or criminal liability in the matter.


    From a childhood friend’s comments on Some of The Above News’s campaign for the truth about 9/11:

    “….That is without a doubt the biggest bunch of drivel. How do you explain the planes that went down in Pennsylvania or into the Pentagon? And why should the government be responsible for the destruction of the World Trade Center when that is so crucial to American capitalism? They could have achieved the same effect with a lesser target. But the far left is doing its damage because I heard that a third of the American people believe this crap. What has always amazed me is that you believe it. You’re far too bright for that, I thought. But it strikes me that maybe you don’t believe it, but that it’s a useful tool.
    Well, after that cheery note, I’ll say TTFN (ta-ta for now).”
    Shirley (not real name)


    Thank you for the opportunity to enlighten you (and at the same time many of the slower members of the Some of The Above News subscriber family). As you know our motto is: “There are no dumb questions; only dumb questioners.”
    Your right-wingnut talking points suggest that you are probably an avid fan of the talking haircuts of the TeeVee News. While I don’t have time today to answer all these points, I will link you to some sites which will answer them, and most others you might come up with in your journey back to good old USofA reality.
    Give the soaps a rest, Dearie! Loosen up with the Loose Change crowd. Spend some quality time with and your brain.
    Synchronistically enough, this very day I ran across the article excerpted below. I call your attention especially to this quote from it:
    “….After spending the better part of the last five years treating these theories with utmost skepticism, I have devoted serious time to actually studying them in recent months, and have also carefully watched several videos that are available on the subject. I have come to believe that significant parts of the 9/11 theories are true, and that therefore significant parts of the “official story” put out by the U.S. government and the 9/11 Commission are false….”
    You should take great comfort in the fact that this truth-seeker, a former CIA official, was also bamboozled by the corporate media for five years.
    Yours truly spent only about one and one-half years in the dark, probably mostly because I have not watched television since 1994, and because my reading and experiences had already made me skeptical of the government/media complex. Thus I was already more inclined to question government/media claims.
    You seem to believe that it is the “far left” that is convincing people, but one of 9/11 truth-seekers’ main frustrations is the EXTREME timidity, the church-mouse silence on the matter, of NEARLY ALL of the “left” “progressive” publications, pundits, websites, blogs, talk show hosts, etc. They have come to be called “the left gate-keepers.” Like the proverbial dog in the manger they not only neglect the vital information they have access to, but also keep it from everybody else. Fear is the main factor here: fear of losing their grants, being black-balled by colleagues and sources, being called “conspiracy theorists,” irresponsible, irrelevant, etc. And fear of being targeted for career and/or physical harassment or termination. Actually some of the most courageous and eloquent 9/11 “detectives” are conservatives, like Paul Craig Roberts, who was a high official in the Reagan administration, Wall Street Journal writer, etc.
    Thus your “useful tool” hypothesis don’t hunt.

    Excerpt from:

    Another Ex-CIA Official Speaks Out for 9/11 Truth

    Stop Belittling the Theories About September 11

    by Bill Christison
    August 14, 2006

    ….Let’s address the real issues here. Why is it important that we not let the so-called conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11 be drowned out? After spending the better part of the last five years treating these theories with utmost skepticism, I have devoted serious time to actually studying them in recent months, and have also carefully watched several videos that are available on the subject. I have come to believe that significant parts of the 9/11 theories are true, and that therefore significant parts of the “official story” put out by the U.S. government and the 9/11 Commission are false. I now think there is persuasive evidence that the events of September did not unfold as the Bush administration and the 9/11 Commission would have us believe. The items below highlight the major questions surrounding 9/11 but do not constitute a detailed recounting of the evidence available….

    ….This should be worked on at two different levels. At the first level, the objective should be long-term, centered on making a maximum effort to find out who the individuals and groups are that carried out the attacks in New York and Washington. Then, these people should be tried in an international court and, if possible, convicted and punished for causing so many deaths. Such a trial, accompanied by actual change in U.S. policies, would show that some people on this globe are at least trying to move closer to more just and decent behavior in human relationships around the world.

    At the second level, the short term, the task should be to immediately set to work as hard as is humanly possible to defeat in this year’s congressional election any candidate who refuses to support a no-holds-barred investigation of 9/11 by the Congress or a high-level international court. No more evidence than is now available is needed in order to begin this process.

    A manageable volume of carefully collected and analyzed evidence is already at hand on both items ONE and TWO above. Such evidence should be used right now to buttress charges that elements within the Bush administration, as well as possibly other groups foreign or domestic, were involved in a massive fraud against the American people, a fraud that has led to many thousands of deaths….

    [Bill Christison is a former senior official of the CIA. He was a National Intelligence Officer and the Director of the CIA's Office of Regional and Political Analysis before his retirement in 1979. Since then he has written numerous articles on U.S. foreign policies. He can be reached at: ]


    Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse?
    by Steven E. Jones

    En Español:”¿Por qué se derrumbaron realmente los edificios del WTC?”
    In Japanese:

    Reader comments on this paper and research

    After reading this paper, you may wish to sign the petition calling for release
    of U.S. government-held information regarding events of 9/11/2001:
    (Click on “See full petition” before signing.)
    Updated August 15, 2006:

    A new journal containing more peer-reviewed papers presenting research regarding 9/11/2001 is available here:



    [This is excerpted from a seven-page transcript of a talk by John Perkins called "Confessions of an economic Hit Man" Given at South Hadley, MA, 11 January 2005, broadcast on ALTERNATIVE RADIO]

    John Perkins was a loan shark to developing countries. After a stint in the Peace Corps in Latin America, he went to work as an economic planner for an international consulting firm that was a front for the National Security Administration. His book, CONFESSIONS OF AN ECONOMIC HIT MAN is a bestseller.

    What we’re going to talk about is the post-World War II history of the world as I see it. and that history is essentially the story of empire. During the period since World War II, we’ve managed to create the world’s first truly global empire, and it’s the only empire in history that’s ever been created primarily without the military. It’s been created through economics, through economic hit men.

    And it’s a very subtle empire: it’s an empire that many of us who live in that empire don’t realize is an empire. We wouldn’t even call it that. When you create an empire as the Romans did or the Persians or the Chinese or the conquistadores or the British Empire or the French or the Dutch Empires, through military, everybody knows you’re doing it, because all your young men, and sometimes women, are going off to fight in the wars. But when you create an empire through economics, it’s very possible to keep that pretty secret from most of the people, most of the time. Nonetheless, we’ve created an empire….

    ….It was a change of consciousness. Civil movements are powerful. I think there are a few of you out there who may be familiar, I’ve written five other books before this one on indigenous people and shamanism. That was when I was doing the nonprofit work which was partly assuaging my guilt. I took bribes not to write this book back in the early 1990s and put most of the money in the nonprofit, which went to helping indigenous people in many of the countries that I had ripped off before. But what I’ve learned, I’ve worked with many, many indigenous countries around the world, the Bugis of Indonesia, the Bushmen, the Zulus, the people of the Asian Steppes, the Mayas, the Hopi, the Quechua, the Shuar, all of these people have prophecies. Every one of them that I know of has a prophecy that we are in a time of tremendous transition and a potential for great things to happen. I was with the Dalai Lama not long ago in Ladakh, and I just came back from Tibet a few months ago. And those prophecies are everywhere. I believe that we’re in a time when it’s been prophesied that this is the time for potential change, not that change will happen, but that the potential exists and we have to do it.

    And I believe what the indigenous people have always taught me throughout the years from many, many different cultures, that each one of us comes into this body at this time with a mission for a reason. And our schools often teach us to forget about that. But here we are now, at this very critical time. Each of you has come in here at this time for a reason with a mission, and you’re sitting in this room now for some reason. Something drew you here today. The idea of a confession of an economic hit man. I don’t think you’re all Catholic priests waiting for someone to confess into your ear out there. What drew you here? Why are you here this time? I think you’re here because you’re ready to see us move to this next step. You’re ready to see us realize the dream of our founding fathers, you’re ready to see us create a world that we’re going to be proud of.

    I’m going to turn 60 in a couple of weeks. I have a 22-year-old daughter. I don’t know how much time I’ve got left on this planet, but I do know that I want to devote all of what I’ve got left to making this a better world for her and her generation than the one I would be leaving her if I were to leave right now. So here we’re poised at this amazing time in history, a time that’s been prophesied by all these cultures. Here you are sitting here in the wealthiest country that history has ever known, tremendous resources, tentacles that reach to the farthest corners of the planet, the ability to do remarkable things, to create the world that we all want to see created. And so I submit to you that it’s now time to get off our butts and let’s get out there and change this world. Thank you.

    [For information about obtaining CDs, cassettes or transcripts of this or other programs, please contact:
    David Barsamian, Alternative Radio, P.O. Box 551, Boulder, CO 80306, (800) 444-1977, , ]



    Robert F. Kennedy Jr. | Democracy in Crisis
    In an interview with
    Brad Friedman (of BradBlog),
    Robert F. Kennedy Jr. explains that “the Republican
    Party, the Republican National Committee, has been
    using old-fashioned, Jim Crow, apartheid-type
    maneuvers to steal the last two national elections.”

    Bradblog: In summary, how optimistic or
    pessimistic are you about our ability to get our
    country back?

    RFK JR.: Well, you know, my attitude is that I
    don’t try to predict the future, I can only say that
    those of us who care about this country have to keep
    fighting, and whether you think you’re gonna win or
    lose, you gotta just keep slugging and you gotta be
    ready to die with your boots on, because that’s what
    our forefathers did, they started a revolution, and
    they put their fortunes and their lives at stake. And
    we need to summon the same kind of courage from our
    generation, and demand that kind of courage from our

    BB: And we have to get that message out to the
    Democratic leadership as well.

    RFK JR.: And that’s what you guys are doing….


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    Comment on August 24, 2006 @ 6:43 pm

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