October 27, 2006

Seeking a Spark for the Conflagration

Time runs out, and few options remain if the Bush crime gang wish to retain their total lock on power. To repeat a point I have made too many times:
Given the depths of the irrationality repeatedly demonstrated by the Bush administration, it is impossible to predict what they will do with regard to Iran, or anything else. But here is one prediction that I offer nonetheless: if, come September or early October, Bush's political advisors think it likely that the Democrats will take over the House and/or the Senate, and if they seriously fear the investigations that the Democrats might pursue, I think it very likely that an attack on Iran will occur before the election. It may be preceded by a phony international "incident" of some kind involving an attack on U.S. forces or U.S. "interests" more generally, and responsibility will quickly be laid at Iran's door. Or, it might be another terrorist attack here in the U.S. itself.

Will our servile media or any prominent politician challenge the propaganda in the atmosphere of hysteria and phony "patriotism" that will be immediately unleashed? Of course not. The Bush administration has been laying the groundwork, carefully, repeatedly, and without interruption, for almost a year, and they have been met with no significant opposition at all.
Could this be the beginning of such an international "incident"?
RIYADH (Reuters) - Top world oil exporter Saudi Arabia said on Friday it was taking measures to protect its oil and economic installations from a "terrorist threat".

Western naval forces in the Gulf have been deployed to counter a possible seaborne threat to its Ras Tanura oil terminal.

"The terrorist threat to the kingdom's economic installation exists and it is a declared goal of the straying faction to affect the interests of the Saudi citizen," an Interior Ministry spokesman said.

"Saudi security forces are cooperating and coordinating with the Saudi navy to take the necessary security measures," he told Reuters.
Further details are provided in this story:
Coalition naval forces in the Gulf are on watch for possible terror threats to oil facilities in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Western naval officials said here on Friday.

A British navy official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press, said a threat from al-Qaida last month to target Gulf oil terminals had resulted in stepped-up security and vigilance at Saudi Arabia's Ras Tanura terminal, as well as a refinery in Bahrain.

Oil exports in the region were proceeding as normal, he said.

The British navy, part of the Italian-led Coalition Task Force 152 that patrols international waters off the Ras Tanura terminal, sent an e-mail warning on Friday asking merchant shippers in the region of Bahrain and eastern Saudi Arabia to be on alert for suspicious vessels or other activity.

Task Force 152 also contains ships from French, U.S., German and other navies.
Also see Billmon, whose paranoia, like mine, comes and goes.

I've written a number of essays about the inevitability of an attack on Iran, if not before the election, then certainly before Bush leaves office. The major links are provided at the conclusion of this entry, where I explained why I consider it entirely pointless to write about this further, except for brief alerts about stories of possible significance such as this one.

I dread the next ten days more than I can say. Even if there is not an attack on Iran now, and I pray there is not (maybe Cheney and Rove have already sewed up the election in ways we will never learn, or the results don't matter that much for other reasons known only to them), if we continue on our present course, such an attack will come one day. And because they operate out of the same fundamental foreign policy framework, informed by identical underlying assumptions, the Democrats will offer no opposition of any consequence. To the contrary, they will help to ensure that it occurs.