WaPo: U.S. declares war on Iran in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Palestine; Update: Iran to install 3,000 centrifuges

posted at 1:11 am on January 26, 2007 by Allahpundit

Page A01. I’ll do my best with the blockquote, but you’re crazy if you don’t read the whole thing.

The Bush administration has authorized the U.S. military to kill or capture Iranian operatives inside Iraq as part of an aggressive new strategy to weaken Tehran’s influence across the Middle East and compel it to give up its nuclear program, according to government and counterterrorism officials with direct knowledge of the effort…

The new “kill or capture” program was authorized by President Bush in a meeting of his most senior advisers last fall, along with other measures meant to curtail Iranian influence from Kabul to Beirut and, ultimately, to shake Iran’s commitment to its nuclear efforts…

The administration’s plans contain five “theaters of interest,” as one senior official put it, with military, intelligence, political and diplomatic strategies designed to target Iranian interests across the Middle East…

The White House has authorized a widening of what is known inside the intelligence community as the “Blue Game Matrix” — a list of approved operations that can be carried out against the Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon. And U.S. officials are preparing international sanctions against Tehran for holding several dozen al-Qaeda fighters who fled across the Afghan border in late 2001. They plan more aggressive moves to disrupt Tehran’s funding of the radical Palestinian group Hamas and to undermine Iranian interests among Shiites in western Afghanistan.

In Iraq, U.S. troops now have the authority to target any member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, as well as officers of its intelligence services believed to be working with Iraqi militias. The policy does not extend to Iranian civilians or diplomats. Though U.S. forces are not known to have used lethal force against any Iranian to date, Bush administration officials have been urging top military commanders to exercise the authority

Officials said U.S. and British special forces in Iraq, which will work together in some operations, are developing the program’s rules of engagement to define the exact circumstances for using force. In his last few weeks as the top commander in Iraq, Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr. sought to help coordinate the program on the ground. One official said Casey had planned to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a “hostile entity,” a distinction within the military that would permit offensive action…

In interviews, two senior administration officials separately compared the Tehran government to the Nazis and the Guard to the “SS.” They also referred to Guard members as “terrorists.” Such a formal designation could turn Iran’s military into a target of what Bush calls a “war on terror,” with its members potentially held as enemy combatants or in secret CIA detention.

The aim, obviously, is to beat back Iran influence across the region until they’re back to this point and are ready to make a deal on nukes. Like the surge, it’s a good idea that’s years too late. Unlike the surge, which will be led by Petraeus, it’s being run by Bush’s same old crew. I have no faith in them at this point to anticipate contingencies or react effectively when they occur, so color me reluctantly, cautiously pessimistic.

Then again, we’re not the only one waging multi-front war against them right now. If Iran is the Third Reich in the administration’s analogy, then it’s obvious who the Soviet Union is. Once again we find ourselves allied with an evil empire, but like Don Rumsfeld once (almost) said: you go to war with the force multipliers you have.

With the Shia majority in Iraq now running the country, the Arabs now have to confront Iran directly. And that they are doing. Saudi Arabia is supporting the Palestinian Fatah organization against the Iranian supported Hamas. Saudi Arabia is also using its money to support Sunni Arab, and Christian, factions in Lebanon, against Hizbollah, the Shia minority and its Iranian backers. Saudi Arabia is also giving support to the Sunni Arab majority in Syria. For decades, the Saudis tolerated the Shia minority that ran Syria. No more. The situation has changed, especially with Iran gaining speed in its effort to build nuclear weapons.

The Saudis are even, secretly, cooperating with the Israelis.

Needless to say, the real levers here are economic. If the Saudis start killing them with cheap oil and we push stronger sanctions through the UN (admittedly unlikely), then they’re looking at increased defense spending to meet our escalation and a lot less revenue with which to do it. Cold War redux. Sweet.

Exit question: Is this “war” in lieu of, or a preface to, war on Iran itself?

Update: Second exit question, per the WWII comparison: if the “Soviets” succeed in driving the “Nazis” out, what kind of Wahhabist presence will be left in each of these countries when the dust clears?

Update: ElBaradei said this morning that Iran is planning to install 3,000 new centrifuges at an underground plant next month. I’ve learned enough about uranium enrichment to know that I don’t know much, but Alphabet City has a quote from an expert at CFR claiming that with 3,000, you can make enough weapons-grade material for a bomb within one year.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

If we win then it’s in lieu of… if we lose, redeploy or pull-out… a preface to, war on Iran.

Griz on January 26, 2007 at 1:18 AM

It’s about damn time!
I love this news, but as always with the WashedUpPost (and the NYSlimes), I question the timing, agenda, bias and source of stories like this.
I’m sure they want to make Bush look like a crazy warmongering cowboy, which is the President Bush I love!:-)
How I wish he had announced this in his speech Tuesday night.

Jen the Neocon on January 26, 2007 at 1:25 AM

a good idea that’s years too late

better late then never.

The Smoke’m lamp is lit.

Saddle up.

normsrevenge on January 26, 2007 at 1:28 AM

But didn’t we (the US) help set up the Shia majority? If so, why would the Saudis be working with us to check the Shias?

As for a new front on the war, I think the force increase, plus the 2nd aircraft carrier is meant as a stabilizing force for an Israeli attack on Iran. My 2 cents anyway.

Skywise on January 26, 2007 at 1:40 AM

Damned, I think Aquaveletjihad finally done pissed Bush off too much! Go get em dubya!

Defector01 on January 26, 2007 at 1:50 AM

Cold War… who knew?

Iran will come back to the table quickly. But what will Russia, and China do? Do they want Western interests (oil production) returning and even being welcomed in Iran? China may see that move as a threat, a threat that could make its way into Africa. I seem to remember China getting some oil deals done on that continent. If Iran courts China we got a full fledged Cold WAr on our hands. Iran is to weak to call it a Cold War, more like a Cold Skirmish.

Theworldisnotenough on January 26, 2007 at 1:51 AM

FINALLY!

liberrocky on January 26, 2007 at 1:53 AM

So Iran has been sending troops and agents into Iraq and Afghanistan to kill our troops and undermine our war effort and it is Bush who the WaPo says is escalating the War. Iran is working to overthrow the Lebanon government and to fan terror in Israel, and Who is the warmonger?
/leftism on: Wow I am so ashamed to live in such a country./leftism off:

Gwillie on January 26, 2007 at 2:09 AM

why would the Saudis be working with us to check the Shias?

I’m not sure that they are. Where did you get this information? Link(s)?

Be that as it may, the Saudis, being Sunni Wa’ahabs, hate the Shia, so that’s an easy answer.
The Shi’a have been their enemies for centuries, maybe millenia.

Jen the Neocon on January 26, 2007 at 2:11 AM

Where did you get this information?

From here —
“With the Shia majority in Iraq now running the country, the Arabs now have to confront Iran directly.”

Effectively, we put the Shia’s in Iraq in charge, but we want to establish a balanced government between the Sunnis, the Shias and the Kurds so anything that destabilizes Iran (and thus the Shia power base) will help us with that.

I’m suprised that the Saudis are working with us instead of seeing us as the problem?

Skywise on January 26, 2007 at 2:23 AM

With the Shia majority in Iraq now running the country, the Arabs now have to confront Iran directly.”

Very interesting, Skywise, but that statement does not= “Saudis are working with us to check the Shi’as”.
We didn’t put the Shi’as in charge, the Iraqis did. They had an election, remember?
Iraq is 60% Shi’a, so that should not be a surprise that they dominate the new government.
One of the trickiest things in this war right now is that our troops and along with them, Iraqi forces and the Iraqi government are trying to walk a tightrope in which neither Sunni nor Shia are either favored or targeted.
If anything, I’d say we are restraining the Saudis, because it’s probably killing them that Iraq is being run by a Shi’a majority right next door.

Jen the Neocon on January 26, 2007 at 2:31 AM

How does WAPO match up with the NYT? Liberal/Conservative?

R D on January 26, 2007 at 2:38 AM

RD, are you serious?
Shouldn’t you be asking which paper hates President Bush more?
Both the WP and NYSlimes are LIBERAL.
Lessee, the NYTimes has a long tradition of Leftist apologizers, starting with their whitewashing of Stalin’s labor camps in the ’30s.
Then, the WashedUp Post prides itself on the bloodless coup of Nixon called Watergate.
Even Pravda looks like the Washington Times compared to them!

Jen the Neocon on January 26, 2007 at 2:59 AM

Thank you Jen.

R D on January 26, 2007 at 3:05 AM

With Iraq’s Shi’ite-friendly government subverting us every time we do capture Iranian agents, I’d go with the kill option.

flipflop on January 26, 2007 at 3:15 AM

Again all wars are logistical. But its in Saudi Arabia’s best interest to counter the Iranians.

I dont know if its too late. But these revelations will only escalate the pressure on Congress to counter Bush. Hence WAPO’s attempts to get this info out.

So it seems that no matter if the US stay or goes Iraq continues to be the main point in the WOT. If the US were to pull out Iran would be stablized on its eastern flank and far more willing to help insurgents in Afganistan.

But more than anything this garauntees that Iraq will not be stable for a long time unless the Iranians can fold. Have to remember they suffered brutally in the 8 year war with Iraq. They cant sustain heavy losses for too long either especially with the Young in Iran being the ones challenging the established order.

The WOT has always been global and not just in Iraq. If the pressure can be sustain we might see some weakness somewhere like what happened in Somalia. And now the Phillipines is turning against Islamofacism. We already see them weakened in several points. Look at Chechnya its virtually out of the news right now.

There has been successes in the WOT and if this continues for another year we might see a tide turning

William Amos on January 26, 2007 at 3:15 AM

It’s the right thing to do. They have had this coming for nearly 30 years. Open season.

Zorro on January 26, 2007 at 6:35 AM

If the Mad Mullahs thought the ‘Rats were representative of all Americans, they’re fatally mistaken.

steveegg on January 26, 2007 at 7:48 AM

I’d like to know why in goodness name we even developed a policy like this. This just seems to be another example of fighting a “moral” war. Anyone targeting our troops, or aids others who targets our troops, should be seen as the enemy and should be killed or captured post haste. We seem to be in the imfamous prevent defense mode which always ends in snatching defeat out of the mouth of victory.

csdeven on January 26, 2007 at 7:54 AM

Sometimes patience is called for, especially when fighting a global idea. Bush has engaged the Middle East into their own cold war, and pitted our enemies against one another. The focus has switched off the Great Satan, and onto the tribe next door. This did not happen in a few months, and Ethiopia taking over Somalia did not happen without some major setting up. This war takes time, but Americans want everything done yesterday. The secret war has been hot.

Stormy70 on January 26, 2007 at 8:23 AM

Kill ‘em all asap.

Griz on January 26, 2007 at 8:35 AM

RD,

ChooseSides.com is a good place to start to see how far right or left WAPO and NYT are. See this

faraway on January 26, 2007 at 9:34 AM

Damn, I was looking for that arcade game for my kids last Christmas…where do i insert my roll of quarters!!!

…breathe easy…squeeze trigger!

jf

JoeFunk on January 26, 2007 at 9:47 AM

Just keep the kill option first. It saves a lot of time and money. The real plus is that the left doesn’t care about deaths, just mis-treatment.

right2bright on January 26, 2007 at 9:48 AM

Quick, somebody tell Biden, Rockefeller and Obama about this. Bush must be stopped.

Enrique on January 26, 2007 at 9:53 AM

We give Iran WAY too much credit. It’s a North Korea knock off, only with oil. We’ll call the new war the “luke warm war.”

Mojave Mark on January 26, 2007 at 9:54 AM

This is good news.

What I don’t get though, it looked like we had a deal with the Saudis to drop the price of oil to really squeeze Iran (and of course, Chavez, as a bonus), but then we go ahead and announce we’re going to double our reserves, sending the price back up. Was it that important to slip that into the SOTU, and leak it before hand? Makes me wonder sometimes if they’re just going through the motions, like token illegal alien arrests.

reaganaut on January 26, 2007 at 10:04 AM

I’m appalled we haven’t been doing this up til now. What was the rationale behind that? Making nice with the Maliki/Shiite government? You can’t make this stuff up. (I haven’t read the whole article, which I will, this is probably addressed therein)

honora on January 26, 2007 at 10:04 AM

When are we going to stop all the BS and start killing people?

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on January 26, 2007 at 10:08 AM

I dont know if its too late. But these revelations will only escalate the pressure on Congress to counter Bush. Hence WAPO’s attempts to get this info out.

William Amos on January 26, 2007 at 3:15 AM

Which revelations are you referring to?

I support the Biden plan; however, as long as we are in this game, it’s foolish, and deadly, to allow the Iranians carte blanche.

honora on January 26, 2007 at 10:09 AM

But didn’t we (the US) help set up the Shia majority? If so, why would the Saudis be working with us to check the Shias?

As noted, people keep forgetting that there were elections in Iraq. When the Dems complain about Maliki, as if he were a creation of the Bush administration, they are forgetting that the policy of “realism” of the last 50-odd years has been repuiated by Bush 43. I wish someone, say, Bush, would point that out once in a while. That’s why we’re stuck with Maliki, because we’re not going to put another Shah of Iran in power. (And imagine how the Dems would scream if we did. Another Democrat Catch-22)

The Saudis (and the Egyptians, and the Jordanians) and much of the rest of the Arab world is predominantly Sunni, and they are scared sh*tless at the prospect of a nuclear Iran. Heck, if the Saudis are willing to work with the Israelis (privately, of course), why wouldn’t they be willing to work with us. In point of fact, we ought to use this leverage against Syria, which is majority Sunni, to try to peel them of Iran.

I think the Sunni/Shia thing is our ace in the hole in this whole Islamist rats nest. Al Qaeda played that card when it blew up the mosque with the golden dome (name escapes me). Why don’t we get in the game?

smellthecoffee on January 26, 2007 at 10:41 AM

I’m suprised that the Saudis are working with us instead of seeing us as the problem?

The enemy of my enemy is my friend…

aero on January 26, 2007 at 10:43 AM

If the Mad Mullahs thought the ‘Rats were representative of all Americans, they’re fatally mistaken.

steveegg on January 26, 2007 at 7:48 AM

Ya know, I wonder if that might be part of the strategery? Just wondering.

Lull the iranians and other islamosupremists into the belief that America is weak and won’t fight, so it makes exploitive individuals and organizations bold enough to poke their heads up. And as soon as they do, we either bop them, or start watching and tracking them for intelligence and connecions.

Fantasy, I know, and a very dangerous thing to do imho, because the truely weak in the US are lapping this defeatist crap up. Hmmm… but the whack a mole strategy works there too.

techno_barbarian on January 26, 2007 at 11:07 AM

WOW This is huge! With the Sunni/Shia Arab/Persian divides factored in this is could all fall into place. If Iran escalates then yes we’ll have to chase them all the way back to Tehran.

sonnyspats1 on January 26, 2007 at 11:14 AM

All the more reason why we need a HAWK Republican to win the ’08 election. If we let some weak and spineless liberal dove become our CinC, Iran becomes an even bigger problem that some future hawk president will have to deal with.

We are fighting this war NOW so that our children won’t have to LATER when Iran has become a *nuclear* power. We are fighting the war with SOLDIERS over THERE so we don’t have to fight it HERE with FIREMEN.

Kill and/or capture. Should’ve been doin’ that all along.

Tony737 on January 26, 2007 at 11:20 AM

ooooops not done yet.

Too bad we can’t turn the whole M.E. into two big countries called Sunnistan and Shiastan. Sit back and watch the fireworks. They’d be too busy killin’ each other to worry about killin’ us.

Oh well, stick to Plan A: Democratize *them* before they Islamize *us*.

Tony737 on January 26, 2007 at 11:24 AM

I think the biggest squeeze for iran is the saudis increasing their oil production, thus lowering prices. And oil is all iran’s got for income (until they get their nuke production line up and running with marketable product).

I believe W’s one line request in the SOTU address to double the strategic reserves is a deal made with the house of Saud to strenthen the US and force the iranians into even deeper domestic dissatisfaction.

This just might work.

techno_barbarian on January 26, 2007 at 11:24 AM

“Blue Game Matrix”

Get after the “Blue Meanies”, keep the gloves off…..

PinkyBigglesworth on January 26, 2007 at 11:25 AM

Aquaveletjihad!?!

Nice one, Defector

CP on January 26, 2007 at 12:33 PM

Aquaveletjihad

Oooh! That’s the best one I’ve seen so far!

jaleach on January 26, 2007 at 12:38 PM

Where is Colonel T.J. ‘King’ Kong when you need him? He’d take care of this real quick.

Limerick on January 26, 2007 at 12:55 PM

with 3,000 (centrifuges), you can make enough weapons-grade material for a bomb within one year.

How do you say “Osirak Solution” in Farsi?

Kid from Brooklyn on January 26, 2007 at 12:55 PM

The fact that “kill or capture” with respect to Iranian operatives in Iraq wasn’t the policy all along is a perfect example of why our rules of engagement were too restrictive – and why this effort is in such dire straits now.

It’s official – we learned nothing from Korea and nothing from Vietnam.

thirteen28 on January 26, 2007 at 1:09 PM

Update: ElBaradei said this morning that Iran is planning to install 3,000 new centrifuges at an underground plant next month. I’ve learned enough about uranium enrichment to know that I don’t know much, but Alphabet City has a quote from an expert at CFR claiming that with 3,000, you can make enough weapons-grade material for a bomb within one year.

Israel, do your thing. We’ll do ours and everybody is happy. Except Mahdi that is…

Theworldisnotenough on January 26, 2007 at 1:26 PM

If the democrats don’t like the President’s plan, they should have a vote to de-fund the war. If they were serious about their convictions and not grandstanding, bring the funding up for vote, let’s get them on the record…an official record.
What, no vote, well Biden must surely be able to convince other congress people to vote on a resolution to de-fund. He is the one that is so against our troops and the war. Using our military solidiers as pawns in their “victory at all costs” for political control of the U.S. is disgusting.

right2bright on January 26, 2007 at 3:24 PM

Which revelations are you referring to?

WAPO’s revelation that Bush is targeting Iran. The moonbats will say this proves Bush wants a war with Iran and the dems need to step in to stop it.

William Amos on January 26, 2007 at 3:47 PM

What I don’t get, is that there were reports …what.. six – eight months ago?? that Iran had already built the 3,000 centrifuge cascade facility and it was days or no more than a few weeks away from going online.

So why are people now suddenly surprised that ‘they are GOING to do it’.

LegendHasIt on January 26, 2007 at 4:32 PM

How far is Iran from Okinawa?

Coyote D. on January 26, 2007 at 7:05 PM

Well, thankfully, it appears war has not been declared. It would detract aesthetically from the war, were the U.S. actually to declare it. Having purposed to kill, it’s both more elegant and more effective just to do so, and not waste time in declarations. But at some point, maybe the Americans can get the U.N. Security Council to “declare” something or other, as a comic interlude.

Kralizec on January 26, 2007 at 10:10 PM

The policy does not extend to Iranian civilians or diplomats.

Lame.

Kralizec on January 26, 2007 at 10:20 PM

Though U.S. forces are not known to have used lethal force against any Iranian to date, Bush administration officials have been urging top military commanders to exercise the authority…

Mega-lame!

Kralizec on January 26, 2007 at 10:21 PM

I’ll do my best with the blockquote, but you’re crazy if you don’t read the whole thing.

That’s okay, I’ll wait until Michael Moore’s documentary, that shows how Bush and the Saudi’s planned this back when Papa Bush was in office, comes out.

Personally, I’m just hoping to get my hands on some of that Iranian oil. I plan on stockpiling it in the garage, next to the Saudi oil.

Rick on January 27, 2007 at 12:39 AM

less F%$$$# talk,, more F$$# action! either take the Iranian’s nuke stuff out with missles and bombs, or STFU!

retired on January 27, 2007 at 2:20 PM

Our politicians are frauds on this oil issue, we could be using Methanol in our cars, trucks and etc,,, all the weeds and crops that get mowed under each year could supply us with 200$% of our fuels… but NNNOoooooooooooo..

the frauds in DC refuse to..

retired on January 27, 2007 at 2:22 PM

Concerning the entire situation, if anyone has been following it for any length of time – how are you (collectively) surprised about any of this?

Yes, there are alternative energy sources that we could and don’t use –

Yes, we could have dealt with the Iran problem -

Yes, we could have alternative fuel sources for cars, etc. -

Yes, we could have done many things different –

But we (colectively) won’t – why?

Look overall at what is good for businesses involved and who stands to gain from any situation.

In the business world it’s called situational eithics –

In the real world, it translates to shortages, war, death, economic shortfalls (and increases when it suits), inconvenience, conflict (politically and more), and more.

As long as the mass is lept ignorant with media meant for the mass, the truth does not matter as long as most beleive what they are told.

Hopefully this stimulates some discussion and thought.

Best wishes for a good day.

Emmett J. on January 27, 2007 at 2:47 PM