Surgical Air Strikes on Iran past the planning stage

Ever since US Vice President Dick Cheney returned from his whirlwind junket, back in mid-March, to discuss “business” with the leaders of Israel, the Sunni Gulf States and Saudi Arabia, a number of events rapidly transpired, as if a strategic chessboard was now hurriedly set for serious play. The following indicate a green light for a military option has been given, its prosecution imminent.

Days after Cheney’s departure, the high Saudi Shura council had discussed plans for initiating national radiation emergency drills.

In the first week of April, the Israeli Defense Forces initiated a countrywide, five-day home front civil defense exercise against hypothetical conventional, chemical and biological missile attacks from Iran and Iran-backed Hezbullah in Southern Lebanon. A review of the exercise by the IDF concluded that Israeli citizens were less prepared for a missile war than during the Hezbullah missile barrage of the 2006 Israeli-Lebanon War.

On 5 April, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates flew nearly halfway across the world from Washington to Muscat, Oman, for a few hours of secret talks with the Sultan of Oman, then climbed right back on his jet for Washington. There has been little US military presence and never a high priority visit entertained by any Bush cabinet member to the Sheikdom that encompasses most of the southern coast of the Strait of Hormuz. Why now? Gates told reporters traveling with him that Sultan Qaboos is the “ruler of this key Gulf state which faces Iran across the strategic Strait of Hormuz. They provide a lot of support for the United States. The sultan is a good friend. I just think it’s important to touch base.”

The following day (6 April), Lebanon, Syria and Iran went on high military alert. (sometimes a good source of Israeli military intelligence albeit ever laced with a mixed bag of Israeli psyops propaganda) was one of the first reporting what later international press confirmed. The USS Abraham Lincoln (carrier) Strike Force was heading for station on the Persian Gulf. That would, by end of April, reinforce the US Fifth Fleet operations in the Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and Arabian Sea with THREE Carrier Strike Groups. Those of you who have read my book anticipating these events — click on Nostradamus Iran — know that this is the minimum number needed for an all-out air strike on Iran.

After VP Cheney and Sec. of Defense Gates came home, the US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus came home to Washington DC with US Ambassador Ryan Crocker to give their much anticipated progress report before Congress (8 April) about the ongoing military surge in Iraq. Petraeus under congressional oath declared that Iran is waging a proxy war on US forces in Iraq. Iran was the most memorable part of their report, citing the daily barrage of rockets and mortars hitting the US Embassy in Green Zone in Baghdad were made in Iran. Iranian weapons and roadside bombs have killed hundreds of US troops over the years of US occupation. Petraeus stressed weapons and training of Shia guerillas come from operatives of the Iranian al-Quds Revolutionary Guards based across the Iraqi border in Iran. He and Crocker made it sound like Iran’s involvement was the last serious impediment to US success in Iraq. Were they putting before congress an argument for “just cause” for punitive military response?

In the subsequent weeks of April into early May saber rattling was all a clatter in the Middle East. Iran blocked the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) from snooping deeper into their nuclear program while Iranian President Ahmadinejad made a big show of inspecting the 10,000 new centrifuges coming online to make nuclear fuel for his reactors. The Iranian Secretary of Defense always at his shoulder. US and Israeli intelligence did not fail to notice this was a provocation that civilian uranium fuel could be used for military purposes. Next, US navy personnel aboard one of the many civilian cargo container ships contracted by the Pentagon fired warning shots on approaching gunboats on more than one occasion in the crowded shipping lanes of the Strait of Hormuz. Whether these patrol boats were Iranian was not confirmed. It is important to note that the US military has always hired a large number of civilian cargo vessels to ship in fuel and materials before the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

On 30 April, the Abraham Lincoln joined the Harry S. Truman in the Persian Gulf for a big show of force. The Truman sailed out of the Persian Gulf shortly after, but not for home. Not just yet. The Truman Carrier Strike Group is now in the Eastern Mediterranean, since 6 May, supporting US Sixth Fleet’s strategic priority to, as Navy jargon states, “Improve maritime security and safety in the region.” In other words, to beef up Sixth Fleet’s military might stationed a few miles off the coast of Lebanon, where Iran’s other proxy, Hezbullah, began the first bloody salvoes in what seems to be an Iranian sanctioned attempt to overthrow the US-friendly Lebanese government.

For the last year I have been writing bulletins about the malefic aspect of Mars transiting over the sun signs of President Bush and the United States as a time when rash and precipitous decisions lead to US military disasters. I said decisions for war by this president would be made from 5 March to 9 May during the Mars in Cancer transit. Philip Giraldi on the final day of that Mars transit posted on the American Conservative blog page something that my own sources confirmed. He wrote, “There is considerable speculation and buzz in Washington today suggesting that the National Security Council has agreed in principle to proceed with plans to attack an Iranian al-Quds-run camp that is believed to be training Iraqi militants.”

Last week, the US government passed stark warnings to Iran that it should publicly admit to interfering with Iraq’s recovery and that it will desist from further arming and abetting radical Shia elements there. Iran immediately countered saying the US should stop arming and abetting ethnic guerrilla insurgencies in Iran. Terrorist bombings in mosques in southeastern Iran killed dozens and wounded hundreds in late April. The last several weeks has seen a rise in hostilities in Iraq climaxing with battles raging in Basra and Sadr City, a slum of Baghdad of two million Shias and haven for the Iranian armed Mahdi Army militia of Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Time has run out. This is the final window for Bush and his ideologues to do it. Cry, “Havoc!” and let slip the Neo-Cons of war on Iran. It would seem that the next step taking place any time this May into June will see unfold some or all the following possible scenarios:

The US president, his own afflicted birth chart made more delusional by the influence of Mars in Cancer, thinks a dramatic cruise missile attack on one or a number of al-Quds bases ringing Teheran will be the quick and easy military gesture that will back Iran out of Iraq and out of support of Hezbullah in Lebanon. Of course, it could lead to more weapons and training funneled into Iraq, and a full-scale attempt by Hezbullah to overthrow the Lebanese government by force. Israel then enters the conflict. The US occupation forces in Iraq would have two thirds of the population being sympathetic to Iran turning against them with renewed widespread fighting. A kiss of death for all the surge has accomplished.

If Iran does not back down and remains more belligerent and Iranian-made rockets from Lebanon once again begin falling down on Israel, the Jewish nation might act decisively. All those civil defense drills practiced and those planned in Saudi Arabian territories after the White House’s chief apostle for war with Iran — Vice President Cheney — departed, might come in handy if Israel should lay waste the nuclear reactors of Iran.

John Hogue
(15 May 2008)

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