Sunday, May 14, 2006

Tehran (Late) Spring

In this post I laid forth a number of reasons for why it would not shock me if we hit Iran in May.

This article (via The Left Coaster which in turn was via Instapundit) speculates that June is the month to strike based on our carrier deployments:

Two air-craft carriers are already en route to the region, RAW STORY has found. The USS Abraham Lincoln, which recently made a port call in Singapore, and the USS Enterprise which left Norfolk, Virginia earlier this month, are headed for the Western Pacific and Middle East. The USS Ronald Reagan is already operating in the Gulf.

The plan:

Gardiner believes that the entire initial operation could run quickly, roughly 24-72 hours. "Most of the strikes would be at night," he said. "The Iranian nuclear facilities will be targeted; more important however, a major effort would focus on Iran's capability to retaliate. The US will target missile facilities, air bases and naval assets."

"After the initial effort, there will be a pause during which time the Iranians will be told that if they retaliate, the air strikes would continue," he added.

An additional piece of the puzzle:

As previously reported by Raw Story, a terrorist organization known as Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) is being used on the ground in Iran by the Pentegon, bypassing US intelligence channels. The report was subsequently covered by the Asia Times Article).

All interesting. I've wonderd why we hadn't disbanded the MEK and wondered if we had Iran in mind. And the targets make sense: nuclear facilities plus assets that could counter-attack us or our allies. But the target list is incomplete if you ask me.

A half-way effort doesn't make a lot of sense. Who would really expect that the mullahs would lose their nuclear facilities, their offensive weapons, and then just shrug and tell us, "Ok, it was a good cop. We'll abandon our WMD goals now." And if they did say that, would we really believe them? If the Iranian mullahs said that we'd gotten all their nuclear facilities and that we could just call the whole war off, would we really just call it a victory and sail home? With that evil regime still in power?

Why halt? If the MEK is helping, why wouldn't it be part of a regime change effort? Why strike a king without killing him?

Of course, with the state of the loyal opposition, the President may not think he can count on the support of a large portion of the American people to overthrow the regime. Perhaps he kicks the can down the road and lets President Clinton try her luck in 2009. I hope not, but this may be as good as he thinks he can accomplish in the current atmosphere of rabid suspicion.

Still, though the halt idea doesn't make sense to me, I'm not the only one who thinks he sees signs of imminent operations.