Stephen Bové - Art, Technology, Right Action

Monday, January 29, 2007

Tensions with Iran continue to Build

The NYT is reporting on possible "between the lines" readings of the Bush Admin's latest moves relative to Iran. About time, but they are not telling the whole story...

“We’re not looking for a fight with Iran,” R. Nicholas Burns, the under secretary of state for policy and the chief negotiator on Iranian issues, said in an interview on Friday evening, just a few hours after Mr. Bush had repeated his warnings to Iran to halt “killing our soldiers” and to stop its drive for nuclear fuel.

READ: "WE WOULD LOVE A FIGHT WITH IRAN"

Two aircraft carriers and their accompanying battle groups were sent into the Persian Gulf, a senior military official said, “to remind the Iranians that we can focus on them, too.” American military forces in Iraq were authorized to move against Iranian operatives, though it is unclear what kind of evidence is needed, if any, that they are conspiring against American forces before military action is authorized.

READ: "WHAT BETTER TO DRAW A FIGHT THAN PUTTING SOME FAT SITTING DUCK TARGETS RIGHT UNDER IRAN'S NOSE.

Yet administration officials clearly worry that the Iranians may not back down, and that a confrontation could build up — especially if a midlevel American commander or a member of Iran’s military or paramilitary forces in Iraq miscalculated. Both Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates have warned against that risk, officials say.

READ: "YET ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS ARE CLEARLY EXCITED THAT THE IRANIANS MAY NOT BACK DOWN..."

Administration officials say that while all of Mr. Bush’s advisers have signed on to the strategy of more forceful confrontation with Tehran, there is considerable debate about how far to push it.

READ: BUSH, CHENEY AND CO. ARE MOVING AGGRESSIVELY TO STIR UP A 10 TRILLION DOLLAR MESS WITH IRAN, AND THEIR POWERLESS ADVISERS HAVE CAUTIONED THEM...

In coming weeks, administration officials say, more escalation is likely...Democrats, even while accusing the administration of failing to engage with Iran, are positioning themselves to sound tough.

READ: BOY, HERE WE GO AGAIN. THE CHESS-MOVE-LIKE BABY STEPS TOWARD FULL ENGAGEMENT WITH IRAN ARE A FEW "TAKES" AWAY FROM PLACING CONGRESS IN A SITUATION WHERE THERE WILL BE NO WAY OUT.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/28/world/middleeast/28iran.html?th&emc=th

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