Hope for a Nuclear War Dims
NIE report on Iran puts Cheney's quest for a pre-emptive strike on hold.
The Bush-Cheney regime's war drums have fallen silent — at least temporarily — in the wake of the U.S. intelligence analysts' new "estimate" that Iran's nuclear-bomb program really doesn't exist.
The problem is that the intelligence on which this conclusion is based also doesn't exist. This was a political decision by the CIA, not an intelligent analysis based on intelligence.
You won't find that analysis in the major U.S. newspapers. Nor will you find any mention of either Pakistan or Israel, both of which have nuclear weapons. That context is important, because Pakistan is dangerously unstable right now, and any attack on its neighbor Iran could destroy the global oil economy and destabilize the entire planet.
Too far-fetched? Not really. The World Economic Forum analysts' worst-case scenario for the Persian Gulf posits a pre-emptive attack on Iran in 2009, as I noted previously.
West of Tehran, Israeli pols are still pursuing a strike on Iran, and now, with this new NIE report, Israel could well be the Cheney regime's surrogate for such a strike.
Back to the National Intelligence Estimate itself: Even the left-leaning Haaretz recognizes that the report is somewhat ludicrous. Take a look at "Iran Laughing at U.S. Lack of Nuclear Intelligence," Amir Oren's analysis in the Israeli paper. Here's Oren's take this morning:
Burned by the White House (and CIA director George Tenet) in the run-up to the unjustified invasion of Iraq, U.S. intelligence analysts are covering their asses this time by admitting that they have no evidence that Iran is currently building bombs.
There's still hope for Dick Cheney and Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Israel) and other war hawks pushing for a pre-emptive strike. As Oren says:
If you doubt Cheney's determination, go back and read Seymour Hersh's January 2005 New Yorker article, "The Coming Wars."
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in New York, delivered to your inbox.