[REVISED April 3, 2008] Rumors are once more rife regarding an impending U.S. attack on Iran, but some of them were based on a misdated article, confusing prognosticators.  --  A 2007 RIA Novosti article quoting an anonymous "high-ranking security source" who said that "Russian military intelligence services are reporting a flurry of activity by U.S. Armed Forces near Iran's borders" was erroneously redistributed as a 2008 article proclaiming that "the U.S. Naval presence in the Persian Gulf has for the first time in the past four years reached the level that existed shortly before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003."  --  Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts quoted the misdated article on Sunday and added that there is also evidence that Saudi Arabia is anticipating an American attack against Iran.[2]  --  According to Roberts, the recent campaign against Shiite militias by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was intended "to eliminate Al Sadr’s Iraqi Shi’ite militia in order to avoid supply disruptions and a Shi’ite rebellion in Iraq when the U.S. attack on Iran comes."  --  On Monday, a retired U.S. Army brigadier general and a former Arizona state legislator who is a University of Arizona professor were moved to join a history professor, a Republican businesswoman, a retired doctor and UA College of Medicine professor, and the former head of the Pima County Democratic Party in publishing an Op-Ed piece in the Tucson Citizen warning against such an attack.[3]  --  Writing for Al Jazeera on Sunday, Ramzy Baroud reviewed the evidence of an impending U.S. attack but found it inconclusive:  "An attack on Iran doesn't seem as certain as the war against Iraq always did."[4]   --  A week ago, Chris Floyd was among the first to comment on the Deutsche Presse-Agentur's report of a Saudi newspaper's article on Saudi measures to protect against "any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards that may affect the kingdom following experts' warnings of possible attacks on Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactors," to quote the translation of a piece that appeard in one of the kingdom's leading newspapers, Okaz.[5]  --  (Floyd did not quote the misdated article.)  --  Their are now countless blogs avidly discussing the subject; some even report the name of the operation ("Operation Bite"), the time of attack (4:00 a.m. on Apr. 6), and the number of targets (about 20)....

1.

RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE SEES U.S. MILITARY BUILDUP ON IRAN BORDER

RIA Novosti
March 27, 2008

 

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20070327/62697703.html
or
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19640.htm

 

MOSCOW -- Russian military intelligence services are reporting a flurry of activity by U.S. Armed Forces near Iran's borders, a high-ranking security source said Tuesday.

"The latest military intelligence data point to heightened U.S. military preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran," the official said, adding that the Pentagon has probably not yet made a final decision as to when an attack will be launched.

He said the Pentagon is looking for a way to deliver a strike against Iran "that would enable the Americans to bring the country to its knees at minimal cost."

He also said the U.S. Naval presence in the Persian Gulf has for the first time in the past four years reached the level that existed shortly before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Col.-Gen. Leonid Ivashov, vice president of the Academy of Geopolitical Sciences, said last week that the Pentagon is planning to deliver a massive air strike on Iran's military infrastructure in the near future.

A new U.S. carrier battle group has been dispatched to the Gulf.

The USS John C. Stennis, with a crew of 3,200 and around 80 fixed-wing aircraft, including F/A-18 Hornet and Superhornet fighter-bombers, eight support ships and four nuclear submarines are heading for the Gulf, where a similar group led by the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower has been deployed since December 2006.

The U.S. is also sending Patriot anti-missile systems to the region.

2.

RUSSIANS, SAUDIS EXPECT U.S. ATTACK ON IRAN
By Paul Craig Roberts

VDare.com
March 30, 2008

http://vdare.com/roberts/080330_iran.htm

The U.S. Congress, the U.S. media, the American people, and the United Nations, are looking the other way as Cheney prepares his attack on Iran.

If only America had an independent media and an opposition party. If there were a shred of integrity left in American political life, perhaps a third act of naked aggression -- a third war crime under the Nuremberg standard -- by the Bush Regime could be prevented.

On March 30, the Russian News & Information Agency, Novosti, cited a high-ranking security source: "The latest military intelligence data point to heightened US military preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran." [NOTE: This statement was actually made on Mar. 27; see #1.]

According to Novosti, Russian Colonel General Leonid Ivashov said "that the Pentagon is planning to deliver a massive air strike on Iran’s military infrastructure in the near future."

The chief of Russia’s general staff, Yuri Baluyevsky, said last November that Russia was beefing up its military in response to U.S. aggression, but that the Russian military is not "obliged to defend the world from the evil Americans."

On March 29, OpEdNews cited a report by the Saudi Arabian newspaper *Okaz*, which was picked up by the German news service, DPA. The Saudi newspaper reported on March 22, the day following Cheney’s visit with the kingdom’s rulers, that the Saudi Shura Council is preparing "national plans to deal with any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards that may affect the kingdom following experts’ warnings of possible attacks on Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactors."

And Admiral William "there will be no attack on Iran on my watch" Fallon has been removed as U.S. chief of Central Command, thus clearing the way for Cheney’s planned attack on Iran.

The Iranians don’t seem to believe it, despite the dispatch of U.S. nuclear submarines and another aircraft carrier attack group to the Persian Gulf. To counter any Iranian missiles launched in response to an attack, the U.S. is deploying anti-missile defenses to protect US bases and Saudi oil fields.

Two massive failures by the American media, the Democratic Party, and the American people have paved the way for Cheney’s long-planned attack on Iran. One failure is the lack of skepticism about the U.S. government’s explanation of 9/11. The other failure is the Democrats’ refusal to begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush for lying to the Congress, the American people, and the world and launching an invasion of Iraq based on deception and fabricated evidence.

If an American president can start a war exactly as Adolf Hitler did with pure lies and not be held accountable, he can get away with anything. And Bush and his evil regime have.

Hitler launched World War II with his invasion of Poland after staging a "Polish attack" on a German radio station. On the night of August 31, 1939, a group of Nazis disguised in Polish uniforms seized a radio station in Germany. Hitler announced that "last night Polish troops crossed the frontier and attacked Germany," a claim no more true than the Bush Regime’s claim that "Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction." Hitler’s lie failed, because his invasion of Poland, which began the next day allegedly in reprisal for the Polish attack, had obviously been planned for many months.

Iran is a beautiful and developed country. It is an ancient civilization. It has attacked no one. Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. Iran is permitted by the treaty to have a nuclear energy program. The Bush Regime’s case against Iran is based on the Bush Regime’s desire to deny Iran its rights under the treaty.

The International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors have repeatedly reported that they have found no evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program. Despite all the disinformation from U.S. Gen. Petraeus and other Bush Regime military lackeys, Iran is not arming the Iraqis who are resisting the American occupation.

If Iran were arming insurgents, the insurgents would have two weapons that would neutralize the U.S. advantage in the Iraqi conflict: missiles to knock down U.S. helicopter gunships and rocket-propelled grenades that knock out American tanks. The insurgents do not have these weapons and must construct clumsy anti-tank weapons out of artillery shells. The insurgents are helpless against U.S. air power and cannot mass forces to take on the American troops.

Indiscriminate American violence has reduced Iraq to rubble. The civilian infrastructure is essentially destroyed -- electricity, water and sewer systems, medical care, and schools. Depleted uranium is everywhere poisoning everyone, including U.S. troops. There is no economy, and half or more of Iraqis are unemployed. Literally no Iraqi family has escaped an injury or a death as a consequence of the U.S. invasion. Millions of Iraqis have become displaced persons. A developed country with a professional middle class has been destroyed because of lies told by the President and Vice President of the U.S. The Bush Regime’s lies are echoed by a neoconservative media, and have gone unchallenged by the opposition party and an indifferent American public.

In Afghanistan, death and destruction rains on even the smallest village from the air. America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are wars against the civilian populations.

Just as the world could not believe Hitler’s next horror and thus was always unprepared, the Iranians despite all the evidence cannot believe that even the Great Satan would gratuitously attack Iran based on nothing but lies about non-existent nuclear weapons.

Iran’s only chance would be to strike before the U.S. delivers the first blow. Instead of using its missiles to take out the Saudi oil fields and to sink the U.S. aircraft carriers, instead of closing the Strait of Hormuz, instead of arming the Iraqi Shi’ites and moving them to insurgency, Iran is perched like a sitting duck in denial even as the U.S. and its Iraqi puppet Maliki move to eliminate Al Sadr’s Iraqi Shi’ite militia in order to avoid supply disruptions and a Shi’ite rebellion in Iraq when the U.S. attack on Iran comes.

It is important to emphasize that Iran is making no moves toward war. Having tamed, blackmailed, and purchased Congress, the U.S. media, and U.S. allies and puppets, Cheney might delight in the arrogance with which he can now attack Iran free of any restraint or fabricated provocation.

On the other hand, he might cover himself by orchestrating an "Iranian provocation" to justify his attack as a response. But like Hitler’s planned attack against Poland, Cheney’s attack on Iran has long been in the works.

On March 29 the Associated Press reported that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi "poured contempt on fellow Arab leaders" at the Arab summit that day. Gadhafi told the Arab "leaders," many of whom are on the American payroll, that their American masters would turn on them all, just as America turned on Saddam Hussein after using him to fight a proxy war against Iran.

Saddam had once been an ally of Washington, Gadhafi reminded the Arabs, "but they sold him out." Gadhafi told the American puppets, "Your turn is next."

Gadhafi asked, "Where is the Arabs’ dignity, their future, their very existence?" If Arabs remain disunited, he predicted, "they will turn themselves into protectorates. They will be marginalized and turn into garbage dumps."

Indeed, it is this disunity that permits the US to bomb and murder at will in the Middle East.

--Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. See Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.

3.

Guest opinioin

WE SHOULD NOT ATTACK IRAN
By John Arnold and Ted Downing

** 'Surgical strike' on nuclear facilities would risk an all-out Mideast war **

Tucson (AZ) Citizen
March 31, 2008

http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/daily/opinion/81218.php

With the departure of Admiral Fox Fallon, commander of U.S. Central Command and reputed voice of reason in policy discussions on Iran, the danger of another pre-emptive U.S. attack looms urgently. American attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities could risk all-out war throughout the Mideast.

This is the greatest fear of most of our allies worldwide. It should be ours as well. We must insist on thorough, decisive, and immediate diplomatic solutions.

Until a few months ago, some in the U.S. policy community considered military action against Iran reasonable.

A previously unpublished National Intelligence Estimate, released Dec. 3, reported no credible evidence to support the idea that Iran might be developing a nuclear bomb.

Tehran halted its nuclear enrichment program in 2003 and, as of the middle of 2006, had not restarted it.

Unquestionably, some of Iran's behavior is contrary to U.S. and international interests.

Most of the world has grave concern about potential Iranian development of a nuclear weapon.

Nevertheless, war with Iran would be a senseless way to resolve our differences.

It is time to be honest with the American people and share the potential consequences.

An Iranian conflict would place all of America's interests in the region at great risk.

With nearly three times the population of Iraq -- 70 million people -- Iran presents infinitely more problems for our military operations than does Iraq.

Our overstretched armed forces would be at increased risk if we were at war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran.

Iran will not allow itself to be bombed without retaliation, and it has had years to prepare its defensive strategy.

Retaliation could include more aggression in the Middle East or kidnapping of our citizens -- some may remember 1979.

Consider the regional consequences of a so-called "surgical strike" on Iran's nuclear facilities.

It would require thousands of air sorties just to strike Iran's far-flung air and naval facilities, not to mention a massive effort to secure the Straits of Hormuz and Gulf oil facilities. And any nuclear program could resume as soon as the smoke cleared.

In Iraq, our troops would have to prepare for retaliation.

Hamas and Hezbollah actions would be unleashed in Israel and Lebanon, and enraged Muslim populations would attack anyone seen as allied with America in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

All of these risks must be fully disclosed, discussed, and assessed openly and, most important, our congressional representatives must maintain their right to make any decision to attack Iran.

Our diplomatic relationship with Iran is central to improving the security structure in the Middle East and is critical to our global influence as well.

Iran can provide the security arrangements that can help the U.S. coordinate a safe and honorable withdrawal from Iraq.

Continuing to view Iran as an adversary that must be contained or pressured will only delay this process.

Conversely, America can provide the one thing that the Iran regime desires most, i.e. legitimacy and reintegration into the world community. Only effective and informed diplomacy can yield a peaceful and permanent solution to these problems.

--John Adams is a retired U.S. Army brigadier general and doctoral student of political science at the University of Arizona. Ted Downing, former state legislator, is a University of Arizona professor and consultant.Also contributing to this essay: Lawyer Harrison Dickey, history professor Richard Eaton of the University of Arizona; Republican businesswoman Cele Peterson; retired doctor and UA College of Medicine professor Barbara H. Warren; and Donna Branch-Gilby, former head of the Pima County Democratic Party and a candidate for the county Board of Supervisors.

4.

Reviews

THE COMING UNCERTAIN WAR AGAINST IRAN
By Ramzy Baroud

** A U.S. attack on Iran doesn't seem as certain as the war against Iraq always did. **

Al Jazeera
March 30, 2008

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/newsfull.php?newid=102357

When Admiral William J "Fox" Fallon was chosen to replace General John Abizaid as chief of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) in March 2007, many analysts didn't shy from reaching a seemingly clear-cut conclusion: the Bush administration was preparing for war with Iran and had selected the most suitable man for this job. Almost exactly a year later, as Fallon abruptly resigned over a controversial interview with Esquire magazine, we are left with a less certain analysis.

Fallon was the first man from the navy to head CENTCOM. With the U.S. army fighting two difficult and lengthy wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and considering the highly exaggerated Iranian threat, a war with Iran was apparently inevitable, albeit one that had to be conducted differently. Echoing the year-old speculation, Arnaud de Borchgrave of UPI wrote on 14 March 2007 that an attack against Iran "would fall on the U.S. Navy's battle carrier groups and its cruise missiles and Air Force B-2 bombers based in Diego Garcia".

Fallon is a man of immense experience, having served equally high-profiled positions in the past (he was commander of U.S. Pacific Command from February 2005 to March 2007). The Bush administration probably saw him further as a conformist, in contrast to his predecessor Abizaid who promoted a diplomatic rather than military approach and who went as far as suggesting that the U.S. might have to learn to live with an Iranian nuclear bomb.

Fallon's recent resignation may have seemed abrupt to many, but it was a well-orchestrated move. His interview in Esquire depicted him as highly critical of the Bush administration's policy on Iran; the magazine described him as the only thing standing between the administration and their newest war plan.

Further, his resignation and "Secretary of Defense Robert Gates's handling of [it] is the greatest and most public break in the Bush team's handling of preparations for war against Iran that we are ever likely to see," wrote respected commentators and former CIA analysts Bill and Kathy Christison on 12 March. "Gates has in fact publicly associated himself with the resignation by saying it was the right thing for Fallon to do, and Gates said he had accepted the resignation without telling Bush first."

Fallon's resignation represents a bittersweet moment. On the one hand it's an indication of the continued fading enthusiasm for the militant culture espoused by the neo-conservatives. On the other, it's an ominous sign of the Bush administration's probable intentions during the last year of the president's term. Sixty-three-year-old Admiral Fallon would not have embarked on such a momentous decision after decades of service were it not for the fact that he knew a war was looming, and -- having considered the historic implications for such a war -- chose not to pull the trigger.

Unlike the political atmosphere in the U.S. prior to the Iraq war -- shaped by fear, manipulation, and demonisation -- the U.S. political environment is now much more accustomed to war opposition, which is largely encouraged and validated by the fact that leading army brass are themselves speaking out with increasing resolve. Indeed pressure and resistance are mounting on all sides; those rooting for another war are meeting stiff resistance by those who can foresee its disastrous repercussions.

The push and pull in the coming months will probably determine the timing and level of U.S. military adventure against Iran, or even whether such an adventure will be able to actualize (one cannot discount the possibility that as a token for Israel, the U.S. might provide a middle way solution by intervening in Lebanon, alongside Israel, to destroy Hezbollah. Many options are on the table, and another Bush-infused crisis is still very much possible).

In an atmosphere of hyped militancy, Fallon's resignation might be viewed as a positive sign, showing that the cards are not all stacked in favor of the war party. Nonetheless, it is premature to indulge in optimism. Prior signs have indicated a serious rift among those who once believed that war is the answer to every conflict. Yet that didn't necessary hamper the war cheerleaders' efforts.

Last December, the National Intelligence Estimate -- an assessment composed by all American intelligence agencies -- concluded that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, and that any such program remained frozen. Meanwhile the "bomb-first-ask-questions-later" crowd suggested that such an assessment is pure nonsense. Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain has since then sung the tune of "bomb Iran," -- literally -- and Israel's friends continue to speak of an "existential" threat Israel faces due to Iran's "weapons" -- never mind that Israel is itself a formidable nuclear power.

According to Borchgrave, "McCain's close friend Senator Joe Lieberman . . . invoking clandestine Iranian explosives smuggled into Iraq, has called for retaliatory military action against Tehran. He and many others warn that Israel faces an existential crisis. One Iranian nuclear-tipped missile on Jerusalem or Tel Aviv could destroy Israel, they argue."

In fact, Lieberman, and other Israel supporters need no justification for war, neither against Iran nor any of Israel's foes in the Middle East. They have promoted conflicts on behalf of that country for many years and will likely continue doing so, until enough Americans push hard enough to restack their government's priorities.

An attack on Iran doesn't seem as certain as the war against Iraq always did. Public pressure, combined with courageous stances taken by high officials, could create the tidal wave needed to reverse seemingly determined war efforts. Americans can either allow those who continue to speak of "existential threats" and wars of a hundred years to determine and undermine the future of their country, and subsequently world security, or they can reclaim America, tend to its needy and ailing economy, and make up for the many sins committed in their name and in the name of freedom and democracy.

-- Ramzy Baroud is a Palestinian-American author and editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His work has been published in numerous newspapers and journals worldwide, including the Washington Post, Japan Times, Al Ahram Weekly and Le Monde diplomatique.  His latest book is The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People's Struggle (Pluto Press, London). Read more about him on his website: RamzyBaroud.net

5.

WORRIED YET? SAUDIS PREPARE FOR "SUDDEN NUCLEAR HAZARDS" AFTER CHENEY VISIT
By Chris Floyd

Empire Burlesque
March 24, 2008

http://empireburlesquenow.blogspot.com/2008/03/worried-yet-saudis-prepare-for-sudden.html
or
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8494 (posted Mar. 31)

I. ONE TICK CLOSER TO MIDNIGHT

Last Friday, Dick Cheney was in Saudi Arabia for high-level meetings with the Saudi king and his ministers. On Saturday, it was revealed that the Saudi Shura Council -- the elite group that implements the decisions of the autocratic inner circle -- is preparing "national plans to deal with any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards that may affect the kingdom following experts' warnings of possible attacks on Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactors," one of the kingdom's leading newspapers, Okaz, reports. The German-based DPA news service relayed the paper's story.

Simple prudence -- or ominous timing? We noted here last week that an American attack on Iran was far more likely -- and more imminent -- than most people suspect. We pointed to the mountain of evidence for this case gathered by scholar William R. Polk, one of the top aides to John Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and to other indicators of impending war. The story by Okaz -- which would not have appeared in the tightly controlled dictatorship without approval from the top -- is yet another, very weighty piece of evidence laid in the scales toward a new, horrendous conflict.

We don't know what the Saudis told Cheney in private -- or even more to the point, what he told them. But the release of this story now, just after his departure, would seem to be a clear indication that the Saudis have good reason to fear a looming attack on Iran's nuclear sites and are actively preparing for it.

II. A NUCLEAR EPIPHANY IN IRAN?

And they certainly should be bracing themselves. A U.S. attack on Iran will come suddenly, and if it is indeed aimed at destroying Iran's nuclear capabilities -- a "threat" being talked up again with new urgency by both Cheney and Bush lately -- it has the potential for unimaginable consequences. As we noted here in a previous piece: "Twelve hours. One circuit of the sun from horizon to horizon, one course of the moon from dusk to dawn. What was once a natural measurement for the daily round of human life is now a doom-laden interval between the voicing of an autocrat's brutal whim and the infliction of mass annihilation halfway around the world.

"Twelve hours is the maximum time necessary for American bombers to gear up and launch an unprovoked sneak attack -- a Pearl Harbor in reverse -- against Iran, the *Washington Post* reports. . . . And when this attack comes -- either as a stand-alone 'knock-out blow' or else as the precursor to a full-scale, regime-changing invasion, like the earlier aggression in Iraq -- there will be no warning, no declaration of war, no hearings, no public debate. The already issued orders governing the operation put the decision solely in the hands of the president: he picks up the phone, he says, "Go" -- and in twelve hours' time, up to a million Iranians could be dead.

"This potential death toll is not pacifist hyperbole; it comes from a National Academy of Sciences study sponsored by the Pentagon itself, as the *Progressive* reports. (Although Bush's military brass like to peddle the public lie that 'we don't do body counts' of the enemy, in reality, like all good businessmen they keep precise accounts of their production outputs: i.e., corpses.) The Pentagon's NAS study calibrated the kill-rate from 'bunker-busting' tactical nukes used to take out underground facilities -- such as those which house much of Iran's nuclear power program.

"Another simulation by scientists, using Pentagon-devised software, was even more specific, measuring the aftermath of a 'limited' nuclear attack on the main Iranian underground site in Esfahan, the magazine reports. This small expansion of the Pentagon franchise would result in stellar production figures: three million people killed by radiation in just two weeks, and 35 million people exposed to dangerous levels of cancer-causing radiation in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. Bush has about 50 nuclear "earth-penetrating weapons" at his disposal, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

"Nor is the idea of a nuclear strike on Iran mere 'liberal paranoia.' Bush himself pointedly refused to take the nuclear option 'off the table' this week. But what's more, Bush has made the use of nuclear weapons a centerpiece of his 'National Security Strategy of the United States,' issued last month, the *Progressive* notes. While reaffirming the criminal principle of 'pre-emptive' attacks on perceived enemies which may or may not be threatening America with weapons they may or may not possess, Bush declared that 'safe, credible, and reliable nuclear forces continue to play a critical role' in the 'offensive strike systems' that are now a key part of America's 'deterrence.'"

"In the depraved jargon of atomic warmongering, a 'credible' nuclear force is one that can and will be used in the course of ordinary military operations. It is no longer to be regarded as a sacred taboo. This has long been the dream of the Pentagon's 'nuclear priesthood' and its acolytes, going back to the days of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For decades, a strong faction within the American power structure has been afflicted with a perverted craving to unleash these weapons once more. An almost sexual frustration can be discerned in their laments as time and again, in crisis after crisis, their counsels for 'going nuclear' were rejected -- often at the very last moment. To justify their aberrant desire, they have relentlessly demonized an ever-changing array of 'enemies,' painting each one as an imminent, overwhelming threat, led by 'madmen' in thrall to pure evil, impervious to reason, fit only for destruction. Evidence for the "threat" is invariably exaggerated, manipulated, even manufactured; this ritual cycle has been enacted over and over, leading to many wars -- but never to that ultimate, orgasmic release.

"Now this paranoid sect has at last seized the commanding heights of American power. . . .

"And they have found a most eager disciple in the peevish dullard strutting in the Oval Office. Under their sinister tutelage, Bush has eviscerated 40 years' worth of arms control treaties; officially 'normalized' the use of nuclear weapons, even against non-nuclear states; rewarded outlaw proliferators like India, Israel, and Pakistan; and is now destroying the last and most effective restraint on the spread of nuclear weapons: the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

"The treaty guarantees its signatories -- such as Iran -- the right to establish nuclear power programs in exchange for rigorous international inspections. But Bush has arbitrarily decided that Iran -- whose nuclear program undergone perhaps the most extensive inspection process in history -- must end its lawful activities. Why? Because the country is led by 'madmen' in thrall to pure evil, impervious to reason, who one day may or may not threaten America with weapons they may or may not have.

"So the NPT is dead. As with the Geneva Conventions and the U.S. Constitution, it now means only what Bush says it means. Force of arms, not rule of law, is the new world order. The attack on Iran is coming. . . .

"The nuclear sectarians have waited decades for this moment. Such a chance may never come again. Will they let it pass, when with just a word, in just twelve hours, they can see their god rising in a pillar of fire over Persia?"