Monday 30 June 2003

Global War Looms?

Top U.S. Officials Discuss Expanding 'Terror War' to Iran, Beyond

A secret, quiet meeting in Kuwait between some of Washington’s top war hawks could signal that Iran is next on the chopping block.

Two weeks ago, a prince of the Kuwaiti Royal family received a phone call from an aide to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld asking if the complex was available. The prince already suspected it was needed for one of those secret meetings, which Washington has taken to holding in the Gulf.

The next day a Hercules transport landed at Kuwait’s international airport. From it emerged a group of pale-faced, middle-aged men in drill shirts and chinos. They carried laptops and bulky briefcases.

To a casual observer they were just another delegation from Washington involved in post-war Iraq. But these men were the forward planners for the next war—the one against Iran.

Within an hour of installing themselves in their palatial surroundings—securely guarded by U.S. forces—they had unloaded their maps of Iran, downloaded their computer images of its terrain and set about planning “Target Iran.”

Secure communications lines had been established and tested with Washington. One was to the CIA, another to the Pentagon. Down those lines and on to their secure computers, the Kuwaiti task force would receive the latest intelligence from inside Iran.

Some of that intel would come from Israel—from Mossad deep cover agents in Tehran.

They will ensure that “Target Iran” being planned in that royal complex would lack nothing in information. The men based there are a Pentagon think tank for the next war.

They are some of the “neo-cons”—a new breed of “conservative” intellectuals who are determined to steer the Bush administration toward an even more aggressive, go-it-alone posture. They are headed in Washington by the hard-liner, John Bolton, the under-secretary of state for arms control.

The day the “neo-cons” landed in Kuwait, Bolton, a political mirror image of Rumsfeld, had issued a new warning about a supposed nuclear threat posed by Iran.

Bolton did so in a speech to the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington. His theme was the nuclear dangers “this administration intends to confront once the war with Iraq is over.”

He concluded: “In the aftermath of Saddam, dealing with the Iranian nuclear weapons program will be of equal importance to dealing with the threat that North Korea continues to pose.”

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