The New Yorker: Fact
The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups. The officials say that President Bush is determined to deny the Iranian regime the opportunity to begin a pilot program, planned for this spring, to enrich uranium.
Here we go again--though this time the plan seems to be a low-casualty air war (on the American side) with the use of tactical nuclear weapons to bust underground bunkers not ruled out. Is it sabre-rattling? A trial balloon to see if the American public are agreeable? Or is it, as the Iraq war was, a fait accompli?
It's not too hard to understand, really. Last night on the Sopranos, when Tony felt he was losing his grip, he beat up his young, buffbody guard just to show who the alpha male still was. When you're on this merry-go-round it's stay on top or get ground up in the machinery.
Bush got on and now there's no other way off. Iraq is an unmitigated disaster. A high-tech air war to take out the Iranian government and blast the country back to the stone age is about the only way he can win back his constituency and refurbish he legacy: George W. Bush--not a bungler after all but a homocidal lunatic. He has nothing to lose at this point and might as well go for broke.
And you know what? If he manages to get this show on the road Americans will love it. Journalists will film the mushroom clouds, brave bomber pilots will be interviewed on CNN, flags will wave and after a 3 week blitzkrieg, with Iran flattened, we'll have the decisive victory we thought we'd get in Iraq. The moral: no half-measures, don't expect the wogs to throw flowers at tanks driving through their streets--just blow the place up and be done with it.