TOP US INTELLIGENCE ANALYSTS HAVE BRIEFED PRESIDENT BUSH ON THIS STARTLING DECLARATION
ATTACKS ON IRAN WILL ONLY BRING FURTHER CHAOS AND ECONOMIC RUIN FOR US AND ALLIES
BUT WHAT WILL ISRAEL DO?
This story from 'The Australian' explains a lot about the recent change in tone from President Bush and Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice regarding Iran's refusal to stop enriching uranium as it moves closer to a nuclear energy program.
Rice and Bush now say diplomacy has to work in order to make Iran follow their demands, but Iran continues to refuse to comply.
Iran still claims they're only pursuing nuclear reactors for peaceful purposes. The US and Israel led the chanting that claimed Iran wants nuclear bombs, not cheaper energy. For three years, Bush Co has been saying, "The United States will not tolerate a nuclear Iran."
But US intelligence experts now say that if Iran chooses to arm itself with nuclear weapons, there is virtually nothing Bush Co can do to stop them. And they had better get used to that fact, regardless of what Israel thinks, or plans to do about it.
The White House's earlier enthusiasm for military strikes if all else failed has cooled after warnings from the Pentagon and intelligence analysts that the risk-to-reward ratio of taking action is too high.
General John Abizaid, commander of US forces in the Middle East, has warned that striking Iran could cripple oil supplies, unleash a "surrogate" terrorist army and lead to missile attacks on America's regional allies.
The army is particularly concerned about Iran's ability to destabilise an already chaotic Iraq. US director of national intelligence John Negroponte has told President George W. Bush that there is no rush to use force as Iran's nuclear program is beset with technical errors.
"He has been saying 'Slow down, it's not an immediate problem'," said Patrick Clawson, an Iran expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has staked her reputation on achieving a negotiated settlement with the help of the "EU3" nations of Britain, France and Germany."President Bush is not going to take military action against the advice of the Secretary of State, US generals and the director of national intelligence..."
"The conclusion is that America is going to have to live with the bomb unless there's some miracle, such as a major accident, a major defector or an orange revolution," the source added, referring to the people's protests that brought reformers to power in Ukraine.
None of these scenarios is considered particularly likely. The nuclear program had broad popular support, the analysts agreed, and a military strike could bolster the clerical regime.
Even if Iran was attacked, one analyst said, they would start their efforts again with even greater secrecy.
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Israel has said it will go it alone with attacks on Iran's nuclear reactions if the US doesn't act in time to stop Iran from arming itself with nuclear weapons.
But China and Russia are armed with nukes and are now key allies of Iran, and they are unlikely to tolerate any attacks by Israel that could threaten their "national interests" in the region, or destabilise the political regimes of the Middle East further than they already have.
If Israel does more than make threats against Iran, would the US back them up? It is actually beginning to sound like the United States would tell Israel "you're on your own if you attack Iran."
There are already signs that Bush Co has already told Israel's leaders something close to this. And the recent 'buzzing' of United States territory by a number of Russian bombers may well be a warning from Russia to the US to not get involved.
Bush has signed a series of sanctions aimed not at Iran, but at countries who may be planning to supply Iran with nuclear weapons technology, but this may just be a pre-emptive strike against future criticisms that they didn't do enough to stop Iran from getting nukes.
The question now being asked through the worldwide intelligence communities is not : What Will The United States Do If Iran Gets Nuclear Bombs? The questions being asked ares : What Will Israel Do? And Will The US Back Israel When Russia And China Demands Israel Fade Out On Their Plans To Destroy Israel's Nuclear Facilities?
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