A top State Department official informed Congress on Thursday that Iranian cadre were training Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon.
Gary Leupp interestingly notes:
I also want to believe that, following the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s advice, the governments of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan will request the removal of U.S. bases from their territory. The local rulers of these former Soviet republics in Central Asia were willing to help out against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan but now seem anxious about U.S. use of their soil for an attack on Iran. Russia is heavily invested in Iran’s nuclear industry, while China needs its petroleum.
But the U.S. is applying pressure. Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said “It looks to me like two very large countries were trying to bully some smaller countries.” Rumsfeld has echoed that, stressing that the U.S. makes agreements with nations, not the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Yesterday Rumsfeld was back in Kyrgyzstan, suddenly, for the second time in four months, obviously concerned about the issue of Manas Air Base. Newly elected president Kurmanbek S. Bakiyev, who while campaigning for office called for an end to the U.S. presence, says his government will “do its best to avoid spoiling relations with Washington.” In any case, the U.S. presence in Azerbaijan (not a SCO nation) may be important for war making purposes. Scott Ritter wrote last month that in “Azerbaijan, the US military is preparing a base of operations for a massive military presence that will foretell a major land-based campaign designed to capture Tehran.”
Meanwhile, my pessimism deepens as I read an online excerpt from an article by Philip Giraldi, in the American Conservative. It indicates that:
(1) the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) has been asked to draw up concrete, short term contingency plans for an attack on Iran, to involve “a large-scale air assault employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons” and
(2) that Vice President Cheney’s office has specifically told the Pentagon that the military should be prepared for an attack on Iran in the immediate aftermath of “another 9-11.” That’s “not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States,” notes Geraldi.