Sunday, April 20, 2008

Gandhi Peace Brigade/ Congress Speaks Out on War with Iran

Dear Friends,

House Representatives Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, Sheila Jackson Lee and Keith Ellison of the Out of Iraq Caucus address the Bush administration's possible plans to attack Iran with a "Special Order Speech" on April 15:

This is a portion of what Representative Maxine Waters had to say:
Could the Bush administration possibly be planning for a war with Iran? The inflammatory rhetoric toward Iran is building in a similar fashion to the run-up to the Iraq war. Strong statements about Iran's intervention in Iraq could set the stage for a U.S. attack on an Iranian military or nuclear facility. Surrogates in the administration have increasingly stressed a full range of negative Iranian behavior, including that Iran is killing U.S. soldiers in Iraq, supplying weapons, training and funding special groups.

General Petraeus claims the so-called "special groups'' which are funded, trained and armed by Iran, played a "destructive role'' in the recent clashes between extremist militias and Iraqi government forces in Basra and Baghdad: U.S. Ambassador Crocker says Iran is engaging in a proxy war with the United States in Iraq, adopting tactics similar to those it has used to back fighters in Lebanon:

Israel's security Cabinet decided to redistribute gas masks to the entire population amid fears of a non-conventional war with Iran. The last distribution was just before the U.S. invasion of Iraq 4 years ago. A further sign that the U.S. may be headed for war is Admiral Fallon's resignation. His "retirement" may be a direct result of his steadfast opposition to a war with Iran:

Another sign is the [current] offensive against the Mahdi Army. Moqtada al Sadr has promised full-scale attacks on America's interests in Iraq in the event of strikes on Iran. As commander of the multinational force in Iraq, Petraeus still presides as the commander of the Iraqi security forces and any operation against the Mahdi Army would have been authorized by him. What motivation did the United States have in fueling a violent confrontation with the powerful militia at a time when al Sadr had declared a truce and the progress of the surge was being reported to Congress? One explanation is that recent operations against al Sadr's militia, the Mahdi Army, may have been meant to neutralize possible resistance inside Iraq in the event of a strike on Iran.

Here is the U.S. News and World Report, "Six Signs the U.S. May Be Headed For War in Iran":
1. Two U.S. warships are positioned off Lebanon to keep Iranian ally Syria in check and to help provide air cover for Israel against Iranian missile reprisals.
2. Vice President Cheney's Middle East trip included Oman, located on the narrow Strait of Hormuz, the vulnerable shipping lane for oil in the Persian Gulf. Cheney also visited Saudi Arabia. This country's support would be vital if Iran's oil supply were to be cut off.
3. Israel's air strike on Syria last October reportedly targeted a nuclear-related facility, but the real purpose may have been to force Syria to switch on the targeted electronics for newly received Russian anti-aircraft defenses. The location of the strike was on a flight path to Iran; knowing the electronic signatures of the defensive system would be necessary to reduce the risk for warplanes heading to Iran.
4. President Shimon Peres said earlier this month that Israel will not consider unilateral action to stop Iran from getting a nuclear bomb. In the past, Israeli officials have quite consistently said that they are prepared to act alone if that becomes necessary to ensure that Iran does not cross a nuclear weapons threshold. Did President Bush give the Israelis assurances they won't have to act alone?
5. Israel's 2006 war in Lebanon against Iranian-backed Hezbollah forces was seen as a necessary step for Israel if it anticipated a clash with Iran. The radical Shiite group is seen not only as a threat on its own, but also as a possible Iranian surrogate force in the event of war with Iran. So it was important for Israel to push Hezbollah forces back from their positions on Lebanon's border.
6. When Iran's intentions to build nuclear weapons were dismissed by the recent National Intelligence Estimate report, the administration criticized the report.

There is reason to be concerned about the administration's saber-rattling towards Iran. Another encounter like the one in January between the U.S. Navy and an Iranian speedboat could be used as an excuse for retaliation similar to the Gulf of Tonkin incident that began the Vietnam War. The White House would simply claim that we were ``provoked'' and we were defending ourselves.

Middle East experts generally agree that Iran would respond to a U.S. strike by attacking U.S. and Israeli interests throughout the region and possibly globally. We are sending a message to the President and Vice President of the United States of America. The American people do not want us to continue this war in Iraq or [start a new one] in Iran. [House Representatives Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, Sheila Jackson Lee and Keith Ellison] are sounding the alarm.

Peace and Freedom,
Jes & Leslie

A Ballet You Will Not Forget!

Jes & Leslie ... A Journey for Peace and Freedom:

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