Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Is this really happening?

This is no dream! This is really happening! --Rosemary

Jorge Hirsch, a physicist and frequent commentator on Iraq and nuclear weapons has even more dire predictions about Bush Administration plans than Seymour Hersh.
If there is an aerial bombing of Iran, I believe it is inevitable it will go nuclear. The intention is there, the advisors are there, the nuclear policies and the weapons are there. The excuses to make it "acceptable" to the American public are there. The President has sole authority to order the use of nuclear weapons, Congress has no say. The chain of command doesn't go through the Joint Chiefs of Staff that may oppose it as Hersh mentions: it goes directly from Bush and Rumsfeld to commanders of the Unified Combatant Commands such as Gen. Abizaid and Gen. Cartwright. Unless those individuals disobey orders, there is no way to stop it.

I believe there is a high probability of war with Iran because key people in the administration desperately want it, but I don't believe it is inevitable. I hope there will be a sufficiently large public outburst of opposition, eg thanks to Hersh's and other's revelations, to make it impossible. The dire situation in Iraq of course is making it more difficult, and I hope there will be strong voices in the administration and influential Republicans that will recognize the likely disastrous consequences and oppose it. Or perhaps influential old-timers like Bush Sr. and Scowcroft will be able to dissuade President Bush.

However I believe there is very little time: an attack may well happen within the next 2 weeks, while Congress is in recess. There is no advantage to those that want it to happen in waiting.

I realize that this is likely overly panicked--I certainly hope it is--and my sense of normality says it couldn't really be happening, but then again the sabers are clearly rattling and the limits of what Bush is willing to do have not yet been fully tested. The media have of course decided that the possibility of nuclear war is not worth disrupting the normal schedule for.

Reality check: here is a report on the nuclear bunker buster B61-11 currently deployed for use in such situations.

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