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This article appears in the October 26, 2007 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.


The Last Best Chance
To Stop World War III

by Jeffrey Steinberg

Vice President Dick Cheney's continuing push for U.S. military strikes against Iran, which would trigger a global Hundred Years War conflagration, has once again put the issue of his removal from office at the center of any legitimate war-avoidance strategy. According to interviews conducted by EIR with dozens of American and foreign military officials, diplomats, and intelligence specialists, the Cheney-led war party has gained strength, despite massive opposition, and the prospects of a U.S. military attack on Iran have increased in recent weeks. The war danger will intensify, one senior U.S. intelligence source warned, until the Bush-Cheney team leaves office—or until Cheney is forced out.

A parallel factional brawl over the issue of war or peace, in the context of the unravelling of the global financial system, has erupted in Great Britain, centered around recent, temporarily failed, efforts to dump Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in favor of rabid neoconservative Tory Party leader David Cameron. The assault on Brown has been led by the Daily Telegraph (a.k.a. "Torygraph"), which has also been spewing a constant stream of war propaganda, targeting Iran and Syria with wild disinformation about "axis of evil" plots to arm both countries with North Korean nuclear bombs.

The Ghost of 9/11 ...

The intensity of the fear that the Vice President will prevail on President George W. Bush to approve air strikes against select targets inside Iran, has prompted a number of prominent figures to revisit the issue of the Sept. 11, 2001 asymmetric warfare attacks on the United States. The Pandora's box was reopened on Oct. 10, when Lyndon LaRouche led off an international webcast from Washington with a pointed reminder that the 9/11 attack was an "inside job," carried out with the complicity of certain circles inside Saudi Arabia. LaRouche reminded the audience and viewers that he had issued a public warning in January 2001, that the incoming Bush-Cheney Administration would use a "Reichstag Fire" incident to grab extraordinary police-state powers. His warning foreshadowed 9/11 by nine months.

At his webcast, LaRouche reviewed the events of 9/11, while cautioning the audience that he "knew far more" than he was prepared to reveal publicly. He later explained that he had posed the 9/11 issue in such stark terms because he was concerned about the danger that the same forces would attempt another such incident or some other pretext, to break the back of the resistance to the planned attack on Iran.

Other voices, for similar reasons, have spotlighted the "new 9/11" danger.

  • Appearing on MSNBC's Countdown, on the evening of Oct. 10, John Dean, the former Nixon White House counsel, clearly identified Cheney's attempt to seize dictatorial powers immediately following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The following exchange occurred between host Keith Olbermann and Dean, author of Broken Government and Worse Than Watergate, which document the crimes of the Bush-Cheney Administration.

    In response to Olbermann's final question about how, in 2001, Cheney was so well positioned to take advantage of the aftermath of the attacks, i.e., "how so much [power] was rolled out so quickly" to the White House, Dean responded: "Well, we know [what] a number of the think tanks were hoping or saying. I'm not saying they are hoping that the travesty and tragedy that did occur would occur, but they certainly thought they needed a triggering event to get a lot of their policies that they had been developing for years; the neoconservatives saw this as an opportunity. It was already in the drawers. They just opened them and used 9/11 to push everything through...."

  • On Oct. 16, the Public Broadcasting System's "Frontline" aired a one-hour documentary, "Cheney's Law," echoing LaRouche and Dean's accounts of Cheney et al.'s unconstitutional power grab on 9/11.

    Dump Cheney Now: The LastDdfdas
  • On Oct. 20, the Los Angeles Times published a strongly worded editorial, "Avoiding World War III," seizing upon President Bush's blustering threat to the Iranian government, during a press conference on Oct. 17, that if they continued to pursue a nuclear weapon, they could precipitate a Third World War. Bush came across as positively deranged, during the question-and-answer period, ranting about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's vows to wipe out Israel, as cause for the United States to launch a preemptive World War III.

While acknowledging that some of Iran's actions have not been constructive, the editorial warned, "Despite the very real causes for U.S. complaint, the escalation of American threats against Iran is unwise. It is grossly premature. It is dangerous, as it greatly increases the likelihood of accidental escalation into a preventable war. It is alarmingly ill-timed, as an isolated United States wages simultaneous ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and both conflicts are going badly. And it is diplomatically counterproductive. Congress and U.S. opinion leaders should slam on the brakes—if they can."

After warning that "Bush's bluster is backfiring," the Times editorial concluded, "Finally, Bush should be discouraged from threatening Iran—either directly or via leaks about Cheney's alleged enthusiasm for bombing—because Americans cannot be sure that he is just bluffing. Should a future U.S. president find it necessary to consider military action against Iran, he or she would need the support of Congress, the military, the American people and many other nations. Bush can muster none of the above. He should stick to diplomacy."

A day earlier, Washington Times war propagandist Bill Gertz had twisted remarks by the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), Adm. Michael Mullen, who gave his first press conference since being sworn in on Oct. 1. Under the provocative title "Mullen: U.S. Can Strike Iran," Gertz wrote that, "Defense and military officials have been preparing U.S. forces within striking distance of Iran. The forces would be dominated by Navy and Air Force weapons and forces since Army and Marine Corps forces are focused on Iraq and Afghanistan. There are two main targets of any Iranian military action, according to officials. First, U.S. forces are set to attack Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps facilities because of the paramilitary's support and provision of armor-piercing roadside bombs. A U.S. official said the location of a factory where Iranian bomb materials are being produced has been identified. A second target would be Iranian nuclear facilities, which are in numerous underground facilities across the country."

In fact, both Admiral Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who appeared with the new chairman at the Pentagon press conference just a day after President Bush's reckless remarks, emphasized the importance of the Bush Administration's diplomatic efforts. Mullen has quietly warned colleagues and reporters that, when he came into the chairman's office, he was alarmed to find that the Iran confrontation had been placed at the top of the list of priorities coming from the White House to the JCS.

Nevertheless, military commanders and civilian leaders are clearly coming under enormous White House pressure, emanating principally from the Vice President, to keep publicly shoving the threat of U.S. military action in the face of Iranian leaders.

... And the Putin War-Avoidance Option

Beyond warnings that the Cheney war rhetoric could trigger a Third World War, other U.S. political figures are joining LaRouche in pushing a Great Powers alternative to global confrontation and the plunge into a New Dark Age. LaRouche was among the first leading political figures to endorse the offer of strategic partnership, presented by Russian President Vladimir Putin, during his early-July visit with President Bush and former President George H.W. Bush, at Kennebunkport, Maine.

On the eve of the recent "two-plus-two" meetings in Moscow between U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Gates, with President Putin and their Russian counterparts, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, delivered a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington, on Oct. 8, embracing the Putin proposal, and tracing its roots to President Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), a program that was the fruit of collaboration between Reagan and LaRouche.

"President Putin's proposal ... is surprisingly similar to the strategic vision that President Ronald Reagan laid out more than two decades ago," Lugar stated.

The U.S. and Russia should consider "the establishment of jointly manned radar facilities and exchanges of early-warning data," Lugar proposed, adding that the two countries "might consider placing Russian liaison officers at U.S. missile defense tracking sites, in exchange for U.S. officers in Russian strategic command centers. The transparency gained from such steps would be useful in offering reassurances that these radars are not meant for spying on Russia." This latter proposal is being mooted by those who would like to see a Russian-U.S. agreement, but are not willing to renege on the previous plans regarding deployment of U.S. missiles in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic, something the Russians continue to indicate would be deal-breakers.

Such clear U.S.-Russian collaboration on strategic defense would deliver a powerful message of war-avoidance, and should be adopted immediately. But beyond such actions, the forced removal of War-Monger-in-Chief Dick Cheney from office remains the most direct means for preventing World War III.

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