Congressmen, Military Experts Speak Out
The following reflect the concern of certain Members of Congress from both political parties, and qualified military experts, about the danger of an imminent Bush Administration attack on Iran.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) introduced the following resolution into the Congress on Sept. 28, and inserted the full text of an article by Col. Sam Gardiner (USAF, ret.) into the Congressional Record.
Requesting the President to provide to the House of Representatives certain documents in his possession relating to United States policy toward Iran.
Resolved, That the President is requested to provide to the House of Representatives, not later than 14 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution, all documents in the possession of the President relating to—
(1) the intelligence on Iran's nuclear energy program and Iran's capability to threaten the United States with nuclear weapons;
(2) any decision to remove the ruling regime from power in Iran, by means of United States military strikes, internal or external dissident groups and individuals, and by any other means;
(3) covert action (as defined in section 503 of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 413b)) being conducted by any United States Armed Forces in Iran, and training by United States Armed Forces of any group or organization for the conduct of operations hostile to the current regime of Iran, including the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) and any individuals ever associated with MEK, and the Iranian Party of Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK) and any individuals ever associated with PJAK;
(4) creation of a new office in the Department of Defense similar in scope, function, or mandate to the former Office of Special Plans;
(5) "Prepare to Deploy" orders by the United States Navy to the waters near Iran; and
(6) all National Intelligence Estimates or any other intelligence community analysis regarding the consequences of attacking Iran, including the likelihood of increased prices of gasoline and oil and the economic impact to the United States of such increased gasoline and oil prices, the likelihood of increased attacks on United States troops in Iraq, and the growth of anti-American sentiment in the Islamic world.
The following release was issued by Maryland Republican Congressman Wayne Gilchrest on Sept. 29, under the headline "Gilchrest Asks the President To Open a Dialogue with Iran."
U.S. Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest (R-Maryland-1st) is leading an effort in Congress to ask President Bush to begin talks with Iran as soon as possible in hopes of averting another conflict in the Middle East.
In a letter sent to the President Friday, signed by 19 bipartisan members of the House, Gilchrest and his colleagues suggested that the last 26 years of a "no negotiation" policy has not yielded any positive results. By opening a dialogue with Tehran, the President can begin to try to solve this nuclear impasse diplomatically.
"If we hope to convince the American people, our allies, and the international community that we are committed to resolving this matter diplomatically, the U.S. must open up direct diplomatic channels with Tehran," the letter stated.
The letter also suggested that while talks with Iran's President may not be productive, there are other leaders and groups in Iran that would be receptive to such outreach.
"We remind you that decision-making power under Iran's government is diffuse. Although we are all familiar with the inflammatory rhetoric of President Ahmadinejad, there are certainly other significant government bodies in Iran that have demonstrated moderation and an eagerness for dialogue. We believe that such bodies should be sought out for engagement."
"There are seldom occasions in history where a great country should fear dialogue with a potential adversary. on the contrary, dialogue is needed to explain clearly the compelling nature of America's objectives in the Middle East. More than 25 years of isolating Iran has moved us farther from, not closer to, achieving these goals. No one can dispute that the U.S. has a strong track record of diplomatic successes in autocratic societies after opening negotiating channels.
"We believe America's diplomats are the best in the world and should be allowed to apply their talents to our conflict with Iran. We therefore respectfully urge you to begin the process of holding direct talks with Iran as soon as possible."
Other members who have signed the letter include: Gil Gutknecht (R-Minn.), Ron Paul (R-Tex.), Vic Snyder (D-Ark.), John R. "Randy" Kuhl Jr. (R-N.Y.), Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.), Elijah Cummings (R-Md.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), John J. Duncan Jr. (R-Tenn.), David Price (D-N.C.), Jim Leach (R-Ia.), John Olver (D-Mass.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Joe Schwartz (R-Mich.), Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), Phil English (R-Pa.), C.L. "Butch" Otter (D-Id.).
"The End of the 'Summer of Diplomacy': Assessing U.S. Military Options on Iran" by Col. Sam Gardiner, (USAF, ret.), is being imminently printed by The Century Fund, but is already being widely circulated on the Internet and cited for its authoritative reporting. It can be accessed in full at www.tcf.org.
Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski (ret.) who formerly worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense under Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, reported in a column on Sept. 25, that the invasion of Iran was already under way. The column can be found at LewRockwell.com, under the title "Are We Mice or Men?"
"The October Surprise" by former Democratic Senator Gary Hart, was printed on the Huffington Post website on Sept. 23, among other websites. It read, in part:
"It should come as no surprise if the Bush Administration undertakes a preemptive war against Iran sometime before the November election.
"Were these more normal times, this would be a stunning possibility, quickly dismissed by thoughtful people as dangerous, unprovoked, and out of keeping with our national character. But we do not live in normal times.
"And we do not have a government much concerned with our national character. If anything, our current Administration is out to remake our national character into something it has never been.
"The steps will be these: Air Force tankers will be deployed to fuel B-2 bombers, Navy cruise missile ships will be positioned at strategic points in the northern Indian Ocean and perhaps the Persian Gulf, unmanned drones will collect target data, and commando teams will refine those data. The latter two steps are already being taken.
"Then the president will speak on national television. He will say this: Iran is determined to develop nuclear weapons; if this happens, the entire region will go nuclear; our diplomatic efforts to prevent it have failed; Iran is offering a haven to known al-Qaeda leaders; the fate of our ally Israel is at stake; Iran persists in supporting terrorism, including in Iraq; and sanctions will have no effect (and besides they are for sissies). He will not say ... and besides, we need the oil.
"Therefore, he will announce, our own national security and the security of the region require us to act. 'Tonight, I have ordered the elimination of all facilities in Iran that are dedicated to the production of weapons of mass destruction....' in the narrowest terms this includes perhaps two dozen targets....
"The consequences? The sunny neoconservatives whose goal has been to become the neo-imperial Middle Eastern power all along, will forecast few. But prudent leaders calculate all the risks, and they are historic.
"These include: violent reaction throughout the Islamic world; a dramatic increase in jihadist attacks in European capitals and the U.S.; radicalization of Islamic youth behind a new generation of jihadist leaders; consolidation of support for Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, and a rapidly spreading malignant network; escalating expansion of anti-American sentiment throughout the world, including the democratic world; and the formation of World War III battle lines between the U.S. and the Arab and Islamic worlds.
"In more rational times, including at the height of the Cold War, bizarre actions such as unilateral, unprovoked, preventive war are dismissed by thoughtful, seasoned, experience men and women as mad. But those qualities do not characterize our current leadership.
"For a divinely guided president who imagines himself to be a latter day Winston Churchill (albeit lacking the ability to formulate intelligent sentences), and who professedly does not care about public opinion at home or abroad, anything is possible, and dwindling days in power may be seen as making the most apocalyptic actions necessary."
"Why Bush Will Nuke Iran," by Paul Craig Roberts, Sept. 26, AntiWar.com.
Roberts, a former Nixon Administration official, states with certainty that the "Bush administration will attack Iran with tactical nuclear weapons." Due to the Administration's failures, Roberts argues, nuking Iran is the only way to ensure U.S./Israel hegemony in the Middle East. It has lost its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the "coalition of the willing" has disassembled. Why the United States must attack, Roberts claims, is because "Bush is incapable of recognizing his mistake. He can only 'escalate.' "
Roberts asserts that the U.S. war doctrine now holds that tactical nuclear weapons entail rather little collateral damage, yet alter the psychological climate and can scare the enemy into meeting demands. And, Iran would not dare to retaliate.
"Contemplating the Ifs" is an article by military and counterintelligence specialists W. Patrick Lang and Larry C. Johnson, which analyzes the costs of any attack on Iran. It can be found at www.nationalinterest.org.