Prescient New Yorker reporter, Seymour Hersh, appeared today on CNN Late Edition. Hersh contends that the Bush administration is increasingly determined to attack Iran and is actively shifting its rhetoric to justify expanded the war in the Middle East.
In his current New Yorker article, Shifting Targets: The Administration’s Plan for Iran, Hersh argues:
In a series of public statements in recent months, President Bush and members of his Administration have redefined the war in Iraq, to an increasing degree, as a strategic battle between the United States and Iran.
“Shia extremists, backed by Iran, are training Iraqis to carry out attacks on our forces and the Iraqi people,” Bush told the national convention of the American Legion in August. “The attacks on our bases and our troops by Iranian-supplied munitions have increased. . . . The Iranian regime must halt these actions. And, until it does, I will take actions necessary to protect our troops.” He then concluded, to applause, “I have authorized our military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran’s murderous activities.”
According to Hersh, the Administration's previous pro-war message, based on "anti-nuclear proliferation," hasn't sold" with the American people or America's allies.
In response, the White House is now opting for what it believes to be a more marketable rationale for attacking Iran - "counter-terrorism."
See the video below of Seymour Hersh with Wolf Blitzer on CNN:
(h/t: Think Progress)
These military drumbeats are sounding a bit familiar, aren't they?
With a federal election not unlikely in Canada's near future, I am wondering what Prime Minister Stephen Harper will have to say when Bush assembles his next "coalition of the willing."
With this question in mind, let's revisit his infamous Wall Street Journal op-ed of March 29, 2003, written with Stockwell Day. Still the nation's Leader of the Opposition, Stephen Harper criticized Canada's decision to stay out of Iraq:
Today, the world is at war. A coalition of countries under the leadership of the U.K. and the U.S. is leading a military intervention to disarm Saddam Hussein. Yet Prime Minister Jean Chretien has left Canada outside this multilateral coalition of nations.
This is a serious mistake. For the first time in history, the Canadian government has not stood beside its key British and American allies in their time of need. The Canadian Alliance -- the official opposition in parliament -- supports the American and British position because we share their concerns, their worries about the future if Iraq is left unattended to, and their fundamental vision of civilization and human values.
Disarming Iraq is necessary for the long-term security of the world, and for the collective interests of our key historic allies and therefore manifestly in the national interest of Canada. Make no mistake, as our allies work to end the reign of Saddam and the brutality and aggression that are the foundations of his regime, Canada's largest opposition party, the Canadian Alliance will not be neutral. In our hearts and minds, we will be with our allies and friends. And Canadians will be overwhelmingly with us.
But we will not be with the Canadian government.
Modern Canada was forged in large part by war -- not because it was easy but because it was right. In the great wars of the last century -- against authoritarianism, fascism, and communism -- Canada did not merely stand with the Americans, more often than not we led the way. We did so for freedom, for democracy, for civilization itself. These values continue to be embodied in our allies and their leaders, and scorned by the forces of evil, including Saddam Hussein and the perpetrators of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. That is why we will stand -- and I believe most Canadians will stand with us -- for these higher values which shaped our past, and which we will need in an uncertain future.
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto