As the needle bends

A world view thru my hobbit hole door

Is this really a prelude to war with Iran?

As I surfed through the places I normally go to check for news from the Middle East, I was struck by just how much news there is out there that, frankly, scares the heck out of me, with regards to the rumblings and rumors of war. No, I’m not speaking of the war between the people that don’t support President Bush and the “War on Terror,” but of the possibility, which looks more and more like an inevitability, of a war with Iran. Note: I did not say that we would attack Iran.  Let me refer you to an article which originally appeared on World Net Daily, which I found at Ryan Mauro’s World from which I have extracted a couple of pertinent sections:

Some Middle East observers believe Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s letter to President Bush could be a precursor to war, based on a traditional Muslim pattern of offering acceptance of Islam before establishing it by force… …In a Hadith, regarded by Muslims as sacred writings about Muhammad, the Islamic prophet says a series of offers should be made to “enemies” to embrace Islam, or at least accept Islamic rule, and if they are rejected, “seek Allah’s help and fight them.” In his letter, Ahmadinejad argues only Islam can “overcome the present problems of the world” and asks Bush, “Will you not accept this invitation? That is, a genuine return to the teachings of prophets, to monotheism and justice, to preserve human dignity and obedience to the Almighty and His prophets? Mr President, History tells us that repressive and cruel governments do not survive.”

There is more analysis there, and some comparisons to the message from Osama bin Laden that came before the attacks of September 11, 2001, others who think this is the first step in Amadinejhad’s seemingly determined path toward a war with Israel and/or the USA, and some who think that this is a “last warning.” The entire article is definitely worth a read, and makes me wonder how many steps closer to world war we moved this week, especially as I found this article AFTER checking the Middle East news sites that I peruse on a regular basis. As I began my Friday evening surf session, the first thing I found was this article at the Jerusalem Post:

 UN inspectors have found traces of highly enriched uranium at an Iranian research center linked to the military, diplomats said Friday, which could strengthen US arguments that Tehran wants to develop nuclear arms. The diplomats – who demanded anonymity in exchange for divulging the confidential information – cautioned that confirmation still had to come through other laboratory tests. But they said the density of enrichment appeared to be close to or above the level used to make nuclear warheads.

To be sure, the article goes on to explain that there is a possibility that the uranium traces were contamination from “second hand equipment” brought in from other countries with known nuclear programs, but adds:

Because Iran has previously denied conducting enrichment-related activities at the site, the mere fact that the traces came from there bolsters arguments that it has hidden parts of a program that can create the fissile material used in nuclear warheads. Additionally, the site’s connection to the military weakens Iranian arguments that their nuclear program is purely civilian.

I found “corroboration” of this at Asarq Alawsat with a slightly different slant but basically the same information. Back at the Jerusalem Post, I found this article, with some Pakistani contributions to the unease in my head and my stomach:

Pakistan’s former army chief says Iranian officials came to him for advice on heading off an attack on their nuclear facilities, and he in effect advised them to take a hostage – Israel. Retired Gen. Mirza Aslam Beg said he suggested their government “make it clear that if anything happens to Iran, if anyone attacks it – it doesn’t matter who it is or how it is attacked – that Iran’s answer will be to hit Israel; the only target will be Israel.”

General Beg goes on to share, in the same article, some behind-the-scenes looks at how Pakistan dealt with India’s resistance to their nuclear development program, and went on to share this:

He said he also advised them to “attempt to degrade the defense systems of Israel,” harass it through the Hamas government of the Palestinian Authority and the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon, and put second-strike nuclear weapons on submarines. Beg also detailed nearly 20 years of Iranian approaches to obtain conventional arms and then technology for nuclear weapons. He described an Iranian visit in 1990, when he was army chief of staff. “They didn’t want the technology. They asked: ’Can we have a bomb?’ My answer was: By all means you can have it but you must make it yourself. Nobody gave it to us.” Although Beg insisted his government never gave Iran nuclear weapons, Pakistan now acknowledges that Khan sold Iran centrifuges to produce weapons-grade uranium, though without his government’s knowledge.

Nope – overall, I’d say this was a not-so-great week. Guess we’ll just have to wait and watch, and see what the next brings.

As The Needle Bends

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May 13, 2006 - Posted by | Life and Ramblings

1 Comment »

    Retired Air Force General Thomas McInerney on what our military capabilities really are regarding Iran.

    … We have a very, very good military option, and I’ve been talking about it. Remember, …, [if]. …, and Iran goes nuclear with weapons, then you can expect within one to two years, that those weapons will be in U.S. cities, and will go off. This is a very, very dangerous regime. President Ahmadinejead believes that the 12th imam will come back out of a well in Qom,

    Comment by NAT PIERCE | May 13, 2006 | Reply

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