Monday, February 14, 2005

In April 2003, Donald Rumsfeld said any impression that the US harbored interests in establishing permanent military bases in Iraq was "inaccurate and unfortunate", also calling the belief among some that the US would use Iraq military bases well after the period of occupation as "flat false".

One wonders if credulity is being stretched thin yet again in light of this news.
The Bush administration has been flying surveillance drones over Iran for nearly a year to seek evidence of nuclear weapons programs and detect weaknesses in air defenses, according to three U.S. officials with detailed knowledge of the secret effort.

The small, pilotless planes, penetrating Iranian airspace from U.S. military facilities in Iraq, use radar, video, still photography and air filters designed to pick up traces of nuclear activity to gather information that is not accessible by satellites, the officials said. . . .

A former U.S. official with direct knowledge of earlier phases of the operation said the U.S. intelligence community began using Iraq as a base to spy on Iran shortly after taking Baghdad in early April 2003.
One also has to wonder how long the Russians will sit by and allow the United States to gobble up every country on its borders. It sat by helplessly as the West absorbed all the former Soviet bloc states of Eastern Europe as well as the Baltic states, and then was forced to suffer US bases in Pakistan and Uzbekistan as well as US occupation of bordering Afghanistan and nearby Iraq. US pressure on Iran, however, may finally be met. As the Washington Post article contines,
In late December, Iranians living along the Caspian Sea and on the Iraq border began reporting sightings of red flashes in the sky, streaks of green and blue, and low, racing lights that disappeared moments after being spotted. The Iranian space agency was called in to investigate, astronomy experts were consulted, and an agreement was quickly signed with Russian officials eager to learn more about the phenomena.
The Russian relationship with Iran may be something like the Chinese relationship with North Korea. Little love lost between the major power and the troublesome nuclear wannabe, yet neither interested in allowing the United States to take out the offending regime and install another client.

A delicate situation -- and we know that the Bush administration has as light a touch as a rutting bull moose. So, when does the bombing begin?

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