April 9, 2006


Bush 'is planning nuclear strikes on Iran's secret sites' (Philip Sherwell, 09/04/2006, Daily Telegraph)

The Bush administration is planning to use nuclear weapons against Iran, to prevent it acquiring its own atomic warheads, claims an investigative writer with high-level Pentagon and intelligence contacts.

President George W Bush is said to be so alarmed by the threat of Iran's hard-line leader, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, that privately he refers to him as "the new Hitler", says Seymour Hersh, who broke the story of the Abu Ghraib Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal.

Some US military chiefs have unsuccessfully urged the White House to drop the nuclear option from its war plans, Hersh writes in The New Yorker magazine. The conviction that Mr Ahmedinejad would attack Israel or US forces in the Middle East, if Iran obtains atomic weapons, is what drives American planning for the destruction of Teheran's nuclear programme.

Hersh claims that one of the plans, presented to the White House by the Pentagon, entails the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites. One alleged target is Iran's main centrifuge plant, at Natanz, 200 miles south of Teheran.

It would be preferable to do North Korea first as a warning to Iran, so that it's clear this is about rotten regimes getting nukes, not about Islam in general, or Shi'ism in particular.

U.S. Is Studying Military Strike Options on Iran (Peter Baker, Dafna Linzer and Thomas E. Ricks, April 9, 2006, Washington Post )

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 9, 2006 8:09 AM

Duh, of course nuking Iran is one of the options.

Are Daily Telegraph readers such children that the editors thought that this would be news to them ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 9, 2006 8:23 AM

Hersh is a notorious fool and a liar, in this case he's being played for one. All this nuke talk is being fed tectically into the public discourse as a means of intimidating the mullahs.

There is NO WAY Bush would use any nuke. Politically it's impossible. What seems more likely to me is a sustained campaign to destroy Iran's entire military, it's subs, bases, missiles, factories and aircraft. The lot. WAnd then something like the no fly zone, to rub it in.

I mean, how long would that take, 2 weeks? The lesson learned from the Iraqi wars is that prolonged occupations are hard, but massive, regime-humiliating military smack-downs are easy, especially in open desert, the perfect enviroment for tanks and aircraft.

Posted by: Amos at April 9, 2006 10:23 AM

The only message Iran would take from a take down of North Korea would be to get its own nukes as soon as possible.

A sustained bombing campaign worked in the Balkans and the first Gulf War and would work to defang the Iranian mullahs as well. The greatest beneficiaries of a defanaged Iran would be the other oil potentates of the Gulf who would also be under nuclear blackmail by the mullahs.
It's about time Jimmy Carter's mess was finally cleaned up.

Posted by: morry at April 9, 2006 12:56 PM

Madman Theory, Part II. Move the timeline up 35 years and substitute Iran for North Vietnam.

Posted by: John at April 9, 2006 1:24 PM

the dprk does not have a working nuke.

Posted by: toe at April 9, 2006 2:34 PM


If getting nukes gets you nuked fewer will try.

Posted by: oj at April 9, 2006 2:47 PM

I think the South Koreans would object to the launching of a war against North Korea. Seoul would be destroyed if N.K. has a working atomic bomb.

Having hundreds of thousands die as a warning to another country seems rather extreme.

Posted by: John Edward at April 9, 2006 3:11 PM

But effective.

Posted by: oj at April 9, 2006 3:18 PM