by Jerome a Paris
Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 09:47:45 AM EST
Just in, via the Wall Street Journal:
In an ambitious bid to cripple Iran's military-industrial complex, the Bush administration imposed a sweeping array of new sanctions against banks, companies, officials and agencies affiliated with the country's weapons programs and support for foreign armed forces.
U.S. officials are making their strongest efforts to date to depict Iran as a rogue nation on a war footing, stirring up trouble in Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories with a well-organized bureaucracy which funds terrorism, distributes weapons, and conducts advanced weapons research.
The Treasury and State departments are announcing the new measures jointly today in a well-coordinated public relations effort.
I had begun to hope that the prospects of war with Iran had receded. We've had so many warnings that it was forthcoming, and nothing happening, that I've been musing that 'someone' (Russia or China, presumably) had made it clear to the White House that an attack would not be tolerated. But with the resignation of the Iranian diplomat in charge of nuclear negotiations , Ali Larijani, and his replacement with a hardliner, and the steady ratchet of sanctions and threats from Washington, El Baradei's words that Iran is not a threat seem increasingly dismissed as those of a shrill partisan...
One major item is that France is now seen as being on board for war. Insiders suggest that Sarkozy is much less aggressive in private, but this is essentially irrelevant as the perception is now set amongst the pundits that France will support war - and the absence of that potential obstacle is enough to create the perception of momentum towards, and justification for, war ("even the French support it this time!").
I'm worried again. (Well, I'm scared to death, given how I fail to see how an attack on Iran would not end up in a nuclear exchange, if Iran tries to disrupt oil flows, which is highly likely).