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Monday, July 19, 2004

Was it just a spelling mistake?

AWol is now starting to bang the war drums against Iran. Apparently the 9/11 commission will say that eight to ten of the 9/11 hijackers passed through Iran in late 2000 or early 2001. Of course they spent months or more here in the US, and most were from Saudi Arabia, and apparently had gotten assistance from Pakistan, and had lived in Germany and Spain and Indonesia. But these countries are not in the axis of evil, which means they are farther down the neocon list.

Does Iran have anything to worry about? Aren't we out of soldiers right now? Well, we're out of soldiers only in the sense that they practically have Iran surrounded:

(CIA factbook--probably bears some semblance to reality, but who knows?)

Let's see: Some 135,000 American troops to the west in Iraq, more in the southwest in Kuwait, the Persian Gulf to the south crawling with cruise-missile-equipped US warships, with bases right across the Gulf in Qatar and Bahrain. Another 12,000 or so US soldiers to the east in Afghanistan, a nuclear-equipped US ally in Pakistan to the southeast, and a few new Hallibases in the Stans to the north.

The motive? Iran's oil resources no longer compare to those in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and probably not to those in the Caspian region to the north either. But, as the CIA factbook points out, Iran has a "strategic location on the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, which are vital maritime pathways for crude oil transport."

One thing missing for George and his scary band of warmakers is a recognizable name for the two-minute hate. Neither Ayatollah Khamanei nor President Khatami are household names, and the Bushies haven't even begun propaganda about rape rooms, mass graves, or whatever other real or imagined crimes they might come up with for these characters. They have made a lot of noise about nukes, but you have to wonder how much of that is disinformation on the part of the Iranians. If Iraq and North Korea have taught the world anything, it's that a country that has nukes is less likely to get invaded.