Iran: Is It Jaw-Jaw or War-War?

Is war with Iran inevitable, even imminent? Or is
peace at hand?

From the public diplomacy of the administration,
either conclusion may be reached. Consider.



"West Offers Iran `Refreshed` Deal,"
ran the
headline in the May 3 Washington Times. The story
described an offer to Iran, agreed to by all five
members of the Security Council—the United States,
Britain, France, Russia and China—of a sweetened grand
bargain, if Tehran will suspend its enrichment of
uranium.

Blessing the offering in London was Condi Rice.

Details will not be made public, but the offer is
said to include Western aid to Iran for a civilian
nuclear program, a light water reactor and a five-year
stock of enriched uranium held for Iran by the
International Atomic Energy Agency.

America`s contribution would be support for Iran`s
admission to the World Trade Organization, a conference
to discuss regional security in the Gulf, a U.S. offer
to sell Iran spare parts for its U.S.-built civilian
aircraft and a beginning of the lifting of three decades
of U.S. sanctions.

News of this offer, plus the relaxed mood in
Washington, which is utterly unlike the tense atmosphere
prior to March 2003, suggests that war with Iran is far
from the mind of this city.

But to take the warnings and threats of the civilian
and military leaders of this administration at face
value would lead one to conclude the opposite—that war
with Iran is indeed inevitable, and probably soon.
Consider.

Last month,

Gen. David Petraeus
was

asked
by Joe Lieberman, "Is it fair to say that
the Iranian-backed special groups in Iraq are
responsible for the murder of hundreds of American
soldiers and thousands of Iraqi soldiers and civilians?"

"It certainly is. … That is correct,"
answered the general.

The next day, Petraeus testified, "Unchecked, the
`special groups` pose the greatest long-term threat to
the viability of a democratic Iraq."

Petraeus has since been promoted to command of all
U.S. forces in the region.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, known as an
opponent of war on Iran,

followed
Petraeus,

accusing
Tehran of being "hell-bent on acquiring
nuclear weapons."
Last week, Gates was out front
again.

"What the Iranians are doing is killing American
servicemen and -women inside Iraq."


Adm. Michael Mullen,
chairman of the Joint Chiefs,
is now also pounding the war drum. Iran`s
"irresponsible influence,"
its support of terror and
its pursuit of atomic weapons, he said last week, is
creating a "perfect nightmare" for the region.
The Pentagon, said the chairman, is planning for
"potential military … action"
because of
Iran`s "increasingly lethal and malign influence."

"It would be a mistake to think that we are out of
combat capacity,"
Mullen declared. A second U.S.
carrier just entered the Persian Gulf.

CBS reports that a target list of U.S. military
planners includes the headquarters of the Quds Force and
plants where Iran produces enhanced IEDs and the rockets
used against the Green Zone. The network also reports
that the State Department has begun drafting an
ultimatum.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay
Khalilzad

has chimed in
: "Iran and Syria must stop the flow
of weapons and foreign fighters into Iraq, and their
malign interference in Iraq."

Iraqi Maj. Gen. Qasim Atta says 700 rockets and
mortars have been fired at Coalition forces and the
Green Zone, and most of the

"Katyusha and Grad rockets and smart roadside bombs"
were Iranian-made. The U.S. military is
preparing a dossier on Iran`s role in the Iraq war.

In the

Landon Lecture at Kansas State
, CIA Director Michael
Hayden

declared
, "It … is the policy of the Iranian
government, approved to the highest level … to
facilitate the killing of Americans in Iraq."
That
day, State designated Iran the

"most significant" and
"most active"
state sponsor of terror on earth.

From the White House to State to the Pentagon to CIA,
the Bush administration is now singing from the same
song sheet: Iran`s Quds Force, with the knowledge of
President Ahmadinejad, is arming and directing "special
groups" to kill U.S. soldiers and prevent a U.S.
victory.

Is the White House rattling sabers to prod Iran into
talks?

Perhaps. But the administration has also painted
itself, and us, into a corner with the war talk. And
there are only three ways out.

The first is that Iran halts the attacks, ends its
intervention and negotiates on the six-nation offer. The
second is that Iran rejects the deal, refuses to stop
the attacks and U.S. air strikes begin.

The third is that Bush is bluffing and goes home
railing against an axis-of-evil nation killing American
soldiers, having done nothing.

With Israel, the Israeli lobby, the neocons and Dick
Cheney insisting on air strikes, and even

Hillary Clinton talking about Iran being
"obliterated,"
the last course would seem the
least probable.

We are likely headed either for negotiations with
Iran or war, after Bush returns from the 60th
anniversary celebration of Israel`s birth.



"To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war,"

said Winston Churchill in 1954, whose

career
often contradicted his wise counsel.

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.



Patrick J. Buchanan

needs

no introduction
to VDARE.COM readers;
his book
 
State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America, can be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book
is Churchill,
Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its
Empire and the West Lost the World,

reviewed

here
by

Paul Craig Roberts.