Oh, that's a relief. Whew! I could've sworn we were going to somehow attack Iran, but nope, apparently that's not what's happening:
At his news conference, Gates also said that the decision announced in January to send a second U.S. aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf region does not mean the United States is planning for a war with Iran. He said the purpose was to underscore to U.S. allies as well as potential adversaries that the Gulf is a vital interest to the United States.
"Nobody is planning, we are not planning for a war with Iran," Gates said.
Gates said the United States' main aim with regard to Iranian influence inside Iraq is to counter what he called networks providing explosives used to make roadside bombs that are powerful enough to destroy a U.S. tank.
I wonder how they'll explain away that quote later this year or next. Gates says "nobody is planning, we are not planning for a war with Iran." Well, listening to what the words don't say, I hear at least two things:
1). "We are not planning for a war with Iran" means Israel is planning for a war with Iran. That really means we are going to war, but Israel's drawing up (or already has drawn up) the plans.
2) Maybe the Iran war has already been planned, and it is therefore technically accurate to say today that "we are not planning for a war with Iran."
3) Maybe we're already at war with Iran, having raided one of their consulates and been "conducting secret reconnaissance missions inside Iran at least since last summer [of 2004]".
4) We're simply going to bomb Iran, not "go to war" with them, silly!
5) He didn't say there wouldn't be a war, he just said they're not planning a war. In other words, there will be a war, it'll be a total improv piece, a freeform war, a "jazz odyssey" type of conflict, just like Iraq, and look how great that's worked out.
OK, I was wrong
I had been writing last year that the way the Iran War would be sold to the public was by painting Iran as irrational and unreasonable for not taking the "offer" to stop enriching uranium. Well, apparently we're way past worrying about any of that at this stage. But here's where I wrote about it:
IRAN & "REASONABLE" OFFERS
BUSH & "REASONABLE" IRAN OFFER: SPRINGING THE TRAP
Now it seems clear that the way that the Bush adminstration wants to widen the war is to convince us that Iran is helping kill our soldiers in Iraq. Which is a shame, to be sure, but then again, we should've never gone to Iraq in the first place.
But wait! Just to be fair to myself, I did also begin to catch on a couple days later:
"And this, along with Iran's certain eventual refusal of "the offer," will be the talking point: Iran helps the violent terrorists in Iraq, so we have to invade (or bomb, or do regime change, or whatever).
But what evidence is there for this charge except Casey's say-so? Would a Bush military man help convince the public of something that Bush wanted him to even if there was scant, conflicting evidence with many caveats to support that general's claim? Perish the thought.
OLBERMANN LEADS THE WAY
I know everyone says this, but it really seems to be true--there is no one else in the corporate media who submits Bush administration claims to scrutiny and openly challenges the administration's motives and veracity...