Decision to attack Iran could fall on US generals - by GWYNNE DYER
MANY people listen to the White House these days and conclude that an American attack on Iran is imminent. “To be quite honest, I’m a little concerned that it’s Iraq again,” Senator John Rockefeller, the new chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said recently. But if President George Bush gives the order, then General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will face a big decision.
With all ground troops in Iraq, air strikes alone could not win the war, however massive, and they probably could not even destroy all of Iran’s nuclear facilities, which are dispersed, and often buried. Many Iranians would be killed, but what would the US do next? It would have very few options, whereas Iran would have many. Iran could flood Iraq with sophisticated weapons and send volunteers to help the fight the US there.It could throw international markets into turmoil by halting its own oil exports.
There is a civil-military confrontation brewing in the US more serious than anything that has been seen since President Truman fired General Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War.