According to a U.S. Navy cargo manifest obtained by the Sunday Herald (Glasgow), the substantial military equipment Obama has dispatched includes 387 "bunker busters" used for blasting hardened underground structures. Planning for these "massive ordnance penetrators," the most powerful bombs in the arsenal short of nuclear weapons, was initiated in the Bush administration, but languished. On taking office, Obama immediately accelerated the plans and they are to be deployed several years ahead of schedule, aiming specifically at Iran.-- Noam Chomksy.
"They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran," according to Dan Plesch, director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London. "US bombers and long range missiles are ready today to destroy 10,000 targets in Iran in a few hours," he said. "The firepower of US forces has quadrupled since 2003," accelerating under Obama.
The Arab press reports that an American fleet (with an Israeli vessel) passed through the Suez Canal on the way to the Persian Gulf, where its task is "to implement the sanctions against Iran and supervise the ships going to and from Iran." British and Israeli media report that Saudi Arabia is providing a corridor for Israeli bombing of Iran (denied by Saudi Arabia). On his return from Afghanistan to reassure NATO allies that the U.S. will stay the course after the replacement of General McChrystal by his superior, General Petraeus, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen visited Israel to meet IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and senior military staff, along with intelligence and planning units, continuing the annual strategic dialogue between Israel and the U.S. The meeting focused "on the preparation by both Israel and the U.S. for the possibility of a nuclear capable Iran," according to Haaretz, which reports further that Mullen emphasized that, "I always try to see challenges from [the] Israeli perspective." Mullen and Ashkenazi are in regular contact on a secure line.
Maybe he is right, but ever since George W. Bush was reinstalled in 2004 I have quite often thought an attack on Iran was imminent only to see that proved wrong each time.
Can they really be so monumentally foolish? If the U.S. does attack it will look as if the American government-military complex is subaltern to extremists in Israel and to AIPAC.
P.S. 4 Aug: Gwynne Dyer says the chances of a U.S. attack on Iran are practically zero.
P.S. 5 Aug: There's a chance sanctions are working, says Andrew Sullivan.
P.S. 7 Aug: David Bromwich on one more war