As I watch the news each day and hear the escalating rhetoric against Iran, it's hard not to get a sense of déjà vu. Let's be honest, it's the runup to the Iraq War all over again. The only thing we haven't heard yet is a high-ranking U.S. government official ominously warning us that "we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
Reasonable people can differ about whether or not the reasons for the Iraq War were valid, although at this stage it's difficult to argue that the Bush administration was totally honest in its assessment of both the available intelligence and what the analysts in the intelligence community were saying at the time. While some may try to claim that the criticism is unfounded because 20/20 vision is hindsight, they should go back and take a look at the well-researched and riveting Frontline special, Bush's War.
And yet here we go again, it would seem. As the world's leaders gathered this week in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, much of the focus was on Iran (not to mention the entertainment supplied by Moammar Kadafi's bizarre, rambling speech) and in particular, the alleged bombshell revelation early Friday about Iran's construction of a second "secret" nuclear enrichment facility at Qom:
A senior Obama administration official, who declined to be identified, told reporters in Pittsburgh September 25 that the covert underground Iranian facility, located near the city of Qom, has been known to intelligence agencies “for several years,” and described it as “a very heavily protected, very heavily disguised facility,” but one that is not yet operational.
The United States, the United Kingdom and France have been sharing intelligence on the facility and gathering “irrefutable” evidence as they built up a case to show the IAEA that its intended use was for uranium enrichment..
I'm not sure how the construction of nuclear facility which is reportedly not active and which the U.S. has known about for years, equals a bombshell revelation and renewed sense of urgency on the part of the administration. In addition, our science-impaired media and political elite tend to lump all enrichment activities into the bad category when in fact, uranium enrichment can be used for peaceful purposes. it's not just a question of quantity, but also of concentration.
Nonetheless, there it was, all over internet, the portrayal of Iran as an urgent threat to world security, because of its newly-disclosed enrichment plant, as expressed by U. S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday:
This facility sharpens our sense of urgency and underscores Iran's absolute need to engage seriously with us on October 1 and take immediate steps to demonstrate the exclusively peaceful nature of their nuclear program.
Why the sudden rush, if the U.S. knew about it going all the way back to the Bush administration?