Clandestine operations against Iran are not new. United States Special Operations Forces have been conducting cross-border operations from southern Iraq, with Presidential authorization, since last year. These have included seizing members of Al Quds, the commando arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and taking them to Iraq for interrogation, and the pursuit of “high-value targets” in the President’s war on terror, who may be captured or killed. But the scale and the scope of the operations in Iran, which involve the Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), have now been significantly expanded, according to the current and former officials...Dick Cheney is a psychopath. Take a look at these images of daily life in modern Iran and ask yourself if military action is really such a good idea.
“Everybody’s arguing about the high-value-target list,” the former senior intelligence official said. “The Special Ops guys are pissed off because Cheney’s office set up priorities for categories of targets, and now he’s getting impatient and applying pressure for results. But it takes a long time to get the right guys in place.”
Meanwhile Ron Paul argues that Cheney's relentless military pressure on Iran has been helping to drive up the cost of oil. Duh! The president of OPEC agrees. The real question has always been whether this is just hawkish talk designed to drive up the cost of oil for Cheney's Big Oil friends, or whether he's really insane enough to start a war with Iran. Hersh's piece strongly suggests the latter.
The 19th World Petroleum Congress opened in Madrid last night:
Held every three years, the World Petroleum Congress brings together thousands of delegates from around the world. Among those participating are OPEC's President Chakib Khelil, its Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency Nobuo Tanaka, the European Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs and several ministers of state.Ask yourself, what does the USA, still the world's biggest oil consumer, bring to that table?
They are to be joined by the bosses of major international oil groups including Total's Christophe de Margerie, Shell's Jeroen van der Veer, Rex Tillerson of the US giant ExxonMobil, and Fu Chengyu of China's CNOOC.
It's all they've got.
We are all going to hell in a corporate-sponsored handbasket.