Israel is terrified Iran will end its nuclear monopoly in the Middle East and wants an all-out U.S. war on Iran to prevent it. The War Party fears Iran may acquire a nuclear weapon, which would inhibit U.S. freedom of action in the Gulf and convince the Arab states that the United States is yesterday and they must appease Iran or go nuclear themselves.
As for Bush and Cheney, if they go home without hitting Iran's nuclear sites, and Iran acquires a nuclear weapon, the Bush Doctrine will have been defied by the Ayatollah as well as Kim Jong-il, and their legacy will be a no-win war in Iraq.
The War Party is thus seeking an excuse to launch air strikes on Iran, as that would trigger Iranian counterstrikes on our forces. Then they will have their long-sought casus belli for U.S. strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities. First, the al Quds camps, then Natanz, Isfahan and Bushewr.
Initially, Americans might cheer the bombing of Iran, and Congress would head for the tall grass. But as U.S. strikes would be an act of war, rallying the Iranians behind the failing regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and igniting a long war the end of which we cannot see and the troops for which we do not have, there are powerful arguments against a new war.
Iran and the United States would both pay a hellish price, and Iran at least seems to recognize it. Both the Iraqi and Afghan governments say Iran is behaving as a good neighbor. There is evidence Tehran's nuclear program is faltering, or being curbed. Iran is said to be making concessions to U.N. inspectors.
Iran has released an American seized in response to our seizure of five Iranian "diplomats" in Iraq. Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, in a letter to the Washington Post, denies Iran is aiding the Iraqi insurgency and calls on the U.S. government to "proffer evidence" and "provide the list of Iranian agents who it alleges are operating in Iraq."
If there is a rush to war here, it is not on the part of Iran.
As Bush is preparing for war on Iran, if he has not already decided on war, where is Congress, which alone has the constitutional power to authorize a war?
Or has it given Bush and Cheney another blank check?