I thought perhaps this was an alarmist bit of news I found on Reddit.com, however, the UK’s Telegraph is usually very credible. Rumors of plans to invade Iran have been circulating as of late, yet none so concerning as this. The Telegraph reports in this article that it has learned of updated military plans to invade Iran, stating,

“Pentagon and CIA officers say they believe that the White House has begun a carefully calibrated programme of escalation that could lead to a military showdown with Iran.”

As I blogged last year here, this is not the first multi-faceted operation to invade Iran. Even before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, senior officials of the Bush Administration had been developing Operation Iranian Freedom and the infamous “TIRRANT” (Theater IRAN Near-Term), an operation to invade and destroy dozens of targets in Iran. The targets in the new plan are relatively the same, including Fajr base near Tehran where armor-piercing projectiles are said to be developed and shipped into Iran to aid groups like al-Qaeda in Iraq.

An invasion of Iran, or even a small bombing or short scuffle on the border (which allegedly has already happened on numerous occasions), would not only violate international law and be a an absurd act of American aggression, it would also evoke a major response by the Iranians. (What’s troubling is that this doesn’t affect the military leaders in Washington who, purportedly, would not display any fear of an Iranian response. That would be defeatism, they argue. Yet it would also mean total war.)

Serious debate has not taken place in the public arena about Iran. So what ought to be the stasis, that is, the focal point, of an upcoming debate?

We ought not begin a debate about whether we would “win” or “not win” a war with Iran. It is not a question about military might. This is the kind of debate puerile neo-conservatives and stay-at-home military moms who peruse YouTube looking for trouble would have us get into. A debate about whether or not Iran is developing nuclear power with the intention of developing weapons is a broken record, and hypocritical if Israel is allowed to have them (although the truth of the matter would be useful.) The appropriate debate to have, at a time like this, is how to go about resolving conflict without an invasion of a sovereign nation. Yet those associated with military planning who are critical of the invasion efforts, like the other 80% of Americans, are dismissed as “ineffective” by hardliners:

“Many senior operatives within the CIA are highly critical of Mr Bush’s handling of the Iraq war, though they themselves are considered ineffective and unreliable by hardliners close to Mr Cheney.”

Is it possible that the United States could invade Iran, after 80% of Americans polled believe the “Operation Iraqi Freedom” was a mistake? It seems unlikely, yet Mr. Cheney, Miss Rice and Mr. Bush have already discussed a sophisticated propaganda campaign underway in Washington.

“Miss Rice’s bottom line is that if the administration is to go to war again it must build the case over a period of months and win sufficient support on Capitol Hill.”

In response, President Bush

“privately promised her that he would consult “meaningfully” with Congressional leaders of both parties before any military action against Iran on the understanding that Miss Rice would resign if this did not happen.”

An intelligence officer interviewed by the Telegraph said that there are two major plans to invade Iran which are on the table presently.

“One is to bomb only the nuclear facilities. The second option is for a much bigger strike that would – over two or three days – hit all of the significant military sites as well. This plan involves more than 2,000 targets.”

This is outrageous. As the invasion slowly becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, France has advised many of its nationals earning incomes through business in Iran to pull out in the expectation of an invasion by American forces. Indeed, the world should be ready for a war with Iran over its nuclear program if diplomacy continues to fail, according to Washington. “We have to prepare for the worst,” the French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, said, “and the worst is war.”