"Tucked inside the White House's $196 billion emergency funding request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is an item that has some people wondering whether the administration is preparing for military action against Iran," wrote someone at ABC News recently.
The story was oh-so-uniquely entitled "Bomb Iran" and you can read it here.
It was a piece on a budget request for modifications to the B-2 bomber fleet, changes which enable planes to fly the latest US superbomb, called the MOP.
"The MOP is a massive bomb -- 20 feet long and encased in 3.5 inch thick high-performance steel," writes the ABC News scribe witlessly. "It is designed to penetrate up to 200 feet underground ... "
"You'd use it on Natanz [in Iran]," said John Pike of GlobalSecurity.Org, to ABC News. "And you'd use it on a stealth bomber because you want it to be a surprise. And you put in an emergency funding request because you want to bomb quickly."
"It's kind of strange ... It sends a signal that you are preparing to bomb Iran, and if you were actually going to bomb Iran I wouldn't think you would want to announce it like that."
Your friendly neighborhood GlobalSecurity.Org Senior Fellow has seen news of American superbombs come and go.
What can be said with some reliability is that US superbombs have a wretched track record when it comes to achieving political ends. But that never stops a certain portion of the national leadership and its obedient journalists and pundits from salivating and writing with some glee about the potential for slinging them on a piss ant designated as the latest arch enemy aimed at destroying our way of life and all that is good in the world. Like Iran.
While in the land of endless summer last week, Santa Barbara, DD bought the trade paperback copy of Cobra II, an account of the Iraq war by Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor.
Long story short, the book makes abundantly clear that American superbombs didn't do any good at all in Iraq. This in contrast to all the press on the supremacy of American bombs just BEFORE the war, joyfully published by the mainstream media on how every American weapon was great, evidence of a transformation in military affairs and a sure sign that democracy and freedom would be delivered as we crushed all who dared to oppose our will.
The Los Angeles Times op-ed page delivered some good news, too.
The paper had finally fired Niall Ferguson, a right-wing ex-pat Brit historian serving as part of the newspaper's collection of "give war a chance" pundits.
Ferguson spilled the beans that he was turning in his last column but couldn't resist recommending war one more time, one with the current favorite -- Iran. It was inside a piece noting he'd previously made the boner of predicting a nuclear war between Iran and Israel this year in the same pages.
The LA Times has been ever the good citizen in the give-more-war-a-chance debate. While it's un-bylined editorials have declared war with Iran and the naming of the Revolutionary Guard as a terror force bad ideas, it has been generous in giving space to the let's-have-a-war-with-Iran-and-the-sooner-the-better types.
DD has no good idea if there will be war with Iran.
In reading Cobra II one comes away with the feeling that there's very little sign of intelligent life in the warmaking arm of the government. Therefore, it's impossible, even irrational, to predict what it will do. One would imagine this has Mohammed ElBaradei rather shaken.
Just in case you're wondering where DD stands on all this: I believe the bomb Iran crazies need to be put down -- as one would do with any collection of rabid animals. However, Americans no longer have a say in whether or not the people at the top have decided to bomb someone in an unprovoked sneak attack.
So what I think in this matter doesn't matter.
In the past year, this blog has tracked some of the "Bomb Iran" stories.
Here we have James Woolsey and the Short Count discussing it over drinks at the Metropolitan Club.
Also for your diversion, George W. Bush's final stroke, in which an attack on the Republican Guard is gamed. If you wish to recreate it, you will need to purchase a copy of the HPS Simulations computer game, Point of Attack 2.
And for a full-on surprise strategic bombing campaign, we furnished Radiating Rubble in January of this year.