More Smoke on the Horizon in the Middle East War Theater
by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research, June 3, 2007
America is not the only one present in the region (meaning the Middle East and Central Asia). We are present, from Khost to Kandahar in Afghanistan. We are present in the Persian Gulf and we can be present in Iraq.
-Rear-Admiral Ali Shamkhani ( August 18, 2004 )
The march to war in the Middle East is well underway. Outgoing Prime Minister Tony Blair has said that diplomacy is the best way forward with Iran, but appends his statements by saying that he can not "absolutely predict every set of circumstances," which means that war can not be ruled out. In this regard, Gordon Brown is no different. The man scheduled to be the next British Prime Minister once Tony Blair steps down (June 27, 2007), has refused to rule out war against Iran and its allies.
The war dossiers against Iran and Syria, the last two bastions of independence in the Middle East, are being built. General Wesley Clark, the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO in Europe , has confimed that the White House has been plotting a course based on a major military roadmap in the Middle East, Central Asia, and East Africa that would start in Afghanistan and Iraq and end with Iran. Clark has stated that, after Afghanistan, seven additional nations were on the the Pentagon’s list to be attacked and invaded over a five-year period: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and finally Iran.
The geographic boundaries for these wars all fall within the military jurisdiction of United States Central Command (CENTCOM). This five-year period began with the invasion of Iraq in mid-2003 and, if the American former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO in Europe is correct, it should end approximately in mid-2008 or the last war could be initiated by this point in time. It should be noted that the second presidential term of George W. Bush Jr. ends in January of 2009. Is it possible that in 2001, when the Pentagon outlined this military roadmap, that the re-election of President Bush Jr. to a second term in office in 2005, had already been envisaged, in relation to these war plans?
General Franks, the former Commander of CENTCOM, in a late-2003 interview said that he believed that another crisis for the United States could in effect result in the suspension of the American Constitution and the establishment in the U.S. of a military form of government:
"…the free world, loses what it cherishes most, and that is freedom and liberty we’ve seen for a couple of hundred years in this grand experiment that we call democracy. Now, in a practical sense, what does that mean? It means the potential of a weapon of mass destruction and a terrorist, massive casualty-producing event somewhere in the western world— it may be in the United States of America — that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass-casualty-producing event [such as 9/11 or even a global crisis]. Which, in fact, then begins to potentially unravel the fabric of our Constitution."
The use of discretionary executive and presidential powers in the hands of the White House is slated to take place during a period of national crisis. The National Security Agency (NSA) eavesdropping controversy that arose after 2001 demonstrates some of the capabilities of the Bush Jr. Administration in regards to the use of executive powers under the pretext of war-time or emergency measures. At present, the American President has decided to exercise only a few of his emergency powers. Under the National Emergencies Act the White House has only utilized provisions relating to the military and U.S. national security. The White House can exploit extraordinary powers that suspend civil liberties and can even challenge the American Constitution. Because of the uncertain and the shifting shape of the "Global War on Terror" that is continually being redefined, a moment may arise when a "Constitutional Dictatorship" is declared to ensure the continuity of government.
Moreover, the mechanisms have been put in place in the United States to allow for the hypothetical extension of the presidential term of George W. Bush Jr. or allow Vice-President Richard (Dick) B. Cheney to become U.S. president in the context of a war-time or emergency situation. This eventuality could occur should a major international war be launched in the Middle East— which is what a war against Iran and Syria would effectively create.
National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) 51 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) 20 would precisely justify such an action. A worldwide crisis of unpredictable cosnequences would occur if such a war were to be launched and Iran were to close the Straits of Hormuz. With the advent of a war against Syria and Iran , a volatile Pandora’s Box would be opened and there would be a complete breakdown of international relations and the existing global world order.