by Michael T. Klare and Tom Engelhardt
"Sometime this spring or summer, barring an unexpected turnaround by Tehran, President Bush is likely to go on national television and announce that he has ordered American ships and aircraft to strike at military targets inside Iran. We must still sit through several months of soap opera at the United Nations in New York and assorted foreign capitals before this comes to pass, and it is always possible that a diplomatic breakthrough will occur – let it be so! – but I am convinced that Bush has already decided an attack is his only option and the rest is a charade he must go through to satisfy his European allies. The proof of this, I believe, lies half-hidden in recent public statements of his, which, if pieced together, provide a casus belli, or formal list of justifications, for going to war......
So we can expect several months of fruitless diplomacy at the United Nations in which the United States may achieve slightly more severe economic sanctions under Chapter 41 but not approval for military action under Chapter 42. Bush knows that this is the inevitable outcome, and so I am convinced that, in his various speeches and meetings with reporters, he is already preparing the way for a future address to the nation. In it, he will speak somberly of a tireless American effort to secure a meaningful resolution from the United Nations on Iran with real teeth in it and his deep disappointment that no such resolution has been not forthcoming. He will also point out that, despite the heroic efforts of American diplomats as well as military commanders in Iraq, Iran continues to pose a vital and unchecked threat to American security in Iraq, in the region, and even – via its nuclear program – in the wider world.
Further diplomacy, he will insist, appears futile and yet Iran must be stopped. Hence, he will say, "I have made the unavoidable decision to eliminate this vital threat through direct military action," and will announce – in language eerily reminiscent of his address to the nation on March 19, 2003 – that a massive air offensive against Iran has already been underway for several hours. "