Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Pentagon Targeted Iran for Regime Change After 9/11

By Gareth Porter

"Three weeks after the 9/11 terror attacks, former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld established an official military objective of not only removing the Saddam Hussein regime by force but overturning the regimes in Iran, Syria, and four other countries in the Middle East, according to a document quoted extensively in then Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith's recently published account of the Iraq war decisions.

Feith's account further indicates that this aggressive aim of remaking the map of the Middle East by military force and the threat of force was supported explicitly by the country's top military leaders.

Feith's book, War and Decision, released last month, provides excerpts of the paper Rumsfeld sent to President George W. Bush on Sept. 30, 2001, calling for the administration to focus not on taking down Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network but on the aim of establishing "new regimes" in a series of states by "aiding local peoples to rid themselves of terrorists and to free themselves of regimes that support terrorism.".........

The Defense Department guidance document made it clear that U.S. military aims in regard to those states would go well beyond any ties to terrorism. The document said that the Defense Department would also seek to isolate and weaken those states and to "disrupt, damage, or destroy" their military capacities – not necessarily limited to WMDs.

The document included as a "strategic objective" a requirement to "prevent further attacks against the U.S. or U.S. interests." That language, which extended the principle of preemption far beyond the issue of WMDs, was so broad as to justify plans to use force against virtually any state that was not a client of the United States.".........."

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