By David Swanson
If Bush and Cheney attack Iran, we will almost certainly know it’s coming. For months prior to the invasion of Iraq, even while the corporate media bombarded us with the pretense that Bush and Cheney had not yet decided on war, other stories further back in the pages of newspapers and on the internet informed us, or should have informed us, that an attack was coming.
Many of these stories involved the deployment of troops. (We were told that they were deploying “in case” there was to be a war.) With so many troops already in the area now, and with the attack on Iran likely not to include ground forces, we may not see the same volume of reports of this sort. Still, it is unlikely that no troops will let the word slip that an attack is really coming.
During the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq, there were also stories about weapons production. Long before shocking and aweing Iraq with all those bombs, a major increase in bomb production and conversion to “smart bombs” was needed. This ought to be the case with Iran as well. Has anyone checked?
There were also numerous reports on the military’s plans for attacking Iraq and (primitive and delusional as they were) plans for the post-war occupation. We have seen reports on plans to attack Iran, but not reports of military commanders putting them into place, no reports on plans for a post-apocalypse Iran, and no reports on anything like the rehearsal war games in Qatar that preceded the Iraq attack.
The most telling reports prior to March 19, 2003, were those on statements made by the Bush-Cheney gang. They plastered the insides of our brains with the idea that the United States would have to reluctantly demolish Iraq if Saddam Hussein did not destroy the weapons he had long ago destroyed. Informed Americans knew that Bush and Cheney were knowingly demanding the impossible. Every statement they made about the closing of the window for avoiding war was an obvious announcement that war was coming.
The marketing of an attack on Iran has not reached the ultimatum stage. No series of events have been set up that can compel the White House to “reluctantly” launch another genocide. Certainly, we’ve seen the same sorts of justifications attempted, but they have not progresses to anything like the point they did before the invasion of Iraq.
Unless a provocation from Iran can be created or pretended, it seems unlikely the United States will attack Iran with the marketing campaign for such an attack still in such a premature state.
Of course, we learned a lot about the fraudulent campaign for an attack on Iraq after the fact. But here is some of what we knew prior to March 19, 2003, that should have made us aware what was coming. All of this was reported at the time:
March 17, 2003, There were 211,000 U.S. troops deployed to the area.
March 17, 2003, Bush gave Saddam Hussein 48 hours to get out.
March 12, 2003, The United States advertised its testing of the largest ever non-nuclear bomb.
March 11, 2003, Bush said 30 days was too long to wait before launching war.
March 9, 2003, Powell said United States would use military force to compel Saddam Hussein to comply with UN resolutions he’d already complied with. Rice said United States would lead a coalition to change the Iraq regime.
March 5, 2003, Rumsfeld said that if the United States attacked Iraq it would be to change the regime, and General Tommy Franks said he was ready to attack Iraq.
March 4, 2003, U.S. military officials said they had 225,000 troops in the area awaiting orders to attack.
March 4, 2003, Marines and amphibious units deployed to Iraq, and Franks reviewed completed Iraq War plans with top commanders.
February 28, 2003, There were 153,000 U.S. troops in the area, and Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley published his thoughts on post-war Iraq.
February 27, 2003, A sixth carrier battle group was sent to Iraq, B-52 stealth bombers were sent to Diego Garcia, and a high ranking US diplomat John Brady Kiesling resigned in opposition to coming attack on Iraq.
February 24, 2003, Rice claimed no new UN authorization needed to attack Iraq, Powell suggested the war might come in March, and media reported United States was training Iraqi rebels in Hungary.
February 22, 2003, There were 126,000 U.S. troops in the area.
February 21, 2003, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith told the media his thoughts on a post-war Iraq.
February 20, 2003, Rumsfeld said coalition forces were ready to attack Iraq.
February 17, 2003, There were 106,000 U.S. troops in the area, and the 3rd Armored Cavalry just deployed to Iraq.
February 13, 2003, The Pentagon had by this point called up 150,000 Reserve and National Guard troops.
February 12, 2003, Hadley laid out thoughts on post-war Iraq, and Powell said U.S. would attack if Iraq did not destroy the weapons it had long since destroyed (a fact that was publicly available).
February 11, 2003, Feith gave Senate his thoughts on post-war Iraq.
February 10, 2003, There were 100,000 U.S. troops in the area, and Rumsfeld enlisted commercial airlines to get them there.
February 7, 2003, Rumsfeld told nations of the world to prepare for a war on Iraq, and sent a fifth carrier battle group to the area.
February 6, 2003, U.S. Army ships helicopters to Iraq.
February 3, 2003, U.S. military officials detail Iraq war plans to media. There were 70,000 troops in the area. And Time reported that CIA had been doing pre-war work in Iraq for months.
January 31, 2003, massive U.S. airstrikes were weakening Iraq in preparation for war, and four carrier battle groups were sent to Iraq with a fifth on the way. U.S. troops in Germany were told to pack for Turkey.
January 30, 2003, Bush says it will be weeks, not months. United States send weapons to Jordan to protect against retaliation by Iraq. U.S. troops in the area of Iraq were approaching 90,000 with known plans to increase to between 180,000 and 250,000. The Penatagon admitted that the CIA was already in northern Iraq.
January 29, 2003, US ambassador to the UN John Negroponte said the window was closing, and Jordan allowed US troops to stage attack on Iraq from Jordan.
January 24, 2003, US and UK military lobbied Turkey unsuccessfully for permission to attack Iraq from there.
January 23, 2003, US military ships headed to Iraq raising presence to 4 battle groups. Australian troops also headed to Iraq.
January 22, 2003, Guard and Reserves were called up in the US, while British troops and equipment headed to Iraq. Iraq claimed, as it had also on December 23rd, to have shot down an unmanned U.S. plane.
January 21, 2003, British troops prepared to go to Iraq.
January 20, 2003, There were 57,000 US troops in the area. Rumsfeld said troops were running out. British troop deployment was announced.
January 19, 2003, Powell said time was running out. British troops mobilized.
January 12, 2003, Rumsfeld signed orders to add 62,000 to the 60,000 U.S. troops in the area.
January 11, 2003, Australian troop deployments announced.
January 10, 2003, Gen. Meyers described US troops training Iraqis in Hungary.
January 9, 2003, US soldiers called up.
January 8, 2003, Central Command moved to Qatar and announced US troop deployments.
January 6, 2003, US ships arrived in Gulf.
January 2, 2003, Bush sent elite forces to Iraq.
December 24 – 29, 2002, U.S. troops received deployment orders.
December 23, 2002, 52,000 troops were in the area.
December 22, 2002, Iraq invited the CIA in to inspect, and the CIA said no.
December 18, 2002, Hungary agreed to let the United States train Iraqi exiles there.
December 15, 2002, British Royal Navy announced deployment to Gulf. Dozens of teams of elite American soldiers and intelligence specialists had already been sent into Iraq with millions of dollars in cash to woo key tribal leaders away from Saddam Hussein.
December 11, 2002, United States made deal with Qatar to use bases there to attack Iraq.
December 9, 2002, United States rehearsed Iraq attack with war games in Qatar.
December 8, 2002, US troop deployment plans announced.
December 4, 2002, British Ministry of Defense reported 300 percent increase since March in bombs dropped on southern Iraq.
December 3, 2002, US carrier battle group deployed to gulf, and Rumsfeld claimed US could attack Iraq without UN approval.
December 2, 2002, United States set up headquarters in Qatar.
November 2002 – March 2003, United States launches 120 air strikes in Iraq, compared with 110 in previous 34 months.
November 21, 2002, United States was recruiting force in northern Iraq.
November 7, 2002, U.S. base for B-2s set up on Diego Garcia.
November 5, 2002, U.S. battle group deployed to Gulf.
November 4, 2002, Kuwait allowed United States to attack Iraq from its bases.
November 3, 2002, Pentagon outfitted unites with river-crossing equipment for the Euphrates.
November 2, 2002, U.S. pilots practiced bombing southern Iraq.
November 1, 2002, U.S. Navy sought merchant ships to transport huge amounts of ammunition to the Gulf.
October 31, 2002, Boeing tested 500 lb. “smart bomb”.
October 29, 2002, U.S. ships deployed to Gulf.
October 23, 2002, The CIA set up two stations in northern Iraq.
October 14, 2002, The United States stationed six spy satelites over Iraq.
October 14, 2002, Boeing factory went to double shifts to produce kits to turn “dumb bombs” into “smart bombs,” enough “smart bombs” to attack Iraq.