I started searching the 'net this morning and found a variety of commentators who agree.
But this was the most damning piece of evidence I found, which seems to support my suspicions:
WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Iran Policy Committee is holding a press conference on Thursday, 11 January 2007, at 10:00 am in the Murrow Room at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Members of the Iran Policy Committee will review various policy options regarding President Bush's 10 January 2007 Address on Iraq and release a White Paper introducing a political complement to the proposed American military troop surge to Iraq.Read that again.
The Iran Policy Committee is releasing a White Paper introducing a political complement to the proposed surge in Iraq.
Most commentators have insisted an Iran engagement would consist of an air and sea attack only. But if the goal is an overthrow of the regime, that's going to take troops on the ground, and if you look at a map, Baghdad is well situated as a staging ground for moving into Iran:
A few years ago, someone sent me a copy of a memo containing adminstration talking points about the (then) coming war in Iraq. Striking to me was the assertion in that memo that Iraq was just a stepping stone, and that the real prize was Iran. At the time that seemed so farfetched I threw it away. I wish now I had kept it, and have vowed never to part with anything so valuable again. Iran was the prize because it's the gatekeeper to all the trade routes and pipeline routes from the Mediterranean to India. To increase the flow of goods and services, all the muslim nations in between had to be brought to their knees, and none were as powerful as Iran. Here's another map. We're in Iraq. We're in Afghanistan. What country do those two border?
In Counterpunch today, Paul Craig Roberts asks:
Is the surge an orchestrated distraction from the real war plan?With all that information, Roberts reaches what seems to me a couched conclusion:
A good case can be made that it is. The US Congress and media are focused on President Bush's proposal for an increase of 20,000 US troops in Iraq, while Israel and its American neoconservative allies prepare an assault on Iran.
Commentators have expressed puzzlement over President Bush's appointment of a US Navy admiral as commander in charge of the ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The appointment makes sense only if the administration's attention has shifted from the insurgencies to an attack on Iran.
Two US carrier task forces or strike groups will certainly congest the Persian Gulf. On January 9 a US nuclear sub collided with a Japanese tanker in the Persian Gulf. Two carrier groups will have scant room for maneuver. Their purpose is either to provide the means for a hard hit on Iran or to serve as sitting ducks for a new Pearl Harbor that would rally Americans behind the new war.
Whether our ships are hit by Iran in retaliation to an attack from Israel or suffer an orchestrated attack by Israel that is blamed on the Iranians, there are certainly far more US naval forces in the Persian Gulf than prudence demands.
Bush's proposed surge appears to have no real military purpose. The US military opposes it as militarily pointless and as damaging to the US Army and Marine Corps. The surge can only be accomplished by keeping troops deployed after the arrival of their replacements.
Moreover, the increase in numbers that can be achieved in this way are far short of the numbers required to put down the insurgency and civil war.
The only purpose of the surge is to distract Congress while plans are implemented to widen the war.I think sending 20,000 troops has to be about more than distraction. I think Roberts hints at something that can't yet be proven: the "surge" troops may not be meant for Iraq at all.
This is one of those times where I really hope I'm wrong.
Time will tell.