The British press (The Times, The Telegraph, Apr. 9) is reporting that the Bush Administration has already decided to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities before it relinquishes power in 2008. The attack may be delayed until 2007, when "Big Blu," a 15 ton conventional "bunker buster" bomb, is ready. A nuclear strike is also in contemplation. The idea is to present the nation and world with a fait accompli rather than to attempt to secure UN approval or to wrangle together another "coalition of the willing." British cooperation is essential, however, for the strike would have to be staged using the British base on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. This is in some doubt now, given Tony Blair's tenuous position; but post facto support on the US home front is assumed, despite the Iraq debacle. Quoting defence analyst John Pike, of globalsecurity.org, Sarah Baxter writes for The Times:
If [Bush and Cheney's] approval ratings remain in the doldrums, there may be an upside to a strike on Iran. “Regardless of how bad Bush’s poll numbers are, Americans love a display of firepower.”
(Shocking...but awesome!) There are however no plans to take on Pakistan, presently the sole Islamic nuclear military power and host to Osama bin Laden. The lesson will not likely be lost.