ntelligence Briefings to NYT Notch Up Tension
By Alexander Cockburn
02/11/07 "Counterpunch" -- -- President Nixon, a very good poker player, once defined the art of brinkmanship as persuading your opponent that you are insane and, unless appeased by pledges of surrender, quite capable of blowing up the planet.
By these robust standards George Bush is doing a moderately competent job in suggesting that if balked by Iran on the matter of arming the Shi'a in Iraq or pursuing its nuclear program he'll dump high explosive, maybe even a couple of nukes, on that country's relevant research sites, or tell Israel to do the job for him.
In Washington there are plenty of rational people in Congress, think tanks and the Pentagon who think he's capable of ordering an attack,-- albeit not a nuclear one -- with bombers carrying conventional explosive and with missiles from US ships in the Persian Gulf.
Colonel Sam Gardner, who's taught at the National War College recently sketched out on this site the plan as it could unfold: already the second naval carrier group has been deployed to the Gulf area, joined by naval mine clearing ships. "As one of the last steps before a strike, we'll see USAF tankers moved to unusual places, like Bulgaria. These will be used to refuel the US-based B-2 bombers on their strike missions into Iran. When that happens, we'll only be days away from a strike."