Bush's new Iraq strategy is not intended for Iraq. It is really a new strategy for Iran, after the failure of Washington's dual containment policy which was designed specifically to prevent that country from obtaining The Bomb.

While most predicted that the issue of Iran's nuclear program would not be taken before the Security Council, we [at Al-Watin] predicted that it would. And it was. When the Security Council took up the issue, doubters said that sanctions would not be imposed against Iran. Once again, we correctly predicted the outcome of this wager. We said that sanctions would be imposed, and they were.

Perhaps in the back of their minds, the doubters were counting on China and Russia, two of the five permanent Security Council members, to back Iran. Nonetheless, it was in the forefront of our minds that because of its overarching dominance, the United States would put enough pressure on Russia and China to keep them in line.

Bush raised the stakes by telephoning [Russian President] Putin and pressuring incoming non-permanent Council members to vote in favor of sanctions. In fact, the Russian representative on the Council, Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, opposed passage of the resolution on sanctions up to the very last minute, along with China's representative [Ambassador Wang Guangya].

I was not privy to their conversation nor did I hear the Russian ambassador's phone ring. In fact, I was not in New York at all, but I guarantee that after the vote, Putin was quite surprised to learn that Churkin had decided to cross the picket line [and vote for sanctions].

Raise your hand and support sanctions!

IRAN IS NOW UNDER SANCTIONS, BUT ...

But sanctions are not enough. Both the Council and Ahmedinajad have hardened their resolve and Iran now represents a near-term nuclear threat to the state of Israel!

Those who doubt the likelihood of a military strike against Iran have carefully averted their gaze from the carriers and destroyers that have passed through the Suez Canal to the Red Sea, into the Gulf and back again. Those who would deny the likelihood of military action must not have read a recent report in The Sunday Times that detailed how the Israelis might execute air-strikes using nuclear weapons [bunker busters] against suspected enrichment facilities like those in Natanz, Asfahan and Arak ].

Such a strike would necessarily incur an Iranian response. And regardless of whether it is the U.S. or Israel that attacks Iran, the leaders in Tehran will not discriminate between them, because to them, the U.S. and Israel are two sides of the same coin. And when Iran reacts, so indeed will America and Israel.

Those who doubt the likelihood of a military strike against Iran have failed to read between the lines of America's deployment of Patriot missiles (to reassure its allies in the region). This is being billed as part of Bush's new strategy for Iraq ... as if the Iraq resistance has anything to do with firing missiles into neighboring countries! And those who question the likelihood of the use of force against Iran have failed to consider the deployment of 20,000 additional soldiers to Iraq, except within the context of deploying them in the heart of Baghdad on Haifa Street, Kadhimiya Street or Karadah Street.

MILITARY STRIKES ARE INEVITABLE

The story goes that America will not attack Iran because if it did, the more than 130,000 American troops stationed in Iraq would become hostages overnight. But this story is nothing but good fiction. Don't fool yourselves, folks. The strikes are coming. What was billed as Bush's new Iraq strategy will become Bush's Gulf War IV strategy.

[Indeed, it is a strategy that reads much like a tragedy].

Oh Poor Gulf! Oh Benefactor of both Patriot Missiles and Ruin!