Ritter says White House preparing for war in Iran
People ask him if he feels vindicated by the absence of WMDs in Iraq, he said, but "there isn't any vindication in being right about this one." A war with Iran would hasten the ongoing decline of American standing in the world, and afterward Russia and China would be ready to take advantage of the resulting power vacuum, he said.
Among the war clouds Ritter cited were:
Preemptive strikes against the two groups most likely to erupt if the United States invaded Iran, Hezbollah (unsuccessfully attacked by Israel) and Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army (unsuccessfully attacked in Basra by Iraq's central government).
Ritter predicted a similarly disappointing showing if the American forces attacked Iran, a country 2-1/2 times as large and populous as Iraq that is much more unified culturally and did not have its army destroyed in a previous war with the United States.
Recent visits to Middle Eastern allies by high officials, ostensibly for other purposes, but really to prepare them for the effects of such a war.
The appearance of the "miracle laptop," as Ritter called it, a thousand pages of technical documents supposedly from a stolen Iranian computer, which dubiously had just the sort of information the administration needed to support a hard-line stand on Iran.
Congressional supplementary funding for more "bunker-busting" bombs, with a contract completion deadline of April.
Congressional supplementary funding for the extra bombers to carry those bombs, with a contract completion date of April.
Cheney's order to send a third aircraft carrier battle group close to the Persian Gulf, a necessary bolstering of forces for a war with Iran.