Via Laura Rozen's War and Piece blog, I see this article by Warren Stroebel, who has been doing some of the best reporting on the Iraq War and the WMD fraud that the Bush administration used to justify it: Bush administration planning to increase pressure on Iran Knight-Ridder 12/07/04.
As 150,000 U.S. troops battle to stabilize Iraq, some officials in the Bush administration are already planning to turn up the heat on another member of the president's axis of evil.
Officials in the White House and the Defense Department are developing plans to increase public criticism of Iran's human rights record, offer stronger backing to exiles and other opponents of Tehran's repressive theocratic government and collect better intelligence on Iran, according to U.S. officials, congressional aides and others.
None of the following should be surprising to anyone who's been paying attention:
The new, more aggressive tack is said to have the backing of secretary of state-designate Condoleezza Rice, Bush's national security adviser.
Among the steps under consideration, the officials said, are stronger public condemnations of Iran's human rights practices and treatment of women; increased U.S. broadcasting into the country; and financial backing for pro-Western groups.
Oh, yes, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld are burning with concern for the rights of Iranian women. If you can buy that, you can believe that we found WMDs in Iraq.
And, for those who think vague promotion of "regime change" is just diplomatic pressure, this is a good reminder (my emphasis):
The omnibus spending bill passed by Congress last month includes a provision, sponsored by Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., for $3 million to promote democracy in Iran.
Some of the funds could be used to stage a conference in the United States that would bring together Iranian dissidents, human rights advocates and nongovernmental organizations.
That approach echoes the actions of the U.S. government toward Iraq during the 1990s, when it helped forge fractious Iraqi dissidents into the Iraqi National Congress. The INC and its leader, Ahmad Chalabi, helped persuade the Bush administration to invade Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein, but much of the intelligence the INC provided on Iraq's weapons programs and terrorist ties has proved to be wrong.
But with Dark Lord Cheney and Rummy lying awake nights tormented over the deprivation of full equality to Iranian women, how can the US expect to sit on its hands and do nothing?