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The Voice Of 40-Something Cynical Optimism!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

You know, the whole Iran situation depresses me

Not for me the "Boy's Own" purple prose of Richard North on the Bruges Group blog ("We're going to give Johnny Towelhead a damn good trashing- look at all my photos of big weapons and stuff." To be honest- I wish Richard North could write anything as semi-interesting as this). There are people in three countries (Israel, Iran & the USA) who are itching for some sort of military confrontation, and all of whom think they can win.

The current regime in Tehran is one of the worst on the planet for its human rights record, but if it co-operated with the USA ie let them buy up its oil industry without too much fuss, no-one in Washington would blink an eyelid at how it treats its population. If I was an Israeli I would be worried about a country whose President talks about wiping Israel off the face of the earth and denies the Holocaust getting hold of nukes, but then again- Israel has around 200 nuclear warheads. If I lived in another Middle Eastern country I would not need to be a fanatical Muslim to worry about Israel's nuclear capability. As for the lot in the White House- they believe they should have power over all things on Earth and cannot lose.

We will see what happens. I try to remain optimistic but I can see blood being shed sooner or later and the whole thing going a way none of its participants expect. I suspect that none of the War Parties in the three would-be protagonists have any idea how much an international pariah a country that used nuclear weapons would become.

There- that's the worst case scenario out of the way: if you fear the worst it tends not to happen.

The thoughts of Robert Dreyfuss on all this:

February 07, 2006: The Wider War in Iran

Too many observers are adopting a relaxed attitude about the likelihood of a U.S. attack on Iran. Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal told us all to let our guard down, that the influence of the neoconservatives on U.S. foreign policy has evaporated: “As ‘Neocons’ Leave, Bush Foreign Policy Takes a Softer Line,” said the soothing page one story.

An attack on Iran might seem foolish by standards that reasonable people use—but so was the invasion of Iraq. Seen on its own terms, an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities seems stupid, since although it might hamper Iran’s nuclear industry it would strengthen Iran’s hard-liners, trigger an Iranian-led offensive against Israel and the United States, lead Iran to inflame its allies in Iraq against the United States, and send oilprices up sharply.

But the neocons see an attack on Iran as the next step in what Michael Ledeen calls the “war to remake the world.”

Here’s a piece from the London Times that explains the unfolding scenario:

Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Gardiner, a former US Air Force officer, predicted that knocking out nuclear sites could be over in less than a week. But he gave warning that would only be the beginning.

Iran has threatened to defend itself if attacked. It could use medium-range missiles to hit Israel or US military targets in Iraq and the region. It could also use its missiles and submarines to attack shipping in the Gulf, the main export route for much of the world’s energy needs. “Once you have dealt with the nuclear sites you would have to expand the targets,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Gardiner. “There are another 125 to deal with including chemical plants, missile launchers, airfields and submarines.”

That leads to a much wider war, in which the neocons would not only go for regime change in Iran but escalate to finish the bungled job in Iraq, too. And maybe take on Syria.

Scott Ritter issued another warning that Iran is next, adding that he'd talked to the speechwriter for John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, who said Bolton's speech about attacking Iran is already written.


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