Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Mad Hatter's Tea Party

There has been a lot of talk in the media recently about how the USA and possibly the United Kingdom is preparing for an eventual strike against Iran. Whilst war games and strategy concepts are an every day occurrence at military planning facilities, there is a real fear that the rabid Neoconservative leadership would be quite capable of actually effectuating a military strike. They may or may not seek Congress approval and if they do, I suspect that Congress, even with a Democratic majority, will buckle, driven by the Democrats’ absolute terror of being labeled unpatriotic or worse, “girlie men.” They may simply start a short bombing campaign designed to cripple Iran militarily and economically and say they are not actually ‘at war’ and therefore did not need to seek approval from Congress.

President Bush and members of his cabinet have been running the same phrases in reference to Iran as they did with reference to pre-war Iraq, claiming Iran to be “a threat to nations everywhere.” At the same time, more and more so-called “national security experts” from the Pentagon are claiming that there are detailed plans in place to obliterate the Middle Eastern country. Sarah Baxter of the Sunday Times reports:

THE Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive air strikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians’ military capability in three days, according to a national security expert.

The comments were made at The Nixon Center during a meeting organized by The National Interest, a conservative journal. The idea is that Iran will react in the same way whether it is subjected to a protracted bombing campaign, such as a few dozen cruise missiles, or a massive military strike designed to reduce the country to rubble. However there is another point to be made while military strategists exchange ideas about how many bombs to drop where over a chilled martini; if there is a strike it will result in massive civilian deaths. The bigger the strike, the more innocent people will die. The count in Iraq is now beyond 75,000 dead civilians and that only includes the confirmed deaths. The numbers could be much higher. That is the result of war.

Of course Iran will also retaliate and it may retaliate in the only way it can – through terrorism. Iran already does not have the capability of striking back at the full power of a military that has an annual budget higher than the entire Iranian GDP. So it will resort to the only weapon it can – terror. What is the West to do then? Are we to cry foul? Are we to resort to a moral high ground where we claim it is acceptable for us to plan military strikes against countries, to publish these plans, to threaten and insinuate and then to carry out a military campaign which is absolutely sure to result in hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths and conveniently label these “collateral damage” whilst claiming that retaliatory action is not allowed because it doesn’t fit in our concept of fair play?

How did we ever become so delusional that we assume that this will in any way stabilize what has become a very unstable boat ever since the Neocons destroyed the balance in the Middle East by bringing Saddam Hussein’s regime crashing down without so much as a blithe thought about the consequences only now, to turn around and exclaim with a shrug and upturned palms: “Who’d a thunk it?” An attack on Iran will catapult the entire region into an abyss which could threaten to drag most of the world down with it and all for George Bush’s ego because he has to prove that he is not as redundant as he seems or for Cheney’s outlandish plans to secure Middle Eastern oil for the Western oil conglomerates waiting in the wings? It is at best a spurious, self-deceptive concept - at worst, sheer madness.

Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying: "Be good to thy Friend to keep him, to thy enemy to gain him."

How did we stray so far and how did we lose touch with the wisdom of those who's legacy we pretend to defend?

1 comment:

Todd Dugdale said...

Another incisive take.
The question on my mind, however, is what happens AFTER we bomb Iran into oblivion? What's the plan? Occupation with a puppet government (Shah-style)? Proxy fighters taking over (Baluchi "rebels")? Or do we create another failed state with no means to defend itself or its oil resources?

The probability is that we have no plan at all. Blow 'em up. That'll teach 'em...something.

If Bush thinks that Iranians want to go back in time to 1979, he is sadly deluded, but he has been sadly deluded for his entire term in office.