Friday, January 12, 2007

Iran -- The Next War?

For many in the current administration, the fact that clerics in 1979 overturned a ruler installed 23 years earlier by the CIA, seized the U.S. embassy, and held embassy personnel for 444 days marks the start of what is now a 28-year Cold War. Considering that the U.S. aided Iraq in its eight-year (1980- 1988) war against Iran, Tehran’s reciprocal hostility is understandable – as is their drive to establish the ability to enrich uranium to weapons grade levels should they decide to “go nuclear.”

In April and May 2006, the administration tried to escalate and consolidate world opposition to Iran. Eventually, a watered-down UN Security Council resolution was passed imposing sanctions should Iran not cease uranium enrichment and cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Now Washington is abuzz over what many see as the opening moves by George Bush to turn up the military heat on Iran (and also Syria). Speculation started with Bush’s speech on January 10 when he said:

“Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenges. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria…allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces…And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.”

There have been numerous reports of Special Forces entering Iran through Afghanistan to gather information on Iran’s nuclear facilities. And undoubtedly the CIA is trying to work that and other problems. But Iran is, by all accounts, pretty much a black hole when it comes to good intelligence – perhaps surpassed only by North Korea.

Short of information on Iraq before 2003, the Bush administration adopted various exile groups, paid tens of thousands of dollars, and ended up with worthless information.

Bush said January 10 that mistakes had been made in Iraq after the invasion and toppling of Saddam Hussein. He might do well to look at the record of the mistakes made in 2001 and 2002 – and not make the same mistakes with Iran.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Members of my Peace and Justice Action Group have been foreseeing this move for quite a long time now. Could it be that Bush policy is that Iraq (like Panama) never develop an independent and capable army (otherwise why hasn't it done so?), thereby justifying a permanent US military presence there - and a base from which to threaten and try to dominate nearby countries. One of the problems with Bush Middle East policy is that it doesn't take into account the fact that the weak army it would like in Iraq won't be strong enough to hold the country together. And the US military can't hold the country together either - if it does so, the much-vaunted democracy won't exist; there'll be a puppet state in constant civil war.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too believe Iran has always been in the sights of this beginning of "A New American Century". Conveniently surrounded by Afganistan and Iraq.

Regarding an Iraq withdrawal, I've been waiting to hear commentary on one particular aspect of that scenario that makes it particularly difficult - and no one I've heard has ever mentioned it.

The President proclaimed what would erupt throughout the region in the absense of US forces. How unstable it could become. But no one has ever mentioned what the likely reaction of Israel would be under those circumstances. Can you imagine?

10:39 PM  

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