Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Will We Wake To War?
As I wind down tonight, a few of the most embarrassingly hawkish neocons are urging Israel to attack Iran...now. The surprise announcement that the Bushehr power plant--a project made possible by Russian investment and specifically approved by the Bush Administration--is being brought online in the coming week has perturbed the imperial class.
It should not, of course, because it is a power plant to produce...power...just as the Iranians have all along said their nuclear ambitions are based on. But this will be the first nuclear reactor brought into operation in Iran. It is indeed a milestone. The Iranians should be proud of their step into the future of energy. And as one of the oldest societies on earth, what other step would we expect them to make except to assure a modern future?
Unfortunately, the Israelis are simply not going to let Iran advance in nuclear technology. It is of course counter to reality to say that the Iranians are an imminent nuclear threat. To repeat a most important (and therefore ignored) fact: the Iranian government was terrified as they watched Afghanistan and Iraq fall to their east and west while they, who--
Hold on, let me prepare my keyboard....
DENOUNCED WITHOUT CONDITION THE 9/11 ATTACKS, CONSIDER AL-QAIDA A COMMON ENEMY, AIDED THE US IN ROUTING THE TALIBAN AFTER 9/11, AND OFFERED FULL NUCLEAR DISCLOSURE IN 2003...
...were being lumped into that ridiculous concept of the Axis of Evil with MORTAL ENEMY IRAQ, as well as North Korea . You want to talk about about an axis of evil with North Korea, how about our buddies in Pakistan? Watch the video in the paragraph above, it shows the moderate Khatami fighting in vain against the growing hardline movement as the Bush Administration was unveiling the Axis of Evil concept.
John Bolton is well known to be a psychopath. I don't give him much credence. However, these statements calling for immediate aggression show that, just like in 2002-3, media and public opposition to the next war is being broken down and diluted.
The Likud Party in Israel and neocons here have been calling Iran's possession of nuclear weapons (sometimes toned down to a lesser lie of possession of the technology to make nuclear weapons) imminent for years. Unfortunately, science exists and refining the necessary material and then building a usable device IS actually rocket science. It would take years to build a bomb, and they have to decide to build one first.
The Israelis just purchased a fleet of highly advanced fighter-bombers from the United States. These are the moves of a government preparing for war.
...Well I just spent a good hour and a half being utterly amazed by the nonchalance of a friend to this very horrible threat. To him, warnings that an Iran strike could spiral into the Third World War are exaggerated. To the contrary, it is naive to not consider the uniqueness of Iran, and the ferocity of its response to being attacked. Iran is ancient Persia. They have existed for 5000 years. They simply will not go quietly.
Not supporting an attack, he still said, "Iranian dissidents, of which there are MANY, might take the opportunity to instead revolt against their own government!" Well, first, there are not that many in reality, even at the height, and even fewer today. Refer back to the ALL-CAPS paragraph above. Reform in Iran has been trampled by aggressive US foreign policies since the early days of the Bush Administration. The Green Movement was never that strong, as shows the fact that the anniversaries of the protests just passed by without major action (sure, you can say they were intimidated by the thugs, but if the movement were as strong as advertised, that would not have stopped them!). Look at the pictures of the protests from 2009. The protesters are mostly young people and Islamist Leftists. And while hundreds of thousands of young Iranians marched to declare their desire for normalized relations with the West, there are tens of millions of other Iranians scared to death of a US attack and who see the Islamic regime as their protector (the same as Gazans with Hamas or Lebanese with Hezbollah). Some people tried to clarify this to the ecstatic western media that thought a new Iranian Revolution was brewing: "The reporters deluded themselves into thinking they were witnessing a general uprising. But this was not St. Petersburg in 1917 or Bucharest in 1989 — it was Tiananmen Square." The students of Iran cannot over throw the regime themselves. They were not joined by their compatriots like the 1970s and therefore their movement is actually irrelevant to Iran's politics. But the myth of a strong Green Movement endures today, as my friend's statement shows. That the Green Movement died in the last year should not be shocking as rhetoric has ratcheted up for a strike in the year since the election. The fact is, no solid evidence of election fraud was ever produced. The Shia hardliners enjoy widespread support that is made possible by the continued aggressive policies of the Israelis and the US. As the members of the Green Movement themselves say, the sanctions and threats only strengthen the Islamic regime. An attack on Iran will rally the majority around this hard-line government and its relentless retaliation, and we will have lost Iran. And that reaction should not surprise us. How did Americans react to 9/11?
So, the notion that the Green Movement might seize power in the wake of a strike on Iran's atomic program is a neo-conservative pipe dream. When I pointed this out, he asked, "[What] are you talking about? It's neoconnery to suggest that if a tyrannical regime is attacked by a foreign power that dissidents might take advantage of that?" In the case of Iran, yes, that's exactly what it is. This is what they believe: A bunch of pro-western students who are losing support everyday due to the counterproductive policies of the US and Israelis can topple the Islamic regime. They can't do that NOW, it is absurd to think they could do it following an attack that rallies most of the Iranian people even more tightly around the government. Pure fantasy, like all of neo-conservatism, so please don't follow it.
My friend insisted that if these strikes happen, they would be surgical and targeted. This is more nonsense. It may begin that way, but wars have a way of escalating. I would also wonder how exactly a limited and targeted strike on nuclear facilities would change the playing field and allow reformists to take over. The only way the Islamic government will be taken down is with a terrible escalation into total war (minus the fantasy that reformists would then popular enough to take power), which is what I am warning about in the first place!
The fact is that Iran has well over five million fighters to call on at a moment's notice, not to mention the apathetic who will join them after seeing their homeland violated. We have hardly 150,000 in Afghanistan and Iraq. Iran's Shia allies in Iraq, to whom we handed the country in a bribe for peace, have promised to unleash hell on Americans in Iraq the moment Iran is attacked. Do you think they will mind a few million Iranians aiding them? This will erase any progress that could possibly have happened in Iraq over the years. And of course, there has been no progress in Afghanistan. Math doesn't like Americans in this situation. I see thousands of our soldiers dying before the sun sets on the first day of this war.
Iranians are a fierce people. My friend acknowledged this, calling them "proud, but not strong." I beg to differ! The last time they had to protect their homeland, unarmed young men sprinted toward certain death until the sheer numbers overwhelmed the Iraqis. They will fight to the bitter end.
That my friend dismisses my warnings and likens my outlook to "The sky is falling!" just goes to show the level of denial our society has to the dangers that this war poses to the world. The world does not want this war, they know what a fiasco it will be. Remember Turkey and Brazil--nations that will be superpowers in the emerging multi-polar world now being resisted by the United States--tried desperately and succeeded in getting Iran to agree to a nuclear fuel swap deal that the Obama Administration had proposed earlier. Once they did, the United States flatly rejected it.
It is maddening when a communist is making more sense than American policymakers. I honestly wonder: How is it so far-fetched to think that snowballing events can engulf most of the world in war? Not a century ago, it happened twice. This would explain why this would be the THIRD World War... get it? You cannot say it's far-fetched because it has HAPPENED BEFORE...TWICE. I also find it ridiculous to compare these warnings to "The sky is falling!" For one, such a notion actually belongs to those dispensationalist Christians explored in the previous entry (Quite literally, there is a passage that speaks of the sky falling...scroll to Matthew 24:29... which is actually a reference to Old Testament judgment). I am not saying that the end of the world is near. I am saying that, as a violent race, we are in sitting on a powder keg of geopolitical tensions, and since we have not even seen the centennial for the start of the First World War, it is clear that such a conflict is more than possible, and will be even more devastating than the first two. Some 100 million people died in WWI and WWII. And while for sure, the sky didn't fall (except in Hiroshima and Nagasaki), the horrors that befell these people came from evil men and were not necessary. The horrors that await a world after millions of Iranians and their Shia brethren begin an unrelenting response to American and Israeli aggression are likewise unnecessary and likewise from evil men. May we avoid them!
I pointed out that there are numerous short term threats to the Dollar (and therefore the Empire) that could could unfold at any moment (this war breaking out, the food shortage becoming headline news), and that the Dollar is doomed in the long-term as well because of the insane Social Security and Medicare liabilities the feds have put on the taxpayers over the next few decades. This is fact. Every empire in history has fallen. How will ours be any different? He did not address my arguments, in fact he specifically said that he did "not need to," and that I was "reaching," with no explanation whatsoever. He continued to compare a war with Iran to our past wars.
Which cannot be done. This nation of Iran will not sit back and allow itself to be attacked. It will respond with fury and to deny that fact is perhaps the only thing more foolhardy than calling for a war in the first place. He accused me of seeing the Iranian people as monolithic. I am well aware of the diversity in Iran. But what is more important is that we realize that almost all the peoples of Iran are very much distinct from those that attacked us on 9/11 (And the small groups that are similar are US puppets). It is seeing the Muslim world as a whole as monolithic that is the real danger, which is exactly how neo-conservatives think of it. So while Iran should be seen as a natural ally against these Al-Qaida punks, they are conflated.
Literally laughing at me, he brushed off the notion that the Iranian military can do much damage. Sure, they can't nuke us (because they don't have them). But look back up a few paragraphs. Yes, they have about a million regular and special forces, and millions of militiamen who are loyal to the special forces. These MILLIONS of pissed off Persians will answer any attack without restraint. Our soldiers will be sitting ducks, and will learn quickly that the underestimation of Iranian resolve and capabilities is deadly. Contrary to reason, my friend said that the US Navy will decisively crush the Iranian Navy. While in terms of firepower, Iran is no match, its navy has hundreds of small, stealthy speedboats. Halting non-stop suicide attacks by fast and small boats on big clunky oil tankers and navy ships in the narrow Strait of Hormuz would be no easy task (Why would there not be suicide attacks? Refer back to the suicide sprinting of the 1980s.). Again, I say, the Iranians will fight to the bitter end.
Of course, there is no convincing some people. As I told him, and as I tell everyone, I HOPE I am wrong. I HOPE the policymakers realize that this war is totally insane. I HOPE all my warnings are for nothing. History proves that warmongers usually get their wars, however. It seems the only thing that will convince some people of how much of a threat to modern society this war is, is for it to actually happen and begin tearing apart modern society. Of course, then it will be too late. And all us who warned of the danger will only take comfort in knowing we at least tried.