Friday, June 06, 2008

Israel Threatens Iran, Tehran Says Thanks!

Here's the premise. One of Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert's deputies announces that an Israeli strike on Iran might be "unavoidable" if Tehran continues to pursue its nuclear weapons programme, i.e. nuclear enrichment.

Haven't we seen this movie before?

Washington kick-started Iran's ascendancy in the Muslim world by going to war against Iraq. That allowed Iraq to fall under Shiite control, enormously boosting Iran's influence and prestige. Then Iran bankrolled Hezbollah and Hamas, extending its sphere of influence from the Persian Gulf all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.

Lately Iran has picked up a couple of new patrons - Russia and China. China wants a secure source of oil, an energy "leg up" over India and the U.S. Russia wants to manage the control of Iranian oil and natural gas to help it tighten its control over Europe's energy supplies. Both want to put a dent in American hegemony over the area. To this end, Russia has supplied Iran with some of its latest surface-to-air missile batteries while China has delivered what may be the most sophisticated and capable anti-ship cruise missiles on the planet.

Who would benefit from airstrikes against Iranian nuclear installations? Here's a clue - it's not Israel, it's not the United States, it's not the Sunni Arab states. The winner would be - Iran!

The Mullahs and Ayatollahs in Tehran face greater threats from within than from without. Iran's younger generation clamours for secular and democratic reforms. Yet these very same reformers warn anyone who'll listen that an attack on their homeland would drive them right behind the Tehran government in support of their country. Attacking Iran, in effect, could unify Iran, bolster solidarity for Tehran throughout the Muslim world and cause the Shia regions to coalesce ever more strongly behind it. That could play proper hell with American forces in a seemingly more tranquil Iraq and could also impact on the war in Afghanistan.

If Israel attacks it's a fair bet that Iran will retaliate against the West. It could withhold its own oil exports and block most other oil shipments through the Persian Gulf with its anti-ship missiles. That could be enough to collapse many Western economies. It could likewise drive a wedge between the Israeli/American coalition and Europe while simultaneously improving Russia's and China's hands in the region and elsewhere.

So, what's the answer? I don't know but it certainly isn't resort to airstrikes. That route is a temporary solution, at best, but fraught with so many downsides as to make it ludicrous. Do we really need Israel doing for Iran the same favour it did for Hezbollah in Lebanon?

The solution might just lie in taking Washington and Israel out of the equation altogether and entrusting the problem to more effective intermediaries, Russia perhaps, while contenting ourselves with sanctions and containment.

I only wish that the United States and Israel weren't, at this critical moment, saddled with two of their most inept leaders in history.


Johnathon said...

I don't get it,

How did the USA invasion of Iraq help secure nuclear weapons for Iran?

Maybe you can let me know.

And also, do you really think that President Bush didn't know that installing a Shite government in Iraq would embolden Iran?

Are you that naive. I know you think the Afghan war resembles Algeria (for whatever reason) but this post makes no sense.

The Iranian leader last week (funny how you don't mention that IMPORTANT fact) called Israel a "rotting corspe".

Are we supposed to think that allowing Iran to get the "NUKE", if they already don't have it, is going to be "good" for the world?

Israel and the USA is going to attack Iran before the Bush term, but even if they don't, Barack Hussein Obama will judging by his own words.

So either way, Iran will be attacked, and again, the leftist loons will continue to support Hizbolloh, Hamas and Iran.

Liberals should be proud of themselves.

The Mound of Sound said...

Well Johnathon, I will indulge your curiosity.

First of all, nowhere did I suggest that Washington's invasion of Iraq helped secure nuclear weapons for Iran. I can't imagine where you got that from.

Yes, President Bush wasn't thinking far enough ahead to realize how his Iraq blunder would fuel Iran's ascendancy. If he had, he would have gone into Iraq with a force of at least 400,000 soldiers and someone far better suited than Chalabi to serve as head of an interim government.

They so woefully misjudged this invasion, at every level, that they would up with a "coalition provisional authority" headed by Bremer utterly incapable of getting Iraq back in order that, finally, had to capitulate to the demands of al Sistani for democratic elections that handed the country over to a government not of America's choosing.

Yes, Johnathan, I really think that Bush didn't begin to grasp the consequences of his invasion if anything at all didn't go exactly according to plan. It's no coincidence that nothing went according to plan.

If you have trouble understanding the Afghan war in the context of the Algerian insurgency against the French and - here's the key - if you want to understand it, try learning about what happened in Algeria and then look at all the classic insurgencies in history.

You might have difficulty believing this but insurgencies like the major revolutions of history (American, French, Russian) almost always follow the same script. Read "Anatomy of Revolution" and "War of the Flea" to get an idea of what I'm talking about.

Nowhere have I suggested that allowing Iran to get a nuclear weapons capability would be "good" for the world. What drives you to keep making up your own silly premises and then attributing them to me?

Johnathan, your empty rants against "leftist loons" makes you sound like a fool. Try to grow up.

Johnathon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Johnathon said...

If letting Iran is not "good" for the world, what do you suggest?

Do you really think that Russia gives 2 shits about Israel or the USA?

What do you suggest Israel do to a country that calls it a "stinking corpse" and wants to 'blow it off the map"?

What do yu suugest, other than letting Russia trying to convince the Iranians that Muhammed is on his way bsack to the earth.

Johnathon said...

I've been drinking all morning so I forget to complete the first 'sentence'.

It was supposed to ask that if Iran getting a "NUKE" is not good for the world, then what do you suggest.

P.S My spell check does not work in your comment section.

Real_PHV_Mentarch said...

And to think that moderates were increasingly gaining ground in Iran ... until Bush and his utterly stupid "Axis-of-Evil" speech - which not only reverted the trend but firmly entrenched the conservatives/radicals in Iran.

Since then, we keep witnessing the poisonous fruits being harvested out of this ludicrous fiasco.

Ah, those neocons and their wet dreams of Middle East dominance ...

LeDaro said...

Just the threat has resulted in Dow going topsy turvy and oil has hit over $139 a barrel. Imagine what will happen if actual attack takes place.