The verbal belligerence against Iran continues, with this report from the UK Times and, of course, with Seymour Hersh’s already famous article in the NY Times. Of course, Bush is denying it, ’cause that’s what he does. But Eric Margolis, with his incredible Middle Eastern and Central Asian sources, has been reporting for months that US, UK and Israeli forces are already in Iran, marking targets.
With Iraq bleeding money, military assets and…blood, and with Afghanistan barely tenable, even with increasing reliance on non-American troops, it would seem on the surface that it would be madness for the US to even contemplate a war with heavily armed and blooded Iran. Hersh implies that tactical nukes are to be deployed, which would minimize the need for many ground troops. But despite movie and science-fiction suggestions to the contrary, a handful of nukes will not completely decapitate the Iranian military machine. Certainly, reports of Iran’s new super fast underwater missile are possibly designed to suggest to NATO that their ships would still be vulnerable after an aerial bombardment of the Iranian mainland.
So the first question, simply, is what would Iran do after such a lightning strike? The answer, just as simply, is that Iran would attack Israel, and that would lead to nothing but heartbreak for everyone involved.
The second question is, why would the USA attack Iran? Well, the rhetoric is that Iran is a threat to world security. This is bullcrap. Iran is a threat only to Israel. Even if Iran were to obtain nuclear capability (in about 10 years), it’s sole likely target would be Israel. Scuttlebut that all American governments, and especially the current evangelical one, are in the pocket of the Israeli lobby would be proven true in the event of an American military attack on Iran.
Hersh and others point out another, more easily understood motivation. An attack on Iran before the current Republican mandate has expired would revitalize the Republican position in time for the 2008 federal election. All politics are local, and remembering this really helps us to understand many of the seemingly inconceivable decisions made by the current amoral and duplicitious US administration.
The final question is…. will it happen? I believe it will. Nothing short of either a complete change in behaviour of the Iranian government or the impeachment of George Bush will prevent US and/or Israeli military action against Iran by 2008. Because, beyond the need to influence American sentiment locally, Bush and his neocons are millennarialists, ironically much like the millennarialists in Iran. He believes that bringing about the final great war in the Middle East will finally reveal to the world the second coming of Jesus Christ.
If this is so, may He save us all!