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Thursday, April 06, 2006


war approaches again

war with iran is growing closer, notes andrew sullivan, as iran is referred to the united nations security council.

Key players in the Bush administration think a military confrontation with Iran is unavoidable, leading to stepped up military planning for such a prospect, according to several experts and recently departed senior government officials.

Some of these observers stressed that military strikes against Iran are not imminent and speculated that the escalated war chatter could be a deliberate ploy to ratchet up diplomatic pressure on Tehran to abandon its nuclear ambitions. Still, they made clear, the tone in Washington has changed drastically.

"In recent months I have grown increasingly concerned that the administration has been giving thought to a heavy dose of air strikes against Iran's nuclear sector without giving enough weight to the possible ramifications of such action," said Wayne White, a former deputy director at the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research. White, who worked in the bureau's Office of Analysis for the Near East and South Asia, left government in early 2005 and is now an adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute.

Several experts and former officials interviewed by the Forward pointed to Vice President Dick Cheney as one of the key figures who has concluded that the ongoing diplomatic efforts to bring Iran before the United Nations Security Council and eventually slap the Islamic regime with sanctions will come to naught, forcing Washington to resort to force to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.
it is time for americans to prepare for the fact that war with iran will be very hard to avoid -- it will probably happen, and not because iran forced it to happen but because american imperial delusions of managing the world without its consent have become so deeply ingrained in the ruling class that very little short of immolation and disaster will free them from its hubristic grip. iran will behave as the proud, independent, fiercely nationalistic society it is, all but daring american imperial intervention. and american imperialists, seeing validation in conflict, will in all likelihood sternly oblige.

their view is summed with scintillating irony in this paragraph.

Looking ahead, "the greatest danger is Iran's overconfidence," said Michael Rubin, a scholar at the conservative American Entreprise Institute who worked on Iran policy at the Pentagon until his departure in 2004. "They believe we're bogged down in Iraq. They may believe we're stymied in the U.N. by the Russians and Chinese. They may believe oil prices are too high for action. But the administration is deadly serious. Any military action would likely involve the air force and navy, not the troops in Iraq. And while everyone recognizes the problems of any military action, there is a real belief that the consequences of Iran going nuclear would be worse."
in other words, they underestimate just how crazy we really are.

this page is hard pressed to see how a nuclear iran is any worse than the nuclear ussr with which we coexisted, albeit tenuously, for sixty years without a major conflict. now one is supposed to believe that a nuclear iran is unacceptble? this is talk motivated out of a lack of respect for the possible outcomes and a childlike faith in american superiority. to say that the rewards of firing missiles and dropping bombs into iran outweigh the risks is to know nothing of either, and is in fact a heady example of the arrogance with which the americal political class now disdains the world. and to claim that it is iran's overconfidence which is the danger! it sickens to read it.

this is clear-cut insanity on the part of the administration and its principals -- there is no other word for it. they have lost a war in iraq, failing to achieve any of the desirable stratgic outcomes intended and instead delivering mesopotamia into the hands of persian nationalists and islamists. and they have neither the men nor materiel to successfully prosecute a war in iraq, much less one in a nation three times the size with one of the most impassioned nationalist streaks of any on the globe. not only will iranians rally around the mullahs as iraqis have done; they will rally around their political leadership in ahmadinejad, who is no saddam hussein and is frankly beloved of the very numerous poor and religious of his nation.

however so, this administration -- vexed as only the arrogant can be by the former and ignorant as only the arrogant can be by the latter -- nonetheless drives plans forward for yet another national humiliation because, to their blinkered eyes, it is thought "inevitable".

such steps, if actually taken beyond the planning stage, would be confirmation for this writer that american political leadership is every bit as mad as nero or caligula ever were -- and their ascendancy, like those malevolent emperors, not a disease but a symptom of a broader and deeper civilizational malignancy that is moving inexorably toward suicide, collapse and dissipation.

UPDATE: seymour hersh is reporting on the iran plan.

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