Saturday, February 03, 2007

and now, iran?

There has been all sorts of new "trash-talking" by de facto President George W. Bush aimed at Iran since his forgettable State of the Union makes you wonder whether an attack really is impending.

Being a fair-minded sort of person, I shouldn't immediately disparage the idea. I know, let's look at the most recent example of essentially unprovoked attacks against a large, oil-rich Middle Eastern state, conveniently located right next door to Iran. Yes, I mean Iraq.

So, how's THAT situation going? Umm, maybe not so good. A National Intelligence Estimate, just released this week, from the Bush Administration's intelligence people, was pretty god-damn pessimistic. You know, sectarian civil war, over 3000 US military personnel killed (not to mention hundreds of contractors, and various "coalition" members, plus at least 60,000 and perhaps several hundred thousand Iraqis), the erosion of our military capacity to act elsewhere in an emergency, diminished international respect for the US, all-round gloom and doom.

Oh, and all this is costing us bazillions. Mostly the de facto Bush Administration has hidden these numbers by NOT including operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in their budget requests for the Pentagon. Quite dishonestly, given the centrality of these conflicts to the neocon agenda. Anyhow, the Administration will ask the Democratic Congress for over $700 billion dollars in total defense spending for the next fiscal year, including something like $250 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan.

Remember when the Iraq war and reconstruction were going to be self-funding?

All this has failed to produce anything remotely like a stable Iraq. Our Shiite allies in Iraq are the ones cooperating with Iran, while Iran's enemies -- the Sunnis -- are the ones causing the overwhelming majority of American casualties.

But Iran would be different, right? Oh, sure. Here are a few ways it would be different.
Iran has over twice as many people as Iraq. Oops.

Iran has a military that wasn't badly pummeled in 1991, and a military that hasn't been crippled by sanctions since 1991. Oops.

Iran has a regime that was legitimately elected and could probably expect a rallying-around effect from Iranians should an attack come. Oops.

Iraq was isolated and friendless by spring 2003. Iran has powerful friends overseas, and terrorist organizations that are not currently conducting anti-American operations, but could do so. Oops.

A US attack on Iran would probably draw essentially zero international support. Lackeys like Tony Blair in Britain and John Howard in Australia would say positive things, but I doubt ANY country would actually participate.
All this to bring a regime to the negotiating table on nuclear weapons, when the predecessor to current nut-job President Ahmedinejad was very interested to negotiate with the US in 2003, only to have us reject any idea of talks because our President and Vice-President have the absurd, infantile, playground idea that you DON'T talk to your enemies? By not talking to Iran then, we assured the election of the current idiot and weakened pro-American sentiment that has been increasing in Iran over the years (especially in the aftermath of 9/11).

So ... do I think an attack on Iran would be a wise idea?

No. It would be a terrible idea, even worse than the attack on Iraq in the first place.

Do I think it will happen?

Yes. And I don't think Congressional Democrats or Republicans will have the guts to try to stop it.


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