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Attacking Iran

February 19, 2007

BBC unsurprisingly reports US plans to attack Iran, though the US denies that the Iran attack plans mean we are planning any attack on Iran.  All clear now?  Well of course we have plans to attack Iran.  Hopefully better thought-out than our “plan” to invade Iraq was.  Doesn’t mean we’ll actually do it but it makes sense to have a plan.

In some ways, this all seems like a dance in which everyone knows their steps.  Need proof Iran is messing around in Iraq, or that they’re building nukes?  I don’t, because that’s exactly what I’d do in their place.  Just look at Iran on a map, and notice the location of the last two countries the US has invaded.  What would you do if you were Ahmadinejad?

If I were him, I’d work on destabilizing the Americans and tying them down on the other side of the border.  And I’d get my scientists into a room and tell them; “Your vacations are cancelled – we need nukes, and we need ‘em now!”

Yes, I do blame the latest debacle on Bush.  We had a legitimate reason to invade Afghanistan, and the world’s backing to do it, but we left that job unfinished to go off on a side-trip where we got stuck.  Afghanistan is slipping back to the Taliban and we’re losing in Iraq.  It’s all over but blaming it on the liberals. 

Leave now, or leave later, there won’t be a good end to the Iraq situation.  If you screw something up badly enough, it just can’t be fixed no matter how many corrupt murderous allies you recruit or how much high-explosive you use. 

But Bush can’t shoulder the blame all himself.  Iran’s revolution ran on hatreds fanned by our old friend, that murderous dictator Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.  But he said he was our friend, he said he was against communism, and he was a check against the power of Iraq, where we were cultivating similar mistakes in similar ways. 

This catastrophe has been a long time in the making.  Anyone who thinks they have the solution – more forces, less forces, a redeployment, a pullout, an all-out invasion of the whole region, whatever… feel free to leave a comment explaining how your mistaken idea will fix everything. 

(One party in control of our government… never again).

Categories: defense, Politics
  1. February 19, 2007 at 21:47 | #1

    I don’t even know where to begin … but it is certain I have no solution.

    As for the “never again hope … I am not very sanguine.  The loony-tune right has got their claws into the election systems; they’ve already got two stolen elections in the bag.

  2. February 19, 2007 at 22:50 | #2

    Stolen elections… possibly.  Florida’s new governor says, paper ballots from now on.  I don’t know anything about him (actually didn’t realize Jeb wasn’t governor anymore) but it makes sense that any smart politician wants sound elections.  Questionable mandates can come back and bite you in the end.

    So that’s some good news.

  3. February 20, 2007 at 00:27 | #3

    Of course we have a variety of plans to attack/invade/destabilize/take out Iran.  That’s part of what military planners do—plan such things so that if someone needs to pull plans off the shelf quickly in response to a surprise, they’re available, not “well, we can tell you something in six months.”  Given Iran’s position and previous actions, I’ve little doubt we’ve had such plans since at least the Shah’s era, if not earlier.  Hopefully updated on a regular basis.

    The Shah was, indeed, a murderous dictator—but he was *our* murderous dictactor, and a sight better than a number of other alternatives in and around Iran.  Life under the Shah was an odd admixture of liberal western society with brutal secret police repression—I’m not sure that the revolution was much of an improvement (or detriment).

  4. February 20, 2007 at 07:11 | #4

    Dave:  There’s a huge difference between drawing up plans for possible attack scenarios by military strategists and plans to launch an attack by an administration.  We have heard the Bush/Cheney drumbeat leading to the latter in the past … and I don’t believe one thing they say now, either.

  5. February 20, 2007 at 08:00 | #5

    Of course we have a variety of plans to attack/invade/destabilize/take out Iran.  That’s part of what military planners do

    That’s why I don’t get too excited by the fact that we have “plans” – we had plans to nuke Russia, too.  Probably still do, updated regularly.

    Just watch a couple hours of Fox News to hear the drumbeat WD alluded to.  That’s the network Dick Cheney insists be the TV tuned into when he enters a hotel suite.

    he was *our* murderous dictactor

    The price we pay for those “friendships” comes with exorbitant long-term compound interest.

  6. jdallen
    February 20, 2007 at 08:18 | #6

    You had me in total agreement until I read the part about no matter “how much high-explosive you use.”

  7. February 20, 2007 at 10:10 | #7

    All I have to say is that one of my mentors, who happens to be a highly intelligent atheist Arab scholar with wisdom beyond my comprehension, told me look at Iraq.  And those that are forming the new government in Iraq.  He said, “They are all pro Iranian.”

    I asked what the hell he was talking about.  But when I thought about it a second time it makes sense.  No one in the Bush administration, and fewer still who have actually been to Iraq, truly understand Arabic culture to the point where they know where someone has came from.  For instance, few people could look at an Arab and immediately say, oh, he is from Northern Africa, or she is Lebanese, or he is Iranian.

    So when Iran found out that Iraq was forming a new government, it would only make sense that Iran would jump at the opportunity.  It would be one more government they could form that would be anti-Israel.  Imagine that…

    As for US attacking Iran.  The moment one Iranian dies from a bomb or a bullet, is the moment we will create 50 million anti-America Arabs.

  8. February 20, 2007 at 10:42 | #8

    It would be one more government they could form that would be anti-Israel.

    Well Saddam was hardly pro-Israel.  He sent personal checks to families of Palestinian suicide bombers.

    The moment one Iranian dies from a bomb or a bullet, is the moment we will create 50 million anti-America Arabs.

    Forgive me, that sounds kind of silly.  I’m reasonably sure they already don’t like us.

    But that is damned interesting (though as you say, not surprising) stuff about the Iraqi gov’t being full of Iranian sympathizers.  What did we expect?

  9. February 20, 2007 at 10:59 | #9

    Forgive me, that sounds kind of silly.  I’m reasonably sure they already don’t like us.

    What I have come to understand from my Iranian friends is that they don’t hate us at all.  They just dislike our government, particularly Bush.  And they even dislike their Leader Ahmadinejad.

    What’s important to remember, is that just like with Bush, Ahmadinejad does not necessarily represent the population when he speaks.

  10. james old guy
    February 20, 2007 at 14:36 | #10

    I find it rather interesting all the facts from people who have not been to either country. It is strange how the blind hatred of our present leadership by a group of nay sayers is treated as the truth. Since I am retired military and a lot of my friends are still serving, I get a completely different picture than that spewed forth from the mouths of proven liars (MSM). As for the Iran invasion plans, of course there are plans, and there have been exericises in the past and will be in the future to look at that and 1000 other plans.  Webo5 is correct, the Iranian population doesnt hate us all, just the christians and other religions. They do love Jimmy Carter though.

  11. February 20, 2007 at 14:45 | #11

    the Iranian population doesnt hate us all, just the christians and other religions

    I think this is a common myth.  Those practicing the Muslim faith that I have encountered could care less what religion I (if any) practice.  Just like most Christian religions, they just think I am wrong and will go to hell.  Which is just fine with me if they think that.

    Those of the Muslim faith that see things differently are fundamentalists.  There is a big difference between a fundamentalist of religion x and someone who practices religion x.

  12. February 20, 2007 at 16:22 | #12

    In reverse order from a couple comments:

    I find it rather interesting all the facts from people who have not been to either country.

    and

    What I have come to understand from my Iranian friends is

    Sounds like a first-person source to me.  Probably have a different perspective than a visiting American soldier, though neither are likely to be objective.

  13. February 20, 2007 at 16:53 | #13

    My bad, I didn’t realize how my original statement might have read, I should add to0 the following:

    What I have come to understand from my Iranian friends is

    This:

    Iranian friends that lived their whole life in Iran and have come to the US for college…

  14. February 20, 2007 at 20:57 | #14

    James, I’m so glad you’re THE authority on all this.  Just cuz you were over there and were in the military (and you DO love to remind us of that so often … sounds like “thou doest protest to much” syndrome to me), makes you no more authoritative in your opinions than anyone else.  When it comes to policy, ex-military personnel are neither more nor less authoritative to me.

    We are in a pile of trouble in the middle east and GW has made it worse, period.

  15. Wheeler
    February 20, 2007 at 21:21 | #15

    I feel bad for Hillary ‘08. Think shes gotta chance If GB sends us to war with Iran within the next year?

  16. February 20, 2007 at 22:04 | #16

    “The moment one Iranian dies from a bomb or a bullet, is the moment we will create 50 million anti-America Arabs.”

    BULLSHIT! We will probably have the Sunni Arabs supporting us..the Saudis and others are scared shitless that Iran with Nukes will blackmail their way to control of the mideast.

    As far as the plans..I agree with james. I also am a retired military type and can assure you that there are contingency plans t attack damn near anywhere including various parts of the USA..you know..just in case the socialists decide to preempt the constitution?

  17. February 20, 2007 at 22:20 | #17

    I think we all agree that it is a good idea to have contingency plans.  No one has said otherwise, because, ya never know.

    GUYK, have you checked under your bed for Socialists?  In the closet?  Maybe hiding in the garage?  ;-P   I hear California is full of them, but you know, California’s economy doesn’t amount to much so I guess it proves your point.  :lol:

    Sure, Iran’s enemies would find a silver lining in a US attack of Iran.  Webs, you’re referring to the population of Iran itself aren’t you?

    WD, I do give an initial benefit of the doubt to people who have military experience, depending on the subject.  For instance, on any question of military life I’m definitely interested in what James or GUYK have to say.  The word of someone currently serving would weigh a bit more, and there are other weighting factors too.  But on questions of society in a given country, I have to prefer someone who grew up there.  Visiting soldiers make poor sociologists. 

    Not to say even someone from a country in question is fully authoritative, either.  For instance, imagine an Iranian journalist asking about American policy.  By chance he bumps into James in a restaurant one day.  Or Webs, makes a rather large difference which.  Goes back to Iran and writes his copy.  That’s where academics comes in, someone like Webs’ friend the Middle East scholar, who spends a lifetime studying a region.  Or a professor of my acquaintance whose specialty is Arab studies, reads Arabic, travels a lot.  I only know him from a handful of conversations and attending one of his public lectures.  It’s his culture, not mine, so I weigh his opinions about that culture more heavily.

    What constitutes authority?  Good question.  In the end it’s tough to get a complete picture of another culture.

  18. February 21, 2007 at 09:51 | #18

    My solution is to give the Kurds tactical nuclear weapons, and then leave the area.

  19. February 21, 2007 at 10:12 | #19

    The moment one Iranian dies from a bomb or a bullet, is the moment we will create 50 million anti-America Arabs.

    When I made the above statement, yes, I was referring to the pop of Iran.  However, I am sure the number would actually be well over 50 million since other Arabs would be pissed as well. 

    It is tough to get a complete picture of a culture.  Especially if your credo is, “Kill them all and let God sort them out”…

  20. February 21, 2007 at 10:15 | #20

    Don’t have to look under the bed..I just take a look at who the dim-a-crits elected to congress..

  21. February 21, 2007 at 13:47 | #21

    No one in the Bush administration, and fewer still who have actually been to Iraq, truly understand Arabic culture to the point where they know where someone has came from.  For instance, few people could look at an Arab and immediately say, oh, he is from Northern Africa, or she is Lebanese, or he is Iranian.

    Just as a side note, Iranians are not Arabs—they are Persians.  Both groups tend to bristle a bit when that misidentification is made (along the lines of calling an Austrian a German, from what I gather). 

    Now, there is certainly denominational ties between the groups, both as Muslims and as the majority Shia population has ties to the Shiites in Iran (recalling that the Shiite Lebanese are bad because they’re Hezbollah, but the Shiite Iraqis are good because they opposed the minority Sunni government of Saddam Hussein, except when they become bad because they align with the Shiites in Iran.  All clear now?).  But to call Iranians Arabs is actually the sort of mistake I’d expect the current Administration to be making.  :-/

  22. February 21, 2007 at 15:45 | #22

    Just as a side note, Iranians are not Arabs—they are Persians.  Both groups tend to bristle a bit when that misidentification is made (along the lines of calling an Austrian a German, from what I gather).

    Thanks for the correction, I guess I proved my own point…  :lol:

  23. zilch
    February 22, 2007 at 02:59 | #23

    In my student co-op in Berkeley were some Iranian exchange students, who said that the difference was that the Persians were an ancient civilized people, and the Arabs were dogs.  Other Iranians I’ve known, ones who fled the Shah, have held more nuanced opinions.

    True, Austrians don’t like being taken for Germans.

    GUYK, I’m sort of socialistic (I vote Democratic usually), and I’ll be in California the whole month of March, if that makes any difference to your strategic planning.

    DOF- As you say, there’s no good solution to the mess we have made (with help from local factions of course).  I don’t know whether an immediate withdrawal or a phased withdrawal would be better.  Most Iraqis just want us to leave and I can’t blame them.  When will we ever learn?

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