War With Iran: When, Not If
Is there a chance that Washington and Tehran will sit down and settle their differences without bloodshed? According to this analysis from Russia's Novosti news service, the answer to that question would be no, and the rest of the countries in the region had better prepare for the worst ...
By Political Commentator Pyotr Romanov
Russia - Novosti - Original
April 10, 2006
United States and Iran seem firmly set on a path leading to the hell of war.
There are hopes for the best - and I myself would be happy to find that I have
erred on the pessimistic side. But the way things look, here and now, hopes are
increasingly overshadowing a very grim reality.
statements from the American side and war games in the Persian Gulf on the
Iranian side scream equally of muscle-flexing. Both sides, while portraying the
other as the new evil empire, are in fact perfectly aware of the danger that
its opponent poses, both ideologically and politically. Though neither risks
thumbing its nose at third-party peacemakers, neither actually listens to anything
they say, either.
clear indications that the Middle East is in for yet another major conflict. To
adjust a changing world, Iran and the U.S. are equally desperate for a major
breakthrough. But regrettably, both seem to think that such success comes
easier through the use of force rather than through dialogue or diplomacy.
AMERICA WOULD GO TO WAR
Afghanistan, Washington claimed a technical victory, although the carefully
tended flowerbed of democracy there seems overrun by medieval tribes. But even though
that nation is in fact run by Shariah judges [judges of Islamic law] and
international drug cartels, Afghanistan still looks better than Iraq, where any
kind of victory is out of question. Both have been extremely bad PR for
America's status as a superpower.
tarnished image on the international stage would be something Washington could
live with, were it not for Vietnam-style protests at home. Wisconsin has sent a
loud though nonbinding message to D.C., after 61% voted in local referendums
last Tuesday for an immediate pullout from Iraq.
two cities and towns had referendums on the April 4 ballot, calling for the
immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq. The statewide antiwar margin from all
32 elections was 61 percent to 39 percent].
there many pretexts left for launching a critic-gagging war, the Administration
might think. Three years ago, WMD evidence, slippery as it looked and false as
it proved later, had become the case for war on Iraq. With Iran, a
The U.S. administration
might just think that the pretext for a small, victorious, critic-gagging war
could be dreamt up. Three years ago, evidence for WMDs, slippery as it looked
and false as it proved to be, became the case for war on Iraq. With Iran, a trigger-happy
White House is likely to think that mere suspicion of WMDs will do. Of course, Iran's
own notorious rhetoric about wiping Israel off the map also helps.
not least, fighting the sinister gang of ayatollahs sponsoring terrorists fits
in nicely with President George W. Bush's declared strategy to eradicate
tyranny around the globe. To keep one's word is important. What Iranians
themselves think about the sinister gang of ayatollahs that runs their country
is apparently of little consequence.
IRAN WOULD GO TO WAR
'Iran and the Israeli-Dominated West: Nose to Nuclear Nose'
[Al-Khaleej, U.A.E.] (above)
America's Obsession With Militarism: $8.3 Trillion in Debt
... and Counting. [Alquds Alarabi, U.K.] (below)
not short of its own pretexts to go to war. Neither American domination nor a
nuclear-free future is seen as an option, for a nation asserting itself as a regional
peaceful nuclear power could well become a solid engine for Iranian
modernization, Tehran has greater ambitions: an Iranian-built nuclear weapon is
seen as the key to many Middle East doors that have been shut up to now. Apart
from putting Iran at the front of the race for regional leadership, it could
also fuel a rise of Shiite culture in the Muslim world, and make the country a
leader of an ascendant global Islam. Or so Tehran hopes. None of its
aspirations can possibly come about as long as Washington stands in the way.
WE CAN EXPECT
There is no
need to go through the entire list of pro-war considerations. What has been
said is probably enough to realize that, whoever tries to bring peace between
America and Iran, be it the United Nations, Western Europe, the International
Atomic Energy Agency, or Russia, will have their attempts fall on deaf ears.
Russia and others continue to warn America against a new military gamble - most
recently, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated in Berlin that Russia
didn't think "positive results could come through threats and
pressure" - there is little hope that his voice will be heard along the
Potomac. Better we should brace for the worst, for what might begin as a noble
duel could well end as a classic bar brawl, in which the watchers will get as
many bruises as the fighters.
For it is
no longer a question of "if." It is a question of "when."
Rough calculation point to the end of this year.
will begin no later than that, because no U.S. political party would allow its president
to plunge the nation into war with record-low approval ratings and only one
year left until the next presidential election. And of course, George W. Bush hardly
wants to go down in history as a man who lost all of his wars. What the Grand
Old Party needs to shield itself from the Iraqi quagmire is an overwhelming -
even if equally devastating - military success before 2008. But in the case of
Iran, military success will surely take time.
political as well as military factors militate against action happening sooner than
the end of the year. Not being an expert on the military domain, I will just
state the obvious: any war requires preparation and a secure rear area. In this
case, that should mean seeing the U.S. enroll as many allies as possible to
pick up the slack in Afghanistan and Iraq.
is going to need allies on the political front as well, so as not to expose
itself to the kind of global opprobrium it received for invading Iraq without U.N.
approval. The list of possible partners includes Western Europe, and of course
Moscow and Beijing, both of which have vetoes on the U.N. Security Council, and
the first tool of pressure is likely to be sanctions. Since the White House expects
sanctions to have little effect, any such sanctions, if imposed by international
consensus, might be taken by the U.S. as a go-ahead signal.
No sooner will the U.S. have acted in contempt of international law, than it will become clear that its allies are not queuing up. Military action will then rear its head, because sadly, "May God be our witness, we tried hard but we are running out of patience" politics is something the U.S. has practiced before.
Since it will take a bit of time for Washington to "try really hard," at least
we will have a few peaceful months to enjoy.
VIDEO FROM IRAN: 'WE ARE CAPABLE OF BLOCKING OIL EXPORTS'
IRIB/Jaam-E-Jam3, Iran: Excerpts from an interview with General Hosein Salami, Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Air Force, Apr. 4, 00:03:39, Via MEMRI
"Iran can block oil export whenever necessary. Fox News doesn't have to make propaganda out of this. This is a natural ability of our country."
Iranian Air Force General Hosein Salami