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WAR AND IRAN January 9, 2012

Posted by wmmbb in Middle East, Modern History.
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Should it eventuate, the putative war against Iran will be an abandonment of the Grenada doctrine.

A doctrine that was not formulated as such but nevertheless followed with the effect at minimum that foreign invasions against constructed enemies should be countries that can be militarily quickly overwhelmed and where the invaders have domination of the air. What is interesting is that the Grenada doctrine did not guarantee victory in Iraq and Afghanistan but rather lead to economic defeat because the invasion was followed with the desire to hold ground and build bases. So now it seems that US global policy is the area of the world where permanent bases were established – the Asia-Pacific – and an area in which the US has a long history of colonialism and imperialism – Hawaii, Samoa, the Philippines, Japan, Korea and China. Of course, now the debacle of Vietnam and Cambodia, and the memory of Cam Ranh Bay, can be now forgotten. Once upon a time Guam had its own doctrine. Much like the earlier example provided by the Spanish, the Americans stood on the hills of Central America, saw the Pacific and reached out to the other side.

And yet the plans for invading Iran, seem both driven and directed by theology of the Israeli Government that views Iran as an existential threat. This seems like a trip down the rabbit hole. One would have thought that a nuclear-armed Israel, not a signatory to the nuclear non proliferation treaty was an existential threat to Iran.

At Al Jazeera, Richard Falk provides an dispassionate account of the case, given his past mistreatment by the Israelis:

Equally disturbing were unacceptably belligerent moves by Israel and the United States threatening to wage war against Iran. This appetite for waging war against Muslim countries is making the projected clash of civilisations a self-fulfilling prophesy as it becomes established as an undeniable historical reality.

As David Swanson notes the casus belli has reached beyond to overt acts of aggression by the United States:

For the past decade, the United States has labeled Iran an evil nation, attacked and destroyed the other non-nuclear nation on the list of evil nations, designated part of Iran’s military a terrorist organization, falsely accused Iran of crimes including the attacks of 9-11, murdered Iranian scientists, funded opposition groups in Iran (including some the U.S. also designates as terrorist), flown drones over Iran, openly and illegally threatened to attack Iran, and built up military forces all around Iran’s borders, while imposing cruel sanctions on the country.

Dr Farhang Jahanpour, an Iranian writing for Juan Coles Informed comment observes that the war of wars could easily slide into real war, faulting the Iranian Government for breaking international law by blocking the Straits of Hormuz, while conceding the real intention of the sanctions imposed is regime change.

Robert Naiman has The New York Times in on the act again. The Media is not merely embed with the war system, it is a central to the operation:

Then along comes Uri Avnery,spoiling the fun, by declaring that no such war will happen. He writes:

Some time ago I did something no experienced commentator ever does. I promised that there would be no Israeli military attack on Iran. (Nor, for that matter, an American one.)

An experienced journalist or politician never makes such a prediction without leaving a loophole for himself. He puts in an inconspicuous “unless”. If his forecast goes awry, he points to that loophole.

I do have some experience – some 60 or so years of it – but I did not leave any loophole. I said No War, and now General Gantz says the same in so many words. No Tehran, just poor little Gaza.

Why? Because of that one word: Hormuz.

Not the ancient Persian god Hormuzd, but the narrow strait that is the entrance and exit of the Persian Gulf, through which 20% of the world’s oil (and 35% of the sea-borne oil) flows. My contention was that no sane (or even mildly insane) leader would risk the closing of the strait, because the economic consequences would be catastrophic, even apocalyptic.

It seems that the leaders of Iran were not sure that all the world’s leaders read this column, so, just in case, they spelled it out themselves. This week they conducted conspicuous military maneuvers around the Strait of Hormuz, accompanied by the unequivocal threat to close it.

The US responded with vainglorious counter-threats. The invincible US Navy was ready to open the strait by force, if needed.

How, pray? The mightiest multi-billion-dollar aircraft carrier can be easily sunk by a battery of cheap land-to-sea missiles, as well as by small missile-boats. Let’s assume Iran starts to act out its threats. The whole might of the US air force and navy is brought to bear. Iranian ships will be sunk, missile and army installations bombed. Still the Iranian missiles will come in, making passage through the strait impossible.

There is more in this interview on RT with James Corbett:

UPDATE:

Mark H. Gaffney at Foreign Policy Journal suggests a reason for the American aggression against Iran, and Israel’s concern:

The real issue is the fact that Iran has upgraded its medium range conventionally-armed missiles with GPS technology, making its missiles much more accurate. This means Iran can now target Israel’s own nuclear, bio and chemical weapons stockpiles, located inside Israel, as well as the Dimona nuclear reactor.

In short, Iran has achieved a conventional deterrent to Israel. Therefore, statements by Iranian officials that Iran has no nuclear weapons program are in my view probably correct. Presently, Iran does not need nukes to deter Israel. It can do so with its GPS-guided medium range missiles. The Israelis are no doubt gnashing their teeth over this, because they now find themselves threatened by their own WMD stockpiles, and by their own nuclear reactors, especially Dimona, all of which have become targets.

A few direct hits by Iran could cause a toxic plume, killing thousands of Israelis. A worst case might signal the end of the Jewish state.

This must be the first instance when nuclear weapons posed an existential threat to the nation that possessed them.

CODA: 11 January 2011

Juan Cole makes a comprehensive case concerning Iran’s uranium enrichment for medical purposes, while giving the relevant historical background. He identifies the sanctions, as others must, as war crimes, that would be compounded by any attack on Iran, which has neither attacked or occupied the territory of any other country.

Israel and the US are the likely suspects in the murder of Iranian nuclear scientists. Murder organized in this fashion, as has been pointed out, is terrorism.

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