Criticizing the President for paving the way to yet another
potentially disastrous excursion in the Middle
East is to give him credit for making decisions on matters of
foreign policy; he does not, and is not even capable of doing so! The only
criticism that might actually apply is in Mr. Bush's willingness, indeed
eagerness, to act as the front for the real movers and shakers in his cabinet,
and to voice their mandates without a clue as to their credibility or
Enough has already been written and talked about regarding the
inevitability of an American and/or Israeli attack on Iran's
nuclear enrichment sites and military facilities. Elaborating any further on the pros and
cons of such an eventuality at this time is no more than regurgitating the old
stuff. I have been among a very few observers and
analysts who continue to believe that, regardless of the heightened rhetoric,
such an attack is extremely unlikely.
After listening to the President's recent utterances, perhaps
we few are being too optimistic.
At this point in the game, the aim of the analyst should not
be to prove himself or herself a good observer, an astute critic or a brilliant
prognosticator, hoping to be discovered by some think tank and offered a
position. Short of some self-gratification, it ultimately makes no difference
how brilliant speakers, writers or columnists are if their views have no
consequential effect on the conduct of government policies. Anti war
websites, peace activist organizations and dissent
movements will continue to voice their opinions, one mayhem after another,
gaining more sympathizers from the crowds that share many of their views in the
first place. But are their efforts effective in bringing about any meaningful
change in government policies before
such policies go into action? Thus far, the opponents of disastrous government
policies have gained some public sympathy and a position in the limelight only
to condemn those policies after the
With that in mind, let us just assume that my predictions
shall prove incorrect and an attack on the Iranian targets by the American
forces or the Israelis (it is the same thing, anyway!) will take place before
George W. leaves office.
This grand chess game is now entering its most crucial stage,
where a wrong move could prove disastrous for either player, especially for the
Iranians. Everybody, including Iran's own military elite, knows that
Iran is no match for the
power of the United
States. That does not mean, however, that any attack,
no matter how limited or surgical, whether on the Revolutionary Guards' bases
near the Iraqi border or on Iran's nuclear facilities and other strategic
targets, will be left without a response from Iran.
Here lies the crucial point: how such confrontation would
evolve and, perhaps, its effects on the entire configuration of the future
Middle East, will depend on how the Islamic
Republic of Iran would react to this provocation.
And, provocation seems to be the
initial phase of what might lead to a full fledged war in the region.
In addition to ever louder unsupported accusations against
Iran for allegedly interfering in Iraq to destabilize the region and do things
that "kill Americans"
(the newly coined buzz phrase), orders have already been given by the Commander
in Chief for the American troops to actively confront the Iranian troublemakers
in Iraq. Along Iran's
frontier areas, from the Kurdish regions in the northwest, all the way to the
Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan's Baluchi areas in the southeast, insurgents
backed by the American, Israeli and British special units have been carrying out
sabotage missions to create mayhem inside Iran.
At the same time, dissident activists inside
Iran are being encouraged by outside
interests to increase their activities toward a regime change, a tactic that has
had the opposite effect by legitimizing the regime's hardening resolve to
further hush the voices of opposition and to discourage long overdue reforms.
All that, plus harassment and intimidation of Iranian
political staff in Iraq, as
well as other political and economic pressures against the Islamic Republic,
seem to be aimed at provoking Iran to react in a more aggressive
manner, blatantly enough, it is clearly hoped, to justify a direct military
response by the American forces in the region. This strategy has thus far failed
to push Iran toward the hoped-for reaction.
How long it will be before the war provocateurs get tired of their needling
tactics and decide to strike Iran militarily is now the question.
The latest charade, about
an Iranian American arrested for allegedly attempting to purchase submachine
guns for shipment to Iran via
Dubai, is so
transparently amateurish that it insults one's intelligence. The culprit has
declared that he "intended to ship them to a faction in Iran's
government that is aligned with a former president and political foe of Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad." Is this charade supposed to raise suspicions and create a new
division among Iran's leadership? Give me a break!!
Are we to believe that submachine guns and night vision goggles are not readily
available in black markets all over the world? Wouldn't it be insane to attempt
to buy weapons in the United
States for shipment to Iran via Dubai under the careful scrutiny of all our
Up to this point the Iranian leaders have managed this grand
game of chess remarkably well. While continuing their chest thumping and
belligerent defiance against the pressures from the United States,
efforts have successfully been made to keep a window open for a potential
rapprochement with the West. The result has been that Iran is viewed globally - with the exception of
the United States and
Israel - as an innocent victim of a
superpower's hegemonic imperialism that regards the Islamic Republic as a
stubborn nuisance in its way to total regional domination.
The Europeans and other non Anglo-Saxon countries who stand to
enjoy highly profitable commercial relationships with Iran find America's demands to impose more severe economic
sanctions against Iran counter to their own best
interests. In spite of this, stricter trade sanctions might be imposed against
Iran in order to push
Iran closer to the breaking point by
viewing these sanctions as a de facto economic embargo and a declaration of war
against its sovereignty.
Should the master chess players in Iran continue to refrain
from a blatant counteraction, chances of some military assault on that country
will increase, hoping to force Tehran to strike back at the American forces in
the region or, better yet, at Israeli targets. Then all hell, it is hoped, will
break loose - meaning a full scale
attack against Iran's military and strategic infrastructure and consequently
Iran's all-out struggle to cause as much trouble for the United States and its
regional allies, especially Israel, as it can.
There are observers who believe that the only issue still
being debated at the Pentagon is
whether the initial strike against the Iranian targets should be limited, i.e.,
surgical, or a full scale assault that would destroy some 1200 targets
throughout the country, not allowing any time for Iran to react.
But even in the aftermath of a full scale aerial attack with
missiles and long range bombers dropping bunker-busters and low-yield nuclear
devices, enough will remain of Iran's arsenal to inflict a great deal of pain to
the aggressors regionally. And that is only in the short-term.
The long-term effects of an attack on Iran would be
too mind boggling to delve into in this writing. Of one thing I have little
doubt, however; that rather than fragmenting the Iranian public along political,
ethnic or religious party lines and bringing about any regime change, an attack
on Iran would unite the
nation under one flag, just as was the case when Saddam's forces invaded an even
less consolidated Iran in 1980.
I cannot accept for one second that the political strategists
who drew up the blueprints for the invasion of Iraq to be followed by attacking
Iran and, perhaps, Syria, truly believed that a blitzkrieg against Saddam
Hussein's Iraq would put the scare in everyone's heart in the region, bring down
uncooperative regimes leading to a peaceful transition toward compliant,
pro-Western democracies. This line of propaganda bull is sadly what continues to
energize George W. Bush to "stay the course", in spite of all the evidence
against his convictions.
It would be quite na´ve to think that the masterminds who are
now targeting Iran, are not aware or indeed fully expecting that
attacking Iran would create a regional turbulence that would guarantee a
decades-long environment of instability for the region, compelling the United
States to commit to a full-scale military presence to protect the West's
interests in the region's oil and, above all, to safeguard Israel.
The obvious question is: How would the assured destruction of
oil production facilities and the disruption of loading terminals and shipping
lanes resulting from such a war improve West's access to the Middle East oil? Also, how might it be less advantageous
for the Western oil markets to procure that oil from the open sources floating
on the world's oceans in giant supertankers, when the oil producing states,
Iran and Iraq, must
export their oil in order to fuel their devastated economies - and all that
without having to go to war?
With regard to Iran's nuclear dossier; who're we
kidding? A-There has been no evidence that Iran's nuclear projects have been
anything but what Iran has declared, all within its rights within the NPT
agreements and under the monitoring eyes of the IAEA. B-Even the tone of the US
Administration has changed, from charging Iran with unlawfully pursuing nuclear
weapons development, to now trying to gain the "technology that might lead to"
weapons development! And, C- Even if Iran were to become a nuclear power in,
say, five to ten years, how would that be construed as an "existential threat"
to Israel? Any preemptive nuclear attack on Israel by a nuclear Iran would not only cause far more damage to the
Palestinian populations which Iran supposedly defends, a guaranteed retaliatory
attack by Israel and the
United States would destroy
Iran beyond recovery. Any real threat
coming from a nuclear-armed Iran would be as a response to an attack upon its
soil by another nuclear-armed power, such as Israel or even the United
States forces in the region.
We are, therefore, left with but one conclusion:
America is fighting
Neither the United
States, definitely not Iran, nor the Middle
East region as a whole, would stand to gain by a military attack on
the Iranian soil. It would be a lose-lose situation all the way around. Yet we
have powerful influence peddlers in Washington
pushing for a military attack upon Iran. Even many among the Pentagon
top brass have threatened to resign should such an attack take place. The State
Department has been insisting on a diplomatic course to defuse this heightening
tension being fueled by the Vice President and his neoconservative advisors and
the powerful Israeli moles within the Administration and the US Congress.
Clearly, there is only one entity that does stand to benefit
in an environment of instability and mayhem in the Middle
East. Longer-term preoccupation of the United States in the affairs of the Middle East
equates to America's
continuous military presence in the region, which also entails increasing
pressures on Israel's
antagonists such as Iran,
Syria and Lebanon. In this
environment of war and threats of war, Israel stands to gain in its usual role as a
parasitic dependant of the United States by receiving massive
military and economic aid, literally on demand, while the so-called Roadmap to
Peace and the tragic fate of the Palestinians are put on hold indefinitely.
Israel would hate to have the Iranian regime
replaced with a moderate new leadership that would open the door to a meaningful
rapprochement with the United
States. A new or a more compliant
Iran might mean a less
menacing Hezbollah in Lebanon
and even a more cooperative Syria. A more friendly
Iran might also mean less of
a concern over the Shi'a dominated Iraq, which would expedite the
removal of the American armed forces from the region.
None of these developments would sit well with the Israelis. A
calmer Middle East would bring the focus of the international community,
especially the United States'
attention, to the issue of Palestine, something that the Israelis would do
anything to avoid. Up till now, they have managed to have the cake and eat it
too, thanks to their lobbying power and the allegiance of America's political
elite such as Joe Lieberman, Tom Lantos and other Zionist moles, as well as the
Bible toting Christian Zionists like Pastor John Hagee and his intellectually
challenged following, who would trade the interests of their country for their
personal passions or their primitive fundamentalism.
The only thing that might spoil these plans in the aftermath
of a military strike against Iran is the almost impossible
decision by the Iranians to not respond or retaliate! Could the Iranian
leadership maintain enough internal calm and resolve to refrain from reacting as
everyone expects? Only the appearance of the "Mahdi", the Shi'a
Imam-in-Occultation, or perhaps a resurrected Ayatollah Khomeini, might have
enough charisma to convince the Iranian nation to remain calm after an assault
on the homeland. No matter how limited or wide scale an attack on
Iran, the people would expect, indeed
demand, a response by their government. What miracle would convince the Iranian
nation of the advantages of a non-response to an act of war?
Just imagine that, after the missile strikes and the
bombardments of Iran's strategic targets, the Iranian
leaders order the military and the Revolutionary Guards to "stand down". While
the anti American and anti Israeli insurgencies increase in Iraq, Lebanon,
Palestine, and even Afghanistan, Iran does not launch a counter attack against
the American forces in the region and the shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf
remain open. The result of such inaction would be an immediate international
outcry against the aggressor and a flood of sympathy for the beleaguered
Iran. It is likely, in such an event,
that the European Union would distance itself from the United States and open full-scale economic and
trade relations with Iran. Others, such as
Russia, China, India and even Japan
would take advantage of this sea change.
America is too big and economically
powerful to suffer any consequential damages from its geopolitical mistakes. For
Israel, however, failure to
accomplish its diabolical mission could be destiny-making. Israel might
simply be forced to abandon its self-righteously aggressive behavior and accept
its rightful position in the international community of civilized
It remains to be seen how Iran's master
chess players maneuver their pieces to avoid the pitfall whose fire could burn
friend and foe. Perhaps Mr. Ahmadinejad's premonitions about the coming of the
Mahdi might be taken as a sign that even he believes only a miracle could
protect his nation against America's war machine hijacked by