Reuters is reporting this morning that Iran says may hit Western warships if attacked by Israel:
Iran’s defence minister warned on Tuesday that the Islamic Republic could strike back at Western warships in the Gulf if it were attacked, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
“The Westerners know well that the existence of these warships in the Persian Gulf serve as the best operational targets for Iran if they should want to undertake any military action against Iran,” Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi said.
First, it’s important to note that the Reuters headline is a bit disingenuous based on Vahidi’s statement, in which he points out that the best operational targets are Western war ships, but does not directly threaten a response on the West in the event of an Israeli action. Is it propaganda or conspiracy? We’ll let you make that judgment.
In a recent analysis of the probability of certain ‘doomsday’ events occurring, Jim Willie suggested that the possibility that Israel will attack Iran’s nuclear facilities is about 10%. How he came to this conclusion is not exactly clear, but we can assume that an attack is not outside the realm of possibility in 2010.
The precedence for attacking whether or not WMD exist has already been set. Regardless of whether or not the Iranians intend to manufacture nuclear weapons, it is clear that Israel and the US believe that this is the eventual goal, and that Iran will be able to accomplish this production within the next twelve months.
With that in mind, one must consider that Israel has their justification to launch an attack if they so choose.
Will they go it alone? In a previous article, we pointed out that an Israeli general said that if the intention is to completely disarm Iran’s nuclear capabilities, America would have to be involved in the initial attack.
There are several ways the US could be “involved,” and what it boils down to is how our involvement, or non-involvement, is perceived by Iran’ leaders.
- We allow the Israelis to fly over Iraq on their way to bomb Iran. We control the airspace over Iraq, and by allowing Israel to fly over Iraq it can and will be perceived as US involvement. Whether or not Israel will request permission to do so is irrelevant, because it would be a stretch to suggest that President Obama will shoot down any Israeli planes to defend Iraqi airspace. So, we can assume, as the Iranians certainly will, that any attack coming in over Iraq is sanctioned by the USA.
- We bilaterally launch an attack on Iran in concert with the Israelis. This, of course, is direct action, and the Iranians will assume they are at war with Israel and the USA.
- The Israelis launch an attack on Iran but fly over Syria and Turkey to do it. I am not a military strategist, so this is merely a hypothetical, but it has also been suggested by Charles Krauthammer. If an attack happened in this manner, it is likely because President Obama refused to assist with direct, and even indirect, military action and Israel is forced to go it alone. This is probably the only scenario in which Iran would not immediately assume US involvement, and it is also the only scenario in which the US could deny any involvement.
As a peace loving American, I believe the only time the US should engage in war is when we are under direct threat. If Iran does pose a nuclear threat, in that they are building nuclear weapons, and it has been confirmed, then by all means, bombs away! But, most of the American public has lost trust in the WMD argument, so finding support and convincing Americans to engage in yet another war may be difficult.
While half of America may have been against the war in Iraq, inquiring minds must consider if those same Americans will be against a war in Iran if their favored President makes the justification to take action. It’s pretty clear that the right will support an action against Iran, as they did in Iraq and Afghanistan, so about 50% of people are on board almost automatically. The other 50% now have someone who they can “believe in,” and one must think that most of these followers will support the President. So, getting the people on board, especially with the aid of mainstream media, should not be that difficult of a task.
The question really boils down to whether or not Israel chooses to attack, and how the attack is played out.
The US is already entangled in “two” wars in the middle east, but I suspect history will consider this as one widespread military action. With the involvement of Iran in the conflict, the war in the middle east can easily spread to other nations, including Pakistan, India and parts of Asia.
The other consideration to make is oil. For now, we are at war because our nation was attack by terrorists. The war is driven by politics and ideology, more or less. But the middle east has a very important natural resource, which is heavily consumed not by just the US, but China and other emerging nations as well. Some reports suggest that oil reserves have reached a peak and from this point forward, there will be a decline on the supply side, and eventually, the oil will run out. If the US is engaged in a war, and then becomes an occupier in not just Iran and Afghanistan, but throughout the middle east, we would essentially control oil flows in and out of the entire region. The Chinese will be none to pleased about this development. Whether this would lead to a military response would be pure speculation, but throughout history, wars have been fought for resources and wealth.
Considering the other dynamics at play, including a global economy that continues to deteriorate and a US dollar that may collapse and subsequently destroy the value of the trillions in bonds held by the Chinese, we can see how tempers across the world could flare.
The middle east, like Europe in the early 1910’s, is a powder keg. Even a single, seemingly meaningless event, could detonate the whole thing.
Of course the other argument is that mankind has changed, and things are different this time. No one wants to go to war, so this is just speculation, conjecture and unreality. Our leaders will work all of this out – because they care!
I could see Georgia reappearing in an unilateral effort by Israel.
This war is really a continuation of the holy wars that began so many thousands of years ago. And unfortunately, it appears that religion has shown itself to be the biggest catalyst of hatred that the human race will ever see. Check this out: http://pltcldscsn.blogspot.com/2009/12/world-war-iii.html
Not to kick off the religion argument, but communist/totalitarian atheist governments have killed more in the 20th century than has religion…
Not that this excuses either.Â My point is that by a large margin, the biggest threat to mankind is oppressive government.
Barry McGuire sang a song at woodstock back in 1969, called “eve of destruction”. well here we are in 2010 with Iran saber rattling, Â get ready for oil and gas to go way way up. by gas i mean gasolineÂ and natural gas too.Â Â start getting seeds ready forÂ plant.Â A war with Iran could easily be the start of WWWIII.
AÂ great post and analysis Marc, but like you, I am wondering how Jim Willie etimated only a 10% chance that Israel will attack Iran. It is not a question of “if'” Israel will attack Iran; its a question of “when”. ThatÂ WILL happen, and it willÂ probably occur soon after Iran goes nuclear and before they can fit warheads onto their long range missiles.Â That is, shortly after Iran tests its bomb. Iran does intend to make a bomb and, frankly, it is their right to do so under international law. Wouldn’t you want that capability if 5 or 6 of your neighbors had that capability? Its a no brainer. Iran will develop a bomb and Israel will totally destroy the Iranian capacity to make war by a Nuclear (nutron) missile strike that destroys every major military industrial complex. There will be no surgical strike. The strike will be SO overwhelming that all Arabs nations will come to the peace table.
The F-16’s?Â They are just window dressing.
Don’t believe the hype about an F-16 aerial attack by Israel. That is misinformation. The real attack will come by submarine and it will be overwelming. If Israel is to attack Iran, it must destroy any possibility of retalliation. It must completely destroy the Iranian ability to make war for decades. That cannot be accomplished by an aerial bombardment by F-16’s.
Israel has three Soviet nuclear missile submarines which it purchased after the collapse of the USSR, andÂ refitted. It also has two, brandÂ new, German submarines designed for cruise missiles, and deployingÂ “delta forces”.Â (Just so you know where our $3 billion in yearly aid really goes)
To David Scott: David if you believe this Muslim insurrection that has been occuring in the Middle East is about religon, I have a Bridge To Nowhere in Alaska I would like to sell you. Since the collapse of the Iron Hand of the Soviet Union, most of the “break away republics” are either in outright civil war, or they have insurgents trying to overthrow the elected governments. Why? MONEY. Always follow the MONEY David.Â All of these Central Asian counties are awash in oil and gas. These wars and the war against the infidels (thats US) are merely a smoke screen for the real purpose of desiring to control these governments and establishing Muslim law. If you control the government you control the resources at a time whenÂ these resourcesÂ are recognized by the marketplace as being finite.
Do you think the uprising in Ahborijan some years ago was aboutÂ having a Muslim State? No, David, it was about having control over 10,000 oil and gas wells that were pumping 24 hours a day. Follow theÂ MONEY David, thats why people want power.Â And that why these “clerics” want to control the governments of Irag, Iran, Tajikastan. Afganistan, and others. By creating a straw man enemy like the USA they can rally others around themselves against a common enemy. Thats the oldest trick in the world.
Today that common enemy for Western civilization is “Global Warming” and is beingÂ used by the bankers, progressives, and Council of Foreign Relations to control the politics, power, and the MONEY!!! Thats why they want to make us slaves, David. They want the MONEY!
Iranian governance has been looking a little wobbly of late. A global double-dip in economic activity, and by extension oil prices, will likely further undermine their ‘popular’ support. So I’m a wait & see guy on Iran.
Otherwise, I’m in agreement with zukadu as to any Iranian nuke test. If they successfully test a bomb, I would expect the U.S. will, in the immortal words of Lt. Colonel Bill Kilgore, “Bomb ’em back to the Stone Age….”, notwithstanding Iran’s inventory of Sunburn anti-ship missles. Iran knows this. They fought a stalemate conflict with Iraq for a decade and then watched the U.S. crush the Iraqi military in 6 weeks. They won’t invite that with absurdly rash behavior. Their prime objective is to remain in power. I expect this to remain a low-grade conflict of political calculus. If I’m wrong,the S really will HTF.
Zukadu-Â The middle estern countries( the Ottoman Empire ) has been invaded for centuries from just about everyone on the planet. The US is not a “straw man “. Western andÂ European imperialism has been the problem for them forever. It is about money. The clerics and fundamentelist Muslims won’t buy into the NWO.Â This is theÂ Inquasition on steroids.I can’t believe people don’t see thru this.Â Zionism is just another form of expansionistÂ racism.Â Iran deserves the right to the same technology as any other country.Â Â Â
To Paul McDonald:Â I am not disputing historical fact or the adventures of the CIA and American Military-Industrial Complex to dominate the world and make it into our image. I am just saying that it is all about the money and if you have one, you have the other, but the goal is MONEY and the Clerics are using the US as an outside common enemy to gain power BASED upon the history that you describe.
My comments are not to just Ms. Zukadu, but to the millions of “folks” (a Bushism) whoÂ buy theÂ demonomization ofÂ a diffreant culture who has a right to exist in their own paradigm. This seems to to be the classic chicken or the egg question. The middle East was, for the best of our knowledge to date , the geographical origin of our race ( human). You might research Mesopatamia or Sumarian history.These folks have had a working society since before the Pharoes of Egypt. Who are we to impose our ideas of global corportism/democracy on any nation?Â Â Â Â
Fundamentalism, whether Muslim, Christian, Catholic, or whatever,Â has always been a way ofÂ controling a population. This is what “Clerics”or “Bishops” do. TheÂ US may have beenÂ an “outside” enemy until we occuppied, with military bases over some 700-800 in most every region of the world. We, the US and it’s tax paying “enabilers”are like the Borg ( from Star Track ) ” You will be assimilated, resistance is futile”Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
youÂ saidÂ itÂ ,Â noÂ truerÂ wordsÂ spokenÂ onÂ thisÂ blog,Â orÂ anyÂ other.