FRIHOSTFORUMSSEARCHFAQTOSBLOGSCOMPETITIONS
You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!


Iran...war looming ?





Bikerman
Up until recently I have been convinced that the US would not launch another 'pre-emptive' war in the Middle East in the near future. The reasons for the conviction were political and practical. Politically the Iraq invasion has already become a liability for Bush and practically the US is in a poor position to launch any sort of ground attack on another target.

The target of choice, of course, is Iran. Recently I have began to wonder if my conviction is rather too optimistic. In particular there have been several recent moves that could indicate that Bush is indeed determined to attack Iran before his term in office is over.

Firstly, the IAEA, angrily complained to the US administration (Washington post of 14 September 2006 – p. A17) about a recent Congressional committee report on Iran's capabilities, calling parts of the document "outrageous and dishonest" and offering evidence to refute its central claims. This is disturbingly similar to the same gambit before the Iraq invasion and might indicate that the PR machine is being gradually wound up to a frenzy of misinformation as it was before the Iraq war.
Next we have the current US war games exercise in the Gulf known as the PSI (Proliferation Security Initiative), the exercise will take place tomorrow in the gulf right opposite Iran using a Bahranian port currently leased to the US. The exercise is apparently designed to test and perfect an interception protocol planned for use in preventing nuclear materials getting into Iranian hands. The legal basis for this is unclear since the UN has not issued any mandate which would allow the interception of foreign shipping in international waters. Resolution 1718, aimed at Korea, gives no new legal authority to the US or it's allies in this respect. According to one source :
Quote:
The legal component is an integral part of the “Leading Edge” exercise as PSI participants try to work out on what grounds they can board the target vessel. If, for example, the ship is flagged by Cyprus or Panama, which have signed on to the PSI commitments, then other PSI participants would have the right to intercept.

Thirdly there is the recent very obvious and deliberate linking of Iran with Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian militant groups by Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns. This certainly appears as though the Bush administration is preparing the ground for a military attack on Iran, without explicit congressional or U.N. approval, by blurring distinctions among these countries and organizations.
As Kevin Martin points out in the Washington Times
Quote:
If they can all be portrayed as enemies in the "global war on terror," President Bush could cite his authority to attack them in the name of prosecuting said "war" under previous congressional resolutions. So he could start a war that could metastasize into a regional conflagration, or possibly even World War III, essentially on his own say-so.

http://washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20061004-090354-4806r_page2.htm


Worrying times I fear. If Bush is indeed set on this action then I think a few things can be expected over the coming months:

1) A constant and increasing clamour from Israel about the nuclear threat from Iran.
2) An increasingly shrill chorus from the US and UK pointing out Iranian WMD capability - in essence a repeat of the Iraq propoganda in the months before invasion. This will probably include more fabricated, distorted and exaggerated 'dossiers' and intelligence reports indicating a WMD threat from Iran - again in the same mold as the pre 2003 invasion of Iraq.
3) An increasing focus on Ayatollah Khamenei as the 'evil mullah' threatening the west with fundamentalist Islamic terror. One can be almost certain that the recent fatwa issued by Khamenei (in which he says that nuclear weapons are not compatible with Islamic law, with the Shia belief system that he is responsible for). Neither will there be much emphasis on the fact that in 2003 he actually reached out to the Bush administration via the Swiss embassy and said, “Look, we would like to normalize relations with the United States. We’d like to initiate a process that leads to a peace treaty between Israel and Iran.” What we will see is an increasing demonisation of Khameni. (I'm willing to make a small wager that few, if any readers knew anything about the Fatwa or the 2003 offer).


Here is a link to the text of the speech announcing the Fatwa

The 2003 story was not picked up by much of the mainstream media so I have had to reference sources from partial (anti-war) sites. I have, however, sought to use the most authoritative of these, including an article by Scott Ritter who was a weapons inspector for the UN from 1991-1998.

http://www.antiwar.com/orig/porter.php?articleid=8778
http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/200

This would seem to be a golden chance for progress on the real issues that was deliberately spurned by the US. It is no surprise. therefore, that soon after the offer, Iran hardened it's position and began the journey which led to the current dangerous situation.

Regards
Chris.
S3nd K3ys
Bikerman wrote:

[i]1) A constant and increasing clamour from Israel about the nuclear threat from Iran.


Iran is a real and viable threat to Israel. They have said it themselves and I don't doubt them.

Quote:
2) An increasingly shrill chorus from the US and UK pointing out Iranian WMD capability - in essence a repeat of the Iraq propoganda in the months before invasion. This will probably include more fabricated, distorted and exaggerated 'dossiers' and intelligence reports indicating a WMD threat from Iran - again in the same mold as the pre 2003 invasion of Iraq.


If you're insinuating that the countries that supported action against Iraq were lying, please just come out and say so, and then put up some proof. Otherwise, stop making claims you can't back up. (I haven't seen ANYONE back up their claim that Bushco lied about the WMD program, not to mention the fact that WMD was only one of many reasons for going there and that was clearly stated by Bushco.) I personally believe Iran is a real threat with WMD and would support an invasion. See item 1 above... I support Israel's right to exist.

Quote:
3) An increasing focus on Ayatollah Khamenei as the 'evil mullah' threatening the west with fundamentalist Islamic terror.


You mean this guy??

Quote:
Khamenei claims that "human rights, are a weapon in the hands of our enemies to fight Islam."


Quote:
Ayatollah Khamenei is known for his radical anti-Western policies. He has repeatedly denounced the idea of talks with the United States.


Quote:
In February 2004 Parliament elections, the Council of Guardians banned thousands of candidates, including most of the reformist members of the parliament and all the candidates of the Islamic Iran Participation Front party from running. This led to a win by the conservatives of at least 70% of the seats.


And the list goes on. (Most quotes taken from Answers.com)
Bikerman
S3nd K3ys wrote:

Iran is a real and viable threat to Israel. They have said it themselves and I don't doubt them.

I do. The 2003 offer is one piece of evidence and the hyping of the 2005 statement about 'wiping Israel from the earth' is another. Analysts knew fine well that the statement by Khamenei was for internal consumption and not a foreign policy statement. Rather similar, in fact, to statements by US presidents in a similar vein. For example his 2002 state of the union address which contained the following :
Quote:
States like these (Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq), and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.
(completely bogus, of course, since Iran had no nuclear plans at the time and Iraq was a basket-case economically and militaril).
We also get
Quote:
Most of the 19 men who hijacked planes on September the 11th were trained in Afghanistan's camps, and so were tens of thousands of others.
with no evidence (either then or since) for the claim and absolutely no mention that 17 of the 19 were Saudi Arabian.
All politicians play the game of talking tough to domestic audiences, and Khamenei is no different.
The idea, however, that a pre-nuclear Iran could seriously menace a completely nuclear Israel is fantasy.
Quote:
If you're insinuating that the countries that supported action against Iraq were lying, please just come out and say so, and then put up some proof. Otherwise, stop making claims you can't back up.
I'm not insinuating anything - I never knowingly do. What I'm doing is STATING it. I would have thought that you know me well enough by now to realise that I try to avoid making unsubstantiated claims and I don't knowingly use inaccurate references or misquote sources.
I will, as usual, be quite happy to provide my sources and references.

Two dodgy dossiers here in the UK are already in the public domain. You can check them out in the Butler whitewash which followed the death of weapons inspector David Kelly. I include a broadsheet summary of the story and the BBC response to the Butler whitewash for context and background.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/butler/story/0,,1263877,00.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3892809.stm
http://camres.frih.net/resources/politics/butler.pdf
Quote:

(I haven't seen ANYONE back up their claim that Bushco lied about the WMD program, not to mention the fact that WMD was only one of many reasons for going there and that was clearly stated by Bushco.) I personally believe Iran is a real threat with WMD and would support an invasion. See item 1 above... I support Israel's right to exist.

Well I hope that you have now seen me back up that claim, but if you wish for more source material then please say so as there are several other authoratitive documents available for perusal. Blair lied repeatedly during the build-up and I don't think any serious commentator even bothers to challenge the fact any more since it is obvious in the slow trickle of documents and reports that have come into the public domain over the last 3 years. He said, for example, that no decision had yet been made, right up until the Commons vote in March 2003. Contrast that with the recent revelations in the Washington Post that:
Quote:
Seven months before the invasion of Iraq, the head of British foreign intelligence reported to Prime Minister Tony Blair that President Bush wanted to topple Saddam Hussein by military action and warned that in Washington intelligence was "being fixed around the policy," according to notes of a July 23, 2002, meeting with Blair at No. 10 Downing Street.
"Military action was now seen as inevitable," said the notes, summarizing a report by Richard Dearlove, then head of MI6, British intelligence, who had just returned from consultations in Washington along with other senior British officials. Dearlove went on, "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD [weapons of mass destruction]. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."


What you have is blatent, bare faced (and largely unrepentant) lies from Blair over the whole buildup period of around 12 months.

Regime change was expressly ruled out by Blair several times as a reason for invasion. He said so many times in terms, for example:
Quote:
I have never put our justification for action as regime change. We have to act within the terms set out in Resolution 1441. That is our legal base.

and
Quote:
To those who say we are rushing to war, I say this. We are now 12 years after Saddam was first told by the UN to disarm; nearly 6 months after President Bush made his speech to the UN accepting the UN route to disarmament; nearly 4 months on from Resolution 1441; and even now today we are offering Saddam the prospect of voluntary disarmament through the UN.I detest his regime. But even now he can save it by complying with the UN's demand. Even now, we are prepared to go the extra step to achieve disarmament peacefully.

(Saddam, of course, DID comply with the UN demand, but the die was long since cast and a few more lies didn't seem to bother TB.)

As for Iran and the threat.
1) Iran has no WMD currently and best estimates put the development of a bomb at least 3-5 years in the future. Israel has several nukes, on the other hand. Now which of those two states has invaded neighbours and engaged in military action against those neighbours in the last (say) decade ? Iran ?
I have always supported Israel's right to exist and, more, the right to security and peace within it's borders. There is no argument from me there even though I oppose non-secular states on principle (including Iran, Israel and other clerically based regimes).
There has been no threat to Israel for over 2 decades since the US-Kissinger doctrine was enacted and the US threw it's full military and economic might behing Israel. The notion of this small weak state being threatened by the big Arab bullies is a fantasy created by the US-Israel in order to justify the continued failure to comply with international will and UN resolutions regarding Palestinian territories. The myth was used recently to justify invading Lebanon once again and will be trotted out anytime Israel needs to engage on a course of military aggression in the future.
(As I have repeatedly said before, I will not deal with unattributed 'quotes' or references.)
Quote:
And the list goes on. (Most quotes taken from answers.com)


Hmm....perhaps and perhaps not. Attribute or link the quotes and then I will take them seriously. Otherwise not.

Chris.

Further reading for the interested

The future war with Iran predicted beforehand in detail
Nuclear Chicken
Israel starts the hype A more honest appraisal
Why did the US give Iran the Bomb?
mephisto73
It is very likely that the US will take action against Iran, but not for the official reasons, which are mostly fantasy and lies, just like the build-up prior to the invasion of Iraq. A much more plausible explanation (of several) is given in the article linked below. Iran has announced an oil bourse that will trade oil, not in dollars, but in euro. In order to sustain the faltering US economy US cannot allow this to happen, as it would speed the collapse of the US economy.


http://www.energybulletin.net/12125.html
Bikerman
Interesting point. I'm not convinced, however, that this will prompt the war in itself. The reason is that Iranian Oil, though important, is not the only consideration.
There is also the stability of the large SA reserves to secure as well as those of Iraq.
Oe figure for the amount of reseves is :
Arabia (25%), Iraq (11%), Iran (8%), UAE (9%), Kuwait (9%), and Libya (2%). (measured as a percentage of global estimated oil reseves).
SA is clearly the biggest player by a way and, of course, the US took the opportunity of the last war to position troops there. SA is largely Wahhabi Muslim by population wheras Iraq is majority Shi'a as is Iran. The nightmare scenario for Washington is an alliance between Iran and Iraq which would destablilse SA where the minority Shi'ites feel oppressed and have strong ties to Baghdad and Tehran. This would form a powerful Shi'ite block which would then control the vast majority of the remaining oil supplies globally and would not be sympathetic to the US.
Moonspider
I saw the same article at http://www.oilempire.us/iran.html. (Yes, one might consider it unusual for someone as conservative as myself reading such a left-wing website. But, I try to keep up with various points of view. Wink)

Another article appears here: http://www.worldpress.org/Mideast/2314.cfm. I found this one a little more balanced and less alarmist in either direction.

I believe the economic reasoning intriguing, but don't credit it entirely even though I concede it may play a role. As the latter article stated, the argument never really gained momentum until after WMDs were not found. (However, if there is evidence the argument existed before the war, I am sure someone will point it out to me. Wink)

The notion that the entire world would suddenly rollover on the United States just given the opportunity is far fetched, in my opinion. (It was also the subject of poor 1981 motion picture starring Jane Fonda and Kris Kristofferson. See Rollover) A sudden collapse of the U.S. economy would have disastrous effects globally.

Respectfully,
M
Bikerman
Moonspider wrote:

I believe the economic reasoning intriguing, but don't credit it entirely even though I concede it may play a role. As the latter article stated, the argument never really gained momentum until after WMDs were not found. (However, if there is evidence the argument existed before the war, I am sure someone will point it out to me. Wink)

Untrue completely at the UK end of things. WMD were always questioned (not so much existence as quantity and threat) and the press were on it fairly quickly since Blair had made several promises on specifics unlike Bush. Wink
Quote:

The notion that the entire world would suddenly rollover on the United States just given the opportunity is far fetched, in my opinion. (It was also the subject of poor 1981 motion picture starring Jane Fonda and Kris Kristofferson. See Rollover) A sudden collapse of the U.S. economy would have disastrous effects globally.

Wasn't suggesting that in particular as a possible future, more suggesting the way that the more radical neo-con fruit-loops will see, interpret and plan.

You have to bear in mind that Wolfowitch, Douglas Feith, Cheney and Rumsfelt are the sort of loony tunes who would have been trots or at least revolutionary leninists in their youth and haven't really changed much, other than hard-left to hard-right...the technical political analysis is often good, the tactical and strategic thought is pretty ropey, the planning and execution abilities would be terrible, and wost of all the self-honesty and self-criticality and empathy/emotional intelligence almost non existent.

Regards
Chris
Moonspider
Although I’d hate to see it, I too would not be surprised to see a preemptive strike against Iran before the Bush administration leaves office. However, the primary reason I see it occurring is the Israeli wild card.

Israel sees Iran as a more immediate threat than even most conservatives in the United States, and thus might be tempted to launch a preemptive strike to delay any nuclear weapons capability. The problem with this is two-fold, IMHO.

1. An Israeli attack upon Iran could spark a larger war enveloping at least Syria and the subnational group of Hezbollah in Lebanon.
2. Israel does not possess the capability to do substantial damage to the Iranian program, unlike their 1981 strike against the Iraq facility.

I think this less likely given some of the internal politics of Israel currently. However, should it look inevitable that Israel is about to launch a strike and cannot be talked out of it, a U.S. President (if not Bush but even a later Democrat or Republican), might decide to attack Iran in order to prevent Israel from doing so. A U.S. attack upon Iran’s nuclear facilities would have less chance of sparking a larger war in the Middle East (especially another Arab-Israeli War), and stands a much greater chance of inflicting significant damage upon the Iranian nuclear program.

That being said, I would also not be surprised to see a limited U.S. strike against Iran not involving Iran’s nuclear program. An operation similar to 1988’s Operation Praying Mantis would not be improbable, if a reason emerged to take the Iranian military down a notch. This would limit Iran’s ability to project power into the Persian Gulf, as many of Iran’s recent military exercises have tried to exhibit.
Soulfire
With everyone (whom haven't been affected in any way by this war in Iraq, mind you) complaining about Iraq, I'm doubtful as to an attack on Iran in the near future.

To me, it would make more sense to attack Iran than be in Iraq - but that's only me, and now that we're in Iraq, we can't very well leave or our progress would collapse. We need to stick it to the end.
Moonspider
Soulfire wrote:
With everyone (whom haven't been affected in any way by this war in Iraq, mind you) complaining about Iraq, I'm doubtful as to an attack on Iran in the near future.

To me, it would make more sense to attack Iran than be in Iraq - but that's only me, and now that we're in Iraq, we can't very well leave or our progress would collapse. We need to stick it to the end.


I agree that we need to complete the job in Iraq. But I contend that we can strike Iran without disturbing much of our forces in Iraq. A campaign against Iran would consist of traditional air and naval forces coupled with special forces. No invasion necessary for the limited objectives of such a campaign.

The uncertainty would be in whether Iran would strike with missiles at U.S. bases in Iraq (or even invade Iraq to open a front).
Bikerman
Moonspider wrote:
Although I’d hate to see it, I too would not be surprised to see a preemptive strike against Iran before the Bush administration leaves office. However, the primary reason I see it occurring is the Israeli wild card.


Yes it's certainly a factor and the Israelis are currently winding themselves up into full whine mode with dire warnings of an iranian bomb within weeks or months....same old rubbish....The hypocrisy is tiring after a while...the only nuclear power in the region screaming because someone else might get some of what they have Smile
Quote:

Israel sees Iran as a more immediate threat than even most conservatives in the United States, and thus might be tempted to launch a preemptive strike to delay any nuclear weapons capability. The problem with this is two-fold, IMHO.

I'm not sure about that. I suspect that deep down most of the people who matter in Israel are well aware that Iran will not attack them in the foreseable future. Why would they ? Qudos ? They have it in spades already since they are now the regional power. They don't need or want a protracted showdown, let alone a war, with the US and unless the state department are blind deaf AND stupid then they are well aware of this. I think the Israelis are equally well aware but they have actually made the mistake of starting to believe their own bull (or perhaps they are just better poker-face gamblers than I give credit for).
I think an Israeli attack on Iran, however, is possible, very possible.
They would love to commit the US in the region fully and take the opportunity to further redraw the boundaries and put to bed any chance of a reasonable Palestinian settlement. This is the tactic that has been used constantly for the last 20 odd years and it has worked so why would they change ?
Quote:

1. An Israeli attack upon Iran could spark a larger war enveloping at least Syria and the subnational group of Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Agreed. That is, perhaps, a reasonably possible scenario in prospect at the moment. It would allow Israel/US to 'deal with' Hezbollah under the cover of dealing with Syria and trying to 'pacify' Lebanon. I'm sure this appears on several possible pathways on the current war-games scenarios in the Pentagon. The question is, what is the US saying to Israel behind closed doors? It is inconceivable that Israel would attempt anything if Bush has already said no and obviously meant it. Israel would need the US to commit major hardware and fairly major manpower quickly after any strike on Iran and without that prospect they will certainly not try it...
Quote:

2. Israel does not possess the capability to do substantial damage to the Iranian program, unlike their 1981 strike against the Iraq facility.

It does if it forces the US into play since they can then rely on the stand-off bombing that the US can provide, with the possible scarey prospect of tactical nukes being used in theatre. Again, Ritter thinks this is not only possible but probable. His sequence goes - US attack Iran with stand-off bombing. At that point Bush hopes the Iranians will rise up and revolt (fat chance - tried it with the Kurds and expected it with the Iraqis). Failing that Ritter sees an Iranian attack on Israel and then a tactical nuclear strike on Iran by the US. The frigthening thing is that it is quite a possible scenario.
Quote:

I think this less likely given some of the internal politics of Israel currently. However, should it look inevitable that Israel is about to launch a strike and cannot be talked out of it, a U.S. President (if not Bush but even a later Democrat or Republican), might decide to attack Iran in order to prevent Israel from doing so. A U.S. attack upon Iran’s nuclear facilities would have less chance of sparking a larger war in the Middle East (especially another Arab-Israeli War), and stands a much greater chance of inflicting significant damage upon the Iranian nuclear program.

Quite conceivable I think.
Quote:

That being said, I would also not be surprised to see a limited U.S. strike against Iran not involving Iran’s nuclear program. An operation similar to 1988’s Operation Praying Mantis would not be improbable, if a reason emerged to take the Iranian military down a notch. This would limit Iran’s ability to project power into the Persian Gulf, as many of Iran’s recent military exercises have tried to exhibit.


That is the scenario Scott Ritter is forecasting to be almost a certainty in the next few months. He was right about Iraq ahead of the game so one can only hope that he is wrong this time. The US is currently playing war games with UK and other European ships in the Gulf practicing interdiction and seizure protocols for a potential blockade of Iran (completely illegal of course but as we know that is so unimportant it is harldy worth even repeating.
I'm hoping that I'm wrong whilst feeling that the thing is currently about 40% the US has a go at Iran, 20-30% Israel does and 30-40% that nobody makes a significant move...Roll a d10 and pray for a 4 Smile

Chris.
Moonspider
Bikerman wrote:
That is the scenario Scott Ritter is forecasting to be almost a certainty in the next few months. He was right about Iraq ahead of the game so one can only hope that he is wrong this time. The US is currently playing war games with UK and other European ships in the Gulf practicing interdiction and seizure protocols for a potential blockade of Iran (completely illegal of course but as we know that is so unimportant it is harldy worth even repeating.
I'm hoping that I'm wrong whilst feeling that the thing is currently about 40% the US has a go at Iran, 20-30% Israel does and 30-40% that nobody makes a significant move...Roll a d10 and pray for a 4


I didn't know Scott Ritter and I agreed on so much! Wink

Seriously, I believe the navy strike scenario to be greater than 75% for a couple of reasons.

1. As the most recent Iranian exercises demonstrate, Iran is displaying an increased ability to project power and affect sea traffic through the Strait of Hormuz. The United States has a long precedent of protecting freedom of navigation rights through international waters, especially in the Persian Gulf region. (Remember that Operation Praying Mantis was executed in responsed to Iranian mining of traffic lanes.) The Untied States can ill afford to allow any rival nation in the region even the ability to disrupt oil traffic through those straits. (I believe about a quarter of the world's oil supplies flow through the Strait of Hormuz, including a significant portion of NATO member countries and Japan.)

2. Any later attack upon Iranian nuclear facilities, should such a scenario arise, would necessarily include the attack described above lest Iran attempt to disrupt oil flow in retaliation for the strike. Thus, a well orchestrated but limited naval campaign could set Iran's force projection capabilities back two to five years, helping to pave the way for a future strike, if necessary.

A third but (only slightly) lesser reason than the two above, is to test current U.S. naval technology and tactics against a modernizing foe. We don't get a chance to fight naval battles often, and this could provide a suitable laboratory. Operation Praying Mantis was used to do just that. (I won't go into details. Although it is probably unclassified, I hate to approach that grey line. Thus I simply encourage anyone who wants more details to do a search for the material.)

I'm afraid the probabilities are best represented by a d4 rather than a d10.

Respectfully,
M
Related topics
Will there be an US-Iran war?
[Opinion] Iraq War
Muslims Should be Thanking US for Iraq Invasion
Anti-Saddam tendancy of our president is a good thing.
President bush
Is this democracy?
Is your country on THIS map?
Saddam to be executed
America and Iran
the 9/11 truth
Status of conflict between India and Pakistan vs Taliban?
21 December 2012, End of the world?
now they'll try to accuse Iran (more evidence)
Justification for War in Iraq
Reply to topic    Frihost Forum Index -> Lifestyle and News -> Discuss World News

FRIHOST HOME | FAQ | TOS | ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SITE MAP
© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.