News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Battlefield Earth: Back to Tehran

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Battlefield Earth: Back to Tehran

As you may have noticed, I've been advocating a theory on the US strategy towards the Mideast that says that the US does not intend to usurp the region as a whole since that falls is beyond military and economic resources. What can be done, however, is to create enough instability and chaos in the region that the US can simply contain the firestorm without committing the massive troops and related resources necessary for outright occupation. ...

I believe that this has already been done in Iraq. While many lament the civil war there, and while it does pose dangers to US troops if there's a logistical slip-up, the anarchy in that country serves US long-term goals not only with regard to Iraq but also with regard to the region.

I still believe that Cheney/Rumsfeld are telling Bush that the situation inside Iraq is sufficiently contained--this means that even though there's some potential danger to US troops that danger can be addressed through pinpoint use of forces to defuse potential threat to the troops and divert it to the population at large.

It's doubtful that the insurgency can destroy the US military forces in any direct attack. And while the guerilla-style attacks are a nuisance, it's doubtful that anything outside a failure of will can move the US to leave the country. The insurgents know this and they're counting on political events in the US to destroy to pressure Bush into leaving Iraq.

Bush has already said that that will not happen during his term as President. It's even doubtful that a change in regime in the US presidency would change that- The Democrats seem quite open to the notion of staying the course in Iraq but under different management methods.

Until any change in goals or methods, it seems plausible that the Pentagon will continue to divide and contain the insurgency, retreating behind the fences of the large bases in Iraq that are probably impregnable to any offensive mounted by the insurgency. That itself would be something that could only happen were the civil war to somehow abate and the different factions overcome their differences to take on the US.

The latter issue is what al-Sadr has been advocating, but it's doubtful that he can accomplish that within the short-term. The long-term chances of that happening would mean some type of rapprochement between Sunni and Shia leaders, something that's historically been impossible to bring about.

Given this situation, it's extremely important to note that the situation represents what a motivated commander in the field would see as an opportunity to exploit. Looking not just at the battlefield as restricted to Iraq but including Iraq, Iran, and Syria, the situation in Iraq looks like a fire-fight in which the main enemies have been neutralized because they're at each other's throats.

Exacerbating this factional fighting will further make the combatants innocuous to US interests. The so-called tipping point in this civil war has probably already been reached, so a second front can be opened up in the wider field of battle, ie, Iran.

I do not understand why those who oppose the war against Iraq refuse to see the conflict as part of a much wider war. Everything the neocons and hawkish conservatives from Cheney to Kristol to McCain to Gingrich have said from the beginning is that this a “worldwide” war on terror. Perhaps the Left and others think that this talk is just hyperbole or perhaps the audacity of such statements are so grandiose that they seem absurd.

They can’t really mean it, right?

I think it’s time that people start taking this talk seriously and begin to oppose it accordingly–that is, in terms that comprehend the broad parameters in which the Pentagon, along with its satellite Israel, envision this “war on terror.”

In this context, then, it should not be surprising to hear Israeli officials talking about perhaps "going it alone" in attacking Iran's nuclear facilities, especially after Iran refused to listen to UN requests that Iran stop its nuclear processing activities.

According to the Jerusalem Post:

Israel is carefully watching the world's reaction to Iran's continued refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, with some high-level officials arguing it is now clear that when it comes to stopping Iran, Israel "may have to go it alone," The Jerusalem Post has learned.
These types of statements lead you to believe that the cuase of any Israeli attacks would be Tehran's actions; yet, as even Ehud Olmert--and numerous Israeli ministers and generals echoed repeatedly--said near the start of Israel's invasion of Lebanon, the war here is not over Lebanon or even Hizbullah but about Iran and "worldwide" terrorism.

Then again, if the nuclear options are indeed on the table, then all bets are off.

Related Links

My Previous Iran-Related Posts


The Avid Reader said...

There is something of a feeling of inevitability about the US attack on Iran. For some reason it seems the populations of these 'coalition' countries have been muted or gagged depending on your view.

When i try to understand how we got here i always go back to
Solzhenitsyn's Harvard address to try an pick out some tangible threads to wrap around current events. Alas, i'm still not much clearer.

On a different note, a very interesting Asia Times piece today on the devious re-birth of Russian. Perhaps that will put the stops on the Bush administrations adventures. Who knows?

the cynic librarian said...

Avid, You bring up good points. Why does it seem inevitable? I think this is so because 1) of the nature of this administration and 2) the prevailing "tone" of the press coverage. The interesting point is that the two do not seem to be linked, yet I am willing to bet that the press coverage is part of a media strategy put together by the neocons, the Rove White House, and the Xtian Right. Perhaps they are not trading emails and faxes back and forth but they are working from the same sheet of music.

I looked at Solzhenitsyn's speech the other day. I went through a Solzhenitsyn period and my respect for his writing is still very high. His writings affected me strongly at the time and I can still call up those emotions that his writings evoked in me.

While I respect his artistic and religious convictions, I do believe that they are reactionary in a way that is typically Orthodox--unfortunately, the Orthodox Church insinuated itself so intimately with the State that its religious message may have been compromised.

S's later statements were as much anti-American consumerist culture as it was anti-Communist. As soon as the Soviet Union fell, he moved back to Russia and went into seclusion. He saw much of westernization as inherently corruptive.