News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: One More Reason to Attack Iran... !?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

One More Reason to Attack Iran... !?

The following article by Louis J. Cantori, reprinted by Pat Lang at his blog, has to be the best three-page analysis of the present foreign policy situation of the US that's received dissemination in the blogosphere.

Finally, at least, someone puts the pretensions of the US in Imperial terms, thereby drawing the correct framework within which the US foreign policy debacle in the Mideast unfolds. If anything, should Bush et al. invade Iran, it will be to stem the flow of air from the imperial dirigible that the Bush-neocon cabal have floated over the present and near future.

According to Louis J. Cantori:

This brings us to the present day and the significance of the recent war in Lebanon. There Israel was diplomatically shielded at the UN by the US in order to give Israel as the sixth most powerful army in the world thirty days to accomplish its war aims . Israel, however, failed in near militarily humiliating terms to subjugate Hezbollah, an at most 6000 man guerilla force. Israel’s failure as an American proxy was also America’s failure. In Iraq, the coming to power of a Shiite coalition by democratic means, subtlety confirmed Iran’s ability to dominate Iraq. It has occurred with little notice except for close observers noting the presence of Iranian intelligence “station chiefs” around the country. Iran has thus peacefully imposed itself politically upon Iraq and the proxy victory of Hezbollah in Lebanon means that Iran is the big winner in the Middle East, including the achievement as a Shiite nation in garnering both Shiite and Sunni Islamic support.

As a result, the international relations of the Middle East are now being transformed from the recent one power, United States dominant system backwards to the preexisting one of a regional bipolar system of pre-1990. The regional system is now one where Iran and Syria are joined by Hezbollah and Hamas and possibly Lebanon, Yemen and Sudan plus the great powers of Russia and China arrayed against Israel and the US, plus in a more tenuous fashion, the GCC countries ,Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Turkey. The US is thus now not only relatively diplomatically isolated in the Middle East, but it is now perhaps momentarily in policy terms immobilized between the inability to exercise an overstretched military power that is strained to its outmost limits and the Bush administration’s functional incapacity for diplomacy. America can neither fight nor does it have the predisposition to negotiate.

This is a profoundly important essay that needs to make the rounds of Congress quickly, not to mention the media--if they could be trusted to read it over their lattes and sushi.

The article gives the depth to a comment made by military historian Martin Creveld that appeared briefly in the media about 8 months ago. Many of your readers will remember Creveld writing that the invasion of Iraq was "the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 B.C sent his legions into Germany and lost them."

The problem now is that the debacle will perhaps make the Bush admin. crazy and out for blood, hoping via an invasion of Iran to destabilize that country in such a way that any advantage that it's gained from the US failure in Iraq will be ameliorated.

Such an invasion would be devastating to not only the Mideast but perhaps the world economy, as former New York Times war correspondent Chris Hedges has recently written. According to Hedges, a war with Iran:
[W]ill ignite the Middle East. The loss of Iranian oil, coupled with Silkworm missile attacks by Iran on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, could send oil soaring to well over $110 a barrel. The effect on the domestic and world economy will be devastating, very possibly triggering a huge, global depression. The 2 million Shiites in Saudi Arabia, the Shiite majority in Iraq and the Shiite communities in Bahrain, Pakistan and Turkey will turn in rage on us and our dwindling allies. We will see a combination of increased terrorist attacks, including on American soil, and the widespread sabotage of oil production in the Gulf. Iraq, as bad as it looks now, will become a death pit for American troops as Shiites and Sunnis, for the first time, unite against their foreign occupiers.
Hedges, of course, is echoing similar comments by others (like Ray McGovern) inside and outside the intelligence community.

Given these circumstances, the obly solution left to the Bush admin may be the one cited by Scott Burchill, senior lecturer in international relations at Deakin University in Australia, in 2005:
And yet the likely policy choices of a sovereign, minimally democratic Iraqi government would not be favourable to Washington. Closer political ties with Tehran, continuing hostility to Israel, oil contracts for US competitors such as France, Russia and China, and the political emancipation of Shiites across the region are not what the Bush Administration wants.

The only solution for Bush in Iraq is the traditional imperial one, as applied in the region earlier by the British, the French in North Africa, the Russians in Eastern Europe, the US in Central America, and so on: leave a client regime and a brutal army in place, with big muscle only a phone call away when the natives get too restless. This will be called "the democratisation of Iraq" and victory will be declared again, but few locals will be fooled.

Washington isn't building the world's largest embassy in Baghdad and a series of permanent military bases across the country just to abandon its most valuable strategic prize.
Many are hoping that the upcoming election will somehow forestall any such attack on Iran. That's doubtful, given the Bush admin's interpretation of the Authroization to Use Military Force passed to invade Afghanistan. In addition, Bush's imperial presidential pretensions discount the idea that he will backtrack now, given his propensity for Texan bluster and blue-blooded sense of entitltement--not to mention apocalyptic notion of destiny.

Should the Democrats win majorities in either house of Congress, the only option left would be for Congress to refuse to appropriate monies for the war effort. That indeed would bring on a constitutional crisis, one that might indeed spell the death of the republic as Bush goes further than any American president ever has in unilaterally appropriating funds for his suicidal war.

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[xposted at Pat Lang's blog]

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