Monday, September 17, 2007

"We have to prepare for the worst, and the worst is war"

Yesterday in an interview on French TV and radio, French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner said, "We have to prepare for the worst, and the worst is war." According to the BBC World News, Kouchner says the world should prepare for war over Iran's nuclear programme. The short news item concluded with, “The United States has not ruled out a military attack against Iran to prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”

On September 14, the BBC reported US Iran report branded dishonest: The UN nuclear watchdog has protested the US government over a report on Iran's nuclear programme, calling it "erroneous" and "misleading.": “In a leaked letter, the IAEA said a congressional report contained serious distortions of the agency's own findings on Iran's nuclear activity…. A Western diplomat called it ‘deja vu of the pre-Iraq war period.’”

Are you asking yourself what the likely unintended consequences are of an attack on Iran? Chris Hedges can help you with that. He’s been a foreign correspondent for more than two decades, which included coverage of the Middle East. On September 3rd, Hedges posted The Next Quagmire at Truthdig: “…The Pentagon has reportedly drawn up plans for a series of airstrikes against 1,200 military targets in Iran. The air attacks are designed to cripple the Iranians’ military capability in three days…But then what? We don’t have the troops to invade. And we don’t have anyone minding the helm who knows the slightest thing about Persian culture or the Middle East. There is no one in power in Washington with the empathy to get it. We will lurch blindly into a catastrophe of our own creation.

It is not hard to imagine what will happen. Iranian Shabab-3 and Shabab-4 missiles, which cannot reach the United States, will be launched at Israel, as well as American military bases and the Green Zone in Baghdad. Expect massive American casualties, especially in Iraq, where Iranian agents and their Iraqi allies will be able to call in precise coordinates. The Strait of Hormuz, which is the corridor for 20 percent of the world’s oil supply, will be shut down. Chinese-supplied C-801 and C-802 anti-shipping missiles, mines and coastal artillery will target U.S. shipping, along with Saudi oil production and oil export centers. Oil prices will skyrocket to well over $4 a gallon. The dollar will tumble against the euro. Hezbollah forces in southern Lebanon, interpreting the war as an attack on all Shiites, will fire rockets into northern Israel. Israel, already struck by missiles from Tehran, will begin retaliatory raids on Lebanon and Iran. Pakistan, with a huge Shiite minority, will reach greater levels of instability. The unrest could result in the overthrow of the weakened American ally President Pervez Musharraf and usher into power Islamic radicals. Pakistan could become the first radical Islamic state to possess a nuclear weapon. The neat little war with Iran, which few Democrats oppose, has the potential to ignite a regional inferno.” [emphasis mine]

(photo: courtesy of Bill Sheppard, who attended the September 15 anti-war rally in Washington, D.C.)

1 comment:

Weedgardener said...

Whew! Pretty scary.

I'm incline to think, though, that Iran won't respond aggressively to a military attack. After all, Iran is not a major military power, though they certainly are more powerful than Hussein's Iraq. What would they gain by an overt counterattack? Annihilation by U.S. and Israeli bombs.

I think the more likely danger is that an attack would catapult the whole Middle East into a mass uprising and increase terrorism ten-fold.

And of course, Iran, knowing it can't fight back directly, will become a nation of insurgents and sabateurs, just like Iraq.

Oh, how depressing, either way. Thousands, perhaps millions, will die.

Thanks for keeping on top of this issue.