"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
It is the option of last resort with consequences too hideous to contemplate. And yet, with diplomacy nearly exhausted, the use of military force to destroy Iran’s nuclear programme is being actively considered by those grappling with one of the world’s most pressing security problems.
For five years the West has used every diplomatic device at its disposal to entice Iran into complying with strict conditions that would prevent its nuclear programme being diverted to produce an atomic bomb.
Those efforts, however, are now faltering. US leaders are openly discussing the looming conflict. A recent poll showed that 57 per cent of Americans favoured military intervention to stop Iran building a bomb.
Tehran scoffs at threats by the West, has pledged to press on with its nuclear progamme and defend itself if attacked.
The military option may be the only means of halting a regime that has threatened to annihilate Israel from developing a bomb and triggering a regional nuclear arms race.
Experts agree that America has the military capability to destroy Iran’s dozen known atomic sites. US forces virtually surround Iran with military air bases to the west in Afghanistan, to the east in Iraq, Turkey and Qatar and the south in Oman and Diego Garcia. The US Navy also has a carrier group in the Gulf, armed with attack aircraft and Tomahawk cruise missiles. B2 stealth bombers flying from mainland America could also be used.
Note that much of this article consists of rah-rah for our side propaganda - has "the West" really used "every diplomatic device at its disposal"? Have we really set out to "entice" Iran, or have we mostly browbeaten them and surrounded them on all sides with a potential invasion force? While I am no fan of the autocratic Tehran regime, I must confess that, were I in their position, I might be less than sanguine about "the West" and its commitment to a level playing field.
Still, for all its bias, this is an important article - if for no other reason than its careful description of the problems associated with a military solution to our Iran problem:
The air campaign would not be easy. The Iranians have been preparing for an attack. Key sites are ringed with air defences and buried underground. Sensitive parts of the Natanz facility are concealed 18 metres (60ft) underground and protected by reinforced concrete two meters thick. Similar protection has been built around the uranium conversion site at Esfahan....
Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Gardiner, a former US Air Force officer, predicted that knocking out nuclear sites could be over in less than a week. But he gave warning that would only be the beginning.
Iran has threatened to defend itself if attacked. It could use medium-range missiles to hit Israel or US military targets in Iraq and the region. It could also use its missiles and submarines to attack shipping in the Gulf, the main export route for much of the world’s energy needs. “Once you have dealt with the nuclear sites you would have to expand the targets,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Gardiner. “There are another 125 to deal with including chemical plants, missile launchers, airfields and submarines.”
While this huge US offensive is underway Iran would almost certainly deploy its most powerful weapon. It would unleash a counter-attack through proxies in the region. Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia militia, would attack Israel. Moqtadr al-Sadr, the militant Iraqi Shia religious leader, could order his Mahdi Army to rise up against American and British forces in Iraq. Iranian-backed groups could wreak havoc against Western targets across the world.
Now there's a pleasant scenario. We can't contain the rage engendered by a few tasteless cartoons; now, imagine what the aftermath of this little adventure would look like. We're incapable of quelling the insurgency in Iraq; imagine what Iran would look like after this onslaught, especially considering that we have no troops available to put on the ground there.
The likely result of such a strategy would be a full-blown, worldwide conflagration of cultures that would engulf Europe, the Middle East, and most of South and Central Asia. Of course, the PNAC-types would argue that such a result isn't a bug, it's a feature. This is what they've been openly and loudly spoiling for. Well, good luck with that, because the magnitude of this miscalculation would make Iraq look like Haiti. The problem with an apocalyptic clash of cultures is that, in all probability, neither culture would survive intact. This would be a disaster of almost unimaginable proportions.
Now, if only some American newspaper were interested in pursuing that story.
The smokescreen over Iran’s Nuclear Policy is being perpetrated by the mainstream media. Iran IS NOT in contravention of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), it has just ceased its VOLUNTARY protocol to temporarily suspend its nuclear research programme. I agree that Iran is not wholly transparent over it’s nuclear programme (much like India & Pakistan weren’t when they acquired the ‘bomb’ surreptitiously), but at least Iran is a signatory to the NPT (which Israel is NOT).
The USA IS in contravention of the NPT ) (see http://mathaba.net/0_index.shtml?x=496587 for details - for making ‘nuclear’ deals with India – another non NPT signatory).
A 'previous' report on Iran's nuclear weapons 'status' was reported on in the Washington Post in August 2005:
The Washington Post reported  that the most recent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) of Iran’s nuclear program revealed that, “Iran is about a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient for a nuclear weapon, roughly doubling the previous estimate of five years.”
 Dafina Linzer, “Iran Is Judged 10 Years From Nuclear Bomb U.S. Intelligence Review Contrasts With Administration Statements,” Washington Post, August 2, 2005; Page A01.
Watch how the Mainstream Media will shape the 'Iran Nuke' (or is that Nuke Iran') story to publicly sanction whatever military action is in store to prevent the threat to the removal of the US Oil Dollar hegemony, exactly as was done with Iraq's WMD & the '45 minute' claim. Iraq (in Sept. 2000) tried to ditch the oil dollar too - see http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/RRiraqWar.html & look what happened there!!!
Further info on the subject of the Iranian Oil Bourse is available at any of the links below: