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Surely not

February 5, 2007

Many writers and commentators are now seriously speculating about a coming war with Iran which could possibly be started by mid this year. Two carrier strike groups are now stationed on the Gulf, anti missile batteries are in place and British mine-sweepers are also on hand. Bush and the neo-cons have been steadily increasing their verbal attacks on Iran. The architects of the war in Iraq have accused Iran of sponsoring terrorism around various locations of the Middle-East and are playing up the fact that Iran is developing nuclear technology – something they say will inevitably lead to the Iranians developing nuclear weapons.

I personally can’t believe that the US will invade Iran with ground forces. Afterall, the debacle of Iraq has surely been vicious enough to ward off even some of the most determined neo-cons. On the other hand though, given that Iran doesn’t have nuclear weapons and by the CIA’s own assessment does not have the capacity to even develop any before roughly 2017, “tactical” airstrikes on their own seem rather pointless – so perhaps a ground invasion is on the cards – for reasons that, like the invasion of Iraq will perhaps take many decades to emerge. Sam Gardiner, a retired Colonel of the US Air Force offers this telling insight into the escalation of the US military around Iran in recent months and what to look for in any build up for a possible invasion or airstrike. Perhaps the old Gulf of Tonkin tactic will be initiated so that Bush and the neo-cons can forever say “but they started it”. Who knows?

Again, with all the reading I have been doing on this and of all the dire warnings I’ve come across and the seemingly belligerent actions by Bush and his cronies, I still can’t believe that a full scale invasion of Iran is in our immediate future. However, many of us couldn’t believe the circumstances that led our nations into the Iraq war and yet, well, do I even need to say it? Surely the American public don’t want another war. Surely the American military doesn’t want another war. If America does indeed invade Iran, then Bush will only be rapidly bringing about further economic, social and political ruin for the US as well as that of the Iranian regime. The American military is not coping in Iraq. If it were to invade Iran, it would face firstly an organised military which in open battle it would undoubtedly defeat, like it did with the Iraqi Army – but consider what else it would face: a largely educated populous three times the size of Iraq, a mountainous, rocky country with plenty of places for militias and guerillas to operate from and the possibility of having to defend itself and three US-backed puppet regimes on numerous fronts that will stretch from Iraq, through Iran and to Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan. Not to mention the sour taste of many more thousands of US troops being killed for… well… nothing.

I’m not sure what’s going to happen. But I, like many others, am worried. As Colonel Gardiner says in his assessment:

The White House could be telling the truth. Maybe there are no plans to take Iran to the next level. The fuel for a fire is in place, however. All we need is a spark. The danger is that we have created conditions that could lead to a Greater Middle East War.

And if that happens, then we’re all in for an even more uncertain future consisting of war, economic ruin and political mayhem. Whatever works for you – pin your hopes or say your prayers. How did we get to this point?

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