Thursday, February 08, 2007

Iran - Tomorrow's Failure Waits In The Wings

Having failed to evict the Taliban from Afghanistan, having brought chaos to Iraq, we are now setting our sights on Iran.

Iran is a Democracy. The notion that we are spreading freedom has fallen by the wayside; it is rarely mentioned these days. Israel and Pakistan, Iran's neighbors, both have nuclear programs and arsenals and Iran is working hard to catch up. They claim to be developing a breeder reactor for peaceful purposes, but they do not let the UN inspect it. We have commanded them to stop their folly. but everyone in the world knows that we are in it for the oil. (North Korea parallels Iran as a budding nuclear power, but they have no oil, so we ignore them.)

We have an air war pending. Forces are moving into position. If Iran blinks and accepts UN visitation, then we're screwed. But surrounded as they are by other nuclear powers, they don't dare blink or they're screwed. It may turn out that their program is as deficient as Saddam's supposed program or a paper tiger like the Soviet Union's. Undoubtedly they have boasted and exaggerated to some extent. Surely they do not want any weaknesses shown. Pride will keep them in the saddle, resisting UN inspection.

What will happen on the ground?

Our navy ships will blockade the Gulf and stop Iranian oil tankers from supplying the world. The price of oil from Texas will go through the roof. But so will the price of oil from Venezuela.

Unlike Iraq, Iran is a Democracy. Because Iran is a Democracy, our foot-soldiers may not get very far on the ground. These people love their country. And they are on their home ground.

Already in Iraq, our ownership of the air near the ground is newly in doubt.

Our helicopters are suddenly being taken down. Six in two weeks. We have looked carefully for evidence of shoulder-fired missiles, but have found none. Ordinary gunfire seems to be the cause.

Air supremacy does not guarantee success on the ground.

The hearts and minds of a people are on the ground, where a would-be-conqueror's feet must try to stand. Not everyone in the world is in accord with our imperatives. A plan that does not account for the will of the people on the ground is guaranteed to be stalemated from the start.

What is our plan for Iran? Another guaranteed stalemate?


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