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Monday, August 2, 2010

Is the US Moving Closer to a Showdown with Iran?


Two items leapt out at me today as I perused the numerous news sources that I frequent on a daily basis. First, from Michael Barrone of the Washington Examiner...

"In my July 21 Examiner column I wrote that recent articles by Time’s Joe Klein and the American Interest’s Walter Russell Mead suggested to me that the Obama administration was seriously considering a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. I paid particular attention to these articles because Klein has been an outspoken opponent of such an attack and Mead is by no means an advocate for it. Now comes further evidence, in an opinion article in the Washington Post by Steven Simon and Ray Takeyh. They are by no means right-wingers; Simon worked in Bill Clinton’s National Security Council and Takeyh is described as a former adviser to the Obama administration. Their article takes quite seriously the possibility that the president will order such an attack; it also assesses the difficulties and risks encountered in such a move—and no one argues that there are no difficulties and risks, though Reuel Marc Gerecht, whom I also cited in my July 21 column, thinks they’re not as great as many others do."


Additionally, I also came across another article in today's New York Post by Bemmy Avni which fills us in on a little known fact that I don't recall being discussed on the Sunday morning news programs over the past weekend. Avni writes...

"Last week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tehran has "very precise information that [America and Israel] have decided to attack at least two countries in the region in the next three months."

Also last week, the remains of six Israeli airmen -- killed last Monday in a helicopter accident during search-and-rescue drills in Romania -- were buried back home. Although it was a top news story in Israel, only scant information emerged about the previously undisclosed drills in Romania or what the helicopter crews were preparing for. Romania's Carpathian Mountains' terrain resembles the ridges where Iran's nuclear facilities are secreted."


I find the use of the term "search-and-rescue drills" along with the choice of topography to be interesting.
I hope that such raids to cripple Iran's nuclear program are carried out ASAP and with minimal harm to civilians. There is no need to send Mrs. Smith's son over there to get shot in the face trying to topple a regime and to attempt another grueling stab at nation-building again. Resources are stretched too far by current conflicts and our allies lack the will to commit to the engagements we are currently involved with now, never mind any more.







9 comments:

Tristan D. Vick said...

JD- I don't know if you had time to read all the comments on your earlier Doubting Thomas quote, but I thought I'd let you know I gave it an official response:

Hopefully everyone here will find time to read it, as I correct some common misconceptions regarding the dating of the text and its legitimacy as an Early Christian writing.

http://advocatusatheist.blogspot.com/2010/07/doubting-gospel-of-thomas-response.html

zilch said...

JD- while my opinion about Ahmadinejad and his regime is probably no more favorable than yours, I do hope that the US will show restraint, because the American record of toppling regimes shows that it usually just makes things worse for the civilians.

JD Curtis said...

Zilch,

If the aim is to destroy their nuclear program and set it back a number of years, then I think they should go for it.

Why bother getting tangled up in a nation building process? It's my understanding that many Iranians apart from the country's leadership are significantly pro-Western and one would not want to alienate them.

zilch said...

JD- it's a tough call in any case, that's for sure. A good friend of mine in California is an Iranian who fled the Shah, and is understandably skeptical that anything the Americans do will help matters.

Froggie said...

JD,

You do know that Iran has allies, like Russia and China that may not look favorably on the USA bombing the assets of a totally soveiegn nation, don't you?

Heve you considered certain negative consequeses of the actions you support?

Do you know that there are thousands of experienced and highly trained analysts that look at these situations, do their best to anticipate the many possible outcomes. and have contingency plans in place for unplanned eventualities?

Do you have any clue as to the possible consequenses of your proposals?

JD Curtis said...

You do know that Iran has allies, like Russia and China that may not look favorably on the USA bombing the assets of a totally soveiegn nation, don't you?

Let's ask China and Russia what they think we should do insofar as Ahmadinejad promising to wipe certain countries off the face of the earth.

If you were to speculate, what do you thnk they would say? Nothing? Let us help? What?

Do you have any clue as to the possible consequenses of your proposals?

The main thrust of the above articles I cited is that there seems to be a growing consensus among a variety of people ranging from the political Left in the US to other nations in the region to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities. These are hardly my proposals.

Froggie said...

I must be brief, but:

1- Never has a loaded nuclear site been bombed. Weather patterns in the area are unpredictable and could spread long-lifed radioactive materials over vast areas- killing many Iranians and others and making vast areas uninhabitable for many years.


2- Radioactive environment can easily shut down much of the oil production going to China. That would increase demand for the balance of the oil supplies and send prices to over 300 a barrel.

3- One of the targets would be the Bushehr nuclear reactor, being built by Russian technicians. Russian technicians are also working at the centrifuge sites.

4- China and Russia are remaining moot on the question, which is a bad sign.

JD Curtis said...

"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad survived an attack with a homemade explosive device on his motorcade during a visit to the western city of Hamadan on Wednesday, a source in his office said.

The source said Ahmadinejad's convoy was targeted as he was traveling from Hamadan's airport to give a speech in a local sports arena and the president was unhurt but others had been injured in the blast." Link

Ross said...

I wonder what the full story is behind this grenade attack?