Will the U.S. Attack Iran?

by on October 30, 2007 · 5 comments

in Media, War and Peace

One of the things I have learned in reading history is that states and organizations often miscalculate or underestimate the consequences of their actions and that such miscalculations can be disastrous with horrible consequences for millions of people.

In my coffeehouse discussions with people in Sacramento, I sometimes hear people say confidently that Bush cannot possibly attack Iran given the deplorable and exhausting military situations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Also, it is said that the concern that such an attack could generate a wider and very destructive regional war involving Iran, Syria, Turkey, and Israel, should naturally serve as a rational brake on the administration’s hawks. Furthermore, recent statements by Russia’s Putin publicly opposing threats to Iran should reinforce a posture of US caution and temper its military adventurism I heard many of these same types of arguments before the 2003 invasion of Iraq. “They wouldn’t,” many said. But they did!

The neo-cons and Cheney, who are pushing intensely for an American air attack on Iran, have a different viewpoint. They argue that Iran is the spearhead of an alleged Islamofascism movement which must be defeated militarily throughout the world in the name of freedom and democracy. They call it the “long war on terror.” Thus, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and the positioning of occupation military forces in both countries indefinitely.

To be successful in stabilizing regime change in those two countries, the neo-cons argue, Iran and Syria must also be neutralized, if necessary through the use of military force. Israel is also indicating that if the US doesn’t attack, it will. It’s recent air strikes in Syria a few weeks ago were seen by most analysts as directed at Iran. There is no talk of coexistence here.

Iran has been extensively demonized by the American media. We hear it daily on our TV sets – Iran is the “number one threat to American security”, it aids the insurgency in Iraq and provides weapons to Iraqis to kill Americans, it is the largest state supporter of international terrorism, and secretly seeks WMDs. Recently, the Congress voted to call the Iran guard a “terrorist organization,” providing an even greater pretext for invasion. All the justifications have been dutifully provided. Admittedly, comments by Iran’s Ahmadinejad against gays, and his inflammatory comments about Israel, have made it easier for many in both the Democratic and Republican parties to shrug their shoulders at the prospect of an attack on Iran.

In sum, the hawks in the Bush and Israeli governments argue that Iran is a legitimate target for “preemptive war”, most likely in the form of surgical air strikes with nuclear tipped bunker busters being dropped on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. All the weapons systems are now in place for such an attack.

Remember what an ignorant President Bush said after 9-11? “This Crusade,” he said, “this war on terror.” According to author Seymor Hersh, who recently spoke at the Mondavi Center at UC Davis, Bush really believes in what he is doing, and doesn’t care much for what the rest of the American people think. In his talk , it was clear Hersh was very concerned that an attack on Iran seemed imminent, although he said that it was still not certain.

Hawk in chief, Vice President Richard Cheney, speaking recently at a meeting of the Washington Institute of the Near East, said: “The Iranian regime needs to know that if it stays on its present course, the international community is prepared to impose serious consequences. The United States joins other nations in sending a clear message: Wewill not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”

Of course, three of our allies in the region have been allowed to accumulate nuclear weapons: Israel, Pakistan, and India. How about a call for a nuclear free Middle East, a nuclear free world?How Would Iran and the Anti-War Movement Respond ?

What will happen if the US launched air strikes against Iran? I believe the consequences are not completely foreseeable Hersh believes that Iran is ready to respond, although he wasn’t exactly sure how. They certainly could launch missiles as far as Israel. They could attempt to close the straights of Hormutz, an act that would certainly trigger further US military attacks.

Hersh argued that the Shiites of Iraq might get involved on Iran’s side and we would then be at war with 60 million Shiites. He said that we still have not had to fight these Shiites because they control the government. Hersh noted, however, that the strains of the occupation and recent US decisions to work with the Sunni groups and launch public US criticisms of the government, has already created anger and frustration.

So it is at least possible that Shiites in Iraq, angry at the US attack on Iran, could react by cutting various US supply lines to the benefit of Iraq’s insurgency.

The antiwar movement should do everything possible now to stop another war of aggression which could be a trip wire for a far more serious regional war which could create blood and suffering for millions of people. We cannot wait for an attack to happen. Furthermore, we should be aware that Israel’s involvement in the war has the potential to create serious divisions in the peace movement. Finally, recent events indicate that Iraq war could extend to the Iraqi-Turkish border with the Turkish military attacking the Kurdish PKK, which recently launched attacks into Turkey.

We can only hope that rational minds will prevail and such a attack on Iran and a wider war will be prevented through diplomacy. But where is there evidence of such rationality in the Bush administration?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

G Ghirardi November 1, 2007 at 8:49 pm

Rational minds also commit war crimes if those rational decisions are driven by self aggrandizement for political gain. The same type of media demonization at work in Iran is underway against Venezuela and the reform social democratic government with Hugo Chavez as their poster boy for condemnation.

A Washington DC organization, The American Security Council Foundation (ASCF), is peddling their campaign currently for armed intervention against the Venezuelan people if they do not abandon their socialist revolution voluntarily. Armed with a congressional advisory board of Republican and Democratic incumbents and a board of directors of retired generals, they recently presented a documentary to congress of twisted facts and manufactured and misrepresented video clips to promote their agenda for U.S. militarism to reassert their hegemony in the Americas.

Chris Carlson, a graduate student who attends the University of the Andes in Mérida in Venezuela and bordering Columbia, is a regular voice in English on Venezuelan Political analysis and offers a rather cynical and insightful critique of this video on his site at:


The reality of Venezuela is a country deeply divided by racial and class redefinitions. The Bolivarian movement has much fanfare worldwide and contradictions within, but it is a democratically elected government and it does appear authentic in its intentions and achievements from observing it from within. The reaction and process of U.S. intervention in the past is, in many ways, much of the impetus for the experiment underway in Venezuela now and the means the U.S. has used to deceive its own public to distort the realities of what is actually taking place is in full force once again in Venezuela as it is with Iran. Unfortunately, it is likely to succeed in both countries.


Richard Nadeau November 15, 2007 at 4:26 pm

Their is plenty evidence that the “economic hit men “and “jackals” that author John Perkins wrote about, are already covertly trying to subvert and destabalize the Boliverian revolution as a means of creating “regime change” in Venezuala. Although I would not completely rule out a direct military intervention in Venezuela, it is less likely the more the US is pre-occupied in the Middler East. Venezuela’s oil, however, makes it more likely that the US will be involved with trying to subvert it from within for a long time.

A conflict with Iran, and possibly Syria , Hezbolla and Hamas would probably give venezuela some breathing room. Also, I would not be so sanguine about the US succeeding with intervention in both countries. The US may actually be bighting off more than it can chew!

The US is currently readying its miltary forces for an air attack on Iran . Its air base in Diego Garcia, which was used as a base for attacks against Iraq (1991 and 2003) and Afghanistan (2001), is now once again buzzing with activity in preperation for a possible attack on Iran. Such an attck may not happen. But if it does,and all hell breaks out, my guess is that Chavez and his Bolivarian revolution will have some breathing room.


Gary Ghirardi November 15, 2007 at 9:55 pm


Good call on the continuing destablization. You probably saw my wifes classroom building being attacked by opposition students in the U.S. media if they did show it. The media in the west has represented this as the Chavista students attacking the school but actually the Chavista students were inside barricaded against the attack. Fortunately Sandra was not working that day.

There is historic “president” for Caracas students getting violent. Here is a moment when Richard Nixon received a rouges welcome in the 50’s:


The media chess game is in process with the opinion machine working against the socialist government here for your education there. Many ex patriot Venezuelans live now in Miami like their Cuban counterparts. Its a regular hate fest there with reports this week from a friend and another professor from the school saying that all the Miami is showing this week, over and over, was the Spanish king telling Chavez to shut up, without the rest of the interaction to lend the moment context. Imagine that the city of Miami is a conduit for closed minded reactionary ex patriots and exiled Latin American dictators. Just what the U.S. needs more of…we need to import them because we don’t have enough of our own native versions!

Anti government student ralley (The Mercedes Benz Caste)

The color of coffee and chocolate is Brown! (The Chavista students in action)



Richard Nadeau November 16, 2007 at 10:26 am

Right now the US seems to possess two backyards -the Middle East and Latin America. However, the stark reality is that most of its weapons(aircraft carriers, missile groups, bombers, tanks, and humvees, and 200 thousand of its military personel are occupying Afghanistan and Iraq, countries that sandwich Iran in the middle of two large borders.

This is not including the 100,000 plus private contracters like Blackwater ,etc. that are in the region acting like unaccountable goon squads.

Of course, as Rummy and Bush have often said, the seemingly endless US military presence in the region has nothing to do with the fact that 66 per cent of the worlds remaining oil reserves are located there. Me thinks they protest too much!

Covert action in Latin America is currently the preferred method given how streched thin the US military is in both Iraq and Aghanistan, and given the relative importance of the strategic resources as well as our political and ideological commitment (to the point of blindness) to Israel’s military dominance in the region as the dominant nuclear power. The Islamic state of Pakistan also has nukes, but nowhere near as many as Israel.

Finally, I do not meant to diminish the significant of what is happening in South America. The US imperialists are very worried that the Boliverian revolution, as represented in Chavez’s government, is a threat to US dominance in the region. So there may be increased efforts to destabilize Venezuela via covert activities and ,of course, overt threats and hostile propaganda. But it will not be easy.


Molly Maquire November 18, 2007 at 11:47 pm

We cannot allow any attack on Iran. This would be like Nixon invading Cambodia, but without the massive numbers of young students who were active at colleges back in 1970. Still, those of us will a head and heart cannot sit back and let this unfold before us as if we are just watching a movie. This is our life.


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