Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Iran Not So Far Away

Says Seymour Hersh, who's proven pretty reliable when documenting the Bush gang's various schemes. Naturally, the Pentagon denies that the US is currently active in scouting for bombing targets inside Iran. So, who ya gonna believe, Mr. & Ms. America? What's that -- the new season of "American Idol" starts tonight? A full 2 hours? I'm sooo there!

No one should be surprised by Hersh's report. The US has meddled in Iran and with Iran for decades, and the imperial pain still felt by those who miss the Shah (The Shadow Of God, as he called himself) remains fresh. Still, bombing is about all the Bush gang can pull off at the moment. Stretched thin in Iraq and Afghanistan, there simply aren't enough troops to invade and occupy Iran. And even if there were, can you imagine the carnage? Look at Iraq today, then consider the larger country of Iran. Oh man, it would be brutal.

As the always must-read Juan Cole put it today:

I don't think there is any doubt that Bush and his appointees at the head of the Department of Defense intend to do something to Iran. If Iraq had gone well, they probably would already have attacked it. Since their land army is tied down in Iraq, they have to use special operations forces for aggressive action against Iran. The Pentagon and also Pakistan are denying [Hersh's] report heatedly. But it makes sense. Iran has formed a close military alliance with India, Pakistan's chief rival in South Asia, and Iran has come out on top in the new Afghanistan, with Tajik and Hazarah allies displacing the largely Pushtun, Pakistan-oriented Taliban. And Pakistan has reason not to want Iran to get nukes, thus surrounding Pakistan with nuclear powers on both the east and the south. So Pakistan has every reason to cooperate with the US against Iran.

As for Bush and his DoD hawks, they have been quite clear about their intentions. They announced that Iraq and Iran were part of an axis of evil, and we have already seen what happens to regimes so categorized.

The potential for trouble for the United States if the Bush administration acts aggressively toward Iran is enormous. It could turn the Iraqi Shiites and the Afghan Hazarahs decisively against Washington. An Iran in chaos similar to that in Iraq would be three or four times the problem for the US and the world that Iraq is.

Bombing's bad enough. But for the brave neocon/lib hawk base in DC, it's all good. Would bombing Iran and killing who-knows-how-many civilians whip up even more anti-Americanism in the region? Fantastic! Then we could see who is on board with the New American Century and who needs to be wiped out or tortured. Might expanded war cause another 9/11 on American soil? Exhilaration! Further justification for more imperial violence and domestic "unity" behind Dear Leader.

Years ago, at a dinner party in LA, I got into a fierce argument with a relative of the Shah's. He wasn't very bright, but he was rich and entitled, and his anger toward the US for not backing the Shah with an invasion seemed genuine. The Pahlavi family missed ruling their homeland, and had to make do with skiing trips to Vail and vacations in the Caribbean (among many other posh spots). Well, seems the time to turn back the clock to those happy days is upon us. Problem is, we're dealing with a broken clock. Tick tock, y'all.