Wednesday, October 7, 2009

An Excuse for Release of Anger?

I've held off on the whole Iran-Israel thing for quite awhile now, hoping it would devolve into a continuing sideshow used to distract attention from the unfolding economic crisis here in the U.S. and as a sinkhole for anger and polarization that ultimately would help siphon off the building rage under the surface, but not lead to any real military confrontation.

The problem is, the U.S. looks like it is getting "boxed in" by some of the recent rhetoric on the topic of Iran and the new enrichment facility under construction near Qom.

The always compelling Fabius Maximus lays out a recent article from Stratfor on why we may be moving from jabber to an actual shooting war:

Stratfor: “Two Leaks and the Deepening Iran Crisis”
...It would seem to us that the United States and Israel decided to up the ante fairly dramatically in the wake of the Oct. 1 meeting with Iran in Geneva. As IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei visits Iran, massive new urgency has now been added to the issue. But we must remember that Iran knows whether it has had help from Russian scientists; that is something that can’t be bluffed. Given that this specific charge has been made — and as of Monday not challenged by Iran or Russia — indicates to us more is going on than an attempt to bluff the Iranians into concessions. Unless the two leaks together are completely bogus, and we doubt that, the United States and Israel are leaking information already well known to the Iranians. They are telling Tehran that its deception campaign has been penetrated, and by extension are telling it that it faces military action — particularly if massive sanctions are impractical because of more Russian obstruction...

I still think this "issue" will remain little more than a rhetorical battle, but let's be clear - in my personal opinion, a strike against Iran and the resulting blowback in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and who the hell knows where else could be THE big excuse or label put on the upcoming Primary Wave 3 downdraft.

What do I mean by blowback? Iran crushed and even if the only weapons used by Israel and eventually the U.S. are conventional, the possible spread of radioactive contamination across Iran and into Pakistan or down over the Persian Gulf (depending on the prevailing winds during the strike). If we or the Israelis use nuclear bombs as bunker-busters to make sure we hit deep and hit hard, then radioactive fallout would ravage Iran, Pakistan and possibly Western India - just think about the international consequences of that. An Iranian response to flood the Persian Gulf with mines, mass-launches of anti-ship missiles against U.S. warships and oil tankers, possible large attacks on U.S. soldiers and marines in Iraq through Shia proxies, terrorist strikes across the globe, etc.

I still think and hope it is all just for show, but if the bombs start dropping on Iran - get up from your desk or from your couch, fill up your gas tank (get out there immediately, while others are glued to the TV), get any supplies you think you'll need for the short term and get ready for an extended period of international chaos and polarized recrimination in the U.S. as the unintended consequences hammer down on the most vulnerable.

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