Thursday, January 26

Phase II: Why the US wants to attack Iran




  
   Looks like the US is playing musical chairs with its carrier groups in the Gulf of Oman.

   The USS Stennis Carrier Group moved to the Indian Ocean last week so the US could transit another carrier, the Abraham Lincoln, through the Straits of Hormuz just to remind the Iranians how screwed they'd be if the shooting starts. The carrier was escorted by the cruiser USS Cape St. George, two destroyers, the Royal Navy anti sub frigate HMS Argyll and even the French got an invite and sent along their own La Motte-Picquet anti sub frigate to fill out the international nature of the party. That's pretty interesting and those frigates show the West's concern at the Iranian submarine threat and the small chance that the Iranians might manage to land a torp in the nuke belly of a carrier. Sure, it's unlikely but the Chinese did manage to sneak a diesel powered sub into the middle of a carrier group during USN exercises off Taiwan in 2006. So nothing's impossible. Also, the USS Enterprise carrier group is on its way and due to arrive in the Gulf in March which is an interesting choice considering it's the oldest nuke carrier in the US fleet, secretly nicknamed the "Mobile Chernobyl" by sailors and due to be decommissioned later this year. Warships passing through the Strait are pretty typical moves but a combined US, UK and French flotilla is unusual and reeks of dick waving to show the pesky Persians what they might be dealing with if they try any 'funny stuff' like mining Hormuz and blocking world oil supply.

   Grab popcorn but don't microwave it just yet.

   I still say this war is way too scary to enter a shooting phase but that's only because I want to believe Western leaders are not insane. And I keep getting proved wrong on that point. This week's naval moves off the Iranian coast had me rummaging through my library for obligatory Sun Tzu quotes and the best I could come up with was  "Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate." The Euros came up with an extraordinary moment of their own this week by way of an oil embargo on Iranian oil purchases that won't take effect till June and is actually a subtle attempt to stop this war from entering the shooting phase. It's a move designed to appease the trigger happy US and Israel so they don't go straight to the bombers and risk setting the world on fire. Of course, the Israelis are still not happy and don't believe it'll stop that theater parity Shia nuke.

   Truth is, nothing is going to stop that nuke.

   Even if the US and Israel do conduct air strikes on Iran's 15 nuke sites, they still can't physically damage an idea. The Iranian nuke program is diversified enough that even a concerted bombing campaign can at best only delay it a few years. Nobody can put the nuclear genie back in the bottle anymore. So this week I got to thinking of this war in wider global proxy resource war terms and that's when things started making more sense.

   Iran is sitting on the fourth largest oil deposit on the planet and has huge reserves of natural gas and that's a sweet energy prize by any account. It's kind of like Inca gold and the Spanish Main in the 16th century... everybody wants a piece of the action. The fun thing about oil is that while it's in the ground, its value is theoretical but not actual. That's actually a plus. For example, when the West grabbed Iraqi oil, they didn't go in right away and start extracting spice like Hungry Hippos. That oil is fine where it is for now. It is control of the real estate above the deposit and a say in how and at what rate those reserves get extracted that really matters. And that's why the Green Zone in Baghdad houses the largest US embassy in the world even after the US pulled out combat troops. Sure, the US can let foreign competitors in to extract the spice and sub contract the work out to other nations, but so long as oil is a dollar based commodity, US economic hegemony of world energy remains intact.

   The interesting player here in all this is China. Though a long way from being a military superpower, its economic power is rising fast, so fast that the US and Europe fear the loss of traditional Western dominance of the global economy. The gaping weakness of the Chinese rise is energy supply. And without a credible naval fleet to protect the flow of spice, the weakness of China gets exposed... Chinese dependence on sea borne oil delivery and their susceptibility to a blockade sometime in our proxy resource war future. What the West really fears here in the global energy game of Risk, is Iran having unfettered control of its own huge energy reserves, selling those reserves outside the dollar to geopolitical rivals (China) and facilitating the rise of a pan Pacific hegemon that could contest Western dominance at some point later this century.



   That's why Iran is in the cross hairs.

   Their whole nuke program is symbolic of their determination not to play nice in the petro dollar chessgame and the question remains, will they get Tomahawked this year because of it?

   Let's get to the fun stuff.


   How would this war play out if the US does attack Iran? In a nutshell, really badly for Iran. Initially at least. The problem for the Iranians is their dated air defence system based mainly around the Soviet S-200 system. For perspective, Gaddafi fielded this against the US when Reagan bombed Libya in 1986 and even pre stealth F-111s managed to do serious damage for the loss of only one plane. These days, with modern EW jamming in the mix, the US and Israel will dominate the skies above Iran unopposed. Also, the US already knows where all these S-200 sites are which makes them really easy to target. Every time those fixed SAM radar antenna get switched on for maintenance or calibration it's like painting a big fat bulls eye on your air defense network. That goes for the more mobile Soviet Tor (SA-15) system too even if it can drive around, stop, find a target and drive off again. Strangely, the Iranians do have a fighter wing of Shah era US F-14 Tomcats which is pretty funny when you imagine some flailing Persian Top Gun Maverick trying to get a lock on a US bogey. In any possible strike scenario, Iran is pretty much defenseless against 5th generation Western tech. Along with the usual rain of Tomahawk missiles, air delivered bunker busters and the Israelis ruthlessly following up behind, Iran is going to wake up the morning after the raid with a serious hangover. And, I suppose, this is where we get to the the really interesting question.

   What will the Iranian response be?

   There are so many options it's hard to keep track. One option not often discussed is the concept of Iranian restraint. I've thought about this lately and it does have merits if you're an Iranian general. What happens if they do nothing? Sure, it's a long shot. But what happens if the Iranians let the world see reactors on fire, spewing radiation across the Persian landscape, broadcast pictures of dead babies to the world and try to play this out in the gladiatorial arena of world opinion? You just got sucker punched for a nuclear weapon you don't even have. In a social media world, the idea that Iran could play the wounded stoic here is a viable option and could be worth a try to make it clear who the real 'bad guys' are. Another reason why I like the idea from the point of view of their crazy theocracy is that getting bombed usually results in the "London Blitz effect". Getting bombed by external enemies rallys populations around whatever power structure happens to be in place and sure would hurt CIA funded opposition groups operating in Iran. All those Green revolution kids on the streets of Tehran getting whipped and shot by Basij thugs would suddenly swing rogue if an external enemy bombed their mom's house.

   Smart leaders in history like Churchill capitalized on stuff like that.

   The problem with politicians and the religious freaks who run countries these days is that they are rarely that smart. The Iranian theocracy is no different. So the question remains, do the Iranians go loud and bust out their myriad asymmetrical options and retaliate against the bombers once Natanz is burning? Who knows? Let's examine the Iranian options:

  • Unleash a thousand speed boats and mine the Straits of Hormuz back to the Stone Age. Oil price hits $200 a barrel until US/Euro/Japanese minesweepers clear the Strait. It'll take two months to declare the all clear. Meanwhile, in the West, we cry like babies because feeding our car hurts, bread has doubled in price and nobody can afford a new flatscreen. 

  • The Iranians launch their limited supply of Shahab IIIs against Israeli population centers. Tel Aviv gets hit and the Israelis launch a reciprocal strike on the civilian population of Tehran. The doomsday Iranian theocracy doesn't like it. Escalation possibilities ensue. A nuclear missile versus chemical missile war. Mass casualties happen on your TV. (Unlikely).

  • The Iranians launch Chinese Silkworm missiles (and Shahab IIIs) across the Persian Gulf, hit Saudi oil installations like Ras Tanura and set the world economy on fire. The world enters a new paradigm of what the fuck? Oil hits $300 a barrel, food prices double and you wish you were a farmer who could grow his own food.

  • The Iranians engage in proxy warfare and pressure Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon to bombard Tel Aviv with the thousands of missiles the Iranians have already supplied them with. The IDF responds with a massive attack on Southern Lebanon and attempts to rectify their 'defeat' in 2006. Thousands die but nobody cares in Western countries because food tastes nice.

  • Iran activates their foreign asymmetrical "terrorist" cells in the US and Europe, they blow up stuff in Western cities and make already unruly citizens decry another bullshit war that didn't have to be. Meanwhile, Western countries turn into police states because everybody could be a terrorist. Oh wait, that's already happened.

  • The Iranians do nothing, lament their dead babies and garner worldwide everyman support because they're just another victim of globalization and the ongoing corporate takeover of the world's real estate. Occupy Wall Street protesters finally start wrecking shit.

 
   What's most disturbing is that Western leaders seem prepared to play this casino game of chance. How will the Chinese and Russians react if Iran is burning? That's the real question in this whole cluster fuck. China is a major buyer of Iranian oil. Russia has provided enriched uranium and scientists to run the Iranian reactor at Bushehr since 2009. If Russian nationals die in that attack and if that destroyed reactor is spewing Fukushima levels of radiation across the landscape, what's next? The Russians may be happy to issue stern protests at the UN while secretly laughing to themselves as oil, Russia's main export, pushes beyond the $150 dollar a barrel mark; the mark that crashed the world economy in 2008. Since the Russians rely on oil exports to keep their economy flowing ($110 a barrel oil is the estimated minimum price to keep that former superpower economically growing and appease their restless but dwindling population), the Russians will benefit from the US and Israel's stupid war against Iran.

   China, on the other hand, will be pissed. With the just announced Euro embargo, the Chinese have already started demanding discounts on Iranian oil. If there's one thing you can say about the Chinese, they're smart as hell and playing the long game. 5000 years of contiguous history and Sun Tzu can't be wrong. They will see a Western attack on Iran as yet another chess move to block their economic growth and secretly take note of who their real enemy is. One billion people can't be wrong as they continue to conscript their cheap village labor into factories to supply American Wal Marts with cheap plastic goods. For now. Even if Iran is burning, China could be smart, like they've always been, and yet again play the waiting game. In the wake of a US/Israeli attack on Iran's nuke sites, China and Russia will supply the Iranians with military technology to prevent such an attack from ever happening again. It'll be a Rubicon moment in their eyes, the moment when the Western energy lust went a bridge too far. Hell, the Iranians might finally receive a shipment of the Russian S-300/400 SAM system that would make a repeat attack orders of magnitude more difficult for foreign air forces. But, of course, it'll take a year to train Iranian crews in the operation of that sophisticated 5th generation technology.


The Russian S-400 SAM system... The Iranian dream...


   Meanwhile, we're all living in Blade Runner.

   Let's face it, the US, the Euros, the Russians, the Chinese, India, Pakistan and the Israelis will eventually have to face the truth of what Oppenheimer unleashed in the New Mexican desert in 1945. This is what Oppenheimer said after the first nuke exploded on earth. It still gives me shivers... "We knew the world would not be the same. Few people laughed, few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says, "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." In the coming 21st century sci fi dystopia future world, every nation of consequence is going to have nukes. Does Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD philosophy) mean we upright apes get to escape our fate?

   No nation wants World War III right now.

   But then again, no nation ever wanted a World War ever and yet we dumb humans always manage to stumble into one. That's if  20th century history is anything to go by.

   2012 is starting to feel like 1912 all over again.

  

96 comments:

  1. ANOTHER AWESOME ARTICLE. THANK YOU WARTARD

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  2. Bang on, as always.

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  3. Iran is a signer of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (unlike Pakistan and Israel).

    IAEA inspectors are inspecting and accounting for the nuclear material Iran produces.

    Iran's government has repeatedly denied the claims of developing nuclear weapon technology.

    They don't have the delivery system (missle/bomb) or the warhead (weapons-grade plutonium) for a WMD.

    All major countries around them have nuclear weapons, or have military bases for nations with nuclear weapons.

    Their sworn enemy, Israel, is itching to start yet another conflict.

    They have every right (legal and common sense-wise) to continue to develop their civilian nuclear technology.

    Unfortunately, they happen to be sitting on a giant patch of liquid gold.

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    1. Iran word is worthless, it doesn't matter how many treaties they'd sign or what they say.

      One thing is Mahmud Ahmadineyad and other the Ayatollahs. And they're colliding constantly.

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    2. Are you fucking retarded? The IAEA says there is no evidence of nuclear weapons being built in Iran, and the uranium they have is being processed to 20% at max, whereas it needs be over 80% for anything resembling a respectable nuclear bomb. And learn how to fucking construct sentences you dead shit.

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    3. English is not my first language but thanks to you now I know how to write a polite comment.

      As a compensation, I'm giving to you something to learn too: me cago en tu puta madre y en tu puta calavera, comemierdas hijo de la gran zorra sifilitica.

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    4. Spaniards, quick to anger and retarded in their sentences even in their own language.

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    5. Americans, fat fucks who are hated by the rest of the world.

      ta mère ta chié, jai rarement l'occasion de lire des commentaire autant stupides et xenophobes, tabarnack de calisse j'espere que tu creve dans d'atroces soufrances.

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    6. WTF is this shit? fucking 4chan pimple face nerds getting all mad over not much... one is probably iranian and biased, the other is a fucking spaniard fagget and the third is a pot-smoking french canadian high-school dropout.

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    7. senior pancho: chinga a tu madre puto cabron.

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    8. lol! I love Anonymous' comment! :) I also love how English people are quick to attack bad grammar with anyone, even if they don't know who it is that is typing the sentence. Clearly, based on the structure of his/her sentence, their first language is not English, yet your response was based on emotion instead of intelligence - a poor response. For the "spaniard", a word I never use, brilliant comment for those who read. :)! Well said.

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  4. *US builds hospitals in Georgia, readies for war with Iran*

    “These are 20-bed hospitals…It’s an American project. A big war between the US and Iran is beginning in the Persian Gulf. $5 billion was allocated for the construction of these 20-bed military hospitals"

    "the Georgian president announced his ambitious idea to build a second-largest city in Georgia, its western economic and trade center, at the end of 2011"

    "Lazika – one of Saakashvili’s mega-projects, a new city that will be built from a scratch – will be “an American military town”."

    http://rt.com/politics/us-georgia-iran-war-441/

    The logistics of an attack on Iran are being aggressively prepared.

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  5. I wonder how high Iran could push oil prices if all installations in US client states in the near region were fair game.

    Then again, that would just play into the hands of elites who want to keep the whole ponzi scheme running as long as possible.

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    1. I hate the word elites, but this is a ponzi scheme, and they don't just "want" to keep it running as long as possible, they "need" to keep it running as long as possible. Iran has done a good job of NOT doing EXACTLY what Israel and America wants so far, but all America/Israel needs, for instance, is to bribe/blackmail/etc a senior military official in Iran to do something stupid, I am sure they are working on that right now

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  6. Iran, in cooperation with Pakistan and India, is building a 56-inch gas pipeline to deliver to its eastern markets (nullifying future oil embargoes).

    A military conflict with Iran will likely spur China to get in on this deal, effectively securing their energy from the threat of blockade. This doesn't sit well with American military planners, who aspire to control all the energy production from the middle east this century.

    War Tard, please wax eloquent about the petroleum energy aspect of this coming war.

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  7. Great article and a small correction: European oil embargo on Iranian oil purchases will start in July, not June.

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  8. Just a thought - if Obama's as good at the Long Game and Big Picture as some suggest, perhaps the Keystone Pipeline kill (and inevitable sale of Canadian Oil to energy hungry China) is a steps-ahead move to mollify China in the face of an impending attack on Iran? Back channel communication tells China that Iran's too [insert adjective] to be allowed nukes, and China should accept that as North Korea stopped getting quite so in line once THEY got nukes, so how about we trade your silence/complicity on Iran for Canadian oil to keep Iran down and Canada up.

    Nothing to base it on other than gut, of course.

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    1. The Keystone pipeline was rejected by Obama on the grounds that he didn't have enough time to think about it, not that he opposes it. The pipeline effectively routes tar sands oil THROUGH America's heartland, not into it. Currently the midwest has cheaper gasoline because they are one of the limited customers that consume Alberta's oil. This pipeline would end these midwest discounts and would open Alberta oil to world markets, where it fetches a higher price. The pipeline will rise again after election season, guaranteed.

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    2. The midwest has cheaper gas because taxes are lower. The best thing we can do is tax the shit out of gasoline so that we'll have economic incentives to start getting off it.

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  9. I wonder if the solution to the S-300 gap in Iran's air defence might come from some sort of reverse engineering gig with the Syrians, since they already have the system in place?

    I'm sure its entered into part of the calculus as to why noone is too keen to start an air campaign over that old Cold War nemesis.

    A fantastic article man, as always. Your strategic level thinking would make Sun Tzu crack a boner. Its too bad it doesn't seem to enter into actual policy, but then again, a good deal of that seems to be ideological these days, so it really shouldn't be that surprising, sadly.

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    1. Don't forget the technology which landed that USA drone in Iran soil.

      USA is still scratching its head.

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    2. I'm not sure what that was. It could have literally been a breakdown, a loss of control because of natural interference, or, as you say, some sort of hackjob/Jaming ECM deal.

      Just remember those Iraqi insurgents who were able to hack into a live drone feed a few years back because the link was unencrypted due to the time lag. It could literally be something that stupid.

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    3. GPS software flaw was published back in 2003.

      Drone has a failsafe location (RTB) when its communication signal is jammed. Iranians hacked the drone, exploited the GPS flaw and gave it a new failsafe location ie Iran, then jammed the singal. Drone thinks its flying home, voila, next stop safe landing in Iran.

      Nice work, those Iranians aint as dumb as they look...

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    4. There would be no point landing it in Iran. A drone is just a camera, or a payload, with a low-tech navigation system in it. There are no military secrets there. There's certainly no point making it obvious, even if you could, that you can bring down drones.

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    5. I had heard that the drone was taken down with a gps spoofer, the company manufacturing the drones knew it was a possibility, but, well, they assumed the towel-heads knew more about donkeys and camels than gps and autopilots

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  10. Sorry, by that 'old Cold War nemesis" I am referring to Syria.

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  11. Brilliant, as usual. You should point out that when we went into Iraq, Saddam was prepping his own Oil market which would be priced in Euros. He hadn't even launched it yet when Shock and Awe began- the Iranians, on the other hand, are already well into their non-dollar backed system.

    This war happens for sure, it's just a matter of time.

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  12. You've done an excellent job of describing the strategic options and highlighting all the problems associated with bringing this to the next military stage. What is the de-escalation option? It sounds to me like the only thing you could ostensibly advocate is leaving them alone. Then they do develop further nuclear options and have even more chance to mine the waters, or work together with China to achieve the second hegemony you discuss.

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  13. Call me crazy, but the deployment of the soon-to-be-decommissioned USS Enterprise seems to me like the US is just saying "Go on, take a free swing, I dare you." It's absolutely a dick waving/saber rattling action, on one hand. But with the flotilla that's there and the Lincoln carrier as a backup, something about it seems like the Enterprise is being put out there as a sacrificial lamb to justify some action.

    The Enterprise will probably cost loads of money to decommission - are they going to provoke Iran into doing the dirty work to get the war they want and dispose of an old carrier? Or am I just being crazy?

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    1. The US may decommission the Enterprise in a false flag operation to kick off a war. That may sound crazy, but the precedent exists. See (Google) Gulf of Tonkin and Operation Northwoods for examples.

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    2. Oh yes, search for 'Spanish–American War' or 'Mysterious sinking of the American battleship Maine'.

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    3. Shh!! you two anons!! I came here via google search to convince myself I was being paranoid. you are not helping.

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  14. Interesting article but I couldn't help but note that that Oppenheimer made his famous remark after the test at the Trinity Site in New Mexico in 1945. Not Nevada.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_(nuclear_test)

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  15. WT is usually a great read - and this one is even better. There are few words that could do justice to such a superlative analysis but, at a minimum, you are absolutely brilliant. Keep it up, readers the world over love your work.

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  16. i think i lub u wartard :)

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  17. Another good article, however I have a problem with your "stoic" Iranian response.

    While it is a novel idea, the Iranians are already having a hard time convincing their population that the government has it's best interest in mind (see election protests circa 2010-11) and on top of that they have repeatedly threatened a response if Iran is attacked. So if Iran IS attacked and they do nothing, they will not only look like liars and tough talkers, but they will look like they can't even defend their own nation, nor retaliate. It would be the end of legitimacy for the government in my eyes.

    As you have stated, the greatest player in this outside of the U.S. and Iran, is China. The real question is how far are the Chinese (and Russians) willing to go to protect their trade partner. It would be hard to imagine either going to war over it... however stranger things have happened (see WWI)

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  18. That was a great read. Thank you.

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  19. All this waiting around is killing me, lets just get this show on the road as its inevitable. Hopefully, it'l wipe the smugness off the faces of all Western leaders who I've grown to not just dislike, but openly hate. Unfortunately they won't die first as they direct orders from air conned rooms back home but when all goes to shit and we're eating sand, their time will come... History repeats itself as you say as this could be 1912 or maybe 1789...

    Nice read once more.

    ZA

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  20. What after the initial attack?, am i to beleive that the US led forces will put ground forces in Iran, Iran is fucking huge with a very large population.

    The number of US-led forces on the ground would need to be immense, and then what?
    Remove the Ayotolla and the Govt. put a puppet and get out with the gas deals?

    Anyone who thinks this is what will happen because it happened in Iraq is seriously crazy.

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    1. Nobody here said anything about ground troops. You're inventing strawmen and then refuting them. I think WTs article is pretty clear on the point that this is primarily an air and naval strike with escalating asymmetrical events.

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    2. I get WT's point, that is why posed it as a question.
      Either US-Israel will be there for Oil or for Eliminating Nukes.

      Having just a Air/Naval attack won't achieve either. Ground troops are must.
      Or they get the Iranians to surrender with just the Air/Naval tactics, which has 0 chance of happening.
      Besides there is no Libya like insurgency to help the US and its allies as well.

      The question i posed is natural & logical next query considering where WT left the discussion at the end.

      Personally I doubt there will be a hot-war there, simply because the West isn't prepared to risk ground troops.

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  21. Nice read, it was put together very well. Thank you for giving me something I can share with others :thumbsup:

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  22. If the West somehow changes world supplies to make sure that China continued to get it's oil (which i think the west would so that wal-marts and still have lots of cheap plastic crap to sell), I think that would assuage China's short term concerns.

    I've watching the GOP race. South Corolinian booed Ron Paul when he suggested adopting the Golden Rule vis-a-wis other countries. There point is that there are a lot of hawks. And here are a lot of interests in perpetuating the criminal justice/military complex (for whom the last decade must seem like a gravy train).

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  23. I typed "Why the US wants to attack Iran" into Google and arrived here.

    3 hours later I'm still on this blog. Its like crack.

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    1. Same thing that happened to me last week and I'm on here like 5 times a day. WE NEED MORE Wartard!

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    2. wow... me three!!

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    3. Woww...me four. I think I finally found some actual, functioning brains out there. Thanks...you guys are great! Spot on.

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  24. hi Wartard.
    great stuff. more..more often please!

    i just had a 'funny' idea.
    what if Iran already has functional nuke warheads that it bought from ex-soviet states?
    i read somewhere (forgot source) that 3 such warheads went missing from a 'stan ages ago?
    no-one really mentions this possibility very often.

    it could give Israel and the West a big surprise on day 1 of any air strikes against Iran?

    just a thought........

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    1. I think they'd have done a very noticeable underground test already in that case, as a big "fuck you, we're invincible" to the US.

      So they probably don't. Their chemical weapons are a completely different story. They got gassed by Saddam, so they likely did their own research on that subject. How difficult could it be to supply some "mercenaries" with a nice little VX device and deny being involved when it blows up somewhere?

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    2. Not everyone thinks like that.
      There was no incentive for Iran to test before or is now.
      Israel hasn't tested officially as well, its very ambiguous with them.
      Pakistan had the bomb for long time before they decided to test and that too was in response to Indian tests not on their own.

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    3. The South African test verified the functionality of Israeli nukes.

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    4. Allegedly.
      There is no consensus on that. Just like allegedly India successfully tested a thermo-nuclear device, or NK recently tested fusion processes, etc.
      My point still holds.

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    5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vela_Incident

      Aviation Week reported this incident. The only people denying this was a nuclear test are politicians who are still trying to deny that the U.S. gave Israel nuclear weapons.

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    6. I am aware of it, but did you even read you own article?

      There is no 100% conclusive evidence that Israel conducted Nuclear Tests.

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    7. Quote: "There is no 100% conclusive evidence that Israel conducted Nuclear Tests."

      This is called a Strawman argument and False dilemma. These are fallacies. Demanding 100% conclusive evidence is logically dishonest, or worse.

      The majority of experts and evidence indicate that there was a nuclear explosion. Historical documents indicate that South Africa built nuclear weapons with Israeli assistance. The South African nuclear test was a proxy for Israel.

      There is zero ambiguity that Israel has functional nuclear weapons.

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    8. Zero ambiguity on having weapons but a lot of it on having ever tested any.

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  25. all your scenarios work under the premise that there will be no boots on the ground. I don't think so. Some proxy/regime change stuff like in Libya wouldn't work there, and they would have to get rid of any military infrastructure to deprive Tehran of any retaliation capability. They'd rather take the dumb risk of a full-scale invasion than the dumb risk of Iran going rogue on the smaller US allies, like Bahrain, who needed Saudi support to stomp their own little "arab spring" movement, and certainly don't have the capability to defend against iranian attacks.

    IF Iran gets attacked, they'll make sure to take out every bit of aircraft and any capability to produce rockets.

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    1. http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/137038/jamie-m-fly-and-gary-schmitt/the-case-for-regime-change-in-iran?page=2

      Airstrikes are a foregone conclusion for the hawks. It is now a question of whether or not we put boots on the ground. If I were running it, I'd land just enough troops to control the straight and no more. And launch a strategic bombing campaign on the regime. I'd try to make some sort of modern day Gibraltar or Lines of Torres Vedras (my interest in the peninsular war betrays me), a "Green-Zone-by-the-sea", if you will, in order to control the straight. Having looked at the geography around the area, assuming we establish air superiority, it doesn't seem like that hard of an area to defend.

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  26. Remember the Kosovo War and the NATO intervention on Serbians. There wasn't much response from the Serbs, and quite a few mishaps from NATO - including the "mistake" in hitting the Chinese embassy. Where was the outcry? No, the Iranians would be really stupid to play the victim. They will rally around their leaders anyway and try to pay back. Their demographic is really overburdened by too many youngsters that need a bit of culling anyways...from the religious/power perspective.

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  27. Those Iranian F-14's lost their warranty years ago. I doubt they're much more than heaps of rust now, because the US probably isn't sending them replacement parts.

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    1. LOL,, they get counterfeit parts from China

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  28. "Our military’s officer corps has become a culture of Petraeus worshiping yes-colonels who pine to become yes-generals. The only warriors who count anymore are the bull feather merchant marines who conjure the pro-war propaganda that their echo chamberlains in the media pawn off on us as “news.” Our country has become the abject servant of the American Pentarchy, that cabal of sandbox generals, bathtub admirals, beltway bandits, AIPAC rats, Warlord Fauntleroys, New American Centurions, post-modern Praetorians, Long War legislators, Dr. Strangeloves, G.I. Joe Six-Packs, Pavlov’s dogs of war, patriotic psychopaths and other oligarchs whose narrow self interests and well-funded efforts have made the long dreamed-of permanent American security state a reality. The military-industrial complex that launched our reign as a superpower is about to grind it to a bitter end." - Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired), "Wars of Diminishing Returns," January 3, 2012.

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  29. Gov. Parnell wants Alaska divested from Iran. Interesting.

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  30. fascinating read, yet again wartard.

    Question - does India factor into any of this or is it too soon in its developoment it to play any role in regional events?

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  31. LONG LIVE THE PETRODOLLAR!!!!!

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  32. What do you make of this? http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=106621

    "Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey told Israeli leaders Jan. 20 that the United States would not participate in a war against Iran begun by Israel without prior agreement from Washington, according to accounts from well-placed senior military officers."

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    1. What do I make of it?

      "the United States would not participate in a war against Iran begun by Israel without prior agreement from Washington."

      That's standard US doctrine. The US would like to hold back on this war and keep the Israelis restrained for now. Of course, if the Israelis go solo, the US will be dragged in by default so it's pretty much empty rhetoric.

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    2. Thats just a cya for the state dept

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  33. I can't believe the politicians will let things get out of control for such relatively low stakes. They're cowards at heart.

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  34. Many of you may have read this already but its a NYtimes piece of fascinating content. Interviews with Barak, Netanyahu and Dagan (head of the mossad) Published on the 25th of Jan it almost guarantees the Israeli's are going for this in the next 9 months. The arrogance of Netanyahu in some of his comments is ridiculous.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/magazine/will-israel-attack-iran.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all

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    1. As Matthew Kroenig said in that article "The future can evolve in three ways, Iran and the international community could agree to a negotiated settlement; Israel and the United States could acquiesce to a nuclear-armed Iran; or Israel or the United States could attack. Nobody wants to go in the direction of a military strike, but unfortunately this is the most likely scenario. The more interesting question is not whether it happens but how. The United States should treat this option more seriously and begin gathering international support and building the case for the use of force under international law."

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  35. As Matthew Kroenig said in that article "The future can evolve in three ways, Iran and the international community could agree to a negotiated settlement; Israel and the United States could acquiesce to a nuclear-armed Iran; or Israel or the United States could attack. Nobody wants to go in the direction of a military strike, but unfortunately this is the most likely scenario. The more interesting question is not whether it happens but how. The United States should treat this option more seriously and begin gathering international support and building the case for the use of force under international law."

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  36. Russia still hasnt given Iran the S300.Does Russia want a nuclear armed Iran (long term -- with Chechnya next door). Does it want a pro-western Iran, no. If I was Russia I would want a US war with Iran but not one that ousts the Iranian government (it weakens the US, drives up the price of oil).

    Syria under friendly control makes it easy to pass down weapons to its proxies Hezbollah and Hamas. Russia has its only base in Syria.

    China only gives a shit about its oil. Look at the SCO, Iran is only an observer status not a full member. I mean we are not looking at a solid alliance, both Russia and china will come on board if they can get the right deal.

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  37. It is a fact that IAEA inspectors have spied on various nuclear facilities for the US and its allies. What is stopping Iran from grabbing all the inspectors, seizing all their cameras, and shooting one or two in the head as spies? I think this would give the IAEA a much needed reality check.

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  38. Mitch "Ripper" Silber, of NYC's finest, wants to share his personal revelation of the Iranian plot to pollute Americans' precious bodily fluids:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203824904577215592376556800.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_opinion

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  39. I'll just leave this here

    http://www.salon.com/2012/02/16/israelis_unite_for_war_with_iran/singleton/

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  40. New post pleeeeeeaaaaaaaaase

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  41. The first casualty of war... Is the plan

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  42. These Americans and this blog owner is very ignorant and racist about Iran like most Americans. I'm Iranian and I can tell you that most Iranians love America and Israel, we only hate Arabs.

    Why you hate Iran:
    1. You think we're brown (see Arabdinejad aka Ahmadinejad, our nations leader, and an ethnic Arab), we're not. Iranians are ethnically Indo-European, we are Mediterranean and Caucasian, we are not brown and have no Negroid blood.
    2. You think Iran is sand, Iran is not sand or West Bank style scenery, Iran is a snowy and grassy country full of beautiful mountains. Iran is like Switzerland (maybe not as cold though).
    3. You think we're religious, we're not. Most Iranians are under 40 and hate Islam, Islam is not our identity. For example, I am Zoroastrian and wear my Zoroastrian necklace to school everyday.
    4. You think we love our government, we don't. Iranians actually hate the Islamic Republic, because it's Arab backed and subverts our indigenous culture. Iranians are White Indo-Europeans, we do not want Arab Semitic law.

    My city: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y_AqbcGFGg#t=0m40s
    (please ignore the "hijabs" or chadors as we call them, they are forced by Islamic law, but they will be burned in the streets eventually along with Arabs and Turks when we overthrow this regime)

    Heil Hitler - Hail Victory - Persian Power
    http://i.imgur.com/MAvSj.gif

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    1. In the interest of free expression, I shall not delete your comment.

      In fact, I'm going to leave it here for the lulz factor :)

      Delete
    2. Strange fellow

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    3. Yeah, but, American's don't want to know that Iranians look like them and have a pseudo-western culture. It will be interesting if this thing advances to a ground war, I am sure they have spent a lot of time desensitising the grunts to murdering shaggy unwashed a-rabs, but young western people, many of whom know at least a little english?? Pretty sure the vets are gonna be more fucked up than usual after this.

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  43. The NDAA was specifically designed for American citizens.I don't think we should instigate the problem but I do feel we should be prepared to defend ourselves.All that has to happen is for us to go to war with Iran and china will attack which will be WWIII since Europe will come to our aid and other allies.China will probably attack where we are weakest which is here at home since all our troops are over seas then our government will offer us safety in FEMA camps or their will be a civil uprising (which I hope doesn't happen) and they will force us into FEMA camps.Virginia and some other states have voted 39 to 1 against enacting the NDAA/martial law.I do think it is interesting that WWIII will be instigated by our government and why would they want to do that? Why would they want the citizens out of the way?You decide.

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  44. Also Saudi Arabia will attack since they are allies with Iran (I think) and we will be at war with the entire middle east.

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  45. Attacking a country based on biased speculations is normal these days. It will be a very sad day for humanity if the international community just would accept this.

    The US is getting out of control. In the past it has started a huge number of wars ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_United_States_military_operations )
    while Iran hasn't invaded other countries for more than 300 years.

    And for the people that would think that the president of Iran (Ahmadinejad) wants Israel wiped off the map:
    It has been a wrong translation. He said that Israel should stop existing as an apartheid state, the same as South Africa, where black people didn't have rights and were seen as sub humans. The same thing happens in Israel, its a racist state which has a lot in common with Nazi Germany during Hitler's reign. Jews cannot marry non-jews, it is forbidden by law.

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    1. lol they are an apartheid state, but it's kinda a secret. I remember reading an article in english on an israeli website and it was discussing an arab who allegedly did something stupid like not announce he was an arab to a jewish woman who came on to him when he was delivering a package to her house, so anyway, he was sent to gaol, the article went on to imply that jewish men and women would never sleep with arabs if they could help it, you know, cause that would be like sleeping with animals. It stopped short of recommending a new law to make all arabs wear a crescent and a star in a prominent place at all times, but, its only a matter of time

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  46. Nothing new here, the jews starting another war.
    These people are devilish...
    hope iran wipes out israel for once and for all so the world can be at peace

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  47. It's not about the religion, it's about the money. Always the money.

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  48. Fascinating article. I came here from googling "Why does the US want to attack Iran?" Initially, I thought that it was to stop Iran's state-sponsored terrorism. However, that did not explain such a massive expenditure of resources to surround Iran and destabilize its allies.

    But then you reminded me that the spice must flow. Great read. Thank you for writing the truth.

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  49. Positively brilliant analysis on a crucial issue of our times. And, entertaining as well. I shall return for more. Thank you War Tard!

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