A militant America, ready for war with Iran

Who Stopped the Talks?“, posted at Abu Muqawama (6 May 2008) — Opening:

Dr. iRack took note of some big news today: the Iranians have decided to halt talks with the United States over the security situation in Iraq until American forces stop their assault on Sadr City.  According to the New York Times:

Typically terse and excellent analysis from Abu Muqawama, about an important subject, and well worth reading.  This news brings to mind — again — America’s objectives in the Middle East.  Bush and his officials appear to believe that we can talk or bully Iran into allowing us to reshape Iraq into a giant forward operating base.  Like so many others, I wonder how strongly we would resist Iran’s efforts to do the same with Mexico or Canada.  Making the almost impossible a key foreign policy objective guarantees interesting times for America.

Also fascinating on this and similar sites are the frequent recommendations in the comments section to unleash the dogs of war — usually without objection from others.  Without mention of costs (money or blood), odds of success, risks, or potential adverse consequences.  Not that different from the sabre-rattling of the Bush Administration.

This comment by “Tom” clearly states his opinion, which should give the chills to any readers familiar with history.  Here we see the neo-con world view, stripped to bare essentials, without the fancy reasoning and facile logic of William Kristol and his peers.

There’s absolutely no evidence whatsoever that diplomacy will work with Iran.  On the other hand, there’s lots of evidence that when we kill members of the Qods Force, those dead guys won’t attack us anymore.

I say lance the boil. Hit the terrorist training camps, and when Iran retaliates, give the mullahs the worst week of their lives.  The good thing about an attack on Iran is that nobody will expect us to rebuild the stinking third-world craphole afterward. Since most Iranians support their nuclear-weapons program, I say let the whole miserable country reap the whirlwind.

It’s time to stop these bastards by destroying their offensive capabilities, something we are surely capable of doing from the air and sea. …  we’ve already had two rounds of talks with Iran, and all it did was result in more Iranian-sponsored violence in Iraq.

Diplomacy only works when there’s a credible threat. The Iranians think we won’t hit them no matter what.

This echos the enthusiasm for war in 1914, or the opening scene in the movie Gone with the Wind

 Mr. O’HARA: The South must assert ourselves by force of arms.  After we fired on the Yankee rascals at Fort Sumter, we’ve got to fight.  There’s no other way.

MAN1: Fight, that’s right, fight!

MAN2: Let the Yankee’s be the ones to ask for peace.

Mr. O’HARA: The situation is very simple. The Yankees can’t fight and we can.

CHORUS: You’re right!

MANS: That’s what I’ll think!  They’ll just turn and run every time.

MAN1: One Southerner can lick twenty Yankees.

MAN2: We’ll finish them in one battle. Gentlemen can always fight better than rabble.

MANS: Yes, gentlemen always fight better than rabble.

Amazing how the boomers marched — even rioted — for peace in their youth, and now lead an America more militant than any generation since the Spainish-American War.  How do these comments sound to our allies?  To our enemies?  To those Americans not eager for another war (or just a wider war)?  Unless more speak up, we might — by design or accident — go to war with Iran. 

Fortunately it is an election year.  Elections make us responsible for what our officials do in our name.  Make your views known.

Please share your comments by posting below, relevant and brief please. Too long comments will be edited down (very long ones might be deleted). Or email me at fabmaximus at hotmail dot com (note the spam-protected spelling).



14 thoughts on “A militant America, ready for war with Iran”

  1. Yep, they’re going to do it. And where’s that convoy from San Diego going (just left on Sunday, 6 ships, with 3 amphibious assault ships with Marines)?

    Plan A is, a sting attack on Iran, hit a few NG bases (‘terrorism’). Iran will react, hopefully (from the neo-crazy point of view) the US loses a few ships, a carrier would be best, then they hit them with everything, hospitals (a favourite target), Govt, power stations, oil and gas pipelines to other countries (that’s to make them regret dealing with Iran), military installations, oh yes the nuclear power sites (as an afterthought, no one in the US really belives they have a nuclear bomb program, otherwise they would not attack .. the North Korea Lesson). If it escalates even further (as the NC’s and Israeli’s fervently pray for), then switch to nukes. A big one on Tehran will so impress the rest of the world.

    Its going down, very soon. Also going down is the World economy. Any bets on $200, $300, $400 … keep going … a barrel of oil? It will make 1929 look like a tea party. And nuclear proliferation, heck even Belgium will get nukes if the worst case happens.

    Note the great win by the neo-crazies, their vision of the world is the dominant one by the US elite. I’ve never underestimated them, unlike some people. They are Trotskyites, they now that to win is to change interpretations of reality. The Media, Congress, White House, Pentagon (now a few obsticles are gone), CIA, the candidates, et al, all dance to the same neo-con tune. They have won.

    Alarmist, I fervently hope this will not happen, as a life long athiest I am nearly praying. But the balance of probabilities is poor. Excuse me, time to buy more jerry cans.

    Note I am an honest broker, If it doesn’t happen within the next month or so I’ll admit I was wrong, if it does I will do my “I told you so speech”. Well I’ll try but the power cuts will probably kill the internet.
    Fabius Maximus replies: For two years it seems every US Navy ship that leaves port is seen by some as a prelude to an attack on Iran. This is absurd, as our fleets do sometimes sail here and there without attacking Iran. The “convoy” referred to above is described as follows in Stratfor’s Naval Update of 30 April:

    “The USS Boxer departed Naval Base San Diego on April 28 for the Pacific Phase of Continuing Promise 2008. It will distribute humanitarian aid to Latin American countries, including Guatemala, El Salvador and Peru. The deployment is scheduled to continue until late June.”

    Here is the Navy’s press release: “Boxer Deploys to Latin America for Continuing Promise 2008.”

  2. Here’s a happy fantasy. The scene is the bridge of a nuclear sub in the Persian Gulf. The captain and XO get the coded telex ordering them to nuke Iran. The captain and the XO nod to each other, then present their wrists to a nearby Marine, saying, “Put the handcuffs on us, we refuse to obey this order, Number 2 and Number 3 will have to do it.” The next officers in the chain of command glance at the telex, offer their wrists to the Marine, saying, “We also refuse.” Fifteen minutes later, Washington gets a telex from the sub saying, “I’m an ensign and they say I’m in charge, and I don’t know *how* to fire the darn missiles.”

  3. Just a remark; the vast majority of Germans doesn’t understand (anymore) what the USA are doing, why so much trouble and wars. And the minority mostly not renowned for much thinking.

    I’ve been active in an arms-related German forum, and there were very few advocates of more and more military strikes. One of them had an Israeli passport and the other one whom I remember was an Austrian who had simple ideas all the time. It was like 9:1 against more military actions – in a forum full of juvenile armed forces enthusiasts!

    Americans should be aware how much they disconnect from most of the Western world.

  4. Nicholas Weaver

    I really don’t understand this lust for war with Iran. Simply because anyone with 5 minutes and a devious mind can start to come up with the list of just some of the bad things that Iran could do to our tied-down, immobilized army with supply lines running through Shiite territory, and all the things Iran can do to the world’s oil supply.

    The iranian government can not and would not win a fight with the US. They know this. But they can make damn sure that we would lose. They know this, too.

  5. Duncan Kinder

    Amazing how the boomers marched — even rioted — for peace in their youth, and now lead an America more militant than any generation since the Spainish-American War.

    Perhaps it is because they have outgrown the draft age?
    Fabius Maximus replies: There is always a cynic in the room. No idealistic explanations, discussing the boomer’s growth in knowledge, experience, and wisdom? Look at Hillary. Once a leftist, now willing to “obliterate” states that oppose our Imperial will.

  6. This time even veterans and high-ranking officers became hawks and warmongers. That is afaik not the typical 20th century pattern. Something is quite weird, let’s call it hysteric.
    I’ve never encountered so many people who cannot think of any but violent approaches to problems in international discussions during the 90’s.

  7. Duncan Kinder

    Look at Hillary.

    You do have a point. Hillary, as a female, was exempt from the draft.

    Perhaps part of the explanation relates to Elizabeth Warren’s The Coming Collaps of the Middle Class. There is an obvious link between anti-militarism and feminism. Gender equality only goes so far, you know.

    The sum and substance of Warren’s thesis ( which is hardly unique but which is concisely and forcefully presented ) is that from about 1970, the median male income adjusted for inflation has not risen. This has been in the face of rising housing, tuition, and medical costs ( likewise adjusted for inflation. )

    Until about 2000, the middle class was able to paper over this disparity because of the entry of women into the workforce. Since then, this has not sufficed and – indeed – has caused burdens in the form of added transportation costs, daycare costs, lack of home nursing care in the event of illness, and lack of a potential reserve worker in the event the man is laid off or becomes disabled.

    So feminism, and the resulting damper on militarism, is breaking down.

    Meanwhile, the stresses Warren describes provoke anxiety and anger. To me, it is regrettable but not surprising that many would respond by lashing out. A further fuel for militarism.
    Fabius Maximus replies: It is a powerful thesis. The economic basis of the middle class has substantially deteriorated since 1970. This has been masked by putting both spouses into the labor force — increasing hours worked at home + outside — and massive borrowing. But they are slowly realizing the change, as they approach retirement with net debts (instead of the net savings like their parents). Interesting times ahead.

  8. The signs that I look for in an attack on Iran:

    1) Racheting up the rhetoric in the US media (yes)
    2) US force in Iraq try to seal off the border with Iran (no signs yet but who knows)
    3) 3-4 carrier task forces on station

    The groundwork is being laid but they are probably not ready yet.
    Fabius Maximus replies: I have been writing for over two years that there will be no war (perhaps some small raiding by Special Ops teams of training campts) — ditto for Israel – Syria — and see no reason to change that forecast. Of course, anything is possible in these matters.

  9. I think your onto something about the baby boomers. Could it be the seed of the “greatest generation” turn out to be the “worstest generation”? (spelling intentional) Maybe certain members of the boomer generation are still looking for their “good war” to fight. Too many John Wayne movies when growing up? Stories from their uncles about the “big one”? Too much TV (Lone Ranger, Gunsmoke, Rifleman)?

    Then again maybe it’s not their fault. It appears to me human beings are hard wired to usually make the self indulgent decisions when provided the choice. The greatest generation wasn’t given many options in their formative years.

    Something for future sociologists to ponder and write theses on.

    Caveat: I’m a member of Generation X

  10. Robert Petersen

    War with Iran is a strong possibility. It has been the case since 2003. But honestly there is also another, perhaps more likely possibility: its all just talk, talk and more talk. After all: Who did President Bush attack in 2003? Certainly not the strongest country in the axis of evil, but rather the weakest one. The USA has not dared to attack North Korea and despite several close calls always seems to avoid war with Iran. Because the cost would be extreme to say the least. If anything Iran has only become stronger since 2003.

    There are many doomsdays scenarios on the internet and it is difficult to tell which one is the most popular. A man like Scott Ritter seems to have predicted the coming war against Iran every month since 2003. Nothing happened. Don’t get me wrong: There are powerful people in Washington who certainly wants the war and there is always plenty of room for a stupid mistake in the Persian Gulf that would give them the pretext they need and want.

    But please – ladies and gentlemen – consider this option: Its just rhetoric and nothing will happen, because deterrence still works between states in the 21th century. Even without nukes. Regarding all the doomsday dreamers you should all read the lines of T.S. Eliot and think twice about the fate of mankind (or the dreams about American supremacy in the world):

    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.]
    Fabius Maximus replies: For more on this line of reasoning, see “Is It Jaw-Jaw or War-War?“, Patrick J. Buchanan (6 May 2008).

  11. quote: “And nuclear proliferation, heck even Belgium will get nukes if the worst case happens.”

    We already have nuclear weapons over here, placed in the eighties under NATO command (the NATO headquarters are here too, wich makes Belgium a likely target for any anti- imperialist retaliation.

    Brave new world,…

    Nevertheless, I don’t see much movement on the warfront before 2011. The diversified profits of an international consumption system are still much bigger than the likely gains of a small number of military conglomerates in a war – thriven “economy” which would bring consumption spending and thus profits to a standstill (check out the economical date 1914 – 1918).

    My guess is we are going to see more hard rethoric, but no big- scale interventions anymore for some years now, maybe some air- to – ground attacks.

    The Kosovo – Serbia – Georgia/Abkhazia/ Russia situation is much trickier at the moment than the Iran quarrels.
    Fabius Maximus replies: Thanks for commenting, sharing with us a view from Europe!

  12. I dont know why everyone is against usa ,anyone can see that iran has been fighting a proxy war with the terroists so why are people on the terroists side ? sounds like properganda to me ,mabey its because germany is trying to take over a 3rd of the world with the eu and the green scam ,but bush is right they allready have been fighting a war with iran through its proxies so why mess around they have the right to fight back and if they do iran will hopefully cease to exist and we can get back to peace,you vannot make deals with terroists end of story and they need to be wiped out once and for all ,they started this with 911 but i bet the usa wil finish it .

  13. iran is giving us the whole “were using our nuclear capabilities for energy and power” rap and they honestly think were stupid enough to believe it. they give us this rap while laughing in our faces. its obvious iran wants a war. look how they held royal british navy soldiers hostage. that was pretty much an unspoken statement basically saying “come and fight with us we want war”.
    i was honestly surprised britian didnt blow iran to kingdom come, considering thats what iran was asking for or trying to provoke by taking the navy personnel hostage. but britian are faggots and didnt fight while a 3rd world country was making a mockery out of them.

    as for the country i live in, good ol’ USA, i say we bomb irans nuclear facilities using high altitude bombing runs perhaps with B2 bombers of even F-117’s and follow up the bombing runs on there nuclear facilities with attacks on the iranian’s presidential palace just to give mukmamahehd or whatever the fuck his name is a little scare and leave it at that… no reason for a full scale war. we could easily crippled iran from the sea and air without using ground forces.

    iran’s only way of retaliating will be against our soldiers in iraq and i’m sure the US government will put the soldiers in iraq on alert and possibly move a large portion of them close to the iraq border in case iran trys throwing a full assault force into iraq. which in that case we’d simply destroy the invading force and that would be that.

    either way iran is screwed. there a 3rd world country and there trying to act like hard asses and its quite humerous and sad at the same time because iran doesn’t seem to understand they have no chance against the US in a war.
    Fabius Maximus replies: Perhaps you are correct. Of course, wars start with such simplistic calculations of the opponents will and resources. Your is much like Japan’s reasoning in December 1941. I suspect Iran has a much wider range of options than you suggest.

  14. Norman Rosencrans

    Iran will fire its nuke or nukes on Israel first, then Israel will retaliate and no more Iran the new name will be Lake Iran

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