Will Obama attack Iran?

Summary:  New rumors plus a deteriorating political situation for Obama and the Democratic Party raise (again) concerns about a strike by the US against Iran.

Elements of the US military and elites have long wanted to attack Iran.  Like the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the reasons are nebulous.  As with the invasion of Iraq, the stated cause is poorly sourced fears of bad guys getting nukes.  During the past 3 years I’ve dismissed as improbable the many rumors about attacks by the US or Israel.  The current rumors have a better foundation, and the domestic political situation looks more favorable for a strike — however reckless to America’s troops in the Middle East  and to our national interests.  But they’re still just rumors.

(1)  The news

Final destination Iran?“, The Herald (of Scotland), 14 March 2010 — “Hundreds of powerful US ‘bunker-buster’ bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for a possible attack on Iran.”  Originally reported on the FM website on 16 March.

Today’s article in the New York Post is the first mention of this story in the US major media.  DoD  has made no official response.  Even if true, this information provides no hard evidence that US leaders have planned an attack — or about its possible timing.

(2)  Why attack in the next few months?

The Democratic Party faces the possibility of severe losses on November 4. 

  1. The Republican Party’s adoption of “the worse, the better” tactics means few or no significant new legislation (details here).
  2. The D’s signature issue, health care, seems a vote loser in November — even if some weak version gets passed.
  3. Any economic recovery probably will be small and slow to develop (even if the recession ended last summer).
  4. Employment, usually the last factor to recover, might not do so strongly in time to influence the election.  Weekly new unemployment claims remain over 450,000.
  5. Worst case, the recovery might stall.  Growth in the Leading Economic Indicators slowed in January and February.  The Weekly Leading Indicators of the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) has already rolled over (see here).

Desperate people, desperate measures?  Will Obama push the “attack” button, hoping for a rally-around-the-flag vote?

Background information about a possible US strike at Iran

  1. ISIS: “Can Military Strikes Destroy Iran’s Gas Centrifuge Program? Probably Not.”, 8 August 2008
  2. Study on a Possible Israeli Strike on Iran’s Nuclear Development Facilities“, Anthony H. Cordesman and Abdullah Toukan, Center for Strategic & International Studies, 16 March 2009
  3. Reuters article about our new “bunker buster” bombs, 2 August 2009
  4. Pentagon delays new ‘bunker buster’ bomb“, Reuters, 8 December 2010

Obscured by the propaganda, Iran remains in broad compliance with the International Atomic Energy Agency requirements.  See their reports here.

For more information from the FM site

Reference pages about other topics appear on the right side menu bar, including About the FM website page.   Such as…

Posts on the FM site about Iran:

  1. Is Pakistan’s Musharraf like the Shah of Iran? (if so, bad news for us) , 8 November 2007
  2. War with Iran , 9 November 2007 — Why Iran is not necessarily our enemy.
  3. Is Iran dangerous, or a paper tiger? , 13 November 2007
  4. The new NIE, another small step in the Decline of the State , 10 December 2007
  5. Iran’s getting the bomb, or so we’re told. Can they fool us twice?, 16 January 2009
  6. Iran – a key state to watch as the new world order evolves, 3 March 2009
  7. Update: war watch – Iran, 29 September 2009
  8. More about Iran, things you know that might not be so, 3 October 2009
  9. Follow-up on America’s latest wetting our pants episode: Iran’s secret atomic facility, 13 November 2009
  10. Iran will have the bomb in 5 years (again), 21 January 2010
  11. Stratfor thinks about the unthinkable: a U.S.-Iranian deal, 6 March 2010

Afterword

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