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 Post subject: War would be stupid, flawed and definitely not limited
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:25 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 4:13 pm
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Location: South Australia
War would be stupid, flawed and definitely not limited
Martin Samuel
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February 01, 2006
THERE is no situation in the Middle East so dire that we cannot get a white guy in to make it worse. Next on the agenda: let's bomb Iran. Yeah. That'll work.

War with Iran is an idea so spectacularly flawed that even many of those daft enough to believe that the occupation of Iraq could be resolved successfully are against it.

War with Iran is such a potential wildfire that Israeli intelligence privately considers it a dumb move. The consequences are so far-reaching that even to place it on the agenda is to have exceeded the bounds of logical thought.

The sweetener is that old chestnut, the limited war. The West could fight a limited war in Iran to curb the nuclear program, and then withdraw. Just like it could get rid of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein and still be home for tea. Yet, as British and Australian troops prepare to decamp to Afghanistan, and the death toll of allies in Iraq rises to 2440, what is abundantly clear is that war in the Middle East has no limit.

War of any type rarely does.

Fritz Fischer in his history Griff nach der Weltmacht: Die Kriegzielpolitik des kaiserlichen Deutschland 1914-18 - loosely translated as Bid for World Power: Germany's Aims in the First World War (or Oops, We Did It Again) - unearthed documents written by the German chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg.

Fischer revealed that to distract from domestic crises and further Germany's territorial ambition, Bethmann-Hollweg was prepared to fight a limited war in Europe. Except four years, 8.5million dead and 21.2million casualties later, it turned out not to have been so limited after all. Fischer's next volume better describes the current mood for conflict on Iranian soil. Krieg der Illusionen, it was called. War of Illusions. The biggest illusion being that military action would solve anything.

Kenneth Pollack, an Iran expert at US think tank the Brookings Institution, estimated preventive strikes would merely put Iran's nuclear program back two to four years.

What can more easily be pinpointed is the downside of such an attack. A hardening of jihadi attitudes against the West with an increased threat of terrorism, civilian and allied military casualties, a growth in insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan, the risk to shipments in the Strait of Hormuz (one-third of the world's oil travels that route) and oil prices so great it would make your head spin.

The patchy nature of allied intelligence means we could never be sure that the bombs alone destroyed all nuclear capabilities, with the need then to engage on the ground, exposing the lie of limited commitment.

Ridding Iran of nuclear weapons means opening a third front in the war on terror.

It is exceedingly optimistic to believe the claims of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the nuclear enrichment program is for civilian purposes only. The West has offered technical support to achieve that in return for an end to the work undertaken in secret, and has been as good as told to take a running jump. This is disturbing.

Clearly, the Iranian regime represents much that is abhorrent, including Holocaust denial, repression of civil liberties and messianic religious madness. In a list of people fit to be trusted with apocalyptic weaponry, its leaders would figure about one place north of Osama bin Laden himself.

Use it on Israel, lend it to al-Qa'ida - anything is believed possible, which fuels our fear.

Certainly, those who used to talk glibly of a nuclear deterrent have changed horses now that a cabal of nutters have their eyes on the prize.

They have not learned, however, from the catastrophe of Iraq, the country we invaded because sanctions had failed to stop the construction of weapons of mass destruction. Except when we got in, there were none - so perhaps sanctions had.

It would be so easy, so convenient, if a smart bomb or two could answer the Iranian nuclear question. "We cannot allow the world's most dangerous nations to possess the world's most dangerous weapons," said George Bush, and Iran's nuclear program ticks all those boxes. Yet there is a better way. A nuclear program needs money, and Western companies are where the money is right now. They have the technology that Iran needs. Sanctions would slow the Iranian economy and mire the nuclear schedule.

Sanctions would hurt an unpopular regime in Tehran, whereas an air strike would unite the people behind it.

There would be no guarantee of success; but North Korea has nuclear weapons, and sanctions have left it destitute and insignificant.

The alternative is to take a difficult situation and turn it into an impossible one. To exchange the fear of something terrible happening with a guarantee that it will. To look at the bloody chaos of Iraq, shrug our shoulders and plough ahead on the road to an even greater disaster.

The Times


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:14 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:01 am
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That's interesting. Last I heard the US and Europe were reffereing Iran to the UN Security Council for Sanctions, as they are the ones who make that decision. As for war, the US at the moment isn't able to support a war in Iran and keep troops in Iraq and Afghansitan. So it appears that sanctions is were they are headed, for now.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 4:35 pm 
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Either way Israel wont let Iran get Nukes, so if diplomatit sanctions dont work i'd almost bet my house on it they will take the Nuke sites out just like in Osiraq in 81.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2004 11:36 pm
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If they did strike they would have to fly over iraq and this would lead people to belive that it was a US approved strike because of america's control of iraqi airspace.

iran would probebly retailiate againts the us forces in iraq and the world would have a big shiat storm on its hands as fuel prices jumped through the roof.

And any war with iran won't be easy like iraq. just look around site's like Jane's and global security. Irans army is modern and professional.

Lets all pray they dont ever get the bomb.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 5:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 11:50 pm
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Location: here and there.
the_joker41 wrote:
If they did strike they would have to fly over iraq and this would lead people to belive that it was a US approved strike because of america's control of iraqi airspace.

iran would probebly retailiate againts the us forces in iraq and the world would have a bit shiat storm as fuel prices jumped through the roof.


oi man check your pms


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:21 pm 
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the_joker41 wrote:


iran would probebly retailiate againts the us forces in iraq and the world would have a big shiat storm on its hands as fuel prices jumped through the roof.

.


its not so much the american issue, its more that if Iran hypothetically declare war on Israel there is also a good chance more Arab countries will commit themselves to war like before with egypt, and the 6 day war when other arab countries jumped on the bandwagon. That would then bring America in.


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