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The kinetic approach is simple idiocy

Via Newshoggers.

When I told my friends and family I was going to Tehran, they looked at me as if I were taking a short break in Mordor, and expected that the next time they saw me I would be being paraded by Revolutionary Guards after confessing to espionage, and then publicly hanged from a large crane at a busy traffic intersection.

Well, not quite. The people of Iran are probably the most pro-Western in the world, though that will not stop them fighting like hell if we are foolish enough to attack them. Not that they will do so with nuclear weapons any time soon. Iran is rather bad at grand projects. Its sole nuclear power station has never produced a watt of electricity in more than three decades, the capital's TV tower is unfinished after 20 years of work and Tehran's airport took 30 years to build.[Daily Mail:Peter Hitchens]

Explain to me again how an Iranian offensive is in our best interests. The idea of converting an entire pro-western generation to anti-American partisans by attacking Iran is idiocy defined. In terms of levying our strength and engaging in diplomacy I'd wager we've got it a tad assbackwards.

American carriers should be bobbing ominously off the horn of Africa not the Persian gulf. Any promise of kinetic incursion should be imposed on the Sudanese genocidal regime not the blustering Iranian figurehead. And please, spare me the whole "they'll give nukes to the terrorists" bullshit. If Iran was hellbent on the twelfth Imam doctrine of Shiism they'd have engaged American forces in Iraq and effectively realized the prophetic demise that entails such.

The better tactic is to wait out the anti-western idiot-savant Ahmadinejad (whose term has been effectively shortened by 18 months) and politically pry into Iran's pro-western youth with diplomatic rhetoric as opposed to threatening rhetoric. Iran is one Gap state that has the potential to be nudged into Seam status as it's up and comers are decidedly anti-regime, anti-Sharia and pro-western. Bombs won't realize that potential.

Update:

T.P.M. Barnett:

We offered Iran multilateral diplomacy if only Tehran would first give up the only reason why we’d offer them multilateral diplomacy in the first place, and no, it did not work. Go figure.

Therefore, war is the only option.

Get used to this drumbeat from some writers. It will persist through the end of this administration, in ever-dimming hope Bush will pull the trigger. It will persist also to shape the presidential election, hoping to make a willingness to war with Iraq a litmus test on support to Israel and thus the money and the votes attached to that sentiment.

If you feel like all this is designed to prep America for the next war in the Middle East, one that will fail dramatically and leave us more isolated than before, then you’re paying attention.

5 comments:

strategist said...

Iran could be a significant American ally in the Middle East, with a mutually beneficial relationship, and yet the Bush administration persists in targeting Iran for no apparent good reason. I've never been able to understand this - surely it's time to move on from the 1970s hostage crisis?

subadei said...

I've looked at this in some theoretical detail here.

To make a long story short I've resisted the notion that the Bush "big bang" (to quote T. Barnett) approach to the middle east includes Iran for the very reasons you and I lay out. It's shortsighted, assbackwards and will be very much counter-effective to stabilising the ME.
Instead I've thought our negative rhetoric and sabre rattling was more in line with containing Israel whose next ruling party (Likud) takes Ahmadinejad's blustering very seriously. This combined with the prospect of nuclear proliferation may well be enough to spark an Israeli pre-emptive strike on Iran.
By talking and walking tough we mitigate that scenario (and the nightmare that would follow.)

However as time passes and the rhetoric heats up I'm less hopeful.

Steve said...

On the other hand, there have been predictions of an attack on Iran for years now (by Seymour Hirsh among many others) and there haven't been any. I think everyone is just locked into blustering about it.

A.E. said...

As to Steve's comment, I think that the reporting on an Iran attack (Hersh, etc) may have played a role in preventing it.

subadei said...

Steve,
I hope your right. One positive aspect (perhaps the only) of the Democrats stonewalling the EF bill is that it lessens the likelyhood of GW acting against Iran.

Adam,

Nice angle on the Hirsch story. If there were real intentions (as Hirsch contends) to attack Iran then I think you're right.