Obama’s War: Politically Smart Or Armageddon?
September 1, 2010 by John Myers
“The world must prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. I will take no options off the table in dealing with this potential Iranian threat.“ –Barack Obama.
What better way to prove he is not a Muslim than for President Barack Obama to strike at the heart of the Middle East? And what better way to reflate the economy, unite the nation and secure America’s future energy needs? It’s a grand slam and the White House knows it.
Then again, Iran is making it easy for Obama to get his war. Tehran’s leaders appear to have graduated from the Adolf Hitler School of Diplomacy. The day after announcing the start-up of Iran’s Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pulled a cover away from an aircraft called the Karrar and announced it was Iran’s first long-range drone. Not so subtly the Iranians have coined it, “The Ambassador of Death”.
Furthermore says Ahmadinejad, “Enemies know well that Iran is an invincible fortress and I do not believe the U.S. masters of the Zionists will allow the regime to take any measures against Iran.”
Not so quick President Mahmoud. The last leader that questioned an American President’s will for war was the leader of your next door neighbor. That president, named Saddam, saw not one but two wars with the United States; one initiated by the father, the other by the son.
All this has left the United States and Israel hinting war with Iran. Washington and Jerusalem are disconcerted after the Islamic Republic has shown off all its weaponry; everything from new mini-submarines to a surface-to-surface missile. Tehran has even announced plans to launch high-altitude satellites over the next three years.
The Truth Behind The Exit From Iraq
In August the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen said the U.S. has a plan in place to attack Iran, if it is necessary. Executing this plan no doubt calls for the U.S. to shuffle its overseas assets, including its standing army in Iraq. It is no coincidence that within a week of Mullen’s comments, Obama touted his planned withdrawal, saying: “As a candidate for President, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end… Shortly after taking office; I announced our new strategy… for a transition to full Iraqi responsibility. And I made it clear that by Aug. 31, 2010, America’s combat mission in Iraq would end. And that is exactly what we are doing — as promised, on schedule.”
The Obama administration and mainstream media have celebrated the Iraq withdrawal announcement as if it were V-E Day.
The truth, says Stephen Lendman, OpEdNews: “Unmentioned was combat readiness remaining, paramilitary army additions replacing those leaving, shifting Iraq forces to Afghanistan, increasing hostilities against Pakistan, committing daily war crimes throughout the region, planning more conflicts ahead, continuing America’s permanent war agenda.”
More conflicts likely means Battlefield Iran. But Iran won’t be the pushover the way Iraq was with its low-tech static defense. Richard Clarke, counterterrorism advisor in the White House under three administrations, says that short of an all out nuclear strike the U.S. cannot win a war against Iran.
“After a long debate, the highest levels of the military could not forecast a way in which things would end favorably for the United States,” said Clarke, pointing out that the Pentagon’s planners have war-gamed an attack on Iran several times in the past 15 years, and simply can’t generate a non-nuclear scenario where the U.S. wins.
Unlike Iraq, Iran has much higher tech weaponry than Soviet Union throwaways like the 1960s designed T-72 tank. Also there are some 80 million people in Iran, the great majority of them religious zealots who would throw themselves in the face of a foreign invasion.
Iran is mountainous and vast; four times the size of Iraq. Furthermore, the Iranian army numbers 450,000 combat troops, only slightly smaller than the U.S. Army whose troops are scattered across the globe and must be on alert for other enemies.
According to Gwynne Dyer, a syndicated columnist and military historian, if the White House were to propose anything larger than minor military incursions along Iran’s south coast, senior American generals would resign in protest. “Without the option of a land war, the only lever the United States would have on Iranian policy is the threat of yet more bombs — but if they aren’t nuclear, then they aren’t very persuasive,” wrote Dyer in Straight.com.
Obama Hawks Set To Wade Into War
That’s not to say there aren’t some in America and even some in the Obama administration itself that are itching to go to strike Iran. Earlier this summer The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), a collection of neoconservatives, hawks and neoliberal interventionists, began calling on the President to make war preparations against Iran. Two prominent BPC members, former Senator Chuck Robb and retired General Charles Wald, concluded in a July op-ed in The Washington Post that, “current trends suggest that Iran could achieve nuclear weapons capability before the end of this year.”
To meet this threat Robb and Wald advocate that the Obama administration begin an immediate military buildup for war. They suggest a plan that will include a “targeted strike on Tehran’s nuclear and supporting military facilities.”
The BPC has supporters within the Obama administration including Dennis Ross, currently Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for the Central Region of the National Security Council and who was one of the “original task force members” of the BPC’s bomb-Iran planning group. Ross and other neoconservatives in the Obama administration are itching to bomb Iran for military and strategic reasons. But I suspect there are others in the administration that want war for purely political reasons.
First and foremost is the President’s loss of support going into the fall Congressional elections, including musings that the President may not have been born a U.S. citizen and may in fact be a Muslim. Just as LBJ believed waging war on Vietnam would stem Republican criticisms that he was a dove, so too, Obama might think that waging war against Iran will answer any questions about his leadership and loyalties.
There are also strategic arguments to going to war with Iran. Iran is the defacto leader of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, having wrestled control from Saudi Arabia more than a decade ago. It carries the biggest stick on a patch of ground that contains two-thirds of the world’s conventional petroleum reserves. Iran’s control of the world’s oil supplies gives American strategic planners nightmares.
Countdown To War
Desperate times mean desperate measures. But make no mistake; this war could be much more devastating to the U.S. and the world than any war since World War II. There is the real potential that an isolated conflict will spread and perhaps engulf China and Russia.
Each passing week, as Obama slips in the polls and Tehran rattles its sabers, the prospects for war grow; a war that will no doubt drive up oil and gold prices. But also a war whose final outcome may be so devastating that few will enjoy the profits they reap.
Yours for real wealth and good health,
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report