Friday, January 12, 2007

An Army of Frothers

Right, I will change the record shortly but one more post on Iran for now.

Via a comment by redpesto, my attention is drawn to one Andrew McCarthy writing for the National Review's The Corner. From what I've read elsewhere, the Iranian government building raided in Irbil may not have been an officially designated consulate but the Iranians presence was certainly fully authorised by the Kurdish authorities. McCarthy, however, accepts that it was a consulate.

He writes:
[T]he raid on the Iranian consulate in Iraq's Kurdish region has to be welcome news. We would certainly regard that as an act of war if the tables were turned.
Hurray for acts of war!

To fully understand where McCarthy is coming from, I'll first go back to quoting something I wrote before Bush made his speech. It concerns the anonymously leaked claims that the Iranians are aiding both sides of the sectarian conflict in Iraq in order to provoke instability.
If he [Bush] goes on record with these claims, I'll be extremely surprised and I'd still want the captured documents made available to independent experts for translation and corroboration before giving any weight to them. It is, however, far more likely that he will insinuate that the claims are true without actually saying so directly. Frothing warmongers will then complain that he didn't go far enough, that he should have made the case explicit, that he should have published the captured intelligence, without considering possibility that he didn't do any of these things for the very good reasons that the intelligence doesn't actually exist.
Hopefully, we're now all up to the speed with the fact that Bush made no explicit reference to these claims and have understood the implications of that omission.

But what did McCarthy make of Bush's speech? He was underwhelmed. While welcoming Bush's words, he did not think Bush went far enough.
Under the Bush Doctrine as articulated in September 2001, it [material support for America's enemies] is supposed to be met with a vigorous American response because we deem rogue regimes to be just like the terrorists they abet. Patently, in the case of Iran and Syria, we have not done that. In turning away from the Bush Doctrine in this most essential of its potential applications, we have turned away from the blueprint for winning the war — not the Battle of Baghdad but the War on Terror.

In the raging sectarian warfare, Iran promotes jihadists of both Sunni and Shiite stripe. Plainly, it sees its interest in a destabilized Iraq.

Actions, the old saw tells us, speak louder than words. Given our actions, and what they imply about our sentiments, it’s going to take a lot more than last night’s rhetoric to make an impression on Iran and Syria.
Froth, froth, bomb, bomb, kill kill.

If I could be bothered to wade through all the bile, I'm quite sure I could find many more examples of this sort of war drumming in other neo-con publications today. It's not that McCarthy is involved in some deep dark conspiracy (at least, I very much doubt he is), just that his own prejudices make it easy for the Bush administration to manipulate him.

Sometimes, for all that I try, it is simply impossible to avoid saying I told you so. But it's not that difficult to predict this sort of thing when exactly the same tactic was used before the invasion of Iraq.


FlyingRodent said...

I take it these jokers weren't paying attention during the Iran-Iraq war, but it might be worth noting the human wave attacks and the teenage kids riding their motorbikes over the minefields to clear the way for the Iranian army.

That should've sent a clear message - the Iranians aren't worried by the prospect of death, not one little bit. If the Yanks invade, everyone from little sis to old grandpa is going to be queuing up bumper-to-bumper in carbomb traffic jams, itching for a crack at the infidel.

Call me a doom-monger if you will, but I reckon an air-attack on Iran will be the most appalling error in American history. An all-out invasion might just be the end of the US as a superpower.

Remember those war-games they played before the Iraq war, the one where the entire US naval fleet went to the bottom of the gulf in flames?

Praxis is different from theory, I suppose, but I wouldn't want to be out there when the shit hits the fan.

sam_m said...

I don't want to allay your paranoia, they still may be out to get you and I don't want to diminish the endurance of your posts, for fear they'll get shorter than my comments but the practicalities are against the USA attacking Iran.
The US military is bogged down and near exhausted in Iraq. It could not engage in another war, it's been doing a lot to avoid engagement in Iraq.

If the US were to attack Iran in the near future, it would have to annihilate the country from the air. It doesn't have the ordnance to do that. Nor does it have any justification. The American public have had enough of Iraq, they will not stand another war. The rest of the world would outcast the USA.

To attack Iran without annihilating it would mean the annihilation of the US forces in Iraq. The US Army can't drive down the roads of Iraq but the Iranian Army could to "liberate" the country from the "Crusaders".

At present it must be most gratifying for the "Axis of Evil" countries to watch the US military spend itself in Iraq and watch the US political hierarchy do the same at home.

To attack Iran, Bush would have to find a General far madder than himself. It's improbable if not impossible.
There'd be a greater likelihood of a coup in the USA.

. said...

"Iran promotes jihadists of both Sunni and Shiite stripe"

Yes, of course it does. That would be like the United States supporting both Iran and Iraq during the 1980s. Oh, wait...

CuriousHamster said...

flyingrodent, agreed. These armchair warriors just don't have the faintest idea. I doubt an all out invasion is on the cards, there just aren't enough available troops. The plan be based on air attacks if it's anything. They just don't seem to be able to grasp that the other side might also have a say in the shape of any conflict though.

sam, I'd refer you the comments from Colonel Gardiner I quoted in a previous post. I agree that it doesn't make sense but that doesn't mean it won't happen.

It's not just leftie moonbats like me who're worried about this. After Bush's speech, Republican congressman Ron Paul said:

"I am concerned, however, that a contrived Gulf of Tonkin- type incident may occur to gain popular support for an attack on Iran."

If Bush wants to do this, the generals might be able to stop him. But then, he is their commander-in-chief. It'd effectively be mutiny. Respect for the office of the President is deeply ingrained on all members of the the U.S. military.

Dot, that may be why some of these guys are so convinced about this. Perhaps they're thinking "We'd do it so they would to".