January 01, 2006

My One Big Prediction for 2006

The United States will NOT attack Iran.

It will not do so for several reasons.

The backlash from Shiites in Iraq would be huge. If the US thinks it has a hard time holding together support for its continued presence in Iraq now, it would become impossible after an attack on Iran. The Shiite clerics in Iraq would send the people into violent resistance, that is if they would need any encouragement in the first place. The US might as well shoot itself in the head as far as creating any kind of lasting pro-US regime in Iraq.

Iran is actually an ally for the US in its struggle against Saudi fundamentalist Waahabist Islam. As predicted by Juan Cole, Saudi Arabia will use its huge oil profit windfall to further strenghten itself and its worldwide Wahaabist message, which is anti-USA at its very core. Iran's Shi'a leadership and the Persian people are natural and historic allies against Saudi Wahaabism.

Militarily, an attack on Iran would bring ruin to US relations with China and Russia, both of whom have been working closely with the Iranian regime, in many areas of military and economic cooperation. An American attack would further isolate the US and would give rise to more anti-US regimes along the lines of Chavez' Venezuela. Can you imagine dozens of Chavez-like leaders biting at George Bush's ankles and causing him to sweat profusely everywhere he goes?

Iran's potential nuclear weapons capability actually represents a counter-weight to other Sunni Islamic nuclear powers and potential nuclear powers. Iran is not so much a threat to the US as it is to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Syria, and other hardline Sunni-dominated countries. An attack on Iran would destroy this balance and give hope to anti-US Sunni rejectionists in Iraq, not to mention anti-American Wahaabists in Saudi Arabia.

The alternative to a US attack on Iran's nuclear weapons potential would be an Israeli attack, both unthinkable for Israel and impermissible for the US. Despite Israeli saber-rattling, as well as US threats, the attack will not happen.

If I am wrong, and I grant my fallibility, it will only be because George Bush is even more foolish and reckless than I think he is.


Craig said...

Some interesting points. I would add that our military is so over-stretched that there's a limit to what Bush can do anyway. Bombs and special forces activity is about the limit of Bush's options with Iran.

Oil prices are falling mainly due to the fact that the US, Europe and Japan have released oil reserves in response to Katrina and in an effort to stabililze prices. Perhaps the growing unlikelihood of an attack on Iran is also part of the reason oil prices are falling.

Then again, Bush hasn't always been rational.

Sarah said...

I hope you are right. To engage Iran would be an absolute mistake for all the reasons you mentioned and many more. Alas, relying on Bush to not be "foolish and reckless" is a scary place to be...

Newsguy said...

Bush is pretty damn foolish and reckless. I wouldn't count on any actual logic to restrain his stupid ass. Hope you're right.

Puma said...

I think you are correct, the US will not attack Iran... overtly. Covertly is another matter, as are secret airstrikes, or secret airstrikes through an intermediary, as in Israel. I put nothing past this Administration. The fools have already demonstrated their astounding, profound lack of understanding of the Arab cultures and/or religions. Bush himself has shown his immense stupidity and juvenile inability to even make rational decisions, and the fact that Iran is huge, nuclear, and making big friends in the world might not possibly even register in his sheltered little bubble. He could just as easily behave like the panicked school yard bully that he is, and grasp and beat and pummel whoever gets in the way of his tantrum or "his" oil.

"Can you imagine dozens of Chavez-like leaders biting at George Bush's ankles and causing him to sweat profusely everywhere he goes?"

I think he is already feeling them, and rightly so. He really should be hoping to God the "terrorists" don't wake up and realize that all they have to do is bomb a few strategic pipelines around the world to bring the US economy to its knees. "Hey, you bomb Iran, we bomb your pipeline" etc. so to speak

That having been said, I hope, for all our sakes, that someone, somewhere in that obscene Administration, has a shred of reason and understanding of the situation, and that that someone has enough clout to make the idiots listen.