Frailty, Thy Name Is Tehran

NATO AIR

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Not endorsing his ideas, but Spengler is always enjoyable for the alternative POV he offers from traditional standpoints. He is correct about the fraility of the Iranian regime though, something we all tend to miss in hyping Iran's nuclear danger or in acknowledging Persian culture and "empire".

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HJ24Ak01.html

Frailty, thy name is Tehran
By Spengler

Russia warned on Saturday against "any attempt to use the Security Council ... to promote the idea of regime change" in Iran. On the same day, the USS Eisenhower carrier strike force entered the Persian Gulf, joining two other carrier groups already steaming off the Iranian coast. Two paraphrases of William Shakespeare occur to me: The Russian doth protest too much, and Frailty, thy name is Tehran.

It is silly to portray the United States as a declining imperial power. The US set out to stabilize Iraq, and instead plunged it into


civil war, precisely as I predicted three years ago. [1] Suppose instead that the US had set out intentionally to plunge Iraq into civil war. How easy would that have been? Iraq is an empire in miniature, a multi-ethnic-and-confessional changeling created by French and British imperialists in their own image. Like Iran, where Persians comprise just half the population, and Syria, an ethnic and religious farrago ruled by an Alawi clique, Iraq suffers the centrifugal faults of empire without, however, enjoying the imperial advantage of rewarding one's own people by oppressing others.

On the other hand, the word "decline" hardly begins to describe what is happening to the leftovers of imperial design in the Middle East, including the wanna-be Persian Empire. It is just as silly to reject a preemptive act on Iran on the grounds that the Persian nation would rally behind the radical regime of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. Nations rally behind winners, not losers. If you don't believe me, ask Nicholas II of Russia or Kaiser Wilhelm II.

No doubt the three US carrier groups stand off the Iranian coast in the hope of frightening Iran into nuclear compliance, not with orders to attack. Intentions are not always the best predictor of outcomes, however. Daggers drawn tend to draw blood.

The Iraq war has been a disaster for US objectives, but not for US interests. Two years ago I predicted, "The United States will in some form or other attack Iran while it arranges the division of Iraq." [2] A Kurdish republic in Iraq's north would be a loyal US ally, as well as reminder to the Turks that America's friendship is not to be trifled with. A Sunni entity in central Iraq would be a miserable and impoverished affair. The oil-rich south with its Shi'ite majority would present a problem to the US if Iran could project sufficient influence there, but the United States can prevent this by destabilizing Iran.

Recent events have unfolded with a sickening inevitability. Only one of my predictions seems to have gone awry: I believed that Washington would attack Iran prior to the November election in the US. [3] This now appears unlikely, as the administration of President George W Bush is sticking to its story about democracy and stability in Iraq, however threadbare it has become. By imposing a ceasefire and a token peacekeeping force in Lebanon, permitting Iran to resupply its Hezbollah proxy, Washington showed how much it wanted to keep the lid on the kettle for the time being. In one respect, America's election-inspired policy has succeeded, for the price of oil has collapsed and along with it the price of gasoline for US consumers. Such arrangements, though, cannot last very long.

It is embarrassing to read the musings of American strategists about their supposed options in Iraq. In an October 20 essay in the Wall Street Journal, Professor Eliot Cohen listed as candidates for "Plan B" the following: (1) ask Iran and Syria to help, (2) withdraw, (3) send in more US troops, (4) let the civil war proceed with US troops sheltered in secure bases, (5) put a military strongman in charge, and (6) partition the country. "All of the options for Plan B are either wretched to contemplate or based on fantasy," concluded Cohen.

In fact, there is another option, namely to stop treating the conflict as an Iraqi matter and extending it to the whole region, first of all by attacking Iranian nuclear installations, and second by destabilizing Iran. Regime change as such may be a fantasy, but keeping the Iranians busy with problems inside their own borders is not. Widening the conflict is just what the US could not do in Vietnam without risking war with Russia or China.

Syria, Iran's main ally in the region, would be caught up in the whirlwind. Hezbollah could not stand by while its main sponsor came under US fire. Even a limited US attack on Iranian nuclear capability would blow up the ceasefire on the Israel-Lebanon border. This time Israel would advance to the Litani River (which Washington reportedly forbade last summer). Syria most likely would be drawn into the war. Even if it were not, the movement of a million Shi'ite refugees into Syria, including many Hezbollah fighters, would make the tenure of the Alawite regime in Damascus slippery.

Israel failed to suppress Hezbollah in July for two principal reasons. First, the Israel public was not ready to accept the thousand or so casualties required to retake the Litani River. Second, the US was not willing to permit Israel to dismantle Hezbollah capabilities, which would have involved (as I wrote at the time [4]) the expulsion of a good deal of the local Shi'ite population and the destruction of hundreds of civilian homes used to launch short-range rockets at Israel. With so much political capital sunk into the mirage of Lebanese democracy, the United States did not want to upend the country. Having convinced Hezbollah that no force on Earth will take them on, Washington will have to find a way to uproot them.

US policymakers, I wrote this March, "are deep in denial, or, as the case may be, deep in the Tigris. Like or not, the US will get chaos, and cannot do anything to forestall it. My advice to President George W Bush: When chaos is inevitable, learn to enjoy it. Take a weekend at Camp David with a case of Jack Daniel's and Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest." [5]

As for the Persians: they have been rather a nuisance since Thermopylae in 480 BC, and it is time that someone taught them a lesson.
 

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Not endorsing his ideas, but Spengler is always enjoyable for the alternative POV he offers from traditional standpoints. He is correct about the fraility of the Iranian regime though, something we all tend to miss in hyping Iran's nuclear danger or in acknowledging Persian culture and "empire".
I agree and not. I've yet to see the US try 'regime change' in Iran, for the simple reason that abbadabbadoo doesn't run Iran, the Mullahs do. There has been lots of 'talk' about an internal overthrow, but none that can be taken seriously.
 

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I agree and not. I've yet to see the US try 'regime change' in Iran, for the simple reason that abbadabbadoo doesn't run Iran, the Mullahs do. There has been lots of 'talk' about an internal overthrow, but none that can be taken seriously.

What those hoping for intenal overthrow of Iran can't seem to get through their heads, is it DOES have to be without US interference. Arabs/Persians have been brainwashed from birth to consider us the greater evil, and Iranians are as Nationalistic and patriotic as at least half the US population is (you guess WHICH half).

If we attack Iran in any way, it has to be with the realistic foreknowledge that ALL Iranians are going to see it as a US attack against Iran, not a US attack against the Mullahs, or President Alphabet.

Personally, I say screw Russia, and screw Iran. I'd strike any and all suspected nuclear sites and turn them to dust.
 

Annie

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What those hoping for intenal overthrow of Iran can't seem to get through their heads, is it DOES have to be without US interference. Arabs/Persians have been brainwashed from birth to consider us the greater evil, and Iranians are as Nationalistic and patriotic as at least half the US population is (you guess WHICH half).

If we attack Iran in any way, it has to be with the realistic foreknowledge that ALL Iranians are going to see it as a US attack against Iran, not a US attack against the Mullahs, or President Alphabet.

Personally, I say screw Russia, and screw Iran. I'd strike any and all suspected nuclear sites and turn them to dust.
Seriously Gunny, I'm to the point where I think we should, I don't know how, tell the fing world, we are out of here. If anyone attacks us or our closest allies, not Cold War or WWII allies, but our closest allies, all means are viable.

If you wish to overtake France, Italy, be our guest. Nuke them, you've got a problem.

Leave UK and Spain alone. Same with Australia, UK, Japan. First strike all the way.

Want to attack one another, go for it, we will let you.

Actually, let it be known, we don't give a flying f what you all wish to do to one another. We'll back Israel, but all they want is to be left to their own borders. Hamas, btw they abandoned Gaza nearly a year ago, so why the f are you sending daily missiles their way? We are taking you out.
 

Gunny

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Seriously Gunny, I'm to the point where I think we should, I don't know how, tell the fing world, we are out of here. If anyone attacks us or our closest allies, not Cold War or WWII allies, but our closest allies, all means are viable.

If you wish to overtake France, Italy, be our guest. Nuke them, you've got a problem.

Leave UK and Spain alone. Same with Australia, UK, Japan. First strike all the way.

Want to attack one another, go for it, we will let you.

Actually, let it be known, we don't give a flying f what you all wish to do to one another. We'll back Israel, but all they want is to be left to their own borders. Hamas, btw they abandoned Gaza nearly a year ago, so why the f are you sending daily missiles their way? We are taking you out.
You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Kathianne again.
ITA. Mess with us, we blow you up and you can put yourself back together. Or get France, Venezuela or Russia to do it. I'm sick to my eyeballs of playing by a set of rules contrived by our enemies, both from within and without.
 

Annie

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ITA. Mess with us, we blow you up and you can put yourself back together. Or get France, Venezuela or Russia to do it. I'm sick to my eyeballs of playing by a set of rules contrived by our enemies, both from within and without.
Yep, and I think many of the right and moderates agree with us.
 

Annie

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LOL .... they didn't last year. I got beat up for saying the same thing. I've had just one thing for an ungrateful world for several years now:

:moon4:
Well i meant 'real moderates', not the self proclaimed moderates, ie libs on this here board.
 

Annie

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Good trivia question .... have we EVER had a lib on the board who was NOT a self-proclaimed "moderate"?
Well 'that girl' that went to another board, after being banned. The far left one, with the older conservative lover...
 

Gunny

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Well 'that girl' that went to another board, after being banned. The far left one, with the older conservative lover...
The alleged Berkeley student? I came in right at the beginning of the end for her.

I know I had a mod on my board who was a member here, along with his wife, who called themselves conservatives when they were anything but.
 

Annie

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The alleged Berkeley student? I came in right at the beginning of the end for her.

I know I had a mod on my board who was a member here, along with his wife, who called themselves conservatives when they were anything but.
Yep that was her. Berkeley and riding, literally an older conservative sugar daddy.
 

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