Dealing With Iran and Reality

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty (rafflaw)-Guest Blogger

We have heard a lot lately from politicians of many stripes claiming that Iran must be stopped at any cost and that their Nuclear program is already a “clear and present danger” to Israel and its allies in the West.  We have had visitors to this site claim that Iran is already a nuclear threat and the Iranian nuclear facilities must be taken out now to protect Israel and our interests in the Middle East.  With that drumbeat of an alleged need to attack Iran, I thought it was especially interesting that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff seems to be against the idea of a unilateral strike against Iran, by any country.  Including Israel!

“Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey told reporters in London on Thursday that an Israeli attack on Iran would “clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran’s nuclear programme.” Dempsey — America’s highest ranking military officer — also sought to distance the U.S. from any premature attack, adding, “I don’t want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it.”  Think Progress  

General Dempsey did not pull his punches in stating his concern over any unilateral attack and the political damage that it would do.  “Dempsey said he did not know Iran’s nuclear intentions, as intelligence did not reveal intentions. What was clear, he said, was that the “international coalition” applying pressure on Iran “could be undone if [Iran] was attacked prematurely”. Sanctions against Iran were having an effect, and they should be given a reasonable opportunity to succeed.”  Guardian

If we are to believe the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, there is uncertainty in the international intelligence community as to the actual intentions of Iran.  The former head of Mossad, the Israeli version of the CIA, Meir Dagan, has stated recently that any attack on Iran would have the reverse effect on their nuclear program and might actually speed up any Nuclear Bomb program.  “Moreover, he asserted that in the case of an Israeli strike, Iran could declare before the world that it was attacked even while adhering to agreements made with the International Atomic Energy Agency – by a country that reportedly possess “strategic capabilities.”  “We would provide them with the legitimacy to achieve nuclear capabilities for military purposes,” he said.

‘Sanctions more effective’

The former chief of the secret service postulated that economic sanctions are more effective than military action.  “The military option must be given serious consideration. The fact that it is being waved around as means of deterrence does not deter the Iranians, but could provide the answer to their nuclear aspirations,” he said. “The ability to stop the Iranian nuclear program in a military strike, at this point, is very limited.” ‘  Ynet News

With Israeli and US intelligence and military operatives agreeing that Iran has not even decided on building a bomb, would it not be foolhardy to attack Iran and cause the international community to turn in favor of the Iranian regime?  Think Progress  We have already experienced what happens when a country is attacked based on shoddy or untruthful intelligence in Iraq.

Do we really want to back or assist in an Israeli attack when the majority of Israeli defense chiefs are reportedly against it?  If the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs states that sanctions against Iran are working, why would anyone want to attack first and ask questions later?  Are these calls for attacks in Israel and the United States politically motivated and out of touch with the intelligence and military realities?  When United States Senator Joseph Lieberman and former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton make claims that it is necessary to attack Iran, should we believe them, or the Joint Chiefs of Staff or the former head of the Mossad?  USA Today  & Radio Free Europe

How accurate was the track record of hawks like Senator Lieberman and Ambassador Bolton prior to attacking Iraq because of its alleged weapons of Mass Destruction program?  Why do politicians want to send in the military, even before the military thinks it should be involved?  Could the upcoming election be part of the reason for these calls for war?

What do you think the proper course of action should be to control and prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons?  Let’s hear from you!

48 thoughts on “Dealing With Iran and Reality”

  1. Rafflaw: “Do we really want to back or assist in an Israeli attack when the majority of Israeli defense chiefs are reportedly against it?”
    No, and for reasons that have nothing to do with their defense chief’s opinions. I recall the last Israeli war against Lebanon and the bombing of Gaza, both gross, brutal and grotesquely disproportionate responses to limited conflicts IMO. I no longer support Israel or trust their judgment.

    Another anti-war message from the ground level from Tom Waits- that’s always the level that doesn’t get talked about, the civilians and the soldiers, they never figure into the discussion of weather anyone should start a war or bomb another country. I wonder how the Iraqi civilian refugees that fled Iraq to resettle in Syria are doing these days…

  2. Rafflaw, I once had a “challenge” conversation with a Russian immigrant, back in the late 70s. He insisted that American music did not elicit any emotional responses, was “flat” and blah blah blah. He played Chaliapin. I played “WAR” by Edwin Star.

  3. General Dempsey gives me hope for our military, which is mostly riddled with political hackery and incompetence at the flag rank levels. The man speaks truth to power, and does so without using political cant and iseological sloganeering. It is my hope that he is supporting the policy of his commander in chief, although even as he is making these statements the White House is issuing statements that “the window of time for diplomacy to work is rapidly closing,” which leads me to believe that Dempsey is a lot smarter than is his commander in chief.

  4. rafflaw,

    You’re welcome. I really did have to change the keyboard. The Gateway keyboard is toast.

  5. Matt,
    Even if it is a bad day for Iran, if they are attacked first, the wing nut leaders will gain the support of their people and the sanctions coalition will crumble. The bad day for them might be followed by many bad days for us.

  6. I was in the Navy on a supply ship, an AOR. It was the USS Coral Sea battle group. If Iran tries to sink a U.S. aircraft carrier, it won’t be a good day for them.

  7. If the Unrestrained Secret Aggressor (USA) starts a covert war of sabotage against Iran, and Iran retaliates by sinking an aircraft carrier named- shall we say George H.W. Bush or Ronald W. Reagan, we may well find out which nation’s leaders are insane enough to unleash the first nuclear weapon since 1945. And I’m betting it ain’t Iran.

  8. Swarthmore Mom,
    Thanks for the link! Romney seems intent on allowing former Bush “experts” to steer his foreign policy.

  9. What do you think the proper course of action should be to control and prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons? Let’s hear from you!
    Let the Saudis deal with it. They’re afraid of Iran. Maybe they will refrain from flying airplanes into American buildings.

    Henry Kissinger said as long as they’re killing each other we don’t have to deal with it.

  10. There are those who salivate when the bell rings:

    For more than quarter of a century Western officials have claimed repeatedly that Iran is close to joining the nuclear club. Such a result is always declared “unacceptable” and a possible reason for military action, with “all options on the table” to prevent upsetting the Mideast strategic balance dominated by the US and Israel.

    And yet, those predictions have time and again come and gone. This chronicle of past predictions lends historical perspective to today’s rhetoric about Iran.

    (The Fruits of A Celebrity World of Illusion, citing Christian Science Monitior). What is amazing is that we are like a record stuck in a groove that does mindless repetition of mindless ideas.

  11. Bravo, Ge. Dempsey. Good thinking Badman.
    ” Let the sanctions bite ” as said on occasions before.

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