Wars and Rumors of Wars

June 20, 2012


Since the dawn of man the Middle East has been a hotbed of violence and hatred. In the dark ages Europeans entered into a foray in the region that didn’t end so well. You would think that world leaders would have learned from the crusades, but the opposite appears to be the case. The list of failed policies and military catastrophes in the Middle East that the US has been involved in seems to go on forever.

Much like most of our relations with Iran our recent saber rattling with them promises to create a firestorm that could plunge the region into chaos. The Obama administration’s policy seems to be; we already have troops everywhere else in the Middle East so why not Iran? This couples with America’s staunch support of Israel is a recipe for disaster.

The threat of violence in the Straight of Hormuz is making oil speculators very nervous. One fifth of the world’s oil supply flows through the straight. Currently Iranian and American naval forces are conducting operations within spitting distance of each other. We are already paying an arm and a leg for gasoline. If war breaks out with Iran what will happen to already soaring prices?

Israel continues to threaten Iran with attack. They fear that Iran’s nuclear program will lead to weaponization of fissiable materials. If our rivals wish to develop nuclear weapons I do not think we should sit back and allow it to happen, however we’ve heard the weapons of mass destruction song and dance before. If western powers wish to invade Iran we must have concrete evidence before we strike. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey has gone on record stating “It’s not prudent at this point to decide to attack Iran.” The general went on to say that striking Iran would be “destabilizing and wouldn’t achieve long-term objectives.”

Unlike our failed counter insurgency operations in Iraq, an attack on Iran could lead to World War Three. Our leaders would do well to approach tensions between Iran and Israel cautiously. According to US Colonel Douglas Macgregor “After an Israeli strike, Tehran won’t need to build nuclear bombs – it will be given them.”

It’s hard to say if America will actually get involved in a war with Iran, however congress recently passed a resolution, H.Res.568 that would call for an attack if Iran developed nuclear weapons capability. According to former Chief of Staff for Colin Powell, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson “This resolution reads like the same sheet of music that got us into the Iraq war, and could be the precursor for a war with Iran. It’s effectively a thinly-disguised effort to bless war.”

American forces and their allies seem to be gearing up for a new conflict in the region. An ongoing training operation, Eager Lion simulates a beach landing followed by an inland invasion of fortified bases. Amidst all of this the US has sent two air craft carriers to the gulf. The USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Enterprise have been deployed to the area, and. Gen. Mattis is requesting a third one.

Further increasing our presence in the Middle East are six F22 Raptors. The dubious fighters have been sent less that 200 miles away from the Iranian border.

After a decade of conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq the American public has lost it’s taste for war. A recent poll conducted by the New York Times indicates that only 23% of respondents support the war. The Washington Post conducted a poll where 60% of respondents said they believe the war was not even worth fighting. It’s a sad commentary when it takes 10 years for the American people to grow weary of death and destruction.

All of this makes one wonder if anyone in charge remembers Vietnam. That war was started over false pretenses such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident. The cost in human life was staggering and yet our leadership saw fit to invade Afghanistan. Speaking of short memories didn’t anyone in charge take notice when the Russians failed to defeat Afghan insurgents in the 80s? At least that war only lasted 9 years. It doesn’t take an expert in Middle Eastern affairs to know that a war in Afghanistan would have failed.

Fortunately we have a chance not to make the same mistake with Iran. It’s an election year and the last thing Obama wants to do is to look soft on Iran, however deciding to invade would be the worst mistake the administration could make.