Saturday, February 04, 2012

The Peacock Throne's Replacement

Once upon a time the US had a staunch ally in the Middle East. It was a Muslim nation boldly stepping into the modern era and while it related to the Arab states, it wasn't really Arab. We then elected a President who in many circles has been the winner of the dubious title, "worst ever". The aftermath of his one short term was the deposition of our ally, the alienation of the area and the embarrassment of the seizure of our embassy. Although that President had graduated from one of our military academies he had not learned the lessons regarding strength of nations.

I read a book shortly after the Shah of Iran had died. It covered the period of the collapse of his empire and the rise of the fundamentalist theocracy. The one lesson I took away from that book was a view of Iranian culture and how it differs from the West. The difference isn't restricted to Iran alone. We saw it in action during the often humorous TV reports emerging from Baghdad during the second Gulf War. The minister of information would be reporting to the people of the victories of the brave Republican Guard and the armies of Sadaam. We were getting different reports but we weren't sure that what our sources were reporting was factual, at least until Baghdad Bob was upstaged in his reporting by the columns of US armor rolling through the street behind him as he boasted of his victories.

The lesson is that within the culture of the Middle East there is conditioning to believe what you are told, not what you see or what the facts might indicate. It allows for the people to retain confidence in despotic governments. It provides support for the weakest of regimes. It convinces a military to fight against certain defeat. And it can even cause an indecisive opposing political leader to hesitate in actions.

Here is recent validation of the practice:

Supreme Leader Challenges For a Smackdown

Today there can be little doubt that the leadership of the US is eager to abrogate that position. There is no stomach for a fight and there is a prevalent belief that we can be a broker for peace if only we negotiate. We don't need to be armed and trained anymore. We are eager to withdraw and dismantle. We can always hire some Hessians if necessary.

Israel harbors no such delusions. They are realists because they must be. They are told repeatedly that the intent of Iran is to eradicate them from the face of the earth. There has been plenty of evidence to support that goal. They also know that the alibi of "peaceful application" of Iranian nuclear development is a story for the weak to embrace. There is an approaching deadline; a point of no recovery. The need for action is increasing and within months if not weeks, there will be no possibility of salvation.

Many have thought that there was a rift between Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollah. They grasped at the straw that the Premier was a loose cannon and would be held in check by the Supreme Leader. That message has now been effectively erased.

Israel will act. We will be impacted whether we support that action or sit indecisively on the sideline. There can be no doubt of that.

It would be foolish, however, to believe that our global stature will be enhanced by passivity. Our allies will increasingly distrust us and our enemies will be confident in their immunity from consequences.

The Chinese curse is definitely in operation. We are living in interesting times.

6 comments:

immagikman said...

You know, if Israel strikes, I think they better go all out. Go Big or go home so to speak, they must annihilate Iran so that there is no possibility of them coming back as a threat to anyone for the foreseeable future. A half Measure will just make matters worse. This I think is what has been keeping them from attacking before now..they know/knew that it would have to be an all or nothing strike.

FlyingBarrister said...

The question is: how does Israel, its western allies, and their respective intel and law enforcement agencies involved in counterterror handle the reprisals by Iranian agents and surrogates like Hizballah?

foxone12 said...

Terrorism is not self-supporting. If we learned nothing else from the collapse of the USSR and its Eastern European surrogates, we learned that without fiscal support, terrorism dries up. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Red Brigades, the Bader-Meinhof Gang and their ilk were no more. Right now, Iran, Syria, (Pakistan to some extent), and elements within Saudi Arabia keep terrorism alive. They supply the money and the arms. They harbor terrorist leaders. Another leg of support is the gifts to the "Palestinian People" that you and I give through our generous government. These are the foods that feed terrorism. Cut off the food supply and terrorism dies.

MSgt B said...

You are right to say we will be involved, whether we want to be or not.

When Isreal acts, the Arab states will assume it was with the blessing and support of the United States, no matter how hard we try to stay away from it.

nzgarry said...

It is good to see US troops going home who have fought so well and for so long, they deserve it.

I think though that it would be wise to leave a lot of ordnance secured in Iraq, especially tanks.

Was it Theodore Roosevelt who said?;
" Talk softly, but carry a big stick!".

Robman said...

I expect Israel to act before November. It could be next week or months from now, but they'll act.

I don't know what "all out" is going to mean for Israel. They don't have B-2s or carrier battle groups, and they have to fly twice the distance they did to Iraq 30 years ago.

It should have been done back in '08, but Bob Gates talked Bush #43 out of supporting Israel then. I have no doubt that if McCain had won, it would have been taken care of by now.

Obama is a Saudi-brainwashed Manchurian Candidate anti-Israel political cruise missile. He was installed - yes, installed - for the sole purpose of either forcing Israel to accept a Saudi "diktat" to allow Israel's effective eventual dissolution, or failing that, to destroy the U.S.- Israel "special relationship".

Recall that despite having an overwhelmingly and unprecedentedly supportive media, despite being able to outspend McCain at least two to one, despite McCain having the albatross of Bush #43 around his neck...after the GOP convention right up until the crash - and shortly thereafter - McCain held onto a solid lead in the polls and was clearly on track to win. Then the crash happened. How convenient.

Note that Obama will compromise on just about every other issue - his extension of the Bush tax cuts was blasphemy to his base - but on Israel, in terms of concrete policy positions (never mind the empty platitudes), HE NEVER BACKS OFF ONE INCH. Israel can do no right, the Palestinians can do no wrong, and whatever outrage the Palestinians engage in, the pressure is always, always on Israel to concede concede concede. The Petrodollar Pimps have already got Eurabia in their pocket to pressure Israel, and now they've added the U.S. under Obama.

What's this got to do with Iran?

Obama is Saudia's "Frankenstein Monster" of sorts. Their agents like Edward Said and Rashid Khalidi filled Obama's head up completely with the Palestinian's b.s. narrative to the point where Obama is a 'true believer'. For the Saudis, the Palestinian bit is cynical game, the Palestinians merely cannon fodder, with which to destroy Israel by a thousand cuts (since they figured out they can't do this on the battlefield).

The Saudis - along with the rest of the Sunni Arabs - are scared to death of a nuclear Iran, though. They want something done about this, and they are too lazy/inept militarily to do it themselves.

But Obama sees the threat of a nuclear Iran as his main source of leverage to force Israel to capitulate to the PA. His quid pro quo for support on Iran has always been Israel accepting some variation on the so-called "Saudi Peace Plan". If the U.S. supports Israel on a strike against Iran, before there is his preferred "peace agreement", Israel will have "gotten over". And Obama can't have that.

If Israel acts alone and it isn't that effective, but causes a big conflagration anyway, with attendant economic effects, Obama can blame Israel, and the lack of effectiveness will be Israel's punishment for not bending to his will. He'd risk a nuclear Iran to achieve that.

So, the U.S. under Obama is NOT going to do anything about Iran, and Iranian progress seems to indicate that events are going to force Israel to act alone out of desperation.

My definition of an effective strike for Israel is one that sets Iran's program back at least five years (i.e., enough to outlast Obama if need be). I don't know that they can do that now without tactical nukes.