Countdown to War with Cambodia...ooops... I mean Iran

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On a serious note. I'll be posting something longer on the topic in the next day or two. But in a way my earlier post on Iran-Israel-U.S. ties, including my Osirak Redux? tie neatly into what Bush is proposing. If you read his comments on Iran and Syria, it's becoming clear that the administration is preparing to escalate the war and expand it to Iran and Syria. The Cambodia analogy was raising by many pundits today, including by Senator Hagel during Condi's testimony on Capitol Hill:
Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., a twice-wounded Vietnam veteran, called Bush's speech "the most dangerous foreign policy blunder since Vietnam - and I intend to resist it."
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, testifying Thursday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the administration had no plans to cross Iraq's borders to attack supporters of the Iraqi insurgency and militias.
But Hagel compared that strategy to former President Richard Nixon's escalation of the Vietnam War to Cambodia.
"You cannot sit here today, not because you are dishonest or don't understand - once you get to hot pursuit, no one can say we won't engage across border," he said. "Some of us remember 1970 and Cambodia, and our government lied to us and said we didn't cross the border. When you set in motion the kind of policy the president is talking about here, it is very, very dangerous."

I still think that the U.S. war with Iran will follow an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear sites this year. That would make it easier for Bush to sell a war with Iran to the pro-Israeli Congress. In recent days there have been several reports pointing to Israeli plans to do that. And it's also clear that the Saudis want that to happen (and when the Americans, the Saudis and the Israelis are working together against you, well,you're a (radio-active) toast. I've been predicting a growing confrontation and eventually a war with Iranfor quite a while. And more than two years proposed a Realpolitik road to diplomacy with Iran, along the lines suggested by the Iraq Study Group recently. Which reminds me of what I read on a gravestone in the cemetery in Key West: "I told that I was sick."
In any case, I recommend reading the commentary on the SurgeBush Plays Va Banque by The Chronicles' Srdja Trifkovic.


Anonymous said…
The Condoleeza Flow (Bomb's Away)
(Tune of 'Orinoco Flow')
From Baghdad to Tehran
By the way of Isfahan
From Irbil to Mosul
And the Caspian is cool
From Karbala to Razzaza
Crush the power of Babylon
From Salih to Mandali
Near the border of Khamanie

Bombs away, Bombs away, Bombs away
Bombs away, Bombs away, Bombs away
Bombs away, Bombs away, Bombs away

From Damascus to Takrit
Bomb Fallujah and Nantaz
From Al Faw in the South
To the Bandar-e Mahsahr

Bombs away, Bombs away, Bombs away
Bombs away, Bombs away, Bombs away
Bombs away, Bombs away, Bombs away

Carry me on a rug to the Orient some day
Carry me on a rug to the Orient some day
We can bomb, We can bomb
Follow the Neocon Flow
We can bomb, We can bomb'
Bombs away, Bombs away, Bombs Away
Brian said…
I would consider it progress to have Israel make the first attack. At least this will demonstrate that the primary motivation for attacking Iran was protection of Israel.

Once this is established, I am sure the response will be "of course the US was going to bomb Iran to protect Israel, who said anything else?" even though it is currently denied.

Do I think Israel is completely wrong to attack Iran? Well, I think they are jumping the gun, but that is their decision. They are not wholly without reason, although many of the reports are essentially propaganda - the "wipe off the map" misquote being the primary example.

Israel will have to live with the consequences good or bad. But at least Israel will have to live with them, not the US.

I just want the level of direct US involvement to drop off substantially. We pay a lot of money to Israel. We should at least receive the right to be the third or fourth option for that money, not the front line.
Anonymous said…
It's a wash - if Israel bombs Iran - Iran has already said it would regard it as an American operation and vica versa.
Brian said…
It is a wash because someone in the Iranian government said so?

"Iran" speaks with one voice? There is one unified leadership? The public is 100% in lock step with that leadership?

You think some of the general population of Iran will have a different opinion of the US depending on whether we bomb their country or not? I think they will.

I also think the Muslim world in general will have a different view depending...

The people and governments of Europe or Asia wont see a difference? Again, I think they will. Did someone from the EU say Israel’s acts will be viewed as US acts?

Or maybe you think world opinion doesn't matter?

Heck, the US people will have a different opinion of the matter depending on whether Israel or the US bombs Iran.

Nice try.
Brian, I hope you've had a chance to read my AC piece on the issue which is linked to the post. Israel is basically a client state of the U.S. and would not take such an important action without getting a green or yellow light from Washington. In fact, like in the case of the Israeli war with the Hizbollah, the Bush Administration (Cheney and Company) has been more militant than many Israelis. Israel could has a nuclear capabilty and could deter a nuclearized Iran (like India and Pakistan). So... my guess is that an Israeli attack which will be followed by a U.S. backing will be regarded by Iran and others as part of a U.S. strategy. Leon
Brian said…
There can be lots of debate whether Israel is a "client" or a "master" of the US.

Regardless, if Israel is a client it needs to be a better one. It needs to stop cashing checks that America has to pay, including continued settlements despite supposed US disapproval (doesn't sound like a client to me?).

Obviously, Israel needs to work much harder to achieve peace - 40 years of occupation is ridiculous. Maybe they should have build the wall earlier, but the didn't have to build the wall inside P territory.

And yes, the US supporters of Israel are even more reckless than Israel itself - the Wurmser statements come to mind of course. But, maybe that is because Israel has learned that the US just might do its heavy lifting if they wait long enough.

And these US supporters of Israel should be exposed more, but that is another topic.

The point is that a client state still has a lot of room to operate and a sponsoring state still has much more distance than and acting state from any blowback that will result from the acts.

Here is just one example, Tom Friedman is now say America may need to take some 1,000,000 Iraq refugees, if we pull out. I think at least 200 should live in his spacious house, being the early and obviously powerful supporter of this war as he was.

If American was not a direct actor in Iraq, however, we certainly would not have this responsibility, or at least a much lower moral impetus to do so. This is the "pottery barn" doctrine writ large.

I would rather be the person who funded the person going into pottery barn than the shopper who breaks the pot.
Brian said…
The more I think about the more clear it becomes that an Israel action presents much less risk than a US action (from a US perspective) on many levels.

These "levels" include the safety of the pilots, the section of the weapons (atomic or conventional), the accuracy of the target selection and the execution of the plan.

If an inspection after the bombing shows that indeed no WMD development was taking place, the US will look stupid twice!

As someone who travels to Europe a lot these days I can say I could hold my head up much higher if Israel executed the action rather than the US, particularly if a mishap took place. I was also has less fear for my physical safety.

Let's face it, sh-- happens. Let Israel take this risks and I will gladly give them credit for any benefits.
Brian said…
I am probably overthinking the comments made here by others. I am so used to "talking" with those hostile to my view I may misinterpret.

I don't want Israel to bomb Iran. I think it will be a misake. I think Scott Ritter is right that any risk from Iran is some ten years away and there is no real threat to the US or Israel.

That said, if Iran is to be bombed, I prefer Israel do it, not the US.

And it seems Zev Chafets agrees with me:

"Israel needs to fight its own battles. If it encourages, or allows, the U.S. to disarm Iran on its behalf, it can kiss its sovereignty goodbye. Israel will become an American protectorate, a Mediterranean Puerto Rico. The United States is a great friend, but history's lesson is that friends come and go.

Israel's raison d'être is Jewish self-determination — and that includes the ability to survive without relying on the kindness of others."

Anonymous said…
"Or maybe you think world opinion doesn't matter?"

Brian - why you pickin' fights? Just chill - people are people.

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