Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Next target: Iran?

All the people who might know are in denial, but a good many signals point to Iran as the next target of opportunity in the Middle East. Google "regime change Iran" and you get a bunch of speculation. Seymour Hersh's piece in The New Yorker has triggered a volley of criticism from Washington, but as late as last night's evening news, no denial that there is another war in the making. Or should we call it the Next Phase of the War on Terrorism?

I dunno. But Wampum actually lays out a plan in some detail that seems likely, if not necessarily desirable. After all, [i]f cab drivers in Baghdad know that it is only a matter of time before the Americans attack Iran, how credible is it that political actors don't know that they are conducting, among other things, a holding action in the American rear area?

In Iraq...
The strategy of the Occupation Authority is to acquire the political asset of "legitimacy" without substantive recourse to International Law. As no shortage of strategists have observed, since Sun Tsu, the way to defeat the enemy is to defeat the enemy's strategy. The Americans initally chose the mechanism of ministerial appointments, which did not have the intended outcome of "legitimacy", followed by the mechanism of civic religions ritualism -- the "transfer of partial sovereignty", which also did not have the intended outcome of "legitimacy", and are now committed to their third choice, the plebecite ritual in pursuit of "legitimacy".

In Iran...
Iran needs time to choose the principle focus of its leadership going into a war that will bring down the military dictatorship in Pakistan and put the Pakistani and Indian nuclear arsenels into operational readiness, that will close the Straits for the duration (War of the Tankers, part 2), and will take the GCC states [Gulf Cooperation Council] into the conflict as well.

The Blackfive Exit Strategy from Iraq and Afghanistan map may have been an effort to be cute in November. I didn't find it funny then and I haven't changed my mind. Many of the comments left there reveal a breezy carelessness that is frightening. Some seem to be salivating for another fight.
There's more at Wampum if anybody is interested. Comments there are interesting, too.

How many Americans have a clue about what could happen next?
Of those who do have an idea, how many have any inclination to look at what is unfolding with a critical eye? Have we come to a point yet where words of criticism are regarded as a lack of patriotism on the part of the critic? Or do we still have to wait a bit until we get to that point?

Oh, and how long will it be until Israel gets involved? Talk about "end times"!
Dr. Rice has her work cut out for her as Secretary of State.

1 comment:

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