Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Iran away


Ken Macleod covers that 1914 feeling - that slow elegent slide into seemingly inevitable war: denied by all sides by wanted by all. A sort of deliberate accident.

Of course, the complete encirclement of Iran by American forces (surely a motive for the Afghan war?) makes this a plausible scenario. Equally certainly, the removal of a strong independent threat and the second half of the dfual containment policy (the other being Iraq) means that long-term American strategists must be looking at war - for whatever reason they can find - with Iran. The Iranians may be spoiling for a war.

Some thoughts, on practicality. It took over ten years to subdue Iraq - America didn't invade till sanctions had crippled Iraq's armour and destroyed it's higher tech weaponry. Irans military is still serviced, functional and in posession of Iraq's airforce kindly donated during the first gulf war. All out war with Iran would be a bloody grind, and air strikes aren't so easy when the other bugger can strike back.

OK, that's practicalities - principle. Even some hardcore opponents of war - militant pacifists - have supported warlike movements. Einstein supported America developing its atomic weaponry to prevent the NAzis getting to theirs. Bertrand Russell supported pre-emptive nuclear strikes against Russia, for much the same reason. The position with Iran can hardly be much different.

That aside, the point is that Iran cannot be disarmed by military force without a lot of totally innocent people dying.

It seems clear that it is insufficient to merely oppose war on iran - much less still side with iran as an anti-Imeprialist pole. What is needed is a clear, positive and active proposal we can put as a counter to nullify the Iranian nuclear threat, as well as that of France Britain and America.

Building an international movement would be a start, and it may wean the 'decent left' from their love affair with the military state.


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