As the window of opportunity for an attack against Iran by the Israelis and the US steadily closes as the George W. Bush presidency comes to an end so the likelihood of such an attack looms ever larger.
Those pushing for war argue, despite the total lack of any evidence to support their claims, that Iran has a nuclear weapons program and that they will use their nuclear weapons, once they have them, against Israel. Their allegations are reinforced by what they say are President Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric about ‘wiping Israel off the map’.
All of this is merely propaganda and neither Israel nor the US or even the International Atomic Energy Authority, the UNs nuclear watchdog, can produce any evidence whatsoever to support Israeli and US claims about Iran’s so-called nuclear weapons program.
The reality is this: Israel and their supporters have been carrying on about Iran’s nuclear ambitions for years and threats to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities were being made long before Ahmadinejad became President of Iran in August, 2005. Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric has merely been a reaction to Israel’s bellicose stance towards Iran and, with a little careful massaging of translations of his speeches by the neoconservative think tank, MEMRI, has provided much fodder for the Israel/neocon propaganda machine. However, the real reason Israel wants to attack Iran is not because of Iran’s ‘nuclear weapons program’ – it simply doesn’t have one – nor is it because Ahmadinejad has said he wants to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ – he never said any such thing – it is because Iran supports both Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Palestinian territories and Syria who are seeking to have the Golan Heights returned to them. What Israel and the US and their neoconservative allies really want is ‘regime change’ in Iran. They want an Iran that has an Israel and US friendly government so that Israel can continue in its quest to create a Greater Israel without having to worry about Iran supporting those that are resisting Israeli expansionism.
In the event of Israel and the US attacking Iran, one can expect to see not just Iran’s nuclear facilities destroyed, indeed, that will be just a minor part of the operation, but there will also be major attacks against Iranian military targets including air bases, missile storage areas, barracks, etc. Iran’s communications systems and government buildings will also likely be targeted. In short, the Iranian government would be bombed into capitulation.
One can also expect Israel to launch an attack, probably simultaneously with the assault on Iran, against Hamas in the Gaza and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. Israel may also attack Syria pre-emptively on the basis that Syria has a mutual assistance treaty with Iran. The resulting conflict could have a devastating effect both on the region and around the world. As well as bringing death and destruction to countless Iranians, Palestinians, Lebanese and Syrians, many Israelis may also die as Iran launches missiles in a counter attack against Israel, a move that could escalate rapidly if Israel decided to its use nuclear weapons against Iran in retaliation to an Iranian counter attack.
The economic consequences for the rest of the world could also be catastrophic. Oil prices, already at record levels due to the uncertainties prevailing in the region, would play havoc with economies world wide.
Then there are the unknowns. How, for example, will Russia, a supplier of nuclear equipment to Iran, and China, a customer of Iran’s resources, react to such an attack? How will the UN handle a pre-emptive assault against Iran? How will the governments of the other Arab states react? How will the peoples of the other Arab states react? What will happen in Iraq, already destroyed by over half a decade of fighting?
The world, somehow, is not reacting to the prospect of war in the same way as it did during the build-up to the invasion of Iraq. The reason for that is; the world knew the invasion of Iraq was coming, but this time around there is no overt preparations for war against Iran in the way that there was against Iraq. There is even a feeling that the US simply wouldn’t be stupid enough to do it again after the disaster of Iraq. The problem is, however, that the extreme right-wing of the US and Israel are convinced of their own self-righteousness and that all will go according to their plans.
It’s a frightening scenario. The Middle East could erupt into catastrophic war at any tick of the clock but the world doesn’t seem to think its going to happen.
How many times has it thought that before?!