A little history lesson:
In September 1980, an episode occurred which went a very long way towards shaping modern history. Saddam Hussein’s Iraq invaded Iran. How did this shape modern history, you ask?
If it were not for the invasion of Iran (instigated to a large extent by the then-nascent Empire and what Frontline magazine calls the “Imperial Petrol Stations”) by Iraq, the latter would not have been in an economic crisis by the time the war ended eight years later. And it would not have reacted as it did to Kuwait’s digging slanting wells across the border in an attempt to steal Iraqi oil. And that would have denied the Empire an excuse to create a more or less permanent presence in the Persian Gulf with troops in virtually all the “imperial petrol stations”, which in turn led to Al Qaeda’s rise as an anti-American terrorist force, 11/9, the invasion of Afghanistan and then the occupation of Iraq, and latterly the slide into bankruptcy of the Empire itself.
History, pace Henry Ford, isn’t bunk. But that’s not precisely what I wanted to talk about in this article.
Iran, in 1980, was in a godawful mess. The Iranian Revolution had split the country down the middle. The ayatollahs had not yet established full control. Civil society had disintegrated to a very large extent. The Iranian Army, once one of the strongest in Asia, had fallen apart. Its top generals had been executed or imprisoned. The equally once-formidable Iranian Air Force was virtually grounded because of a lack of spare parts, and also because many pilots and ground crew suspected of loyalty to the Shah had been thrown into jail.
Furthermore, the regime in Tehran was isolated internationally. Iran’s new Islamic rulers were hated by the US for throwing out their puppet the Shah, and distrusted throughout West Asia, where Sunni Arab kings lording it over restive part-Shia populations (as in Bahrain or Saudi Arabia) were terrified of the possibility of the export of the Islamic Revolution abroad. Nor could Iran count on the support of the USSR, since it was playing host to Afghan refugees and mujahideen camps on its territory.
To Iraq, ruled by then-American ally Saddam Hussein, it seemed a golden opportunity to grab the Shatt-al-Arab waterway between the two nations, and oil-rich areas of Iran close to the border. Iraq at the time had possibly the strongest army any modern Arab nation had ever seen, and Iran’s rag-tag forces weren’t expected to be able to put up serious resistance.
The main thrust of Iraq’s attack on Iran was across the Shatt-al-Arab waterway into the south-western (and oil-rich) province of Khuzestan. This province (known as Arabistan to the Iraqis) has a majority ethnic Arab population, and was expected to welcome their fellow-Arabs with open arms. The few Iranian militia units were supposed to be brushed aside with ease. The first objective, the port city of Khorramshahr, just across the border and within easy range of Iraqi artillery, should have fallen in a day or two.
It held out for over one and a half months.
In a battle so epic that Khorramshahr is often now called Khunishahr (City of Blood), the Iranians, including a handful or regular forces with just a company of tanks, some Pasdaran militia, and the rest being civilians from the town (ethnic Arabs, remember), fought off repeated attacks from Saddam Hussein’s forces. Women took up arms as well and those who couldn’t fight cooked for the men at the front. Even after the city was completely surrounded and being shelled and bombed round the clock, the Iranians fought street by street, house by house, until finally withdrawing in November. And a year and a half later, the Iranians took the city back again, capturing nineteen thousand Iraqi troops and pushing Saddam Hussein’s forces back over the frontier.
By any objective standpoint, Iran’s survival in the war must rank as one of the great military feats of all time. With an air force desperately short of aircraft and spares for the planes it did have, little functioning artillery or armour, an army largely composed of volunteers (some of whom were children) with only a couple of weeks’ training, and a speedboat navy, they did more than just survive. First, they fought the Iraqis to a standstill, then they forced Saddam to withdraw across the border, and then took the Al Faw peninsula and came close to taking Amarah and Basra. During all of this they faced active American and Arab hostility (Donald Rumsfeld visited Baghdad in 1983, shook Saddam Hussein’s hand, and gave him the weapons he wanted), massed artillery, armour, and poison gas attacks – and still came through.
Those soldiers in khaki uniforms crouched in their First World War style trenches, slapped on gas masks, and fought back massed armour charges from point-blank range. The expected Second Iranian Revolution didn’t happen. The allegedly oppressed people of Iran did not rise up and overthrow Ayatollah Khomeini. The Arabs and Kurds didn’t revolt against Tehran or welcome the liberators invaders with flowers strewn across their path.
And the Iranians proved two things: first, that they are not a pushover; and, second, that whatever their individual circumstances and political affiliations, when they are attacked by a foreign enemy, they are all Iranians.
Now that the drum-rolls of war are again sounding over Iran, this is a history lesson one should keep in mind, though some people seem eager to forget it.
The (probably) coming war on Iran:
In recent days, the zionazi pseudostate (for those of you new to my world, that’s how I refer to the so-called state of “Israel”, whose legitimacy I do not recognise) in Occupied Palestine has grown shrill with threats to attack Iran, whose alleged nuclear programme is an alleged “existential threat” to the racist Nazi thugs in Tel Aviv and elsewhere. This is far from the first time the zionazi pseudostate has threatened to attack Iran, citing an alleged imminent nuclear threat, and one assumes that it won’t be the last; but there are distinct signs that this time, there will be an attack – unlike all the times before.
The reasons for the war to come aren’t all that difficult to see, and haven’t changed too much in the last several years. Only a few of the personalities involved have changed around, but not even as many as one might think.
Back in 2008, when the erstwhile Bush regime seemed about to attack Iran, I wrote an article from which I will quote certain passages, and then provide updates in brackets:
The first reason is the nature of the Zionist regime. It’s no great secret that for all its democratic pretensions, the Zionist regime is in trouble. It’s one of several countries in the world that keep its people under the thumb by the use of terror – not terror directed at the people directly, but terror as in keeping them in a state of perpetual fear. (This is also the way the Bush regime acted between 2001 and 2006, before people simply got tired of being afraid.) In any case, you can only use fear so long before it either drives people away or else desensitises them. This is happening now in “Israel” with more Jews moving out than are actually moving in. I say “Jews”, not “people”, because as far as the Zionist regime is concerned the non-Jews might as well not exist, as (zionazi premier) Golda Meir once stated officially.
…The second option before the Zionist state is to begin a war. A war can be sure to attract domestic support – just look at the US between 2001 and 2003. You can do anything in a war, accuse all opponents of being unpatriotic, anything. They will fall in line at once…
…the Zionist entity can’t win a war against guerrillas, and it knows it. It can, however, fight and win a conventional war. This is because not only does it have automatic access to the most effective American weaponry and electronics, but also because it has a nuclear arsenal which it will use if faced with defeat…(a)nd…it can be certain of being allowed to get away with that.
So, here is the first reason why there may be an attack on Iran: the fact that the zionazi entity called “Israel” needs a war.
[Update: At this time, the zionazi regime has problems on its hands. Despite all the talk of their so-called nation being a shining beacon of democracy, the zionazi people themselves have decided that enough is enough and have come out into the streets in their own version of Occupy Wall Street. The continued blockade of Gaza is failing. Cairo’s reliably pliant dictator has been replaced by a military cabal which, though beholden to Washington, is obviously far less able to control the Egyptian people’s natural antipathy towards the bastard offspring of Nazism and apartheid which rules over Occupied Palestine. And at the same time, the once-friendly Turkish regime is considerably less friendly, and – as I’ll mention in a moment – the old reliable protector, the Empire, has problems of its own. Therefore, war is needed, now, more urgently than ever. It may be the last chance.
However, the zionazi pseudostate today is a rather different “nation” than the one which had routinely invaded Arab nations up until 1982 and then again in 2006, when Hizbollah sent it reeling back from the Second Invasion of Lebanon. It no longer fights major wars, whether on its own or as part of an alliance. Nowadays, despite its enormous arsenal, it prefers to kill unarmed Arab civilians and fight wars of aggression only against small resistance groups like HAMAS, which have hardly any capacity to hurt the pseudostate in a major way. Nowadays, the pseudostate prefers to have the Empire fight its wars for it, and tries to ensure (via its lobbies in Washington) that this is what happens.
Also, there are practical difficulties in the pseudostate’s attacking Iran, if that is what it plans. Iran’s nuclear sites are now, very sensibly, dispersed and protected. It certainly won’t be easy for zionazi missiles to take even some of them out, let alone all – and the end result will be that the Iranians might finally decide they need a nuclear weapon for security after all, and set about developing one. If the zionazis decide to attack Iran with bombs, they will have to overfly Arab territory, and more than likely refuel on or over Arab territory as well. No Arab ruler can risk – in this season of revolt – overtly helping the oppressors and murderers of Palestinians to start another anti-Muslim war. And, of course, since Iran is better armed than, say, Iraq or Afghanistan, zionazi pilots may be shot down and killed, or, worse, paraded in chains on Iranian TV.
Therefore, it’s highly likely that those who state that the zionazi threat to attack Iran is a bluff are right. The pseudostate won’t attack Iran, but then it doesn’t have to. It’s got the Empire to do its job for it.]
Back to what I wrote in 2008:
The second reason is that…the US economy is in recession, and needs stimulation. War is a marvellous stimulant of an economy like that of the US …which is largely dependent on the military/industrial complex. Actually, with its massive donations to the political establishment, it’s now the military/industrial/political multiplex (MIP for short), and can – does – influence US government policy, as Eisenhower himself admitted a long time ago.
…another little fact that doesn’t get mentioned much in polite society; the Zionist lobby and its effect on US politics. I say Zionist lobby advisedly, not Jewish, because the only raison d’ etre of this lobby is the protection and promotion of the interests of “Israel” and not of Jews anywhere else. However, the Zionist lobby works hard at equating Judaism with Zionism, so any anti-Zionist viewpoint can be condemned as anti-Jewish. Because the Zionist state needs a war, as I said, the Zionist lobby will argue in favour of this war. It will ensure the US does everything possible, and more, to make sure the Zionazis can get away with doing anything and everything in the course of this war. And because the Zionist lobby and the Zionazi entity seem to have an incredible influence on US foreign policy, they will try and force the US to fight “Israel’s” war for it.
[Update: Despite the change of guard from the hated warmonger Bush to the beloved Messiah cum Nobel Peace Prizident Obama, nothing has changed at all as far as these points are concerned. The Obamites are, if anything, even more desperate than the Bushies were for a war on Iran, and for the simple reason that their political fortunes may hinge on starting a war. Let’s look at the reasons:
1. The Depression and Occupy Wall Street. Though the D-word isn’t being uttered, the Empire is in an advanced state of economic implosion, and the Nobel Peace Prizident Obama’s popularity among people who aren’t his worshippers is, to put it mildly, not high. The Messiah’s halo is slipping fast, and he may well calculate that positioning himself as a war leader (like Bush in 2004) is what he needs to get another term. A war will have the additional advantage of stymieing the protestors, who can then be reviled as traitors undermining the nation in a time of war. That will suit the corporations bankrolling both the Peace Prizident and his opponents very well indeed. And once the first bombs fall, the only difference between the viewsreaders of Faux News and CNN will be who wears flag lapel pins, while the only criticism the Republicans will throw at the Messiah is that he’s not killing enough Muslims fighting the war ruthlessly enough.
2. The defeat in Iraq. By any objective analysis, Washington has lost, and lost badly, in Iraq, and the extent of the defeat will only become more obvious as the days go on. Iraq’s current rulers aren’t nearly as beholden to the Iranians as most people seem to imagine, but they are no longer subservient tools of the Empire, either. Whether or not it was Iranian pressure which caused them to refuse immunity to American war criminals soldiers and mercenaries private security contractors, and insist on the Empire’s sticking to the Status of Forces Agreement signed by the warmonger Bush (which pledged to remove all troops by the end of 2011, and which the Nobel Peace Prizident Obama was trying desperately to overturn – of such delicious stuff is irony made), the fact is that the Empire has to evacuate Iraq. And though it can (and is) stuffing the imperial petrol stations full with its soldiers, all they can do is increase anti-American hatred among the subject protected people. That’s how Al Qaeda rose in the first place, don’t forget. And since nobody wants to be known as a president who lost a war, the Messiah-cum-Nobel-Peace-Prizident needs another one not only to distract the people at home from their economic woes, but to distract attention from Iraq. And isn’t replacing a smaller colony (Iraq) with a far larger one (Iran) a project to warm the heart of any neo-imperialist?
3. The ongoing disaster in Afghanistan and the creeping war against Pakistan. How do I put this as politely as possible? The Imperial project in Afghanistan is (as Norman Mailer put it in The Naked And The Dead) “fugged”. Afghanistan is a lost cause, and the Pakistanis now hate and distrust the US to the extent that anti-Americanism is now a political platform in Pakistan, one which “mainstream” politicians can ignore only at their peril. Explaining this creeping disaster is going to be difficult for the Messiah cum Nobel Peace Prizident, especially since the next year will see the Taliban grow even stronger and the Afghan war enterprise (which he called the “good war”) slide even closer to final collapse. Pakistan isn’t a nation the Empire would be well-advised to openly invade, since it has a large nuclear arsenal (which it is allegedly moving around in vans to keep hidden from the Americans). But someone has to be blamed for the disaster, doesn’t it? It might as well be the Iranians. After all, they’re all Muslims, aren’t they? And what better way for the Peace Prizident to prove he’s not a Muslim than by murdering even more Muslims?
4. The need to contain Russia and China before they get too strong. Russia is no longer the supine doormat of the Yeltsin years, and Putin – a far tougher character than Medvedev – is all set to return to the Russian President’s office and openly restart calling the shots. The ex-Soviet republics of Central Asia have already seen which way the wind’s blowing, and the president-elect of Kyrgyzstan has ordered the Empire to vacate its base outside Bishkek when the lease runs out in 2014. China, on the other hand, has launched its first aircraft carrier, is developing an amphibious assault capability, has a highly capable submarine force (which has proved that it can penetrate the security screen of Imperial carrier groups) and is rapidly turning into a nation the Empire can’t fight militarily without sustaining unacceptable levels of damage. The Chinese economy and military need a lot of energy, though, and said energy mostly flows from the oilfields of West Asia, primarily Iran. Controlling Iranian oil will stifle China economically, and controlling Iranian territory will isolate Russia to the south and provide another potential outlet for the pipelines the damned Taliban haven’t allowed to be built from the ‘stans of Central Asia to the Arabian Sea.
5. British support to the war. It may be slightly bizarre at first sight that the British should seem to be even more enthusiastic than the Empire in the plans to attack Iran, but only at first sight. Britain, as I’ve said in the past, never saw a war it didn’t love, as long as someone else had to do most of the fighting. Also, as the mess in Libya deepens, it soon won’t be possible any longer to hide the colossal disaster Britain and France have created in that nation. What better way to distract attention than to start another war, in which British troops will only have to play second or third fiddle to the Americans? And British (and possibly French) support will enable the Nobel Peace Prizident to claim he has the backing of the majority of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, so he has a right under international law to create a brand new war. For the man who pretended that bombing Libya didn’t count as combat, creative interpretation of language is nothing new.]
Back to my 2008 article:
The third reason there may be a war is the nature of the regime in power in Tehran. Now there are plenty of reasons to support Iran in this “controversy”; it’s the underdog, it’s obviously being targeted through no fault of its own, it’s the victim of neo-imperialism and economic megalomania. But at the same time it’s impossible to deny that there are many, many things wrong with the Islamic republic. It’s impossible to deny that the people are restive and there is mass disillusionment with the Ahmadinejad regime…although President Ahmadinejad certainly never said that “Israel” should be wiped off the map (and … even if he had said it, he had no way of making it happen), he has been working to keep tensions high as a way of gathering support behind his regime, quite like the way the Zionazi entity has been operating on its own people. It may even be that the Iranian regime wants a limited attack carried out on it; this would be a nice cause celebre to gather the support of the population as the defender of the country.
Then, the Iranian armed forces, though much stronger than the pathetic Iraqi and Afghan armies, are…weak. Iran has never really recovered from the Iranian revolution and the eight year Iran-Iraq war…It certainly has neither nuclear weapons nor a programme that could produce any rapidly, because that would have automatically rendered it immune to American aggression (remember North Korea?). It does have some ballistic missiles, but…the capabilities of these missiles is exaggerated. All this is important because it means that Iran is not a significant opponent in a conventional war.
[Update: though the Iranian armed forces are probably stronger now than when I wrote those words, the points remain just as valid. The Empire could “defeat” Iran fairly easily in a conventional engagement, though at a rather higher cost than Iraq or Afghanistan. It, however, could not occupy Iran in the long term, because the Iranians would resist in a manner that would make Iraq look like a walk in the park. Remember what they did to Iraq, back in the eighties, when they had been expected to collapse in weeks?
History – see the little lesson with which I started this article – will teach us that the Iranians will resist the occupation with everything they have, and keep resisting until they win. But because this resistance to occupation would take years to succeed, the Messiah/Peace Prizident could secure his re-election, and that’s all he cares about at the moment.
A side note also to mention that Ahmadinejad isn’t the most powerful person in Iran. That’s Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader. Ahmadinejad is little more than a figurehead.]
OK, so these are the reasons why there may be a war. If there is a war, how might it go? The way I see it, it depends on the strategy the Americans and their Zionist controllers follow.
1. If the war consists of a limited bombing attack on one or more Iranian nuclear sites. This is the least likely scenario if one thinks the Zionists actually believe that Iran has a nuclear programme. It would do only limited damage, unite the Iranian people behind Ahmadinejad, and the Iranians would likely really begin on a nuclear weapons programme. It would most probably not react too aggressively, limiting itself to shooting down as many of the enemy aircraft as it … but would also most likely reduce oil production as a retaliatory measure. The price of oil would go so high the current rates would be called the “good old days”.
2. If the war consists of a massive bombing campaign on numerous Iranian sites, whether carried out by “Israel” or the US or a combination thereof, with or without the use of nuclear weapons. This is the most likely scenario. It would probably succeed in destroying the bombed sites. Tehran would have no choice – it would have to retaliate. This it could do by missile attacks against American bases in West Asia, and against “Israel”, but these would achieve little because ballistic missiles without nuclear weapons are not very destructive. It would almost certainly also block the Straits of Hormuz, closing off a good percentage of the world’s oil supplies. This it can do temporarily with missiles and substantially less temporarily by sinking blockships in the Straits. This is the same technique Nasser successfully used in Suez in 1956. Again, the global oil prices will rise sky-high.
3. If the war consists of an invasion and occupation of Iran. This is possible but not probable, because controlling a nation the size of Iran isn’t so simple…(t)he war will go on and on and on.
[Update: Three and a half years after I wrote those words, I wouldn’t change a bit of it.]
Indicators that a war is imminent:
A modern war of aggression needs a cause celebre. Even Hitler realised it, and staged a fake Polish attack on a radio station at Gleiwitz in Silesia as the excuse to set off what became World War Two. And the Peace Prizident’s men are looking hard for a cause celebre. That they have thus far failed does not mean that they won’t try again. To look back one last time at my old article,
The…propaganda machine doesn’t have to convince everyone in the world. It only has to convince enough of the American people to “manufacture consent”. I’m sorry if I’m offending any Americans here, but I know of no other people in the world who could have been brainwashed so easily into believing that Saddam Hussein was behind the 11/9 attacks.
Once the American people are convinced of the need for a war, the American government can claim popular support for its war and can order its vassal states to fall into line. As we saw during Iraq, the vassal governments uniformly ignored their own peoples’ opinion and decided to send troops to help in the invasion.
We’ve already had a couple of cause celebres:
1. The first was the ludicrous alleged plot by the Iranian Quds Force to blow up a restaurant in Washington in order to murder the Saudi Ambassador. This alleged plot involved drug cartels and an American of Iranian origin known among the expat Iranian community for his utter incompetence at anything and everything he tried. So laughable was this plot (set up by the FBI, which has recently taken to creating ”terrorist plots” in order to “foil” them) that not even the American people could be made to swallow it, though it is still alleged to be real by the Peace Prizident’s men.
2. The second cause celebre is a statement by the IAEA, now run by a Washington toady, that unnamed “member states” claim that the Iranians “might” have conducted experiments designed to further their nuclear knowhow, and “cleaned up” the site afterwards – thus absolving, of course, those unnamed “member states” from the burden of providing evidence. That wasn’t enough to stop that fount of balanced and fair reporting, CNN, of claiming that Iran was “developing nuclear bombs”.
Obviously, the Nobel Peace Prizident (and there’s a surprise for you!) is determined to go to war. The only thing standing between him and launching the war, at the moment, are China and Russia. Surely they must be aware of the fact that the invasion of Iran is only a step in the long term objective of isolating, starving, and ultimately subjugating them. And going by the indications, it seems as if they are so aware.
But sticking to “warnings” of the “dangers” of an attack on Iran will not be enough. The Empire does not listen to “warnings” – it has not yet left behind the illusions of the neocon period, when Karl Rove could contemptuously declare that those who did not accept the Imperial project were part of the reality-based community, which he defined as
“people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
So, Russia and China need to prepare for a showdown. They need to provide armaments and security guarantees to Iran, and declare, if necessary, that an attack on Iran will be considered a declaration of war against them. Watch how quickly the warrior spirit in Washington, let alone the vassal capital of London, will disappear at the prospect of being nuked.
I don’t know if Russia and China will do so, but if they don’t, they’ll be harming themselves.
A personal note:
Back in my college days, among my fellow students were a couple of Iranians. One of them was called Amir Tafazoly. A native of Tehran, he was several years older than the rest of us, and for an excellent reason; he had spent years of his life fighting as an infantryman against the Iraqis, and had the photos, and a couple of scars, to prove it. Four of his platoon died in the war, he told me.
This Amir Tafazoly was a considerable physical specimen. Heavily muscled and more than a little handsome, he was a superb athlete (particularly at the hammer throw). He also had no pretensions to religious belief, and could be relied on to avoid the mosque or the daily prayers. Also, he had no problems with Arabs, mixing freely with the Palestinians who were also students at that same college.
Bear in mind that this liberal, athletic, non-religious dentist was a veteran of a brutal war where he faced armoured assaults and poison gas, and that he had come through it with his humanity essentially intact. I don’t doubt, though, that if Iran were to be attacked again, he and those like him – the antithesis of the mullahs popularly supposed to be ruling everything in Iran – would return to combat, no matter what the personal cost to them. They are all Iranians, as I said.
The Empire might begin the war, but they will finish it.