While Egypt’s meltdown is on everyone’s radar these days, we shouldn’t forget that the next domino DC is going to want to convince us that needs kicking over is Iran. Mr. Obama’s folks needn’t be required to effect any ‘original thought’ in this regard since the last administration laid the groundwork; the only thing lacking is the excuse but find one they shall.
Eventually, while we’re having our corn ﬂakes, listening to “the most trusted name in broadcasting” or those “fair and balanced” folks, we’ll begin to hear the rumblings once again of those scary people and their eminent acquisition weapons of mass destruction, the same ones, no doubt, we couldn’t find in Iraq before we laid waste to that nation. There will be renewed talk from sources they never document of more “enrichment” going on and how close they are to getting “the bomb”. They won’t tell you that if DC hadn’t blocked their purchase of medical isotopes, on the open world market, the Iranians wouldn’t be “enriching” their uranium upwards of 20% to supply their hospitals, nor will they tell you that to achieve even a low level bomb they need to enrich to 80% or better, which is a feat requiring years of planning and infrastructure building. They’ll repeat good old Condoleezza Rice’s claim that: “There is simply no peaceful rationale for the Iranian regime to resume uranium enrichment.” and then they’ll wind you up with the same imagery as they did before Iraq of US cities going up in mushroom clouds even though unlike its neighbors (or us), Iran hasn’t attacked a country in over two hundred years… Pretty soon they’ll have everyone hosing the sidewalks down with testosterone again. Very predictable and very much ‘done before’.
When this nonsense ramps up again, thinking people may want to ask themselves if they’re getting all the facts before they pony up for another ‘Support Our Troops’ bumper-sticker. A few facts ought to be considered before nodding approval to the scaremongers in DC whom most of us (rightly) wouldn’t trust to walk our dogs, let alone give us the facts.
I would first point out that Iran is a signatory to the ‘Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons’ or NPT, which has been in force since 1968. This is a short treaty that doesn’t require rocket science, a law degree or membership in the Council on Foreign Relations to understand and I’ll quote a few passages for your amusement. Article III, Section 3 of the treaty states:
“The safeguards required by this article shall be implemented in a manner designed to comply with article IV of this Treaty, and to avoid hampering the economic or technological development of the Parties… of peaceful nuclear activities, including… the processing, use or production of nuclear material for peaceful purposes in accordance with the provisions of this article”
This means that nothing in the Treaty is intended to interfere with commercial use or development of nuclear power. For those unsure what they just read, “production of nuclear material” means “enrichment” of nuclear fuel.
I should point out that we (the US) were the ones who prompted the Iranians to get into nuclear power in the first place (the Atoms for Peace program) and coupled with the treaty wording saying in Article IV, Section 1:
”Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with articles I and II of this Treaty.”
I find the whole business of hand wringing, nonsensical. I’m sure you caught the words “inalienable right” regarding the parties to the treaty ability to develop and produce nuclear energy (including enrichment of fuel for their reactors) which, under the circumstances, makes me believe all this hogwash over their actions is rather disingenuous, wouldn’t you agree? Where Iran has more than complied with every provision of the NPT, where there are twelve other signatories of the Treaty who enrich uranium who aren’t being threatened with everything still being “on the table” to make them stop, as well as India and Pakistan (both having numerous nuclear weapons) and, of course Israel (having several hundred nuclear weapons), who are non-signatories, who enrich their fuel, do you get the feeling we might be looking at double or triple standards here/ Hmmm…
The West (us) keeps insisting they stop from “processing” their own fuel even though it is clearly their Right as stated above. We expect them hand over their raw uranium in exchange for fuel rods by shipping their uranium to France after which France promises, at some point, to ship fuel rods back. Iran has agreed to this exchange BUT, where the French have stiffed them in the past in this regard, they want the exchange to take place on Iranian soil so they can be sure to actually ‘get’ the promised fuel rods. That’s (apparently) not good enough although I can’t see why not. Were any of you ripped off before in a deal gone bad, might you too be cautious? So, in come the Turks (a NATO member) who, to avoid bombs going off in their back yard, arrange the deal fulfilling everything the West wants on their turf (Turkey) rather than Iran having to deal with the shifty French. Iran & Turkey agree BUT, it appears we don’t trust the Turks either. As Vonnegut wrote “So it goes.”
The media, in beating the war drums, regularly spoon feeds the American public the concept that Iranian President is some pseudo nazi crackpot that will cause another holocaust or war which, apparently by itself is a reason to bomb Iran. The fact is, the guy is an ex-teacher and his job (President) doesn’t give him ANY control of foreign policy, ANY control of the armed forces or ANY control of their nuclear industry. Jumping up & down about Ahmadinejad is like worrying about our Secretary of Commerce starting World War 3 without the help of the Pentagon. We Americans often worry about this possibility with our Commerce Secretary, right?
So where is all this nonsense leading? War, of course. We, or the Israelis, will eventually decide to kick this hornet’s nest over and with fond memories of our invincibility during the “Shock & Awe campaign, many might wait for the footage on CNN. One of the many problems with kicking Iran is that we’re not dealing ‘arabs’ (no disrespect intended) and so, they aren’t likely to roll over like Saddam did. ‘Persians’ being more like Germans than arabs, will very likely shoot back and shoot back they certainly can.
While we like to bluster that we’re “the world’s sole military superpower”, the fact is there are plenty of nations out there that, if attacked, might make life quite difﬁcult for the us and Iran is one of them. If we (or another country with our blessing), attacks Iran, it will likely not be pretty. While they couldn’t attack CONUS where there’s the minor detail of 6,324+ miles between Tehran and DC, they can and will be a force to reckon with in the Gulf. They have a limited number of ballistic missile systems with a range of some 1300+ mile range however, the majority of their missiles aren’t much more impressive (barring guidance systems) than the German V2 rocket of 1942. That said, they DO produce their own variant of the Sunburn (anti-ship) missile which travels at Mach 2.1 and can not, according to any defense analysts, be defended against by our Navy’s countermeasures.
Therefore, one can easily surmise that any warship within 100 miles of the Iranian coast could likely be swept from the Gulf, by their land based systems, at the ﬁrst sign they are under attack. Since they also have the air launched version of this missile (Kh-41 Moskit), any warship along the Gulf’s 615 mile length may also likely be sunk and its crew sharkbait.
Ponder how many Carriers might be in the Gulf or within range of their ﬁghters when this starts? Each Carrier battle group varies but they generally consist of: 1 carrier (crew of 5,100) and its air wing, 2 guided missile cruisers (crew of 370 each), 3 guided missile destroyers (300 each), 1-2 nuclear attack submarine, one or more frigates or other smaller ships, and support vessels. Since we average two Carrier battle groups in and around the Gulf, we’re looking at, quite possibly, well over ten thousand of our military at the bottom of what is, essentially, an Iranian lake.
Let’s do the math. Not counting the human losses (our kids, fathers, mothers), replacing those carriers will cost taxpayers 11 Billion in today’s dollars & each aircraft lost (usually 65 aircraft per carrier but sometimes 70-80) will cost around 35 million a pop. So, the price tag to the taxpayers within the ﬁrst 48 hours of the sneak attack could total 26 billion, 550 million dollars in hardware without even considering the loss of missile cruisers, missile destroyers, frigates, support vessels or other ‘allied’ warships in the Gulf when this ballon goes up, all of which could be at the bottom of the Gulf. Grim?
It hasn’t begun to get grim. Even were Iran’s hundreds of thousands of Revolutionary Guards, to stay out of the ﬁght (unlikely) there are around 945,000 ‘active duty’ regular army troops in the Iranian force structure that might opt for the short drive across their borders looking for the 52,000 or so US troops stationed in Iraq or the 100,000 in Afghanistan. How are almost 10 to 1 odds sounding? Were that the case, with little or no resupply through the Gulf, as supplies and ammunition run out, our folks would be circling the wagons pretty quick. Theater Commanders might begin to understand how Generalfeldmarschall von Paulus felt when the German Sixth Army found themselves surrounded then captured at Stalingrad. It resulted in the ‘disappearance’ of 95% of the 100,000 prisoners taken. They never came home. Our folks could experience a similar fate, since, with regard to the treatment of POWs, we’ve thrown the Geneva Convention under a bus. As such, I might be rather concerned about any forces (our kids, fathers, mothers) captured within the region after any sneak attack on Iran.
Perhaps the potential of these kinds of human and material losses (for whatever reason) don’t scare you. Think about this then: Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor has 82 tons of enriched uranium (U235) now loaded into it having a half life of 700 million years. The 1981 study in Scientiﬁc American on “Catastrophic Releases of Radioactivity” estimated that bombing a nuclear reactor would cause 8600 square miles around the reactor to be uninhabitable. Putting a few bunker busters through Bushehr’s containment vessel & reactor core will mean half of the world’s oil is instantly inaccessible. This is just one power station.
Further, the Union of Concerned Scientists estimated 3 million deaths would result in 3 weeks merely by bombing Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities near Esfahan by itself. The fallout would cover Afghanistan, Pakistan, all the way to India and Europe as in 2003, merely from the use of depleted uranium munitions, when the English noted a 300% increase in U235 within Britain just nine days after hostilities broke out.
Bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities (even with conventional weapons) will unleash enough radioactive fallout in the region to seriously impact, if not wipe out what we consider ‘our’ oil supplies located in the Gulf. Leaving aside the millions of dead and dying, this means that petroleum, supplied to the US, would dry up virtually over night. With the US Strategic Reserve hovering around 727 million barrels and our usage being around 20 million barrels per day, well, you do the math – your lifestyle won’t last a month as the military will need this reserve to continue to stay in the field. Joe & Jane Sixpack will not be driving cars any where, any more, for a long, long time. Heating your home – forget it. Mechanized farming, petroleum based fertilizer and food transport will be ﬁnished. Food riots will be a certainty with our national fuel gauge on empty. Famine, hell, starvation in the United States would be likely within a month. An economic collapse unimagined by Americans would follow. The American way of life might be effectively ﬁnished.
The architects of this adventure are the same folks who brought you the ‘rescue’ of New Orleans after Katrina, the BS that “Saddam had nuclear bombs” and it’s continued by those who promised us “change” from the last guys. They insist Iran shouldn’t be allowed to pursue their Rights under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty which every other signatory is allowed to do and to which the Iranians are currently in full compliance with. The potential for ten thousand (US naval service) casualties, $28 BILLION dollars in lost (naval) military equipment, to say nothing of what might happen in the two countries (Iraq/Afghanistan) bordering Iran, where our ground forces (a hundred and fifty thousand troops) will be easily targeted right out of the gate, and a potential full-scale economic collapse, certainly sounds like a plan to me. How about you?
When the main stream media starts fanning the flames for the can of whoop-ass to be dropped on Iran you might want to reflect on Country Joe and the Fish and their rather catchy lyrics “What are we fighting for ? Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn, the next stop is…”