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Iran: Iraq replayed?


www.aljazeera.com

For those who think that Iraq is the worst that can happen in the region, wait till Iran retaliates against possible air strikes by Israel or the U.S. Wait till the Jewish state and America decide in return to launch an unprecedented retaliatory attack, inflicting an unexpected extent of damage upon the entire Middle East.

However, some experts expect that the current U.S.-Iran standoff over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program to end with a diplomatic settlement, given the struggle the U.S. Army is facing in post- Iraq war.

But, with recently published reports suggesting the opposite, many analysts are warning against an imminent U.S.-Iran war the coming weeks.

There will be an attack. According to an editorial on The New Statesman, as long as the madman (Bush) is in the White House, now considering bombing another country in the region, a Third World War is imminent.

A recent article by veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker suggested the same.

But the U.S. media seems less concerned than the British over the issue.

News headlines on the British media are mostly booked for the Iranian nuclear issue, which didn’t even make the front pages of the Washington Post or New York Times.

Will there be a war on Iran or not?

War would be a surprise for the British people, who don’t expect their leader, Prime Minister Tony Blair, to dare repeat Iraq mistake, but in the U.S., the situation is a bit different.

Many questions surround the issue of a possible U.S. war on Iran.
Will European allies support the U.S. this time? Will Bush’s admin allow the use of nuclear weapons against the country to knock down its nuclear program?

Washington is already working from the assumption that the U.S. will attack Iran, possibly using nuclear weapons during this presidency. Also, like what happened in Iraq, the Bush administration is expected to have the support of Britain and Australia in this war.

Regarding the use of nuclear weapons against Iran, this has become an issue of a heated debate in Washington these days, with struggle under way between foreign-policy pragmatists and ideological zealots, the editorial adds.

The U.S. is divided between these two camps. Those two camps represent senior members of the Bush administration itself, the State Department, CIA, Pentagon and the powerful think-tanks.

Recently, it’s been reported that the U.S. Secretary of Condoleezza Rice has fallen out with Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, and is on the verge of abandoning the ideological ship - just as the former Secretary of State Colin Powell did in private meeting over Iraq, and later on announced his resignation.

While the first faction agrees with the British, French and German view which prefers isolating Iran diplomatically rather than militarily, and supports imposing UN Security Council sanctions on Iran. The second faction includes all those who agree with the unwise policies of the American President which prefers using force to implement his agenda, no matter what.

While many officials, including those in the UN, believe the American President can and will press the nuclear button, many others in Washington believe that “an all-powerful establishment, from the might of the top brass at the Pentagon to the consensus wisdom of practically every senior politician, will prevail against even an out-of-control president.”

With circulating media reports suggesting that the U.S. Department of Defense is actively considering to Iranian cities using nuclear weapons, it becomes clear that the U.S. current President, Mr. George W. Bush is a falling victim to the same lack of imagination that led John F. Kennedy imagine he could attack China to keep it from producing a nuclear bomb without igniting a major war.

What’s also worrying is the catastrophic possibility that Bush will form another "coalition of the willing" by teaming up with Israel in a joint attack on the Islamic Republic.

Kennedy's failure 45 years ago to understand the consequence of his unwise plan to bomb China in circumstances remarkably like today's shows how easily Bush could fall into a major new war in the Middle East.

http://www.aljazeera.com/me.asp?service_ID=11061

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Originally submitted by Arvy

Make no mistake about it. This is the "big one". What happens next will determine America's future and the shape of all international relations and world affairs for the foreseeable future.

As the IAEA has repeatedly acknowledged, Iran is not in violation of any of her legal obligations as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In fact, Iran has allowed far more intrusive international inspections of her nuclear facilities than required by the NPT. Iran remains the only country to have done so. Iran has repeatedly stated that she does not wish to develop nuclear weapons, even though many Western and Israeli analysts, including the leading Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld, have accepted it would clearly be in Iran’s strategic interest to possess such weapons as deterrence.

Iran has repeatedly, at least from the year 2002 onwards, expressed her willingness to engage in bilateral negotiations with the US, with the ultimate goal of normalizing the two countries´ relations. Reportedly Iran could even consider recognising Israel in exchange for security guarantees from the US. All such overtures by Iran have hitherto been ignored by the Bush Administration, although it is noteworthy that senior Republican senator Richard Lugar recently called for direct US-Iranian negotiations. Meanwhile the Bush Administration and the media that support its belligerent stance have made an effort to demonize Iran and, in particular, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This sort of demonization is a familiar phenomenon to all those who followed the countdown to the attack on and invasion of Iraq. According to this logic, one simply cannot negotiate with “madmen”, one can only issue one ultimatum after another and thus show that the “madmen” will not compromise and therefore must be “taken out”.

Should the US attack Iran with nuclear weapons, as reportedly planned, a 60-year-old taboo against these weapons would be instantly abolished and all nuclear powers would be ready to use similar weapons too. Non-nuclear countries would undoubtedly hasten to produce their own doomsday arsenals, and the likelihood of an all-out nuclear war would grow significantly. It is ominous that the semi-official Foreign Affairs recently published an article which speculated that the US could possibly take out Russian nuclear arsenal with Russia incapable to retaliate; reportedly the article was read with extreme alarm in Moscow.

If the US does attack Iran, even without using nukes, she will surely be “crossing the Rubicon”: the established international order will be gone forever, and the whole Middle East may go up in flames. It remains to be seen whether a desperate attempt to control the Middle Eastern oil and gas, by a country on the verge of bankruptcy, will actually be permitted to happen.

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America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between. - Oscar Wilde

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