February 20, 2006


Air Strikes against Iran Would Kill Thousands (Yassin Musharbash, 2/20/06, Der Spiegel)

Thousands of soldiers and civilians would likely be killed if the United States or Israel were to attack Iran. The strikes would also spark a lasting regional crisis in the entire Middle East and the risks would be enormous, a new British study warns.

If the air strikes come, the bombs would fall without warning, dropped from fighter jets stationed in the Persian Gulf and from long-range bombers that would start their sorties in Britain. Their targets: Iranian research reactors in Tehran, nuclear facilities in Isfahan, Natanz, Arak and Bushehr. Research-related facilities at Iranian universities would also likely fall under the sights. The result of a four to five day series of air strikes would likely be thousands of dead Iranian soldiers, hundreds of dead civilians.

That's the scenario for a possible United States-led military strike against Iran's nuclear program described in "Iran: Consequences of a War," a newly released report by British conflict researcher Paul Rogers commissioned by the Oxford Research Group think tank.

The awkward flip-side of democratic legitimacy is that citizens, especially in a democracy, are responsible for the actions of their governments and, therefore, acceptable collateral damage.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 20, 2006 10:16 AM

The awkward flip-side of democratic legitimacy is that citizens, especially in a democracy, are responsible for the actions of their governments and, therefore, acceptable collateral damage.

Applies to the palestinians as well.

Works for the liberals defending Muslim reactions to 9/11. Sauce for the goose...

Posted by: Ptah at February 20, 2006 10:35 AM


Exactly, which is why it's so important to make Palestine a Palestinian state rather than an Israeli territory.

Posted by: oj at February 20, 2006 10:38 AM

I'd be sceptical of any strikes occurring against Iran if only because doing so would rile up all the crazy hotheads in Shia Iraq, given that the US is trying to reduce its' force commitment.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at February 20, 2006 10:38 AM


We're leaving though.

Posted by: oj at February 20, 2006 10:47 AM

From Wikipedia:

The Supreme Leader

The concept of velayat-e faqih (guardianship of the jurist) plays a crucial role in the governmental structure of Iran. According to the Constitution, the Supreme Leader of Iran is responsible for the delineation and supervision of "the general policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran." In the absence of a single leader, a council of religious leaders is appointed. The Supreme Leader is commander-in-chief of the armed forces and controls the Islamic Republic's intelligence and security operations; he alone can declare war. He has the power to appoint and dismiss the leaders of the judiciary, the state radio and television networks, and the supreme commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. He also appoints six of the twelve members of the Council of Guardians. He, or the council of religious leaders, are elected by the Assembly of Experts, on the basis of their qualifications and the high popular esteem in which they are held.

The President

The President of Iran is responsible for implementing the Constitution and acting as the head of the executive, except in matters directly concerned with (the office of) the Leadership. According to the law, all presidential candidates must be approved by the Council of Guardians prior to running, after which he is elected by universal suffrage to a four-year term by an absolute majority of votes. After his election, the president appoints and supervises the Council of Ministers (the cabinet), coordinates government decisions, and selects government policies to be placed before the Parliament. Eight vice presidents serve under the president, as well as a cabinet of twenty-one ministers. The Council of Ministers must be confirmed by Parliament. Unlike many other states, the executive branch in Iran does not control the armed forces.

So, getting back to oj's point, regarding collateral damage in an attack on Iran, did these people really choose their government? Not in the sense that we chose ours, no.

Posted by: hector at February 20, 2006 11:06 AM


Yet they did have a choice of presidents and the Reformists made the mistake of boycotting, thus precipitating the crisis. To George Bush's discredit he encouraged the boycott.

Posted by: oj at February 20, 2006 12:44 PM

"Iran: Consequences of a War."

Hmm. Why wouldn't they have called it, "Iran: Consequences of threatening other countries with destruction (and developing nuclear weapons to that end, in major population centers to boot)"?

Just wondering....

(Though I suppose the title's a bit on the long side. That must be it! On the other hand, it could be that there really oughtn't be any consequences. Threaten a country these days---especially the "right" country---and it's life as usual.)

Posted by: Barry Meislin at February 20, 2006 5:34 PM

let the pulping of iran commence...i want a drumstick.

Posted by: toe at February 21, 2006 1:52 PM
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