January 15, 2007


If Tehran Knew (Ahmed Al-Rabei, 1/15/07, Asharq Alawsat)

In America, they lie for tactical reasons, stating over and over that military action against Iran is unlikely. However in Iran, out of ignorance, they reiterate that American military action against their country is impossible because the US is "unable" to do so!

We say and hope our analysis is wrong. A possible military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities is in the final stages. Unless a political miracle occurs that revives the halted dialog between Iran and the international community, Iran and its neighboring countries should not be surprised by a scenario that includes American military action.

There are a number of common illusions in the Arab and Muslim mind in general, illusions that on several occasions in the past have been tried and proven unsuccessful. It was proven that the Arabs confuse their hopes with reality, and between what the other wants and what we think they are planning for.

There is an illusion that Iran is a huge military state with decisive striking power. This would be true if Iran was to confront one of its neighbors, but the fact is that in any confrontation between America and Iran, Iran would be a tiny helpless state. It will suffer what the Arabs suffered in 1967 and what Iraq suffered when Saddam stubbornly rejected all peaceful solutions. America will be able to impose its conditions. This has nothing to do with love or hatred. Geographically and historically, Iran is closer to us than America, and the cultural and historical relations we have with Iran outweigh our ties with America. Rather it is the facts, reality that show that the balances of power tilt flagrantly in favor of the United States and the Western alliance, particularly the European one!

Another illusion is that America is "rolling in the Iraqi mud." I wish that the Arab world would not believe such a statement; Iraq is not another Vietnam, and America is able to conduct more than one war because of its huge political and technological capabilities.

Tehran needs to reconsider its political discourse.

The funny thing is that the American Left and far Right share the delusion that Iraq has hamstrung us while the neocons share the delusion that Iran is mighty.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 15, 2007 10:58 AM

I doubt if anyone in the Western world truly thinks Iran is "mighty." We just worry about messianic nutcases who support terror groups and advocate nuking Israel getting their hands on the bomb. But I suppose someone who has pooh-poohed the 20th century threats of Nazi Germany and the USSR might not see it that way.

Posted by: PapayaSF at January 15, 2007 12:08 PM

Yes, by the comparison do you demonstrate your hysteria.

Posted by: oj at January 15, 2007 2:26 PM

Our eventual rapprochemnent with the Persians, while not inevitable, is an eminently attainable goal ... and the worst nightmare of the Sunni Arabs. Bush is creating the preconditions, but execution will be up to his successor.

Posted by: ghostcat at January 15, 2007 4:01 PM

So it's "hysteria" to worry about terrorists getting hold of nukes? Seems like conservative prudence to me.

Posted by: PapayaSF at January 15, 2007 5:39 PM

Not hysteria, common sense.

Posted by: darryl at January 15, 2007 9:22 PM

It's the rightwing version of global warming--a hysteria that allows you to attack the real thing underlying it that you dislike.

Posted by: oj at January 15, 2007 9:44 PM

Well, there is a symmetry here: I think you are blind to the danger of Iran+Hezbollah+nukes because you think their Abrahamic religious roots will somehow prevent or excuse the catastrophe that would likely be.

Posted by: PapayaSF at January 16, 2007 2:01 AM

No. I think they won't get them and would only be a threat to themselves with them. They can neither deliver them nor defend themselves against us.

The political evolution their societies are in the midst of has nothing to do with it--well, except that they are so far down the chain that they can't pose any kind of threat to us.

Posted by: oj at January 16, 2007 7:53 AM