We Will Not Attack Iran

That the U.S. will attack Iran seems to be the conventional wisdom. I see a lot of people speculating that we will. Today, another article was published suggesting that high oil prices might lead us to do it:

Soaring oil prices could trigger a US attack on Iran

Indeed, Iranian leaders have so far brilliantly manipulated the US difficulties in Iraq, the deteriorating popularity of the US President George W. Bush at home, and their carefully knitted regional alliances to get the Americans to think twice before attacking them.

They have also used the rising oil prices as a tool to expand their influence throughout the region. These same factors could, however, act as a double-edged weapon. For exactly the same reasons the US might seriously think of launching a massive aerial attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities and military outposts.

No way. It will not happen. I have to believe that we have learned something in Iraq. In fact, I suspect that the administration would probably like to go back and un-invade Iraq. I have to believe that we are not seriously considering invading a country much larger than, and with twice the population of Iraq – and yet one that would present the same kinds of problems we have faced in Iraq. Had Iraq not played out like it has, they might be sitting around contemplating Iran. But because Iraq has not gone according to plans, the administration has got to realize how things might go if we added Iran to the mix.

I know I don’t give our political leaders much credit, but I have never believed that this is under serious consideration. Does anyone here seriously think we might attack Iran? Does anyone think that would be a good idea?

40 thoughts on “We Will Not Attack Iran”

  1. What a strange question.

    Bits and pieces come out over time. We know now that Johnson was a bit crazed. Would he have attacked Iran? We know now that Nixon was half in the bag half the time. Would he have attacked Iran?

    We suspect that this President is not that bright, but holds an astonishing self-confidence (worryingly, a Religious self-confidence) nonetheless. Will he attack Iran?

    Of course it is not rational to do so, but ye gods! We face some risk here.

  2. From the article: The US is getting increasingly anxious about oil prices, which have risen more than 20 per cent over the past weeks and are expected to rise further in the coming months.
    Well, not anxious enough to reduce demand. Oil prices went up, in part, due to the weak dollar. Not doing much about that, are we? Not even anxious enough to develop an energy policy worthy of the name – you know, one that goes beyond adding subsidies to Congressman So-and-so’s home district.

    The problem is that sadly, in this era of hysteria, nothing is below our self-serving elected “leaders”. But, yes, let’s hope invasion is one bridge too far. At least no we have an idea of what it costs (in blood and treasure) and that the civilians won’t necessarily throw flowers at the soldiers’ feet. At least the neocon fantacies have suffered a death blow at the hands of reality.

    Perhaps the Iraq war did serve a purpose: Keep us out of Iran. You can just choke on the irony.

    Cheney argued that lower oil prices would help dry out Iran’s nuclear ambitions, cripple its economy and therefore restrict its ability to meddle in regional affairs. Recent increases in the oil market indicate that Cheney’s strategy has failed.
    Cheney got something wrong? How did that happen? LOL!

  3. For a guy who doesn’t comment anymore, Robert throws a mean troll 😉

    FWIW, I (the cynic) would have thought that the admin, and Alberto Gonzalez, would have at least stopped the torture when they said they were stopping the torture.

    I would not have guessed that they’d secretly endorse it AFTER testifying to congress that they we all past that.

    How on earth can I make a reasonable estimate of the insanity of this bunch?

  4. An attack on Iran could take many forms. The most plausible is a series of airstrikes intended to destroy nuclear facilities. There is good reason to doubt that they would be militarily effective, but Israel or the United States may decide they are the least bad option. A full-scale invasion certainly does not seem likely.

  5. I do and I do. The British changed Iran’s regime once, the American twice (including Carter’s sending the Shah away). It is hight time to repare Carter’s mistake. Not necessarily by military occupation.

  6. About the only ones talking about attacking Iran are really the Iranian leaders. Yeah, there are some hard liners in the US who mention it, but not really. Then there were the statements made by the French recently…

    I find some of the comments here a bit strange though. It’s such a bizarre disappointment to find people in this country who are so blind to the real dangers in the world, such as a nuclear armed Iran, and that they would rather believe that it is all made up by neo-cons (who are the real enemy). So chuckle it up about the “difficulties” in Iraq while Rome burns.

    Even if Iran never used a nuke in anger or even threatened to, it would be the death of non-proliferation and would lead to a massive build-up of other countries in the Middle East (Iran is Persian and Shia, almost all of their neighbors are Arab and mostly Sunni).

    Odograph mentioned “religious self-confidence” on the part of Bush, yet that pales in comparison to the “self-confidence” of suicide bombers. Deterrence as we knew it with the Russians is not viable with Iranians because they have a different conception of what’s rational. They may not be deterred by retaliation against their infrastructure and cities the way the Russians were.

    Yet, as many of you pointed out, military attacks are a bad idea, and most people in the US government know this well. There is an active and viable democracy movement that would not respond well to their country being attacked. From what I’ve heard, the Iranians have done a good job of dispersing and hardening their facilities to protect them from airstrikes. They have also allegedly bought the latest air defense systems from Russia through proxies.

    I offer two audio programs to back this up from the University of Chicago International Studies department. One is on the democracy movement http://chiasmos.uchicago.edu/events/postel.shtml The other is on the danger of proliferation and the danger of fissile material being given to terrorists: http://chiasmos.uchicago.edu/events/langewiesche.shtml

    Bottom line here is don’t let your hate of Bush blind you to the very real danger Iran’s nuclear program presents, and not just to the US, but to the world.

  7. “Odograph mentioned ‘religious self-confidence’ on the part of Bush, yet that pales in comparison to the ‘self-confidence’ of suicide bombers.”

    Actually I recognize the religious tension underlying this conflict.

    There is a lot of messy complexity in human affairs. This is no exception.

    That, and I suspect a false dichotomy between ‘bomb them or let them have nukes’

    I mean, that was the dichotomy given us in Iraq, right?

    (“oh, but for real this time.”)

  8. BTW, speaking of reading tea leaves, and judging the stupidity or underlying motives of our Presidents … do you remember the ‘crusade’ episode?

    It’s a stark choice isn’t it? Between a President dumb enough to say it, or a President crazy enough to mean it?

  9. I agree with those who see an attack on Iran as likely; in fact I would say it is nearly inevitable. It will not be over oil, it will purely be due to the nuclear threat. Unlike the case with Iraq, Germany and especially France are fully behind this, as is Britain. France’s foreign minister even warned recently that the west must prepare for war on Iran.

    I don’t know the form the attack will take, but I suspect that it will be preceded by increasing demands from the west that Iran cease its nuclear program, allow U.N. inspectors, etc., the old song and dance. Iran will refuse, tensions will mount, and action will be taken.

    I suspect that a Democrat will be president at the time. Like PPS said, this is not a neocon conspiracy. Iran is the real deal.

  10. Iran’s oil output is declining (infrastructure neglect). Every year. A lot.

    It’s not about the oil, it’s about the nuke program. No one believes it’s really for peaceful purposes, especially Iran neighbors, who are now looking at how they can get nukes before Iran does.

    And there is the “little” problem of Iran being the biggest trouble maker in the ME.

    But it won’t be an invasion.

    I also don’t think Bush will leave this problem to his successor.

  11. I doubt that we would attack Iran unless they threatened to manipulate the oil market by stopping exports, or attempting to take control of another country’s oil production. As long as Iran is a dependable supplier of oil, I think they are safe.

  12. “And there is the “little” problem of Iran being the biggest trouble maker in the ME.

    But it won’t be an invasion.

    I also don’t think Bush will leave this problem to his successor.”

    Isn’t there a problem with this logic? Does anyone have a practical way for an “attack” but a “non-invasion” to truly solve this situation?

    What are you going to do? Bomb population centers until they let in UN Inspectors?

    Seems to me that either there is a semi-diplomatic path (with some saber rattling) to accord, or there is a full invasion, or there are nukes for Iran.

    … but I don’t see how partial war is going to solve anything.

  13. “Seems to me that either there is a semi-diplomatic path (with some saber rattling) to accord”

    Isn’t that exactly what’s going on right now?

  14. “Isn’t that exactly what’s going on right now?”

    we can hope, but to be honest, that was what I hoped was really happening on the road to iraq.

  15. “And there is the “little” problem of Iran being the biggest trouble maker in the ME.”

    Hmmm. The US and UK helped depose Iran’s elected government in the 50s. The US provided support for Iraq during its war against Iran in the 80s, supported the predecessors to Al Queda in a proxy war with the Soviet Union in its neighbor, Afghanistan and then left the country to chaos. More recently, the US and UK invaded Iran’s neghibor, Iraq, an act that has further contributed to the instability of the whole region.

    There is plenty of troublemaking to go around.

    I’d like to think we won’t go to war with Iran. I don’t have much hope in our leaders though. They are either stupid, or evil. Either way, we loose.

  16. the usa likely will not, but push come to shove the isrealies might be pushed into that posture for shear survival.

    such action most likely w/o usa agreement[ or maybe with given circumstances]

    the isrealies have acted unilaterally in several previous confrontations when survival appeared to be the issue.

    the price of oil or the usa view may not be a significant factor.

  17. Odograph, there are more options than your “false dichotomy” of bombing Iran or allowing them to have the bomb. It may come to that though, and if it does, it needs to be a group decision with group participation. Unfortunately, Russia and China will obfuscate because they are both major suppliers to Iran, but even Russia is beginning to get concerned about their program. An Iranian nuke may freak us out, but Iran is right on Russia’s doorstep. Meanwhile, Iranian officials are chortling on BBC about how we can’t do anything about their “peaceful” nuclear program anyway: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7026754.stm

    Other things to consider is that Iran could really badly disrupt the oil market just by stopping their exports. They could also threaten the tankers passing through the straits of Hormuz (mines, ASMs, diesel electric subs are all ways they could do it). It wouldn’t even take an actual hostile act to bring tanker traffic to a screeching halt. Doing so would make China rather unhappy though, but maybe that’s partly what’s keeping China in their corner.

    The anonymous poster mentioned Israel, but again, the Arab countries in the area are about as fearful of an Iranian bomb. Iran is ethnically Persian, and Shia Muslim. The neighbors are Arab and mostly Sunni, and think the Shia are heretics. Look at the violence in Iraq to see how much love they have for each other. Look at the bombing in Syria and notice how LITTLE outcry you’ve heard from other Arab countries.

  18. Seymour Hersh has been writing extensively in The New Yorker about Bush Administration plans for Iran. According to Hersh, there are plans afoot to bomb and strike inside Iran, but not occupy. Plans do not mean it will happen.
    Ironically, the best way to decrease Iran’s influence would be to help it build up oil exporting capability. Iran could put another 2-3 mbd on world markets. If we got a few of the other oil thug nations back to par, there would be an oil glut. They would lose their influence.
    Another point of view worth noting is that of Z. Brzezinski, not a flower-hippy. He is worried that through sheer doltishness, the US has stepped halfway to creating a regional war played out in Afghanie, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq, and some more bit players, the direction of which is entirely uncertain, although almost certainly a human disaster. You have any number of religious, tribal and national forces at work. Zbig says we should just back the Shias in Iraq and make a deal with them, and go home. Now, it may be too late for that. So we really have no plans what to do next. Just leave our guys there to get shot at and hope something good happens.
    It is remarkable that Bush has zero energy plan, and has accomplished worse than nothing in Iraq. Now, the tab is $200 billion a year, and we losing now in Afghanie. But 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were…Saudi.
    Imagine the energy program we could have bought for $200 billion.
    But worse may be coming. According to Hersh, Cheney is dead certain we need to bomb and invade (though not occupy) Iran.
    Then, you get your $100 oil. The House of Saud likes this scenario. So does the House of Halliburton.
    We have three aircraft carriers within striking range of Tehran. All the time.

  19. Benjamin Cole–Yeah, the military pretty much HAS to have a plan on the shelf, but as you said, that doesn’t mean it gets used.

    As for backing the plan about backing the Shia in Iraq, it isn’t anywhere near as simple as that. There are no simple “Tab A in slot B” answers–it’s an adaptive system. You make a deal with the Shia and two things will likely happen–a genocide of the remaining Sunni and alienating all of the Arab countries, which are all predominantly Sunni. Then there are the second and third order effects…

    As for the wider, regional implications of all of the tribal, religious and ethnic groups in the region, there is only one real hope–to promote moderates and get them engaged with the modern world in reconciliation with each other.

    As for the 9/11 hijackers who were Saudi, it’s not as simple as you imply there either. Listen to this speaker at the Univesity of Chicago–the author of “Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism” http://chiasmos.uchicago.edu/events/pape.shtml

    By the way, as I mentioned before, you might hate Cheney, but he might be right about bombing Iran–as a last option. I can think of many, many reasons why it’s a bad one, but a nuclear armed Iran has far too many consequenses too horrible to imagine.

  20. Oh, and Benjamin, the House of Saud and the “House of Halliburton” certainly do not favor bombing Iran. Both will be BIG losers if it happens because even a defeated Iran can trivially threaten the Straits of Hormuz and choke off the oil supplies coming out of the whole Gulf–including Saudi oil.

    The Saudi’s have been masters of balancing off their enemies and maintaining status quo because shooting is bad for oil tankers and bad for business.

    As for the snarky comment about Halliburton, they don’t make any money off of bombing raids, their services are aimed at long term static ops in semi-secure environments, like Bosnia.

  21. Helllllloooooo, we are _already_ attacking Iran; Special Forces come and go at will, we have been manufacturing causus belli like mad, and all eyes in the sky have been making targeting packages for some time.

    We scared the daylights out of Iran with the attack on Iraq; they looked at what North Korea got compared to what Iraq got, so they have sprinted to have what North Korea and Israel have. The problem, for them, is that it’s just a lot harder to actually do than it is to talk about.

    George Seldes

  22. I think I have mentioned it before, but I have Iranians that work in my group. We have talked quite a bit about this situation. One is quite concerned about the prospects for an attack. In fact, he has told me that he thinks that the Western media presents a very biased image of Iran. He has invited me to go back to Tehran with him and to stay with his family, so I can see things for myself. (I told him that I think there is a travel ban for Americans that prohibits them from visiting Iran as tourists).

    Anyway, my viewpoint is obviously influenced by the people I know and work with. This guy has his family (wife, kids) still in Tehran, so imagine his concern. I have told him again and again that I don’t believe we will attack. But he obviously knows that many civilians continue to die in Iraq, so it is a very stressful situation for him.


  23. Robert – Just a few hours until the Red River rivalry! Somebody is going 0-2 in the Big12 south.

    I have had the honor to meet the last 3 presidents in person, Clinton & Bush 43 before they became POTUS, and 41 both before and after.

    President Bush is not the stupid bumbler that the media and the Democrat Party would have us believe.

    However, I don’t believe he will leave office with Iran’s nuclear program in tact. If the diplomats fail, he is likely to take limited military action, particularly if a Democrat succeeds him.

    Like Robert, I’ve also worked with Iranians. Most Iranians have had it with their brutal and oppressive government. The US in my opinion is not doing enough to help the pro-democracy within Iran. We should use Voice of America and satellite TV to broadcast news and information into Iran. We should be helping to organize trade unions and strike funds in critical industries in Iran, like the oil sector. With the right pressure, the Iranian government will collapse and fall from within.

  24. I said “talkin’ smack” above because I don’t think this future is terribly knowable.

    George reminds us that low-level attacks have been likely happening. That highlights the possibility of a long term Cold War with the Iranians. But who knows.

    All we can really know (Taleb) is that whatever happens, it will seem to have been obvious a few year later.

  25. KingofKaty makes a good point about helping the democracy movement in Iran, and I think SecState Rice pledged something like $75M or something like that for the dissident groups. The trouble is, it’s like touching a lightning rod. We (as in the world, not the US) need to support the pro-dem movement so they do not become labeled as US agents so they can be neatly lined up and shot. One of those podcasts I linked earlier mentions that several Iranian dissidents have travelled in the West, but very carefully avoided meeting with government officials, etc. They also want to do this on their own, and peacefully, from what I’ve heard.

  26. When you say ‘support democracy’ are you arguing for true ‘self-determination?’

    What if a majority in a nation really do support a fundamentalist regime? Do you accept it, or do you call a do-over?

    This is not an academic question, right? The current admin, supporting ‘democracy’ came up against a democracy it could not support in Palestine.

    IMO one of the shallow factors in recent US politics has been to throw around ‘democracy’ as if it would solve problems in a foreign land, and always lead to an outcome favorable to the US.

    (Disaffected expatriates do not guarantee a democratic majority.)

  27. Powerpoint-

    The link does not work.
    Anyway, KSA has been financing terrorism for years, Bin Laden is Saudi, and reportedly most of “Al Queda Iraq.”
    Somehow, if there is the most feeble link between Iraq and terrorists, it is seized upon and waved around ike proof.
    Saudis? Fahgetiaboutit. But Bush loves ’em! Do you suppose oil is thicker than blood? Really, Bush is close to treasonous the way he panders to Saudi royalty, and protects them from serious inquiry.
    KSA has made tons of money as oil goes to $80. They even cut production along the way. I get the impression they are not friends of ours. Friends of Bushes maybe, but that is different from being friends with regular Americans, including those on the line in Iraq.
    Those Al Queda operatives killing our boys in Iraq are from KSA. Why can’t KSA stop the flow of terrorists from KSA to Iraq? Oh, but that is no a link to terrorism. One guy from Iraq in Budapest or somewhere is proof, but thousands of Saudis in Iraq is just…well, let’s change the topic.
    Halliburton used to do work in Iran, and Cheney used to brag about it. Don’t tell me about Halliburton. Does the word “mercenary” come to mind? They make money on higher oil prices, as demand for their services increases, and they make more money the richer the thug oil states get. One might observe the interests of Halliburton and the USA are not aligned. Take a cue from Fluor – they moved their HQ to Dubai. One could wonder where their hearts lie.
    I have heard the Halliburton crowd talk. The US government is the enemy as they want tax revenues, and thug oil states are friends as they have deep pockets.
    That is an interesting view of the world. Halliburton loved doing business in Iran, they love KSA and they love Dubai.
    You can say what our policy in the Mideast should be, but I think I am justified in having zero faith in the Bush Administration to accomplish anything, except to make matters worse. That has been their track record so far.
    I have a realistic fear Bush will be able to achieve a choatic, regional war in the Mideat, cutting oil supplies, raising prices, harming world GDP (especially tough for Third World nations).
    Given that possibility, I suggest coming home ASAP.

  28. Benjamin Cole said: “Seymour Hersh has been writing extensively in The New Yorker about Bush Administration plans for Iran. According to Hersh, there are plans afoot to bomb and strike inside Iran, but not occupy.”


    I spent 27 years in the Air Force. Believe me, we have contingency plans for everything. Military planners do a lot of, “What if?” and always have options on the shelf for the national command authority to use. (I have no doubt that somewhere on a shelf is even a plan to repel an invasion from Canada, or vice-versa.)

    But having a contingency plan, and having an execution order for that plan are two very different things.

    Seymour Hersh has been getting way more attention than he deserves for his article about a contingency plan to bomb Iran. We would be irresponsible to not have such a plan, but that doesn’t mean it is going to happen anytime soon.


    Gary Dikkers

  29. Gary Dikkers-
    Yes, I noted that a plan is not a certainty. I hope it is only sabre-rattling. Although a very dicey question is what to do if Iran is close to a nuke? A quick strike, and demolish all facilities related? More blah, blah and sanctions? Cartainly occupation and nation-building are off the table. Iran has 70 million, and Blackwater only has so many mercenaries.
    Iran has rotten leadership. Another thug state with huge oil deposits. The OIl Gods favor thugs.
    As many of us know from personal life, sometimes there are only bad options. Gary Dikkers, you pick one out for me, on Iran. I am stumped.
    And RR’s comments are important not only on a human level, but political: Who next we will permanently alienate with actions on Iran?
    The Bush Adminstration has succeeded wonderfully in getting cornered into a place with only really bad options.
    By the way, CERA in early Septemeber re-iterated their stance that we have plenty of crude oil going forward.
    I am not sure we need Mideast oil all that much. Might be time to just come home.

  30. Why are you talking only about sabre-rattling or military attack? Mr Jimmy Carter was able to cause a drastic change in Iran by asking the Shah (politely) to leave Iran and hand over the power to that Man of God, the Preacher Khumeini. In the past, America used to be rather good at changing foreign regimes. Maybe sending a cargo plane for Mr Ahmedinijad’s furniture would solve the problem, as did Tachito Somoza’s in Nicaragua.

  31. From the Wiki: In the 1953 Iranian coup d’état, the administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower orchestrated the overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq and his cabinet from power. The support of the coup was carried out, using widespread bribery in a covert operation by Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. According to a report on the BBC, Britain contributed to funding the purchase of Iranian officials, news media and others. The project was codenamed Operation Ajax (officially TP-AJAX).The coup re-installed Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in power.

    When the American Government changed (or lost) its mind, Jimmy Carter had only to suggest Reza to leave for medical treatment in Paris. Shortly after, the descendent of Cyrus the Great dutifully gave up the ghost in the hands of the medicien sans frontiers. BTW, AIPAC was involved in ancient Iran. Cyrus, for no known reason at all, established a Zionist entity in Palestine and sent immense quantities of gold and silver for its defense.

  32. I would venture that your thoughts on energy are cogent enought that you might steer clear of subjects like “We will not attack Iran.” I submit that we might have little choice…..

  33. If the reason for attacking Iran is high oil prices, it would seem such an attack would be instantly self defeating. The oil price would immediately double (just a guess – maybe it would triple. $240 oil anybody?).

    Remember that such an attack; and the response will be assymetric. I imagine Iran has put in place systems that by simply pressing a single button, would destroy much of the oil infrastructure in other Gulf countries within 2 or 3 minutes. The world would immediately be faced with 25% less oil, destroying Western economies for a decade or more. There is also the chance that Iran will sink a large US capital ship, maybe even an aircraft carrier, with their Sunburn missiles (Google this). If that happened Bush will nuke the place.

    I agree with Robert. Rational thought leads you rapidly to conclude that Iran will not be attacked. There must be someone left in DC who is smart enough to have worked all this out. Surely?

  34. Benjamin Cole said: “As many of us know from personal life, sometimes there are only bad options. Gary Dikkers, you pick one out for me, on Iran. I am stumped.”


    Sometimes you really have to think outside the box. I fought in the Vietnam War. Later on in Air Command and Staff College, as part of a paper I prepared, I calculated that with all the money we spent in Vietnam fighting that war, we could have instead bought a three-bedroom house with two-stall garage for every family in North and South Vietnam.

    Looking back now, which would have been the better investment? Spend billions trying to bomb them back to the Stone Age, or spend those billions moving them to be a true capitalist society?

    A few weeks ago I figured that so far in Iraq, we have spent over $80,000 for each man, woman, and child in that country. It seems that could have been enough money to bribe Iraq into some form of stability — something that would be better than what is now there.

    The same with Iran — if our reason for wanting to bomb Iran is because of high oil prices, there must be a better way to control the price of oil, since if we do go to war with Iran, the unintended consquences will no doubt be astronomical oil prices.

    Someone has to look at the intended result and then do a critical analysis of all the ways to spend our resources to reach that result, and then pick the one that offers the best results.



  35. I figured that so far in Iraq, we have spent over $80,000 for each man, woman, and child in that country.

    Iraq has 26m people, at $80k per that’s over $2 trillion. Iraq war cost (so far!) esimates run around 500b. There’s also a difference between money sent to the Pentagon and defense contractors, much of which stays in the US and circulates through our economy, and money exported to another country. Don’t get me wrong, defense spending is a net drag on the economy and a big chunk of Iraq War dollars went straight to money heaven (where 72 virgin greenbacks awaited?), but if you’re going to compare costs you have to account for this factor.

    Anyway, since Robert asked, I do not believe we will attack Iran during Bush’s term and I do not think it would be a good idea. Had we not squandered our capital on a fool’s errand in Iraq things might be different.

  36. Someone at reddit.com says the only obsticle to Cheney’s desire to attack Iran is Robert Gates. A thinking realist. Robert Rapier likens the war in Iraq. It is not. The terrain would be a killer. Imagine the headlines. Suicide hill taken, radical hill relinquished.

  37. Looking back now, which would have been the better investment? Spend billions trying to bomb them back to the Stone Age, or spend those billions moving them to be a true capitalist society?

    Does the idea of just keeping the money and letting them get on with running their own lives even get a look-in?

  38. Bomb? Maybe, invade? Maybe, occupy? No.

    Honestly, I used to thing I knew what was going on, I even blogged about it here (Peak Oil), but I’ve waffled since (Bush the Idiot).

    Really, when you think about it… well, your head hurts. Is the US bogged down in Iraq? Of course not, they could leave anytime – the same people saying they are bogged down are also saying they should leave now – go figure. Could they invade Iran? Easily. The actual invasion of Iraq took weeks. Occupation is hard, but Iraq is an excellent example of why not to do it. Going in, destroying the Iranian army and all nuclear facilities, and then leaving is entirely possible. All Bush needs is an excuse.

    Will he get one? That’s the question. Something like a dirty bomb set off in the US, with some semi-plausible link to Iran, would about do it. Will it happen? Beats me.


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