Friday, August 08, 2008

War With Iran: Another Bad Idea

We have two wars already, both being hideously executed.
This from Alex Thurston at The Seminal:

Israel/Palestine: Beating the Drum for War with Iran, Even As Talks with Syria Move Forward

Condoleezza Rice indicated yesterday that the US would not act to prevent an Israeli strike on Iran, while Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Israel is prepared for "uncompromising victory" in the case of military hostilities. Barak also favors increased international sanctions against Iran.

The Jerusalem Post also reports that two additional US aircraft carriers are traveling to the Red Sea and the Gulf, which is making Kuwait nervous.

I still don't expect to see war with Iran, or even war between Israel and Iran, before the end of Bush's term. Hannes Artens at the Agonist made a strong case for why a few weeks back, and I think his analysis still stands. Hopefully anyone with a scrap of sanity recognizes that any prolonged conflict with Iran would become a pit for American dollars and lives, and would stretch our military very thin indeed. Not to mention conflict with Iran would destabilize the whole region.

But even if war is unlikely, I still don't see the benefit in such aggressive rhetoric - particularly when opening diplomatic channels seems to be working on other fronts. At the same time we hear of Israel's bellicose stance toward Iran, we hear that negotiations with Syria are going forward. The EU recently offered to broker talks, and Syrians feel that while indirect talks have mostly covered old ground, the talks are moving in the right direction. So if that's the case, why not open greater diplomatic channels between Israel and Iran? Pragmatically, it doesn't seem the tough rhetoric regarding Iran has achieved much either for Israel or for us.

And when's the last time Iran attacked another country anyway? As far as I can tell, it's been a long time - it was Iraq who attacked first in the Iran-Iraq war. I think Israel is misinterpreting the nature of the Iranian threat, and misreading Iran's capacity or desire for military strikes on Israel. So while ratcheting up tensions in the region may have its short term appeal, a long term solution to these problems is more likely to come at the negotiating table than on the battlefield.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home