"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." - - - William Blum

January 23, 2006

Michael S. Rozeff rates the relative chances, based on predicted outcomes, of a US/Israeli airstrike against Iran, ostensibly an attack intended to retard Iran's nuclear power program (excerpt):

  • Bombing may not accomplish its goal because some Iranian facilities are hardened underground (lowers chance.)
  • On the other hand, the Bushehr reactor can be destroyed and bombing would do enough damage to delay Iran’s progress for some years (raises chance.)
  • Iran may retaliate. It is strong enough militarily to attack Americans in Iraq (lowers chance.)
  • On the other hand, the Iranian army is not experienced, has little staying power, lacks equipment, and lacks air cover. It’s best at defense (raises chance).
  • Iran can bomb Israel with missiles (lowers chance.) On the other hand, the missiles may not be too accurate and Israel has some anti-missile capabilities (raises chance.)
  • Iran can bottle up the Straits of Hormuz and interfere with Persian Gulf traffic (lowers chance.)
  • This is a real threat because Iran can mine the Gulf and has various missiles. On the other hand, doing this cuts Iran off from a vital source of export and import for itself (raises chance.)
  • An air strike will strengthen the current regime in Iran as most wars do (lowers chance.)
  • On the other hand, some elements within Iran want regime change (raises chance.)
  • An air strike will radicalize Muslims and create an insurgency (lowers chance.)
  • An air strike will not change longstanding Iranian objectives. In fact, it will strengthen their will to achieve them, even if they are delayed (lowers chance.).
  • An air strike will cause Iran to drop out of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and develop nuclear weapons as a defensive measure (lowers chance.)
  • If Iran develops nuclear weapons, then neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia will reconsider their non-nuclear policies (lowers chance.)
  • An air strike does not resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It makes it worse because it will, if anything, harden Iran’s antagonism toward Israel (lowers chance.)
  • An air strike will cause a sharp rise in the price of oil. This will torpedo Western economies for a while (lowers chance.)
  • The U.S. military forces are not prepared for an Iranian engagement at this time (lowers chance.)
  • On the other hand, they can be pressed and inspired further (raises chance.)

The fact that the Bush-war klan is even considering an attack of Iran is not surprising in the least. What has flabbergasted me is the nearly complete lack of vocal/written dissent from the Democrats and Progressives. WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE?

UPDATE: Tim at DemLeft suggests this good analysis of the potential consequences of sanctions against Iran: http://www.zmag.org/content/print_article.cfm?itemID=9579&sectionID=67

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