Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: Should Iran Beware The Ides Of March ?

02 February 2006

Should Iran Beware The Ides Of March ?








Top flight foreign correspondent and acclaimed defence analyist, Eric Margolis is a master of his art.

He writes well, he knows his specialist subjects backwards and he's rarely wrong in his readings of and reporting on, international affairs.

So when Margolis makes a particular point of flagging certain signals, we would all do well to sit up straight and listen to what he's saying.

To something like the following for example.

NEW YORK - According to US and European intelligence sources, the US and Israel are getting ready to attack Iran if the current round of diplomacy designed to stop Iran from advancing its nuclear program fails.
He sounds somewhat sure of a certain scenario, wouldn't you say ?

And how about this?

President George Bush, with his usual bombastic exaggeration, claims Iran's limited but growing nuclear program poses `a grave threat to the security of the world'.

What he really means is that Iran could one day challenge Israel's Mideast nuclear monopoly and pose a threat to the Jewish state.

These are the same kind of falsehoods we heard before the US invasion of Iraq - another nation that posed no threat to anyone save its own wretched people. Like Iraq, Iran has almost no ability to project military power beyond its borders.

It certainly has no means of threatening the US.

Equaly certainly, we'd say that sounds just about right. As does what follows.

Today, Iran's handful of inaccurate, 1,200km range Shahab-3 missiles can barely reach Israel, and have only non-nuclear conventional warheads. To say Iran somehow threatens the world is a gross lie.

Even if Iran did have nuclear warheads, it has no means of delivering them. Nuclear weapons without delivery systems are useless.
(snip)

Many of Israel's estimated 200 nuclear warheads are targeted on Iran, including Jericho II missiles and new, nuclear armed US-supplied Tomahawk land-attack missiles on its Dolphin-class submarines in the Indian Ocean off Iran.
(and snip again)

No one should be surprised that Iran seeks nuclear weapons. It is surrounded by states armed with nuclear weapons: Israel, Pakistan, India, Russia and, most lately, US forces based in the Mideast and Central Asia.

US and British special forces, and US drones, have been probing Iran's defenses for a year, and setting up ground beacons to vector air attacks on Iranian nuclear sites.
Oh, really ? Well surprise, suprise -- and we don't think.

But we do believe this. Every worrying word of it.

The US and Israel would likely use air and missile strikes to destroy Iran's nuclear industry and cripple its military. The US has supplied Israel with 2,500-km ranged F-16C/Ds and F-15Is, and 500 GBU-28 deep penetrating bombs. These new bombs may contain depleted uranium. Much of Iran's critical nuclear facilities are far underground or dug into hillsides.
As we also acknowledge absolutely, all of the following.

Israel's hawkish defense minister, Shaul Mofaz, while calling for diplomacy, warned last weekend his nation `would not tolerate' a nuclear-armed Iran. Israel's Mossad has been claiming this March is the absolute deadline to stop Iran's nuclear program.

On cue, Israel's many supporters in the US Congress are loudly calling for war against Iran.


German intelligence leaks claim last December CIA chief Porter Goss briefed Turkey, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan about US plans to attack Iraq.

Israeli warplanes would overfly Jordan and Iraq to strike central and southern Iran. US air and missile strikes could come from Diego Garcia, Qatar, Oman, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia, and from carriers, surface warships and subs in the Indian Ocean. B-2 Stealth bombers and F-117s would lead the attack.

And just in case anyone anywhere wasn't aware -- or was 'slow' enough not to even surmise. ( As if, eh? )

Iran is the world's fourth largest oil exporter;

Starting to sound familar? Remember a rather recent, similar scenario ?

The beleaguered Bush administration may try to escapes mounting woes by launching an air campaign against Iran to whip up war fever among Americans before mid-term elections, thus boosting Republican fortunes.
Hmmm. This Old Brit and Richard would rather not comment -- well, not right now

They'd like to leave that, along with the very last word[s] to Mr Margolis. After all, he is a master in these matters.

But this is a dangerous business because, like the supposed jolly little colonial adventure in Iraq, a war with Iran could be dangerously unpredictable and go terribly wrong.


* Read the full fact packed piece, right here.

10 Comments:

Blogger markfromireland said...

I've a lot of time for Margolis but I'll take issue to a certain extent with some of what he's said here:

1) Iran has been upgrading it's air defense capacity significantly.

2) Same for the Shahab-3s they've significantly imporved them.

I did a short piece on my blog about Iran getting the tor-m1 if they've taken delivery of even one or two of them then an air raid could be seriously bad news for the raider.

4:23 pm  
Blogger Gert said...

I don't think the military option is really on the cards right now: I doubt if the political will in the US and UK populations could be found to execute these military plans, although they almost certainly exist in detailed blueprints.

It would be the end of New Labour, if the UK was to subscribe to such an idea in practice.

We need to distinguish between political reality and political grandstanding.

Interesting post nonetheless...

5:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This todays latest news from the BBC.

Key Iran nuclear decision delayed

Iranians have been demonstrating in support of their country
The UN's nuclear watchdog has put off until Saturday a meeting on whether to report Iran to the UN Security Council.
Diplomats believe the motion to report Tehran over its nuclear activities - which the EU and US say still leaves room for diplomacy - will be passed.

No reason has been given for the delay. Russia has reportedly decided to back the move if the threat of sanctions is withheld for at least another month.


There's more here.

Any ideas on Russia's real stance on Iran any of you guys? And China?

5:30 pm  
Anonymous graniab said...

Interesting reading. Seems like we have been down this path before. However, if the Israelis (with US support) carry out the air strike - say just before their March elections - it will give Sharon's successor some much needed pre-election muscle.

6:22 pm  
Anonymous Rex said...

Don't know about China and Russia and neither do I understand France's relationship. Firt they loved 'em then they hated 'em and so on.

Any experts around?

11:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if they're mad enough to do this, think of the terrible effects of radiation contamination in many more countries than iran... ugh ..

10:18 pm  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

I will be back tommorrow- 5:30 am now- been up all night - Bloggerhell until 3am- got up and runnung again_ Blogspot was out here for 12-24 hours...so I came to check on you Rick-looks like you are okay....allie

( we have not idea what it was Worm? Storm on west coast?fucking govt? who knows...)

10:40 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Mark, I saw that tor M1 post & pic of yours. Hmm? Eh?

Gert, Although I think they'd be crazy to 'go to war' with Iran, an air strike[s] might prove to be something different. No need for mass mobilisation or troop movements - the air 'force' is already over and all around there.

Graniab, as you point out Israel and their forces are already there too -- but importantly Sharon ain't. Also, remember a while back when Cheney said even if the US didn't, Israel just 'might do something' about Iran?

11:59 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Rex, I'm no exert but I don't think Russia or China would take too kindly to anyone waging war on Iran. France? I know they had close Iranian ties in the past -- but now - I'm out of the loop on that one.

Anon, that's something thar worries the hell out me. Sadly, many seem to have forgoten about that 'fall out'. How many more [intentional] 'Chernobles' does the world want to allow?

Enigma, I havent posted a new blog since 2nd so haven't noticed anything. I did have some awful problems a while ago though. Couldn't publish for quite a while. Twice I lost complete posts - which drove me bloody mad.

One thing I've noticed over the last couple of days is that there have not been as many comments as usual - but thought that was maybe down to the subject. I know Iran is NOT a popular topic with most Americans.

12:08 pm  
Blogger markfromireland said...

I think everyone had severe blogger problems last night Richard. It's encouraging me to get off my ass and finish preparing my own site. It's probably just as well though. Between the Danish embassy gwetting torched in Damascus, the disturbances in Hillerød (a dormer town to Copenhagen) and people leaving comments on my blog of the sort that I flat out refuse to publish. I was not in the sweetest of tempers.

I've been resisting writing about the "cartoon saga" despite requests to do so but I'm begining to think doing so might be a good idea. Mind you I'll have to take blood pressure reducing tablets first :-))))

1:17 pm  

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