War on Iran: A Most Dangerous Gambit
Washington’s threatened attack on Iran threatens us all
with the very real possibility of WWIII,
and a likelihood of global economic chaos
The former head of the National Security Agency, Retired Lt. General William Odom said, “The invasion of Iraq, I believe, will turn out to be the greatest strategic disaster in U.S. history.”
That was before Iran. If the U.S. attacks Iran, it could be decisive for the American empire, the American people, the American economy, and for the world’s economy – and decisively bad in all cases. If we avoid WWIII we will be lucky. That is probably the best thing one could say about the apparent impending attack on Iran.
Iran, Russia and China have entered into an economic and military alliance. The latter two are both nuclear powers. The three nations have been conducting joint military training exercises since last August, after the U.S. began military build-up in the region. China and Russia have their eyes on Iranian oil, as does the U.S. and EU. Iran, not surprisingly, wants protection. A U.S. attack on Iran will likely spark a regional conflagration across the Middle East, and may spell global war.
“The new U.S.-Russian relationship, as it is currently evolving, contains a potential for very serious threats to international security. In a major international crisis, conflict between the two major nuclear powers may escalate to extreme levels.”
– Sergei Plekhanov, The Nightmare Scenario
ING, the big German bank, has recently released a report warning its investors that the U.S. may attack Iran in the near future, and that such an attack would lead to cascading effects throughout the global economy. It predicted an attack on Iran would cause oil prices to spike, the dollar to fall, and global economic chaos to result.
A U.S. attack on Iran would of course be unconstitutional, illegal, immoral and criminal. Beyond this, however, such an attack would pose grave risks for humanity and the earth.
The risks entailed in a U.S. attack on Iran are great – in fact, the risks are arguably extreme. This is a gambit of immense danger. Ah the love of power: what madness is sweeter?
Excerpts from the article by strategic analyst Sergei Plekhanov follow.
“This week, the international crisis that started in September with U.S. discovery of stepped-up uranium enrichment activities in Iran is expected to trigger a nuclear war between Russia and the United States. In the past few weeks, international attempts to defuse the crisis failed, as Russia, supported by China and North Korea, increased the readiness of its armed forces and made several threatening moves. In his address to the citizens of Russia, President Valdimir Putin called the situation “grave” and expelled U.S. diplomats from Moscow. President Bush invoked the War Powers Act. A Russian reconnaissance plane collided in midair with a U.S. plane in the vicinity of U.S. ballistic missile defense installations. It is expected that in the next few days, Russia will launch a strategic nuclear strike at American command centers and armed forces. The U.S. will retaliate.
This is the gist of the scenario, called Vigilant Shield ‘07, for this year’s Homeland Defense Exercise, currently being conducted by the U.S. Northern Command, according to Washington Post columnist William Arkin’s Early Warning blog (“Russia Supports North Korea in Nuclear War” and “The Vigilant Shield 07 Exercise Scenario”). War games are a peculiar genre, easy to make fun of, but the logic of this scenario merits serious attention, as it reminds us of an important reality we usually prefer to forget about.
When we think about the danger of nuclear war nowadays, the mind zeros in on North Korea and Iran and stays there, preoccupied with the fact that North Korea has a few nuclear bombs, while Iran may or may not build a few of its own in the next decade. The international community is tying itself in knots trying to respond to the colossal threats to world peace and security that these two countries present.
Now, the reality is that of the world’s estimated 22,000 nuclear weapons, about 21,000 belong to the U.S. and Russia, each of the two possessing nearly equal numbers and keeping about 1,000 of them ready for launching within 30 minutes. The rest are distributed in batches of a few hundred among France, the UK, China and Israel, while the new members of the “nuclear club,” India and Pakistan, possess a few dozens each (Nuclear Issues—CDI).
If we should worry about the existence of nuclear weapons with their unique capacity to put an end to human life on this planet, it is odd that we overlook the thousands and peer at the murky single digits through a magnifying glass and tremble with fear.
What happened to the clarity of mind that defined world thinking about nuclear weapons 20 years ago, when it was obvious that the really dangerous nukes were those in massive numbers that the Americans and the Russians trained on each other and were ready to use on a few minutes’ notice?
“Barring worst-case scenarios, however, the U.S.-Russian asymmetry may actually help the case for arms control and disarmament. First, the pursuit of hegemony, at least in its current neoconservative variant, has turned out to be a prescription for U.S. setbacks in the international arena. By failing so compellingly in its use of force at a time when its power seemed so overwhelming, the U.S. is serving everyone a useful lesson: Alternative, nonmilitary approaches to international security are urgently needed.”