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December 31, 2005

Plan of Attack?
Guest Author: Omid Paydar

Irantarget.jpg According to an article in Der Spiegel, the U.S. government may be planning to conduct military strikes on Iranian nuclear sites sometime early 2006. Based on the article, the Turkish government and America's other NATO allies have been told that such an attack may take place. Apparently, the governments of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman and Pakistan have been informed in recent weeks of Washington's military plans. The countries, apparently, were told that air strikes were a "possible option," but they were given no specific timeframe for the operations.

Whether or not these rumors prove to be true, what seems to emerge from the nature of discussions, particularly after the recent vile remarks by Mr. Ahmadinejad with regards to Israel and the Holocaust, is that Washington is coming more and more to the conclusion that a soft diplomatic track may not be an option with the new government in Iran. The leaking of such reports to the media may be part of a strategy to show Iran that the U.S. is serious, and that the Russian proposal or some sort of guarantee acceptable to the U.S. indicating that Iran will not be pursuing a weapons program has to be taken seriously. The U.S. might be indicating that this is indeed Iran's last chance, and that they will not allow the Iranian government to buy time.

From a strategic perspective a military attack on Iran's nuclear site may not prove to be effective in deterring Iran's nuclear ambitions and most analysts believe that this might at best strengthen the hand of Mr. Ahmadinejad's hardliners in Iran in the long-term, and at worst create extensive regional instability. Of course there is also the impact on oil prices and the domestic political fallout for Mr. Bush.

But the question is, does the Bush administration think that it would have to pay even a higher price if Iran does get to nuclear weapons capability? Given that all the options the Bush administration has with regards to Iran will result in some sort of loss for the U.S, what do they see as a policy that minimizes the loss over a longer period of time? Or does the U.S. even have an Iran policy? Will one emerge with events unfolding or has one been in the process for sometime now? I do not have the answers to these questions, but believe they will determine the U.S. response to the current crisis.

What is clear to me is that in the current grand game the Iranian people will suffer the most, as they have in the past. They are a disposable commodity, both in the eyes of their own regime and the eyes of the United States and their allies. When we cannot shape our own destiny as a people, others will shape it for us. Apathy is a choice. A choice with deadly consequences.

Omid Paydar is an Iranian freelance researcher on Iranian and Middle Eastern affairs.
Comments
American Vet at January 3, 2006 02:45 PM [permalink]:

Omid,
An excellent post with great analysis. But, with all do respect, I disagree with your last paragraph with respect to the United States. Believe me, the US government would love nothing more than the Iranian people to settle this matter in an acceptable way. We would much prefer not to send American troops and airmen to take care of the situation. That would be a short term solution that really only benefits the US and its allies. It really doesn't solve the problem for Iranians. The only lasting solution is for Iranians to take care of this situation.
Nothing scares the US government more than to have someone like Ahmadinejad or a Saddam to have a nuclear weapons capability. It is not so much that Iran would launch a strike on the US proper but that the Ahmadinejad regime would give a small nuclear weapon to an organization like Al Qaeda who would bring it in the US and explode it in an American city. This is why the US government takes the position it does (in my opinion).
I for one, would love for Iran to have a government they can participate in and be proud of. I would also love for Iran and the US to have normalized relations. I plan to visit one day.

Ben at January 3, 2006 05:47 PM [permalink]:

This issue is really disturbing for me as an Israeli.
The Iranian president stated his intentions/beliefs about Jews and showed his support for jihadist terror organizations. On top of all, in my view, this person is the most irresponsible leader in the world..
I believe the best solution is to change the Iranian government. I'd expect the Iranians to be active enough to do something about it. It's their government.

Bob Gladson at January 4, 2006 10:38 AM [permalink]:

We in America see all the wrongs in this world and would hope and pray that the Iranian people would see what their so-called new leader is doing to them, he has no regard for their lives, only his sick twisted beliefs

He hates his own people and wants to disrupt their progress and head them back into the dark ages.

He is bringing trouble to the entire world, and for the Iranian people to ever enjoy peace, and happiness they themselves must do away with this idiot.

Gary Boettner at February 4, 2006 09:30 AM [permalink]:

The Iranian people need to change the direction toward destruction their leadership is driving.

I believe that if Iran lets radicals sneak a nuclear device into America and detonate it they will have galvanized the American people to mount a WWII mentality which says war must go forward until all Islam is eradicated.

Let's hope someone in Iran rises to save them before it is too late.

Iranian Freedom fighter at February 6, 2006 12:01 AM [permalink]:

We need a smart revolution. People of Iran need to oppose this oppressive government by staying at home and shout the word "Freedom" from their houses every night. It should start on Thursday 9th of February at 8 pm. And again on Saturday 11th Feb 2006 and every two days from then on. Pass this on to all your friends and relatives within Iran. With the help of the West and all decent human beings around the world, and the effort of the Iranians themselves, We as the community of decent humans around the world should be able to get rid of these murderers ruling Iran by force. Remember, Thursday Night, 9th February 2006 at 8 pm

A Reader at March 16, 2006 01:27 AM [permalink]:

Listen, all Iranians. Unless you immediately rise up and overthrow your Islamic government you and your progeny will be dead! Make no mistake about it, any attack by Iran or its surrogates upon Israel, the United States of America or its interests will inflict Total War upon all of Iran, whose unfortunate consequences will be the destruction of all Iranian infrastructure, and a decimated population with possibly millions killed and tens of millions maimed for life if it went nuclear. Life as you know it, or can even imagine it in your worst dreams, will be far worse if your survive. The living will surely envy the dead!

The United States arsenal is not only the most deadly in the history of the world, but has the ability to instantly regenerate itself with an endless supply of weapons that can be deployed against any enemy on a moment's notice. One United States submarine has the destructive firepower well beyond all of the weapons and munitions used in all of the battles and wars in history, and the United States has 18 such submarines whose destructive payload can hit Iran within one minute from launch . . . and then the USA can own your oil forever!

Do NOT permit the Mullahs to lead you toward your total destruction. Overthrow your government NOW by any means necessary! It's a matter of life . . . or death!

A Reader at March 16, 2006 01:27 AM [permalink]:

Listen, all Iranians. Unless you immediately rise up and overthrow your Islamic government you and your progeny will be dead! Make no mistake about it, any attack by Iran or its surrogates upon Israel, the United States of America or its interests will inflict Total War upon all of Iran, whose unfortunate consequences will be the destruction of all Iranian infrastructure, and a decimated population with possibly millions killed and tens of millions maimed for life if it went nuclear. Life as you know it, or can even imagine it in your worst dreams, will be far worse if your survive. The living will surely envy the dead!

The United States arsenal is not only the most deadly in the history of the world, but has the ability to instantly regenerate itself with an endless supply of weapons that can be deployed against any enemy on a moment's notice. One United States submarine has the destructive firepower well beyond all of the weapons and munitions used in all of the battles and wars in history, and the United States has 18 such submarines whose destructive payload can hit Iran within one minute from launch . . . and then the USA can own your oil forever!

Do NOT permit the Mullahs to lead you toward your total destruction. Overthrow your government NOW by any means necessary! It's a matter of life . . . or death!

One of those Iranians at March 16, 2006 01:42 AM [permalink]:

Listen "A Reader" and alike! I highly recommend you apply for the position of US ambassador to the United Nations. Your arguments are much more convincing and honest than that of Bolton and since Bolton was appointed through special privildges and not approved by the congress, I am sure you could snatch the job right out of his hands. But if you ever failed in that don't worry. You could be the Mullah's ambassador to the UN. Your graphic depiction of US destructive power would just make the perfect case for the Mullahs in the security council for wanting to get their hands on nukes! Has it ever occurred to you that countries like North Korea and our lovely Mullahs want nukes not to launch the first strike but to use them as a deterrant AGAINST a frist strike by US or Israel?

Ben at March 16, 2006 05:45 AM [permalink]:

A Reader,
Suppose the damage was already done after the Iranian regime gave one or more nuclear bombs to anonymous terrorist organization that has used them in Israel or in the U.S. Then the Iranian president deny any connection and millions are dead and maimed.
Whats the use of having so much firepower after it didn't stop the initial damage that can't be reversed?
You can be 7 times better in Kung Fu than Bruce Lee but one bullet is enough to take you down.


One of those Iranians,
You said: ["Mullahs want nukes not to launch the first strike but to use them as a deterrant AGAINST a frist strike by US or Israel"]
First of all, this whole crises began because the Iranian regime is in this atomic armament without a real reason.
Secondly, you should look at the facts:
1) There was never any direct military conflict between Iran and Israel.
2) Israel has never threat Iran.
3) a. Iranian curricula and media incite against Israel and Jews without any reason.
b. Israeli curricula and media strive for peace and has never (not even once!) incited against Iran.

Israel has never intended to attack Iran.
And Iranian atomic bomb is not the element that will stop an angry U.S.

So all of your "deterrent" thesis has no basis at all.

BTW.. The North Koreans are STARVING !
And they look so slim when their Idol has these huge fatty face..
Utopian society.
one egg and bread per capita a week.

The same Iranian at March 16, 2006 06:36 AM [permalink]:

Ben,
I don't know why you say they started this whole row without a reason: the Mullahs want immunity, and they think they can get it through nukes. Iraq didn't have nukes and the US ran them over in a week. North Korea has it and eventhough its people are starving, its tyrannic rulers are safe and sound setting pre-conditions and terms to hold talks with US and other countries. So don't tell me they are doing it for no reason. The funny thing is, that nobody has even established the Mullahs have nukes...it's just that US is not willing to take a chance to be taken hostage by an oil exporting nuclear mullah.

Politicians in Israel (and pretty much every part of the world) are far smarter than idiots like Ahmadinejad to make such ridiculous and hollow comments about wiping some other country off the map. Ahmadinejad can't even wipe his own behind without the big Mullah's permission (who very much likes his grip on power) but when it comes to taking action I think history has shown that Israel is more than ready to use its nukes to even blackmail the US, let alone use it against its enemies.

Mullahs hate jews and I just don't know how, when, and why it all began...they certainly preceed the Nazis in being anti-Semitic, but one thing is clear, and that the Mullahs love themselves and their grip on power more than they hate anyone including jews...if they feel their existence is being threatened, they will donate their own wives to the first jew whom they think might be able to save their arse.

What you claimed about the Israeli media, well, I am just not in a position to verify it, so I will just take your word for it although it sounds a bit far-fetched.

Finally, Israel HAS threatened to attack Iran.

Ben at March 16, 2006 11:44 AM [permalink]:

The same Iranian,
First I will answer your link.
Don't take words out of their context. Not mine and not the words from the article:

We were talking about threats as reason for Mullahs to strive for nuclear armament.
Which was my point that Israel has never threaten Iran to give it a reason to start this crisis in the first place.

This article from your link talks about the Israeli defense minister commenting about military action to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Not give it a reason to have one. My point stands.
We were talking about Mullahs fearing an Israeli offensive action that would supposedly occour if the Mullahs don't own nuclear weapons!!! Not defensive one that supposedly should occour if the Mullahs DO HOLD NUKES!
If you want an example of one country giving another, a reason to hold nuclear weapon just look at the statements made by the Iranian president.

The defence minister was critisized by many politicians in Israel including the acting prime minister, thus rendering his opinion unrepresentative of the official Israeli stance.

I didn't see Iranian politicians critisizing Ahmadinejad.

Ben at March 16, 2006 12:05 PM [permalink]:

The same Iranian,
As for the rest of your comment:

I sure can say the Mullahs are doing it for no reason because no nation has threaten them with destruction/invation. Not before they started the race and not even now. (your link talks about prevention of nuclear ability and not "wiping" ring any bells?)
If they want to create a reason right now, they are doing a good job.
Please don't draw north korea again into this because they don't spread religious war of terror around the world. IRAN DOES. IRAN is morally able to give nukes to terrorists. North koreans might think twice due to the risk it will put them in.
You are correct tho about the north korean tyrannic rulers being somewhat safe. Indeed the nuclear ability would require more motivation on the U.S. behalf to intervene but still as I said, I don't believe this is the element that would stop an angry superpower.
Iraq was invaded in my opinion after 9/11 because it harbored terrorists and was a threat to stability in the region just like Iran but it was much smaller than Iran so less motivation was required. Iran is safer just by sheer size.

you said:
["Politicians in Israel (and pretty much every part of the world) are far smarter than idiots like Ahmadinejad to make such ridiculous and hollow comments about wiping some other country off the map."]

It's not that they're smarter. It's just that in contrary to Iran, in Israel there isn't consensus for saying anything like that. Let alone meaning it. No Israeli politician was raised to hate (except the Arab ones, and don't tell me I'm wrong, just note their statements every once in a while in the media).

you said:
["I think history has shown that Israel is more than ready to use its nukes to even blackmail the US, let alone use it against its enemies."]

Why are you being so rhetorical?
Please give explicit (!) example of Israel blackmailing the US by using nuclear threats.
Not only Ahmadinejad uses hollow statements.. Apparently you like to do this as well.

you said:
["Mullahs hate jews and I just don't know how, when, and why it all began"]

I will hint you for where and how it began... some old scriptures called Quran, Hadith.. ring any bells? need more hints?


you said:
["What you claimed about the Israeli media, well, I am just not in a position to verify it, so I will just take your word for it although it sounds a bit far-fetched."]

Why far fetched? Is it so hard for you to believe that somewhere out there in the middle east there are people who weren't and aren't and will not be raised on the basis of hate?
Is all you know from middle eastern media the arab way of reporting and self blinding?
I said the Israeli media has never incited against Iran and I fully stand behind it. Furthermore, I would even tell you this: also has never incited against other Arab countries or Palestinians. Not now, not during the intifada and suicide terror bombings and not even during the wars.

the same iranian at March 16, 2006 12:47 PM [permalink]:

Ben,
I had no intention of taking anything out of context. A threat is a threat. Just as Ahmadinejad's idiotic comments were found unacceptable by the whole world, including the UN for which Israel has not much respect for, threatening to attack a country which is saying doesn't have any nukes, signatory to the NPT and negotiating with other countries is an irresponsible threat. Yes...I know the mullahs are not to be trusted and that's why the matter is gone to the UN security council but threatening to attack just because you don't see the kind of tone in the international community as you expect them to have is just as dangerous, irresponsible and in fact serves as the justification of the need for a mutual deterrant. And let's be honest here shall we? Long before Ahmadinejad became the president, Israel's stance, and the US stance were not an iota different from what it is now. Ahmadinejad just gave the whole world the excuse everyone's been looking for for a looooong time.

I was not being rhetorical. Israel threatened to use nuclear weapons in the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria if the US didn't help it with the war. Unless you want to tell me that that too is just "Arab propaganda".

About politicians criticizing Ahmadinejad...in fact the infamous Rafsanjani did criticize him as well as some parliament members who said the "wipe off the map" comments were irresponsible. Not that Rafsanjani is a saint but after all these years and at the age of 70 he's learnt a thing or two about not using his mouth to write cheques his arse cannot cash!

Ben at March 16, 2006 02:36 PM [permalink]:

the same iranian,

["A threat is a threat."]
This is not true.
Iranian president threats Israel with annihilation.
Israeli defence minister said Israel has military ability to prevent Iran from building nuclear devices.
can you see the difference?

["Long before Ahmadinejad became the president, Israel's stance, and the US stance were not an iota different from what it is now."]
This is only because behind Ahmadinejad stand the same people that ruled before him. With the same intentions. With the same goals. With the same history of doing acts of war against Israel for years through proxies such as Hizzbullah at north, Hamas and Islamic Jihad inside and others.

["I was not being rhetorical. Israel threatened to use nuclear weapons in the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria if the US didn't help it with the war."]

Indeed you were being rhetorical and unjust.
Rhetorical because still even now in your second response in that matter you did not bring any proofs that Israel blackmailed (that was our subject) the U.S. with nuclear threats.
Unjust because you should study history before you talk:
A) As a matter of fact, the U.S. (whether Israel asked it for help or not) DID NOT actively help Israel in that war (or any other) besides the arms it sold.
B) Russia supplied Egypt and Syria with Intelligence officers to do the logistic work that requires brain.. You see.. That was besides the arms russia sold them untill Egypt and Syria were armed to their teeth. Hmm.. Interesting to see how you beautifully ignore what doesn't suits you.
C) You also ignored that Brezhnev was the one that threatened Nixon for intervening in the war.

You also ignore the fact that Israel did not attack first. You ignore the fact that it was never official that any nuclear threat was made by Israel. There is no basis for you words. only rumours and hints.
All your summary of that war was "nuclear blackmail by Israel side"
Which again I say you failed to prove.

["Unless you want to tell me that that too is just "Arab propaganda"."]
I had never in this discussion mentioned the phrase or variation of the phrase "Arab propaganda".
Why did you use the word "too". Why do you try to deligitimize me by saying I use a certain type of phrase which you find stereotypical.
Also note that when I did use variations of this in other discussions I refered to what is going on INSIDE Muslim countries. Not outside.

["Rafsanjani did criticize him as well as some parliament members who said the "wipe off the map" comments were irresponsible"]
Yes now that I reasearched that I see it took them months to criticize him and thats just not good enough for me. Why did they wait so long? Why only after countries all over the world condemned the original statements?
The Israeli defence minister said something that wasn't even 1/1000 as outragous as what Ahmadinejad said and he was critisized by his friends within hours. Can you even compare?

Ben at March 16, 2006 03:58 PM [permalink]:

the same iranian,
You brought up the issue of Arab propaganda.
Here is a little thing about Palestinian propaganda:
look here: http://www.faithfreedom.org/
You have 2 videos at the right column.
The first one is: "Taqiyyah in action: Hilarious scenes of Palestinian staged victimhood"
and the second is: "The Birth of an Icon"
go ahead, watch'm

Haider at March 20, 2006 05:04 AM [permalink]:

yes off course the Iranians are more sensible than USA imagines. they do not interfere other countries with out any reason and always mind their own business.on the other hand our President Bush is interupting every country by underestimating ,the result of such interference becomes very dangerous for PRESIDENT (bush)one day.

Richard colf at March 20, 2006 05:09 AM [permalink]:

The iranian attack would become very benificial for Russia and China instead of USA.because the dream of russia and china come true for a sudden and covert attack on U.S. air planes with a golden chance as an experience base.