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Who Lost Iran? May 16, 2008

Posted by chuckwh in News and politics.
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There is a lot of talk these days of appeasement. But what is lost in the discussion is how Iran was “lost” in the first place. Iran was governed by an extremely unpopular dictator, the Shah (remember the old joke, “‘Iran, Iran’, said the Shah). Iran’s population was upended by the extreme nature of the Shah’s modernization efforts, and it was in full revolution mode when the Shah was forced into exile. In 1953 the United States played a significant role in orchestrating the overthrow of Iran’s popular Prime Minister, Mohammed Massadegh. This effort was led, as you might suspect, by a Republican administration.

It is possible, in fact, probable, that if Republican administrations had kept their noses out of Iran’s internal issues Iran would be a governed by a much more aggreeable regime than it is today.

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Why Osama bin Laden Could Still Destroy America February 10, 2008

Posted by chuckwh in Al Gore, bin Laden, Iran, Iraq, John McCain, McCain, News and politics.
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It’s rarely talked about these days during the waning moments of the Gore Presidency, but one of Osama bin Laden’s stated goals with the attacks on September 11, 2001 was to send America into an impulsive and costly reaction. Analysts both in the United States and the Middle East say that had America done “what Osama wanted it to do”, in the words of one of them, America would have become engaged in a costly, unwinnable war in a place like Iraq or Iran.

Today, an analysis released by the Brookings Institute reveals for the first time some projections into the toll such a wide-ranging engagement by the United States might have taken on the federal budget. The study considers two nightmare scenarios.

The first assumes that shortly after the attacks, an unnerved and jingoistic American president for some reason follows the advice of neo-conservatives and attacks Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein. The Brookings Institute developed computerized projections based on current military operational costs and estimates that an initial invasion would have cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 billion, which would immediately have thrown the nation back into deficit spending. In a most positive scenario, and assuming that the invasion went well, the final cost would probably total half a trillion bucks, just to clean up afterwards and try to provide some rudimentary nation building.

However, the analysis then goes on to say that a clean sweep would be highly unlikely because Iraq has a multitude of edgy ethnic fault lines that weren’t revealed during Saddam’s iron grip. These fault lines, according to the study, would quickly expose themselves and the country could even devolve into a civil war before the Americans left. If that happened, the result would be catastrophic, keeping America tied down “for years,” according to the report. The cost of such a war would trickle down into other parts of the economy, either impacting federal dollars that would normally flow to key programs (if somehow a deficit were to be avoided) or sucking the federal treasury dry and leading to massive deficits. The report paints a horrific world where the world has turned on America for invading a sovereign nation, and stops buying or starts dumping American treasury bonds, among other things. It paints a scary world where the dollar begins a free fall and even begins signs of a collapse. From that point, the analysis says any number of other trickle down effects could occur, from an implosion of real estate prices to a collapse of entire industries.

Basically, according to the report, the U.S. would have played right into Osama’s strategy.

But it gets worse. The second scenario describes the costs of a war with Iran (before the current détente) and goes on to describe a near apocalypse as the war, even within the scope of an American victory, drains the economy completely and leads to an unprecedented economic collapse, with an unsympathetic world cheering on.

As it is, the Gore Administration did attack Afghanistan, a risky tactic, says the analysis, considering the complex tribal nuances of that nation. Luckily, Osama was found fairly quickly and eliminated, and that ended the discussion, along with that war, and Afghanistan is today a thriving nation.

So what’s the point of such a wild, almost impossible to believe scenario and releasing it to a satisfied, happy nation enjoying sustained economic growth and prosperity? Perhaps it is the recent gains of John McCain, and his apparent primary victory. McCain has said he will roll back the diplomatic carpet with Iran and close the recently opened embassies because of Iran’s intransigence “in world affairs”.  “We should be poking them in the eye,” he has said, “not trying to see where we see eye to eye.”

In other words, if McCain wins the Presidency, Osama may roll over in his grave, just to applaud.

Nuclear Deal with Iran Finalized December 4, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in earthquake, Iran.
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The U.S., Russia and Europe, through efforts by The Gore Administration, today finalized a long term deal with Iran that will provide nuclear energy to a nation once at bitter odds with the United States. The deal was signed in Paris today and is expected to be followed shortly by a formal resumption of diplomatic relations between Iran and the U.S.

Under terms of the deal, Russia and France will provide nuclear enrichment and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, will be provided permanent unimpeded access to Iranian nuclear facilities.

This all comes in the wake of Iranian President Kamal Kharrazi’s visit to the U.S.

But the tide in relations turned when President Gore pushed an unprecedented, massive, and controversial aid bill through Congress in the wake of the Bam earthquake that helped the reform movement in Iran and, some say, tilted the power structure in the country’s theocracy towards Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri.

U.S. efforts in the wake of that devastating quake are said by many analysts to have changed the hearts of clerical ground troops in Iran.