A New Iraq?

The lead story on the lunchtime BBC news today (18/2/12) concerned Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. There followed some guy (from the Armed Services Institute?) talking about the ramifications of that on the likes of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, etc as regards proliferation.

The second story on the guardian‘s front page was headlined US believes strike on Iran is inevitable later this year.

Looks like Cowdenbeath are a banker for the Division 2 title this year, then. (With a side order of Armageddon.)

Seriously, though. What are these guys on? Remember Mr Irresponsible during the 2010 General Election campaign? It seems now like that was a prediction rather than an idle slip of the tongue.

How can I put this?

Iran poses no threat whatsoever to the UK. Still less does it pose a threat to the US. I’ll give you it may be a (possible) threat to Israel but its posture there may be rhetorical rather than real. However, there is no way it could invade either the UK or US; nor could it overthrow their governments.

And if it is in the process of acquiring nuclear weapons why might that be?

It has seen its neighbour, Iraq, attacked, on the flimsiest of pretexts, mainly by the US and the UK – and thereafter thoroughly destabilised. It does not want the same happening to it. It knows Israel has nuclear weapons almost certainly targeted on it; it also knows North Korea has such a “deterrent” and is treated more carefully as a result. In its mind developing nuclear weapons might be a rational response to its current circumstances. We (the UK, along with the US) have a history of interfering with the region that goes back a long way. If I were them I wouldn’t trust us either.

The ratcheting up of the Iranian situation reminds me of the run-up to the (second) Iraq war. Drip by drip of increasingly ludicrous assertions. (A much heightened version of this sort of thing was evident in the German press in the summer of 1939.)

I don’t much go for the idea that we could be the bad guys but, in the absence of any attack by Iran on us (or, at a push, Israel) that would be the case here; as it was in Iraq.

Moreover, and again as with Iraq, it would be thoroughly counterproductive.

The ramifications of an attack on Iran would only confirm the idea that the “West” sees Muslims as a whole as targets and though it would take time might make recent terrorist attacks seem like a garden party. Any occupation of Iran would make our involvement in Iraq seem like a picnic and Vietnam a cakewalk.

Do we really want that?

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