Saturday, November 08, 2008

Iran and American Foreign Policy

There has been growing concern over Iran and the possibility that Iran will become a nuclear power. These concerns are well founded, especially since the UN has proven time and again to be totally ineffective in every endeavor but especially in its peace keeping efforts. It is worth pointing out that the USSR developed nuclear capability because of the traitorous activity of some liberal scientists who felt America couldn’t be trusted with such power. Since that time America has continued employing immigrants in sensitive positions because these people have become American citizens. The result has been the spread of nuclear weapons including India and Pakistan. The real threat really isn’t whether or not the Iranians develop nuclear weapons the issue is will the terrorists supported by Iran gain control of them? It is highly unlikely that any nation state will employ nuclear weapons even under attack, but it is an almost certainty that the various Islamic terrorists organizations would use them at the first opportunity, because they would have no fear of reprisal. After all who would you attack?

Recently the fear has been that the Israeli’s will bomb the Iranian nuclear sites using American bunker busters and this threat is now increased with the recent election of President Obama who has made it clear his policies will not favor Israel. Therefore the threat of an attack on Iran prior to Obama taking office is greatly increased, but is the Iranian militancy just saber rattling or does it pose a real threat? Deception and posturing is endemic to Islamic culture but generally misunderstood by the West. It was Saddam Hussein who made a big show out of working on nuclear weaponry and developing weapons of mass destruction when as it turned out, most of this was just to impress his Islamic neighbors and to threaten the US. Now Iran is trying the same tactic by leading the West to believe that they are actually developing nuclear weapons and have the means to deliver those weapons. This was evidenced by their release of the test firing of four long range missiles, which turned out later to be three missiles and on even further analysis only one missile and it was not an intermediate range missile. So Iran’s ability to deliver nuclear weapons or any weapon at all is highly suspect and probably non-existent at least in the near term. So the question remains – why is Iran acting is such a provocative manner knowing what happened to Saddam Hussein?

The answer to the question cannot be known outside of Iran but an examination of the current situation in Iran is certainly warranted and may give some insight into why they are provoking the US. The Ayatollah Khomeini was not so much of a religious leader as he was a revolutionary and he was convinced that when the US allowed the Shah to fall that the Islamic world was ripe for revolution and that his revolution would sweep all before it. Of course this isn’t what happened. Instead he found that while Iran was ready for a change it wasn’t ready for his extreme ideas. Nevertheless, much like Lenin, Robespierre and Hitler the people realized too late that they had changed one tyranny for another. Furthermore, Saddam Hussein wasn’t in any mood to allow the Ayatollah’s to take over his country. The result was a war instigated by Hussein on the mistaken assumption that the people of Iran wouldn’t tolerate the religious fanaticism installed by Khomeini. He was wrong, but there is a lesson there should be heeded. Hitler was convinced the Russians would rise up against Stalin when he invaded Russia but instead he ignited a battle that ultimately brought him down. The same occurred with Iran because the Iranians did not rise up against Iraq but instead rallied together to fight the invader.

The situation in Iran today is very unstable and the Ayatollah’s retain only a very tenuous hold on the government. They try to maintain the facade of a democratic government but they arrest opposition leaders or simply disqualify them from running for office, a process historically used by dictators. The result is a highly unstable government which has grown even more unstable in recent weeks as the demand for oil declines along with oil revenues. The current President of Iran – Ahmadinejad has squandered the oil revenues on the assumption that these would continue indefinitely. As the world demand for oil declines and the dollar strengthens the Iranian government finds itself under pressure internally because it can no longer meet the demands of their infrastructure. They have succeeded in suppressing internal dissent but that can only be a short term strategy. Thus is seems that the best strategy would be to provoke the Israeli’s or the US into attacking them and the best way to accomplish that would be to create the belief that they have nuclear weapons and the means to fire them at Israel. This would provoke Israel into attacking them which would entangle the US and rally the people to resist the invaders. At this juncture it seems the best strategy for the west is to do precisely nothing other than to continue economic sanctions as long as Iran continues their provocative behavior, but to do nothing else. The USSR collapsed due to internal economic pressures and it is very possible that the current Iranian regime could collapse for the same reasons.

No comments: