Joe Katzman is thinking glass almost empty thoughts on Iran right now. I’ve lately been hearing very much noise in that direction from many sources. Indeed, even the EU-3 (England, Germany and France) all realize that peaceful negotiations with Iran at this point are going to be fruitless. The next piece of the proverbial puzzle for them is that the UN is going to be an exercise in futility as well.
I do, however, believe the extremist mullahs in Iran mean exactly what they say. They are steeped in an ideology that believes suicide/murder to be the holiest and most moral act possible. They have been diligent in laying strategic plans for an offensive Islamic War against Israel, America and the West. Plans backed by 25 years of action, and stated no less clearly than Mein Kampf. I believe that Ahmedinajad's talk of 12th Imam end-times and halos around his head at the UN aren't the ravings of an isolated nut, simply an unusually public (and unusually noticed) expression of beliefs that are close to mainstream within their ruling class. That class of "true believer" imams and revolutionary guard types have been quietly consolidating their control over all sectors of Iranian society over the last few months, and I do not believe anyone in the world today has both the will and the capability to stop them. A key pillar of The Bush Doctrine is about to fail.
Katzman wonders whether there is going to be some concerted effort to take out Israel and the U.S. to some extent, or if the “inner contradictions of a civilization” will bring down the Muslim civilizations in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Once I thought that, in the wake of what’s going on in Iraq, that we just needed to wait on and support the peoples of Iran, who for the most part don’t agree with the policies of their non-representative government. However, that may not happen anytime soon.
Let's get real. Whatever they may think of the mullahs, the Iranian people, and such civil society as they have built in the shadows, have no stomach to seriously oppose them. The mullahs have proven that they are quite willing to kill, with their Basij hitler youth corps and al-Qaeda mercenaries, as many Iranians as necessary. Nonviolent measures like the commendable struggle of decent people like Akbar Ganji or even Ayatollah Montazeri are, in this situation, useless.
Joe also discusses the probable reluctance of the west and the U.S. to do anything, including the fact that Israel might be to constrained politically to perform any sort of pre-emptive response.
He also goes over the options and theorizes that an American strike to Iran’s infrastructure (oil and gas), crippling their weapons programs and driving the economy into the ground. Promise the opposition aid if they overthrow the mullahs, and sit back and wait. None of the other world players will have the guts to resist after that, as they have their own concerns to deal with.
So is all this inevitable?
Thomas Holsinger argues that we need to invade, as inaction in the 1930s caused much tragedy and unnecessary effort during WWII.
And, in case you didn't get the title, it was a spoof song in the early 80s played on the radio, sung to the tune of Ba ba ba, ba Barbra Ann.