Monday, September 28, 2009

Iran – What to do – Three views

Iran followed up its admission that they have a previously undisclosed nuclear facility with a move sure to be considered bellicose.

shahab-3 Iran has successfully test-fired some of the longest range missiles in its arsenal, state media says.

The Revolutionary Guards tested the Shahab-3 and Sajjil rockets, which are believed to have ranges of up to 2,000km (1,240 miles), reports said.

The missiles' range could potentially reach Israel and US bases in the Gulf, analysts say.

The tests come amid heightened tension with the big international powers over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Last week, Iran disclosed it was building a second uranium enrichment plant, despite UN demands that it cease its enrichment activities.

Iran is due to hold crucial talks with the five UN Security Council members plus Germany on Thursday on a wide range of security issues, including its nuclear programme… [emphasis original]

Inserted from <BBC>

While this missile is not a direct threat to the US, it certainly is to our troops in the region and to our allies.  So, we must ask, what do we do now, and present possibilities.  Here are three views on the best way forward.

The first is the type of response we’re most used to seeing after eight ugly years of the Bush/GOP regime.

kyl Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) suggested on Meet the Press this morning that the way to deal with Iran and its nuclear program is to push for regime change.

What we're trying to do here eventually is to get a regime change with a group of people in there that are more representative of the Iranian people -- who we really can talk with in a way that might end up with a good result. I think it's very difficult to do that with the current leadership, and especially the elected President.

Kyl also implied that the time for talking with Iran is over…


Inserted from <TPM>

Of course, Kyl’s approach is war first, think later, the standard for the GOP.  I’m not saying regime change is always a bad idea.  It was a good thing for the US to remove the Bush/GOP regime from power, but if we refuse to talk with Iran, we move out of step with the rest of the world.  In a confrontation, Iran has the capability to block the Strait of Hormuz, cutting the world off from Persian Gulf oil.  Iran also has the ability to launch conventional missiles at US bases, troops and allies in the region.  Finally, our military is so depleted from long deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, in addition to years of Bush/GOP neglect for our troops’ needs and well being, that all we have left for the vital boots on the ground component of such a conflict are troops of Brownie Scouts.  In a confrontation, the US will not get support from the Iranian people that the GOP thinks we will.  Since the GOP under Eisenhower overthrew their democratically elected government and installed a dictator, the Shah, since the GOP under Reagan armed and financed Iran’s arch enemy, Saddam Hussein, even providing him the means to acquire chemical weapons to use against Iran, and since the GOP under GW funded terrorist groups within Iran, the Iranian people do not trust the US.  But the GOP does not really care what happens, as long as the get to blame Obama for the mess they created.

The second view comes from an editorial by Raymond J. Learsy, and is more reasonable than the first.

iran_oil On June 21st a Huffington Post submission ("Boycott Iran's Oil Immediatley") [sic] called for the immediate boycott of Iran's oil. It was a seemingly draconian suggestion that was met with widespread skepticism. After all, what would happen to oil markets without Iranian oil?

Well, on today CNN's State of the Union program, Senator Evan Bayh (D-Ind), being interviewed by John King on the timely subject of Iran's nuclear pronouncements (or lack thereof), made a rather startling revelation. According to Senator Bayh, the Russians had informed their American interlocutors that the greatest fear of the current Iranian regime was that they would be denied access to world markets for their oil. Clearly the financial bounty generated by oil sales are key to maintaining their hold on government power and the funding of their nuclear and missile programs, not to speak of buying the loyalty of their goon militias giving them the wherewithal to terrorize their citizenry.

Certainly now is the time to establish the kind of international cooperation needed to boycott Iranian oil. With recent revelations about Iran's nuclear deception, the growing and shared concerns of the major European states and a far more amenable Russia and China, the moment for an international boycott has come.

The boycott would simply be a refusal to buy Iran's oil, either directly or indirectly (i.e. not lifting oil from Iranian ports nor from offshore storage facilities, nor turning a blind eye to third party exchanges). It would be analogous to boycotting Coca Cola (apologies Coca Cola) because of a nasty dispute with its management. No one buys Coke any longer. Soon their warehouse is full. Then their factories shut down. Then after a while one would hope the workers organize to oust the management so that business can carry on as before… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Huffington Post>

While clearly an improvement over the idiocy promoted by Kyl, this plan has its own problems.  Even if we can get China and Russia to go along, Iran is likely to lower the price of their oil sufficiently that multinational corporations, including our own, will find ways to purchase that oil on the sly.  Corporate greed is patriotic about profit alone.  In addition, the removal of Iranian oil from the market will prompt China to seek oil elsewhere, driving up the price of oil at a time when we’re recovering from a recession.  This would be bad for the economy.  Still, the idea does have merit.

The third view is my own.

Tom122007 When I learned of Iran’s missile test, I asked why.  What possible reason could Ahmadinejad have for making a move that was sure to magnify the animus against him, especially from the US?  After considering it, I think I understand.  Ahmadinejad us up to his ears in a major controversy at home over an election as crooked as ours in 2000.  He is facing strong opposition and public discontent.  His hope is that US threats will fan the fear of the US that Iranians justly have, and that the Iranian people will unite behind him against the foreign aggressors, thus  solving his domestic woes.  It is in our best interest not to make any moves that the Iranian people perceive as a threat.  That includes Learsy’s option.  An oil boycott will not immediately hurt Iran’s ruling elite, but will be devastating to Iran’s people.  Ahmadinejad can then blame the US for their suffering, and in this way, solve his domestic woes.  Once his opposition at home is shattered, he can always back down and thereby avert the crisis.

The option that does not threaten the Iranian people is to negotiate.  It leaves Ahmadinejad’s domestic problems in place, thereby defeating his missile-test strategy.  Now I’m not suggesting that we cave in.  There’s no reason to do so, when we can take a hard line where our interests are concerned.  We have time. The worst case I have heard for Iran actually developing a nuke is one year, while most estimates range closer to five  years.  In addition Ahmadinejad has agreed to allow IAEA inspectors into the newly revealed facility, so it’s best to see where that leads.  Now it’s true that negotiations may fail, and if they do, the other options are still available, but isn’t it most rational to at least try the option that is least harmful to Ahmadinejad’s opposition, least harmful to the Iranian people, and least harmful to the world economy?


Brother Tim said...

And the fourth option is in my post today, along with the reasoning why none of those other options will work.

TomCat said...

I look forward to reading it, Brother. I'll be over later.

Jolly Roger said...

Our only sane option is to develop serious conservation measures here. The sooner we get free of depending on that part of the world, the sooner that world can find its own way to peace. Iran and Israel need to be made irrelevant.

Hill said...

And herein lies the problem.

How do we punish the warmongers and greedy corporations without harming the everyday person who simply wants a better life for their family and peace in the world?

The answer is as elusive as catching a rainbow.


TomCat said...

JR, that's right. We use 25% of the world's oil production and produce only 8%.

Well said, Hill. That's the reason I prefer talking first.

Mary Ellen said...

I fully agree that we need to take a breath and calmly work out a solution, however, I'm not exactly sure how much time we have and knowing that they have long range missiles that can reach our air bases in the Middle East and Israel, I hope that we don't sit around too long waiting for them to negotiate.

I also have to wonder how Israel will react to the recent missile tests. They may not be so willing to sit around and wait for negotiations and if they go after will the U.S. react to that?

RealityZone said...

iran is not suicidal, they are showing a little power before the sit downs begin. china will not allow a boycott or embargo on iran. russia is also very pro iran, china and russia have huge investments in iran. iran also plays into their future agenda for the region. bibi had a [secret] visit to moscow. i am sure iran was the main topic. unless [TPTB] the powers that be, want to take the planet into a full blown depression via an oil price spike. iran will be left alone. imo; there is a deal brewing where the whole middle east will go under a nuclear umbrella. the control of the flow for energy in pepelineistan is the main agenda for all the players on this deadly chess board.

Stimpson said...

My first response to Jon Kyl's response is this: Jon Kyl deserves a kick in the nads.

I like your ideas on the issue, TomCat, except that you're missing the whole kick-Jon-Kyl-in-the-nads part.

Oso said...

1)end the sanctions on Iran.

2)begin exporting to them and investing in their infrastructure.

3)invest the profits in our own country.

4)advise Israel to STFU and make peace with their neighbors.Gravy Train is over.

5)Kick John Kyl in the nads. 4) and 5) could be switched.

Oso said...

7)trade Jamarcus Russell to Iran for Ahmadinejad.

Dave Dubya said...

The US is least likely to do the sensible and most humane thing with Iran. We should back off the saber rattling, re-establish diplomatic relations, and re-integrate them into the international community.

Much of the rest of the world is already doing this.

It is a sane thing to do; therefore it's the last thing the neocons, AIPAC, and the radical Right want. And they will undermine or destroy anybody in the way of their agenda.

RealityZone said...

DD; welll said, hat tip.

Oso said...

Dave Dubya said very well and in a very reasoned way what I kind of hinted at sarcastically.

Second the hat tip.Very well expressed thoughts.

RealityZone said...

oso; thanks for checking out my new site. i wish you had your own blog spot so i could reciprocate.

Oso said...


My pleasure. I enjoyed it and will be back. I just put up a post at Swiftspeech a few moments ago and also post at Madmikesamerica.

TomCat said...

ME, so thick a ring of AEGIS ABM ships is deploying around Iran, instead of the GOP's flawed star-wars system, the risk is low. Muzzling Israel is more of a worry.

RZ, control of the STAN's gas is the whol;e reason Bush attackeg Afghhanistan and propped up Georgia against Russia.

Stimson, I like your idea except for one thing. Kyl? What nads?

Oso, that's not a bad plan, except for the missing nads problem. LOL @ trading Russell.

Thanks, Dave. That's the goal behing my plan.

Oso, please comment with the URLs of the blogs where you contribute.

RealityZone said...

TC; i am a very big fan of pepe escobar. he coined the term pipelineistan. i agree the stans were a motive. look deeper---baluchistan is in there also, it will be carved out of pakistan, and afghanistan. start listening for a [free baluchistan]. this is why afghanistan, and pakistan needed to be a failed srtate. [[[control thru chaos]]]. iran has to be a major player in this. turkey will be a major player in the stans. russia will start forming a new region, which will include most of the stans, and x soviet satellites. nato and the u.s. is chewing off more than they can handle. this was never about the oil. it is about the [CONTROL OF THE FLOW] of energy. they want to control the valves. [on or off] china and russia will not allow this type of encroachment by nato and the u.s.

TomCat said...

RZ, I'm familiar with Baluchistan, and the strategic importance of the region. The US has been trying to control it for years. It's a favored project of the Carlyle group.

RealityZone said... check out the SCO, this org. is on the move. and the west knows it. re; georgia. lets also not forget that israel had their hands in there. georgia was a probe to see how the bear would react. well now they know. the bear will not sit idly by in a lair. israel is also in kurdistan, there will be blowback for this also. one of israels main aims is to balkanize iraq, and the whole region. the zionists want israel to include mesopatamia.

RealityZone said...

TC; LOL. ah, the carlyle group. lol please do not get me started on that. i see we are both more on the same page than i thought. lol HAT TIP ! ! !

TomCat said...

Balkanize Iraq? I trust you mean Iran. LOL! don't get me started on them either. Indeed we are.

Oso said...

Hi Tomcat,
I post at


whenever the varsity is up by more than three td's in the 4th quarter.
Thanks for the interest !

TomCat said...

Thanks, Oso. I've added both to the PP blog roll.