It’s long been known that attacking Iran is a neoconservative wet-dream. Many people believe that Dick Cheney was the “senior Bush administration official” who shortly after the invasion of Iraq uttered the statement “Anyone can go to Baghdad; real men go to Tehran” and in February 2007 Ewen MacAskill of The Guardian reported that:
Neo-conservatives, particularly at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute, are urging Mr Bush to open a new front against Iran. So too is the vice-president, Dick Cheney.
The 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran (pdf) that came out later that year put the kibosh on Darth Cheney’s plans when it stated:
We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.
Jump forward to early this past January and then President-elect Barack Obama’s interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos:
Iran is going to be one of our biggest challenges and as I said during the campaign we have a situation in which not only is Iran exporting terrorism through Hamas, through Hezbollah but they are pursuing a nuclear weapon that could potentially trigger a nuclear arms race.
I guess Teh Precious was too busy running for President to read the NIE. Now adding fuel to the fire is Benjamin Netanyahu as Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic reports:
In an interview conducted shortly before he was sworn in today as prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu laid down a challenge for Barack Obama. The American president, he said, must stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons—and quickly—or an imperiled Israel may be forced to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities itself.
Oh great! As if we didn’t have enough on our plates right now between Iraq, Afganistan and the financial meltdown. Not to mention what Russia and China might do while we have our hands full. MJ Rosenberg at TPM writes:
An Israeli attack on Iran would jeopardize a myriad of American interests in the region, starting with 130,000 US troops but Netanyahu talks as if he can call the shots without any regard for our interests. The fact is that, in the eyes of Iran (and the world), there is essentially no difference between an Israeli attack and one by us. Israel is viewed as our client. In other words, any blowback from an Israeli attack is as likely to be against us as against Israel. Americans in Iraq, or here at home, could pay the ultimate price.
Unless they use some of the nuclear weapons that they won’t admit they have I seriously doubt that Israel can do more than piss Iran off with air strikes. I can think of several possible outcomes to an unprovoked attack, all of them bad. Netanyahu reminds me of a little guy who picks fights at parties knowing that his bigger friends will back him up.
As Steve Hynd at Newshoggers points out:
Any strike by Israel on Iran would have to pass through US-controlled airspace (the Persian Gulf or Iraq) or through the airspace of America’s NATO ally Turkey (also patrolled by U.S. warplanes). An Israeli strike on Iran would either be contested by American air defenses or seen as carried out with American complicity if it was allowed to proceed unchallenged.
I just hope TOTUS doesn’t have the bright idea that a war would be good for the economy based on the myth that World War II ended the Great Depression. Remember Joe Biden’s warning that Obama would be tested by an international crisis? If President Hopenchange gets us in another war then every goddamn kossack and member of MoveOn that bashed Hillary for her AUMF vote should be handed a rifle and sent to fight. The head Cheeto can lead them.