I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve worried about a possible attack on Iran over this last year. There have been plenty warning signs but my predictions as to when the attack might come have so far been wrong, thankfully. That doesn’t mean however, that there is no danger of an attack, all the signs are still there and I still fear that Bush and Blair are actually stupid enough to do such a thing. I’ll get to the latest developments shortly, but first let’s look at some of the events that cause this speculation.
We have Jack Straw being fired from his post by the Bush administration for suggesting that an attack on Iran would be “inconceivable” and “completely nuts“. Then we have a continuing media-driven hate campaign against Iran perpetrated in some cases by neo-conservative stooges. We have Condoleezza Rice saying that security assurances for Iran are not on the table in any talks with the Iranian leadership. And Blair himself had a speech re-written by the White House in which any references to British doubts about attacking Iran were removed. The recent war in Lebanon increased the pressure being put on Iran and further demonised that country leading to the USA conducting provocative military exercises in the Persian Gulf. Iran, predictably, responded with some military exercises of its own.
This week we have heard that Iran is exchanging the Dollar for the Euro in all transactions and assets held abroad, obviously worrying to the Americans. Within hours of that news, we hear of further military maneuvers in the Gulf and some more sabre rattling from America, not from the Bush administration this time but from Democrat Senator and possible Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Blair of course, doesn’t want to be left out when it comes to spewing out extremist bile against Iran. Unsurprisingly, he’s singing from the same hymn sheet as the Bush administration (and Democrats too apparently). He is stating that all the problems in the region have nothing to do at all with the Anglo-American destruction of Iraq and the punitive, Israeli led policies on the Palestinian people. No, it’s all Iran’s fault.
“Iran is deliberately causing maximum problems for moderate governments and for ourselves in the region – in Palestine, in Lebanon and in Iraq.”
He goes on:
“There is no point in hiding the fact that Iran poses a major strategic threat to the cohesion of the entire region,”
Not only that but Iran is such a problem apparently that it overshadows the “major, major problems” of Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine. He tops these asinine statements with an incredibly bellicose piece of rhetoric:
“They seek to pin us back in Lebanon, in Iraq and in Palestine. Our response should be to expose what they are doing, build the alliances to prevent it and pin them back across the whole of the region,”
Let’s get something straight here, the Iranian regime is not very savoury. It oppresses its people and has a bad human rights record. According to Amnesty International, it has the second highest number of executions after China (America has the fourth) and it can be antagonistic to its neighbours and the West. Its President seems to be as religiously driven as Bush and Blair. Iran may or may not be producing nuclear weapons (the CIA has found no proof of an Iranian nuclear weapons programme). But it is not Iran that is invading Middle East countries or bombing civilians on a daily basis. The chaos and misery in Palestine is caused by Israel with the help of Bush and Blair. In other words Iran is not the “major threat” to the region Blair says it is. If anyone is a threat to the region it is America, Britain and Israel. The last time Iran was a threat to Europe was in 479 BC (the Persian Wars) and the threat was dealt with successfully. The current demonising of Iran is reminiscent of the demonising that occurred during and after that ancient conflict. What Blair is doing here is accusing his enemy of the crimes he himself is committing. Blair is just as much of an extremist (if not more so) as Ahmadinejad.
Attacking Iran will not improve matters any more than the invasion of Iraq improved things in that country. An attack would have catastrophic consequences for the region and beyond and would probably hand Ahmadinejad even more support. It seems incredible that Blair is speaking of an “alliance of moderation” to combat Iran when his actions have done the complete opposite, something recognised by just about everyone except himself and George Bush. The recent Chatham House report is a testament to this.
Hopefully the tensions will ease, or Bush and Blair will be out of office before their terrifying plans can develop any further. There is serious doubt as to whether the British armed forces can undertake another campaign, especially one as massive as an attack on Iran would be. The army is already overstretched to breaking point. But sanity seems to be in short supply in Downing Street and the White House.