Bomb Iran, or Worse? Gawwwwwwd ...
Ok, this clearly isn't the first time I've addressed this issue (see Regime Change: Here We Go Again), and now this is in the news but again. Seymour Hersh, on the staff of The New Yorker, wrote The Iran Plans in this week's issue of the magazine, and he was on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, 'New Yorker's' Hersh on Iran to discuss his piece which, on the whole, has caused quite a bit of stir in the media and, apparently, elsewhere.
One of the points Hersh makes and one which I think bears keeping in mind, is that the administration, in the form of the president, vice-president, and the secretary of state, is making a case for going into Iran very similar to the one made before we jumped off into Iraq. The administration is talking about how they're trying to work through a diplomatic solution, yet at the same time doing very little to facilitate diplomacy. In fact, again as Hersh points out, the bellicosity of this administration to Iran has done little to make the Iranians think that there's any reason they shouldn't keep moving forward with acquiring nuclear weapons inasmuch as there's every reason to believe that the U.S. is going to attack the country.
Hersh makes clear that at this point the Pentagon appears to have taken planning for operations against Iraq from just the planning stage to the point where people are actually out there, in- country no less, scoping out what would be needed to be done to cripple Iran's nuclear weapons program, and, since we'd be there anyway, take out a whole lot else, too, just to make sure the Iranians know who's boss. What's truly amazing is that there are people in DC who believe that once we did this that there's a contingent of Iranians in Iran who'd go up against the government and instigate regime change. In fact the administration, in what would appear to be another bout of wishful thinking reminiscent of Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Conference, has recently obtained approval from congress to spend some $75 million to support/fund Iranian opposition groups; does anyone but me have this odd sense of deja vu here?
In Iraq many of our problems are laid to misunderstanding the consequences of our actions, woefully misunderstanding the Iraqis themselves, and inadequately training and sensitizing our military to the socio-cultural environments in which they were to be thrown into. We will never cause regime change with laser-guided bombs, cruise missiles, techno-centric and highly mobile ground forces, and certainly this will never happen with a military ill-suited to serve in the role of occupiers and counterinsurgency operatives. Weapon systems don’t win hearts and minds, well-intended, well-trained, and honorable people who are sensitive to the needs and aspirations of the people they’re interacting with do, but even with the utmost best of intentions American steel or boots on the ground in Iran will come at a terrible cost, and never be accepted by the Iranian people.