Friday, June 15, 2007

Dancing with Devastation

Talk of bombing Iran is nothing new, so the horror and dismay that I feel when the topic is broached is also nothing new. Yet for some reason today's New York Times piece on the debate over Iran strategy for some reason seemed more chilling and foreboding than usual.

It should not need to be said, but sometimes people come to bizarre conclusions, but I do not want Iran to have nuclear weapons. Hell, I don't want the U.S. to have nuclear weapons, and never have. I did "Ban the Bomb" protests as a child in the early 1960's, and attended peace oriented anti-nuclear summer camp (run by the Methodist Church!) in 1968, and was a member of anti-nuclear organizations in the 1980's. That said, I'd rather accept Iran as a nuclear power than ever see the U.S. engage in preemptive military action against Iran (or any other country).

Assuming that the reports are accurate, there are still members of the Bush admininstration (the article suggests primarily in Vice President Cheney's office) that are "are pressing for greater consideration of military strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities."

This leaves me sitting here thinking -- with everything we know about Iran, with all our history with Iran in the past nearly 30 years -- what might happen if the U.S. flew in bombers and reduced all their nuclear facilities to rubble?

Iran has a population of 65+ million people, more than twice that of Iraq. Iran has a standing army of more than 350,000 soldiers, and is well equipped to fight desert warfare. At least 80 percent of Iran's militiary forces are deployed on the Iran/Iraq border. In position where they could sweep into Iraq where the U.S. currently has 160,000 troops, the result of the "surge" which has severely stretched U.S. combat combat capacity. And all of those 160,000 have their hands full with the insurgency and incipient civil war in Iraq. Moreover, it would not be too much of a stretch to imagine that Iran might be able to mobilize others in the region (say Syria) who would be outraged by U.S. military action against Iraq.

And then there is the affect an attack on Iran would have on world wide terrorism. You think terrorists are motivated with hate for the U.S. now? Just wait and see what would happen after a preemptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities!

One thing in today's New York Times article, really jarred me:
When the North Koreans threw out international inspectors on the last day of that year and soon declared that they planned to reprocess 8,000 rods of spent fuel into weapons-grade plutonium, President Bush had to decide whether to declare that if North Korea moved toward weapons, it could face a military strike on its facilities.

The Pentagon had drawn up an extensive plan for taking out those facilities, though with little enthusiasm, because it feared it could not control North Korea’s response,, and the administration chose not to delivery any ultimatum. [Emphasis added].
What on God's green earth makes anyone in the administration (or any where else) think they could "control" Iran's response? They certain haven't been able to "control" things in Iraq yet!


ukcjay said...
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ukcjay said...
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Sue said...

Sue to ukcjay -- wow! my first comment. Through high school math and history were my primary loves until I discovered sociology my freshman year in college, but all my college friends were natural scientists or mathematicians. I've always been interested in environmental issues, and consider one of my areas to be environmental sociology (I teach SOC 260 Population, Resources and Change). However, most of my college level natural science and math education has been in the past 11 years through both classes and lots and lots of reading. I also teach the STA 200 Statistics a Force in Human Judgment class. I've actually played with the idea of becoming a math teacher after retirement -- reversing your career path!