Permanent wars assure bad endings. America wages them one at a time or in multiples. Ravaging Syria continues. Moaaz al-Omari wrote on its staggering cost. A study he cited conservatively estimated $36.5 billion in damages and $200 billion needed for reconstruction.
Both numbers increase daily. Perhaps they'll double or triple before conflict ends. Add to them the cost of lost lives and futures. Human misery can't be quantified. Nor can crimes of war and against humanity in dollars and cents terms.
Washington bears full responsibility. It's America's war. Planning began years ago. Iran is also targeted. Israel wants a regional rival removed. America wants an independent state replaced by a pro-Western one. War is the bottom line option of choice.
The potential carnage throughout the region should give any imperial power pause. Cooler heads in high places know the risks and want them avoided at all costs. Others have delusions of grandeur. War is hell remains out of sight and mind. Reality for them may arrive too late.
Saber rattling may be prelude for what's planned. America doesn't just show the flag, it threatens adversaries with its might. September 16 - 27 military exercises are planned.
The USS Stennis joined two other carriers (USS Enterprise and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower) and their strike groups in the Gulf. They'll conduct a massive mine-sweeping drill.
They'll simulate breaching the Strait of Hormuz against potential Iranian efforts to block it. War games are also planned. Iran's military and nuclear sites are targets.
Reports vary. Some say the Stennis will replace the Enterprise. Others believe all three strike groups will remain. At issue is what's next? Obama may declare "red lines." Maybe timelines are next.
Americans vote in two months. Iranian aggression is on hold until then. Post-election, greater intervention against Syria and war on Iran may follow. The risk is too great to ignore. The potential consequences are too grave to risk.
On September 5, Press TV quoted Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi saying:
"Should the US attempt a folly in the Persian Gulf, by God's grace their soldiers would not survive."
If an attack occurs, he added, US commanders "should expect the Islamic Republic of Iran's crushing response and know that they should not await a favorable outcome."
"Should a (single) bullet fly in the Persian Gulf, it will definitely be to the detriment of the US and its allies."
Fadavi makes no distinction between Washington and Israel. "On this basis," he said, "only the Americans have taken a threatening stance towards the Islamic Republic. If the Americans commit the smallest folly, they will not leave the region safely."
It's no idle threat. Iran can hit back hard, even though it's no match for America militarily. It can still deliver a powerful response if attacked. So can Hezbollah on Israel's border. War on either constitutes illegal aggression. So is conflict ravaging Syria.