George Bush's Samson Option - by Stephen Lendman
The Samson Option is terminology used to explain Israel's intention to use its nuclear arsenal as an ultimate defense strategy if its leaders feel threatened enough to think they have no alternative. It comes from the biblical Samson said to have used his great strength to bring down the pillars of a Philistine temple, downing its roof and killing himself and thousands of Philistine tormentors. It's a strategy saying if you try killing me, we'll all die together, or put another way, we'll all go together when we go. Richard Wagner had his apocalyptic version in the last of his four operas of Der Ring des Nibelungen - Gotterdammerung, or Twilight of the Gods based on Norse mythology referring to a prophesied war of the Gods resulting in the end of the world.
The Bush Doctrine isn't that extreme, and it's not the intent of this essay to suggest its unintended consequences may turn out that way even though the threat it may is real if they start firing off enough nukes like they're king-sized hand grenades. The Doctrine refers to the administration's foreign policy first aired by George Bush in his commencement speech to the West Point graduating class in June, 2002. It was later formalized in The National Security Strategy of September, 2002 and updated in more extreme form in early 2006 that makes for scary reading not recommended at bedtime. It mentions Iran in it 16 times stating: "We may face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran" while failing to acknowledge what Pogo said about us on an Earth Day poster in 1970 and in a 1972 book titled - "We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us."
The updated NSS details an "imperial grand strategy" with new language more belligerent than the original version that was intended to be a declaration of preemptive or preventive war against any country or force the administration claims threatens our national security. It followed from our Nuclear Policy Review of December, 2001 claiming a unilateral right to declare and wage future wars using first strike nuclear weapons that in enough numbers potentially can destroy all planetary life, save maybe some resilient roaches and bacteria. In still other national security documents, the administration intends being ready by maintaining total control over all land, surface and sub-surface sea, air, space, electromagnetic spectrum and information systems with enough overwhelming power to defeat any potential challengers using all weapons in the arsenal, including those nukes masquerading as king-sized grenades.
The doctrine got its baptism in Afghganistan right after the 9/11 attacks and before the 2002 NSS was released. It then played out in real time "shock and awe" force (without nukes) in Iraq that seemed to work like a charm until it didn't. That brings us to today and an administration feeling cornered by failure and needing to change the subject and get a victory in the face of major defeat or at least buy enough time to run out the clock on its tenure so a new administration can take over and deal with the mess left over. It'll be king-sized if the audible war drums now beating are for real.
Enter Iran to play dual roles for the Bush administration plus the same one always center stage when strategic resources are at stake. It's the designated target to pull George Bush's Middle East fat out of the fire and fulfill our 28 year commitment to regime change in the country since its 1979 revolution ousted Shah Reza Pahlavi whom we installed to replace democratically elected prime minister Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 in the CIA's first-ever go at regime change. Those events began and ended the same way - violently, but if George Bush proceeds as he's now threatening, they'll seem like tempest-in-teapot prologues to the main event ahead looking like full scale war large enough to engulf the whole region and entire Muslim world with it.
CIA's assessment is blunt. If the US attacks Iran, Southern Shia Iraq will light up like a candle and explode uncontrollably throughout the country. CIA ought to know and likely concluded big trouble won't just be in Iraq, Shia Islam and the Middle East. It may show up anywhere including a neighborhood near you but not to express reconciliation and friendship.
Washington's other motive is no mystery to anyone knowing why we attacked and now occupy Iraq. It had nothing to do with nonexistent weapons and everything to do with removing a leader unwilling to accept our imperial management rules whose country happens to have the fourth largest and easily accessible proven oil reserves in the world we want to control. The joke goes - how did our oil end up under his sand. The same is true for Iran and has since 1979. The country's leaders reject our rules, and it too has easily accessible oil reserves that are the world's third largest behind Saudi Arabia and Canada (including the country's heavy reserves). Further, both countries have vast untapped more of them adding to their allure and Washington's determination to control them alone to have veto power over who gets access.
If the US attacks Iran, all bets are off on what's to come. The echoes of Waterloo could turn George Bush's Middle East adventurism into his inadvertent Samson option by expanding the Iraq conflict to a regional one with impossible to predict consequences that won't be good for Western interests and especially US ones. It will inflame the region and produce a tsunami of Shia rage and solidarity enough to inflame and unite the whole Muslim world in fierce opposition to America, its culture and people. It may irrevocably transform the region making it unwelcome for decades or longer to anything Western that only arrives for what it can take and doesn't take no for an answer.
It's backlash may also affect the administration and its party as unintended fallout from an ill-conceived adventure gone sour and beyond repair. And it may have further unintended consequences as well - the painful blowback kind from angry people striking back in catastrophic payback ways far harsher than ever before. It could be a dirty bomb or two detonated in one more US cities or a nuclear reactor core meltdown from sabotage or attack releasing lethal radiation in amounts great enough to make downwind areas from it forever uninhabitable. Imagine a nightmarish vision of New York or Chicago (surrounded by 11 aging nuclear power plants) as ghost towns, their structures intact but unfit to be occupied.
There is a macabre bright side, however, once past the onslaught if it comes and its aftermath. In six years, the Bush administration achieved the near-impossible. It made the US a pariah state alienating the whole Muslim world and vast numbers more everywhere including growing numbers at home with George Bush's approval rating at numbers approaching the lowest ever for a US president. Its policies of permanent war on the world, repression at home, entrenched corruption, worship of wealth and privilege, and indifference to human needs and the people he was elected to serve already destroyed any notion the country is a model democratic state or that Bush and his neocon fanatics should be governing it. Their imperial arrogance accelerated the country's fading global hegemony well advanced since the 1970s and likely irreversible. They buried the nation's influence and dominance in Iraq's smoldering sands and Afghanistan's rubble that are now both graveyards for US ambitions in those regions and beyond.
Attacking Iran will just make things far worse. It would be a fanatical "hail Mary" act of insanity that by one definition is repeating the same mistakes, expecting different results. It has no more chance of success than our misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan. And if nuclear weapons are used, including so-called low-yield ones, it will be an appalling crime against humanity and catastrophic event potentially affecting millions in the region by radiation poisoning alone. If it happens, it will irreversibly weaken US influence and credibility everywhere accelerating our decline even faster toward second-class status and loss of world leadership already hanging by a thread. It could also be a potentially lethal blow to the benefits of "Western civilization" always arriving through the barrel of a gun and thuggish heel of a colonizer's boot with the US having the biggest barrels and largest shoe sizes.
Key US players know the risks and want our losses cut before it's too late to act. They want an end to war, not more of it in a strategically vital world region too important to lose while fearing it's likely too late. The National Intelligence Estimate supports them believing the war in Iraq is unwinnable, transforming the country into a pro-American state impossible, and the president's notion of victory illusory. George Bush ignores its assessment and presses on.
Reports by Seymour Hersh and others now say the administration wants to weaken the Bashir Assad-led Syrian government's alliance with Iran and further undermine Hezbollah's influence in Lebanon and the region by funding Sunni extremist groups with known ties to al-Queda in what's called a "redirection program." It's the brainchild of Dick Cheney/Elliott Abrams (of Iran-Contra notoriety)/Zalmay Khalilzad/Condi Rice/Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan/Israeli elements & Co. with CIA's hands are all over it covertly beyond Congress' reach. It includes a larger effort, with Saudi help, to fund and unleash Sunni extremist elements against Tehran at the same time Washington is preparing to include Iran and Syria in regional discussions on the situation in Iraq. It proves again duplicity and shameless hypocrisy are never in short supply in Washington. They're only topped by the neocon leadership's crazed strategy to make a hopeless Middle East debacle catastrophic.
The Concocted Myth of Iran's Threat
The ancient Persian empire became Iran on March 21, 1935. From that time till now, Iran obeyed international law, never occupied a foreign territory, and never threatened or attacked another state beyond occasional border skirmishes over unsettled disputes of the kinds other nations engage in that are far short of all out wars. It only had full-scale conflict defensively after Saddam Hussein launched a full-scale invasion in September, 1980 backed, equipped and financially aided by Washington that included supplying chemical and biological weapon precursors and crucial intelligence on Iranian field positions and force strength.