To launch a war based solely on fear, distrust, and
misinformation -- a polite term for micro-managed intelligence as in the case of
Iraq -- is an egregious error in judgment that inevitably results in unintended
consequences creating serious harm to the aggressor. We learned that in the
Iraq war launched on March 19, 2003.
Or did we?
The place is Iran. The time is now. The scene has changed. The players have changed. The script has not changed.
The only other thing that has changed is that this war will be ten times worse. Iran is four times the size of Iraq, with some rugged terrain that can only be comparable to Afghanistan. We all know what is happening there as we enter the second decade of war in that forlorn region. Iran has nearly three times the population of Iraq. Iran does not have a military that has been depleted and severely weakened by a Gulf War (1991) and over a decade of severe sanctions. Iran is armed and ready with some of the most technologically advanced weapons systems in the world, including fighter aircraft, air defense, anti-ship missiles, and medium range ballistic missiles that can easily reach Israel.
Recently the Christian Science Monitor released a report that was enormously disconcerting. The article was entitled "UN report on Iran's nuclear progress signals tricky road ahead for Obama." http://www.csmonitor.com/layout/set/print/USA/Foreign-Policy/2012/0831/UN-report-on-Iran-s-nuclear-progress-signals-tricky-road-ahead-for-Obama
CSM does not go into sensationalism. That reporting was, indeed, disturbing, to say the very least, but LaFranchi was not through. He further reported, "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is already putting the US on notice that he has no intentions of keeping his concerns about Iran in a pocket until after November. Mr. Netanyahu is expected to meet with President Obama when he is in the US in September to attend the UN General Assembly."
The reporting by the CSM writer is quite alarming. If it is all to be believed, giving no discredit to LaFranchi who is simply reporting what he has seen and heard. However, there is a problem created by the IAEA and its reporting to the media and how the media has handled the total report.
Here is a somewhat more accurate report that you won't find in the media or statements by politicians. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report finds that Iran has doubled the number of centrifuges at an underground nuclear site. The IAEA report notes, for example, that only about a third of the centrifuges at Fordo are operational, and that, furthermore, the machines being installed there are of an older technology. The report also concludes that Iran has stymied all efforts by the IAEA to access the underground Fordo site and determine how operational it is and what functions it is capable of undertaking. It doesn't take a genius to realize that those statements are mutually exclusive. It seems all of sudden the IAEA knows an awful lot about a site they cannot inspect. They know a great deal more as the reader will soon see.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, the Israeli press, and the American press reacted sharply to IAEA statements taken of context. The New York Times stated "that the US is also reluctantly considering previously rejected covert action against Iran, including air strikes on power plants and other sites that could impact Iranian civilian populations, as well as a "clandestine' strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, much like the strike Israel launched against Syria in 2007."
The Times report comes a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the international community to set a "clear red line" for military action against Iran. Bloomberg News reports that Mr. Netanyahu said that such a threat was necessary to rein in Iran.
Have we not been down this road before, a road filled with potholes and unintended consequences based upon pure belligerent rhetoric and abysmal intelligence? Yes we have. Are we so stupid to allow this to happen again?
The conclusion from the IAEA report is self-evident. It clearly illustrates that Iran is further away from actually making a nuclear weapon than months earlier.
Yet none of this was reported in the media or the reactions of politicians following the IAEA report. Instead the mass media and clueless politicians hemorrhaged fear and distrust of Iran along with the threat of all-out war. Yes, all-out war, not some mythical surgical strike with Iran bowing down to Israel soon after. A military operation against Iran will enflame the entire Middle East and will provide an existential threat to our extremely valuable ally in the Middle East, Israel. What will the U.S. do then? In addition a military strike on Iran will be catastrophic to the world's economy. The mass media and mindless politicians did not deal with any of that.