The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

War With Iran? Cue The Fear!

Posted on | December 21, 2011 | 13 Comments

by Smitty

Instapundit relays the Mead:

In a recent interview with CBS news anchor Scott Pelley, Panetta said “the United States does not want Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. That’s a red line for us”. He continued: “We will take whatever steps are necessary to stop them”. A nuclear Iran is “unacceptable”. When US secretaries talk about “whatever steps are necessary” they are not usually talking about holding one more meeting of the sanctions committee. They are thinking shock and awe rather than cookies and tea.
Panetta said the Iranians could have a bomb in a year or less; we’ve heard this before. The point is, Washington doesn’t believe the mullahs have stopped building. Unless that changes, the Obama administration is headed toward war with Iran, quite possibly before November of 2012.

I view any of this through the lens of Iraq/Kuwait/Saudi Arabia.

For all the hue and cry about Israel this, and the Palestinians that, keep in mind the two real drivers in the region are the Shiite/Sunni tension and regime security for the oil producers. The former is about faith; the latter, cash.

Nobody really wants to see a dirty bomb, and the technological and ecological fallout from that. That hypothetical bomb, like virginity, is a one-shot deal. Short of direct physical threat to regime survival, pickling off a nuke, even a dirty bomb, just isn’t all that likely.

Ah, but the teasing one can engage in! As with the aforementioned virginity, the knowledge that a country is in the nuclear club really puts some extra shake in the hips. Which is why our various OPEC allies in the region don’t mind having the Great Satan flex a bit in the region.

Too, saber rattling is always worth points in the polls. And maybe he’ll even be able to contend that pulling the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan was to reconstitute them for the shiny new effort.

Another war? Sure. And now, from 30 years ago, let the band Fear take it away:

Bonus, for Vodka Pundit: “I Believe I’ll Have Another Beer


13 Responses to “War With Iran? Cue The Fear!”

  1. SDN
    December 21st, 2011 @ 10:03 pm

    “And maybe he’ll even be able to contend that pulling the troops out of
    Iraq and Afghanistan was to reconstitute them for the shiny new effort.”

    Only for morons that have never looked at a map. One of the only reasons invading Iraq made sense was to preposition the troops and supplies for taking out Iran.

  2. K-Bob
    December 21st, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

    Smitty, I don’t get this paragraph:

    “Nobody really wants to see a dirty bomb, and the technological and ecological fallout from that. That hypothetical bomb, like virginity, is a one-shot deal. Short of direct physical threat to regime survival, pickling off a nuke, even a dirty bomb, just isn’t all that likely.”

    I think I don’t parse “Smitt-ese” very well, sometimes.

    The rest I can understand, though.  Obama always gets to have it both ways.

    Obama: “Hey, I’m purposely f***ing up Iraq so I can f***up even worse in Iran.  If you love me, you have to support this bill.”

  3. Charles
    December 22nd, 2011 @ 1:51 am

    We’ve spent the last 30 some years worrying about what Iran might do next. Maybe it’s time they spent the next 30 years worrying what we might do. Giving them a war is too much certainty, what Iranian leaders need is the sort of nagging, constant fear that makes you afraid to sleep in the same bed two tights in a row.

  4. Adjoran
    December 22nd, 2011 @ 2:07 am

    Panetta is one of the last in the Administration with a clue on foreign affairs.  He’s often wrong on policy, but he knows the issues.

    This sounds like a “wag the dog” scenario, but I can’t see Obama acquiescing to a first strike on anyone, and given the attitudes of the Democratic base he would lose as many or more votes as he might gain from hitting Iran.

    The sabotage campaign has the Iranian leadership on edge, and it has chances of derailing their nuke program on its own.  If it isn’t able to bring it to a halt, expect Israel to act. 

    If Bibi is as conscious of world politics as I think he is, his policy since Obama’s election has been to secretly develop sufficient refueling capacity to strike Iran without needing US-controlled airspace to it.  Of course, now that we are out of Iraq, the point may be moot.

  5. ThePaganTemple
    December 22nd, 2011 @ 6:58 am

    There are hundreds of thousands if not millions of Iranian mullahs and Sunni Imams along with certain political leaders like Ahmadinejahd who should be long dead, along with their entire families and yes that includes the “innocent” chiiiiidren and whatever followers happened to be in the mosques when the bombs hit. Until we adopt and maintain that policy a few politically correct and strategically placed bombs shot off at a time to avoid killing so much as a night-shift janitor isn’t going to amount to shit.

    But I did have some vague hope that Obama would take out Ahmadinejahd once it was learned the Iranians conspired to kill the Saudi Ambassador on US soil.

    Of course there is the little problem that I don’t believe that shit really happened. But why make up a lie like that and not make it count for something?

  6. Anonymous
    December 22nd, 2011 @ 9:07 am

    The US and Iran have been continuously engaged in low-intensity war, jockeying for influence in the region, for 30-odd years now, and that’s exactly how it’s likely to stay until the US gets right up against its inability to afford that kind of game any more and goes back to tending its own garden.

    Unfortunately, the one part of the US agenda versus Iran that’s likely to remain in place is the policy of using sanctions, etc. to ensure that the Iranian people hate and fear us just a little more than they hate and fear Islamism. Else they might throw the mullahs out and then DC would be short one bogeyman.

    If the Iranians want nukes, then Leon Panetta be damned, they’ll eventually get nukes. And they’ll use those nukes the same way every nuclear power does. That is, they’ll brandish them openly as a deterrent, and less openly as a “don’t resist our regional ambitions too much, just in case we’re crazy” booster.

  7. smitty
    December 22nd, 2011 @ 9:09 am

    There is more value in toying with a nuke than using a nuke.
    Having a nuke is like the idea of waterboarding on a larger scale.

  8. smitty
    December 22nd, 2011 @ 9:11 am

    Again, Team America: World Police is just the lackey. What goes on in the capitols surrounding Tehran has more predictive power.

  9. ThePaganTemple
    December 22nd, 2011 @ 9:19 am

    Before we can get back to Knappsters little dream world where everybody gets along or at least everybody minds their own business and “tending their own garden” we have to be willing to show the Islamists of all factions that not only can we be as brutal as they can, we will happily do so at the drop of a hat. That’s the only way we’ll ever beat them, and we’ll have to start by targeting their religious leaders, specifically the ones that openly agitate against the US and the West. A public take out service during Friday prayers at the radical imams local mosque would do wonders in making them consider the consequences of their words and actions. Otherwise get ready for a long hard slog we can’t hope to win.

  10. Pathfinder's wife
    December 22nd, 2011 @ 10:39 am

    At this point I’m more concerned with how we address Iran rather than if we should.

    I highly doubt Iran will openly do anything but threaten, but their use of proxies is damaging and this latest naval excercise in the Straights is definitely a sign of things to come (this is what I would consider econmic terrorism; they will be playing that game a lot more).

    Then again, they are becoming quite unstable (and the more the Iranian government destablizes, the more dangerous they become — not the sort of people that should be allowed a nuclear plaything because of factors unknown)…but I’m not so sanguine about openly declaring war on them.  Our military is tired folks, and we are running a bit low on cash.  What good is being able to level a few cities in Iran if we destroy our own country in the process?  Preemptive strikes could destablize the situation even more than it is now — so that isn’t the answer.  Boots on the ground?  Ha…see above; besides Iran is topographically a much harder nut to crack and is a good deal larger and more centralized.  It would, in my opinion, be the toughest country in the ME to take on (and a near impossible task if they can convince a majority of Muslims that this is the last crusade to defeat the Great and Little Satans with their imerial schemes, blah blah blah).

    No, if anything, this calls for another approach…and for countries other than us to do the majority of the work.  This world police game is becoming a no win situation for us.

  11. Pathfinder's wife
    December 22nd, 2011 @ 10:45 am

    A quick quibble with you: Iran is majority Shia (which gives a clue as to what went wrong with our Iraq strategy and why the ME is a very mixed up miasma of a mess).

  12. Tennwriter
    December 22nd, 2011 @ 11:35 am

    I’d encourage the rise of a strongman in Iran, one of their generals, or a few of them.  Offer verbal and SF help…..and Air Force help.

    If need be, to get the pot boiling, blow up a refinery.  Believe it or not, Iran imports a lot of their gasoline.  Its what I’ve heard anyways.  This is a vulnerable point.

    Sit back and watch while things fly apart.  Offer air cover to any general willing to march on the capital.

    Agree to legitamize the Iranian govt’ under Generalisssimo Soand So if he agrees to five simple points.

    1. No nuclear of any kind.
    2. No sponsoring terrorism.
    3. Religious toleration.

  13. K-Bob
    December 22nd, 2011 @ 7:23 pm


    Reminds me of a Saturday Night Live skit where everyone was carrying a nuke.