The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

War on Iran?

Pat Lang seems to think so. This may be a case of cry wolf.  No one believes it anymore, because it hasn’t happened despite warnings yet.

But remember, when the boy cried wolf the second time there was a wolf.

We’ll see.


Blaming the blogosphere for Democratic Failures


Geithner and the White House’s Panglossian Never-Never Land


  1. Formerly T-Bear

    The current assault upon Iran can only lead to an attack upon Iran, there is no other outcome.

    That attack upon Iran will signal the end of empire for the U.S.

    A coalition of powers will be formed to contest hegemony, not militarily, but economically.

    The U.S. will be isolated, a pariah in the council of nations.

    No other power can afford the risk of the rogue power, together they can find safety, prevail.

    Every weakness of the U.S. will be amplified,

    and used to consume the last of the U.S. reserves of power. The end is nigh.

  2. Stormcrow

    “The current assault upon Iran can only lead to an attack upon Iran, there is no other outcome.”

    You know this how?

    “That attack upon Iran will signal the end of empire for the U.S.”

    Already happened. It’s been in the works for about 50 years now. But I think three lost colonial wars in a row is a pretty solid indication that the ship has already sailed.

    Is this a troll?

  3. Stormcrow

    I’ve been reading Pat Lang on a daily basis for about 4 years now. Since Bill Lind has stopped writing, Pat has become my favorite paleocon.

    But he has his blind spots. Pretty much the same ones I keep seeing in the works of other paleocons. Like Bill Lind. Like the immigration issue. Take a look at Pat’s recent opinions on the subject of Arizona’s SB1070. *sigh*

    On this subject, I think he’s allowing his loathing for the loons who are in charge of Israel to distort his judgment. Of course, I could be wrong about this. But reflect that W didn’t get very far down the road towards war with Iran. Despite even greater incompetence and narcissism than Obama’s, which is really saying something. And despite the fact that his neocons were fully out of the closet.

  4. Celsius 233

    Considering the amount of Obama Administration groveling this week, this looks like war to me. It seems like a matter of timing. In the “crunch” there will be no choice but to virtually destroy Iran. pl
    10 July 2010 in Iran, Israel | Permalink
    I don’t know who is saying this; but surely it would cement our position as one of the most barbaric powers to have ever existed on this planet. Viewed in the context of Hiroshima and Nagasaki there could be little doubt of the truth of this.
    The irony of this is that every bullet, bomb, drone strike, and other extra-judicial killings are each, a shovel full of the dirt of our own grave. Death to empire; long live the empire.

  5. anonymous

    At least our two current wars won’t have that pesky country in the middle separating them anymore. Stupid fuckery as far as the eye can see.

    I love how this guy’s commenters whine about the US bearing the brunt of casualties, as compared to Israel. No mention of the thousands of innocent civilians who will be killed for every US casualty, much less the hapless kids drafted into the enemy army.

  6. Lex

    I agree that it’s only a matter of time, and things are behind schedule. Afghanistan was supposed to be easier than it was…and my guess is that the plan never included a stable Afghan state but rather a further destabilized region rife with narcotic trafficking and a covert ops playground. The trafficking being used to fund the covert ops. (note: Iran has the world’s highest percentage of opium addicts, you can bet your bottom dollar that the US has been pushing heroin across the Iranian border in a destabilization effort.)

    Iraq was supposed to be mopped up and turned into an outright US military colony by now; it would be used as a forward base against Iran.

    The problem, of course, is that plans were laid on best case scenarios and all that. My guess is that the current plan does not include war…not just yet anyhow. I’m looking for a repeat of the Clinton-Bush two-step on Iraq. Obama will get it all ready and the next Republican president will go from there.

    The question is whether the US Empire will last long enough to pull it off, which is kind of immaterial as the action will be the last straw. It’s a gamble in any case. If successful the empire is restored, but given the imperial track record the action is unlikely to be successful.

  7. Cloud

    If China decides they’re okay with it, it will happen, as was the case with Iraq. Otherwise it won’t. They are the ones backing the deficits required for these ventures.

    This isn’t how it works in the news, of course, and I can’t prove it, but that’s my humble opinion.

  8. Tom Hickey

    The West is flirting with deflation. Deflation is likely to develop in 2011 (we are in disinflation now). If so, the likelihood of war increases exponentially.

  9. Formerly T-Bear

    Mind what is said about coalitions in this piece:

  10. Ian Welsh

    Not a US attack on Iran, an Israeli attack on Iran, with US complicity.

    The Israeli leadership is even more delusional than Versailles.

  11. Lex

    Same difference isn’t it? Israel can really only mount a serious air war against Iran; Iran retaliates; and the US rushes in to its rescue.

    Israel alone against Iran and Hizbelloh is cooked. But the US will be “trapped” by any unilateral Israeli action. We won’t let Israel hang. Helping it will only embroil us in open warfare with Iran…which, i’d figure, is a feature rather than a bug in US foreign policy circles. I won’t hold my breath waiting for Obama to get tough with Israel, but i can see players in the administration being full-throatedly (if behind closed doors) for an Israeli attack.

    And how livid will Russia and China be?

    I don’t think that US policy players understand what’s at stake: we’re one badly misplayed action away from seeing serious coalition building against us. Nor are we capable of taking on much more than what we have right now. In fact, if some nation just decided to send not much more than a handful of modern anti-aircraft weaponry, Afghanistan would be a blood bath. It’s been proven to work.

  12. Ian Welsh

    Well yes, Iranian retaliation against the US is fairly trivial. All they have to do is incite violence against the US in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    I don’t think Hezbollah will attack Israel if Israel attacks Iran. Could be wrong, but if they do it would hurt them a great deal in Lebanon.

  13. anon2525

    The right-wing jobs programs in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq are still in pretty good shape. But I suppose it doesn’t hurt to look to other markets for future business. Right now, the “boys”* have all the work they can handle, but who knows? In a few years, the business in Iraq could begin to peter out. Might as well start laying the groundwork.


  14. Lex

    Wouldn’t most all bets be off in the region after an Israeli attack on Iran? Though you’re almost certainly right that Hezbollah would not automatically attack Israel after an Iranian attack.

    On the other hand, i’m not sure that anything after the (hypothetical) attack is very predictable. I’m only sure that we shouldn’t be letting Israel play with matches around the powder keg.

  15. Regarding the main points, I’d be surprised if most of what goes on at the top right now isn’t just trying-to-get-through-the-day. I doubt there’s much vision, to say nothing of long term vision, whether good or bad. There’s no evidence of it so far. If they do wind up in a war with Iran, I’d expect it to be because they backed into it.

    However, with regard to a minor point: the Iran – Israel scenarios discussed seem to assume conventional fighting. That really depends on how far along Iran is with their nuclear bomb(s), assuming they really are working toward that. Just one, lobbed at Israel’s mid-section, would go a long way toward making rescue moot.

  16. Ian Welsh

    The thing is, I don’t see how Israel effectively retaliates against Israel. Retaliation against the US is easy, retaliation against Israel hard.

    Which is why Obama should never allow this.

  17. skuppers

    Iran has already threatened to level Dimona in the event of an Isreali attack. I believe they have the missiles to do it. I’m not too sure about the patriot batteries stopping incoming. Isreal has no strategic depth – Chernobyl anyone?

  18. Lex

    That’s a good point, Ian, but like i said, i’m not sure that there’s much hope of predicting anything after an Israeli strike because whatever balance exists in the region now would be severely upset. And here we get into who’s airspace the Israelis use to get to Iran. Iran could retaliate against any of those nations. (Sweet baby Jesus in the manger if Obama lets the Israelis use Iraqi airspace…)

    The bigger problem is that every other nation – no matter what’s said – will assume that Israel does this with US blessings…or at the US’s behest. At the very least the US looks weak because it can’t keep its dog at heel.

    So how do Russia and China react?

    In the end, i don’t think it’s the actual event that’s dangerous…it’s the repercussions that follow. And i think that’s dangerous because it is unpredictable.

  19. anon2525

    November 8, 1861 – The beginning of an international diplomatic crisis for President Lincoln as two Confederate officials sailing toward England are seized by the U.S. Navy. England, the leading world power, demands their release, threatening war. Lincoln eventually gives in and orders their release in December. “One war at a time,” Lincoln remarks.

    If only the decision makers in the 21st century had the good sense of that decision maker in the 19th century…

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