Monday, April 10, 2006

Iran: Rattling Sabres or Shaking Rattles?

I'm uncertain what to make of Sy Hersh's recent New Yorker story about Pentagon plans to conduct a series of air strike on Iran, plans that include the use of nuclear "bunker buster" weapons.

On one hand, I'd be shocked if military planners weren't coming up with such plans. As a former operational and tactical contingency planner myself, I can assure you that the military constantly spins plans in an effort to anticipate the strategic desires of our country's political leaders. If I had a piece of coin or currency for every hour I spent planning or practicing for a final showdown with Soviet naval forces in the north Pacific during the cold war, I'd have enough dead presidents lying around in my file cabinet to pay off my mortgage.

So it's no surprise to me that the boys and girls still in uniform are figuring out what to do about Iran's nuclear program in case the commander in chief orders them to do something about it. And all this contingency planning wouldn't alarm me if the commander in chief were anyone but Mister Bush, and his inner circle consisted of anyone but Cheney, Rice, Rove and Rumsfeld. Their foreign policy track record hasn't seemed terribly rational to date.

We invaded and occupied a country that didn't have nukes (Iraq).

We're making boo noise about striking a nation that doesn't have nukes with nukes (Iran).

We promised not to attack a country that we know has nukes (North Korea).

We struck a deal to assist the nuclear program of a country that has nukes but isn't part of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (India).

So please forgive me if I'm less than confident that our foreign policy brain trust knows what it's doing.

And keep in mind that our National Security Council is populated with 30 something Gen Xers who don't think the Cold War involved WMD and say things like, "Arms control, what's that?"


  1. I seem to recall you posted on this awhile back: that we really don't want to fight N. Korea, in spite of any tough talk and threats from the White House.

    Iran, on the other hand, can't really hit us back, much like Iraq. There probably were some planners who truly believed Iraq would be a cakewalk.

    But here's the BushCo. foreign policy: "My way or the highway... well, we'll break it if we want to break it, see? I'd like to see ya make us pay for it (taxpayers'll pay for it anyhow, what do we care?!?)!"

  2. Oh, there are so many angles to N. Korea...

    They're mainly just saber rattlers, they're next door to China, we wouldn't want to fight that winter war again, the have no oil...

    And anybody they might nuke is under our retaliation umbrella.

    But hey, you could say the same about Iran too, couldn't you?

  3. No offense but you can take your generational superiority crap and shove it. GenX'ers know very well what the Cold War was about thankyouverymuch - growing up as we did during the 70's and 80's. And we are getting pretty friggin sick of the stupid boomers thinking they are the only generation worth a dime - the generation that can't balance a budget or win a war or get over their own narcissism. Don't forget its the no nothing boomers that have given us both Billy "Semen-stain" Clinton AND George "I just disagree but can't explain why" Bush, Jr.. How's that for a lame generation that doesn't have anything going for it than numbers.

    Have a nice day.

  4. What nice Gen X manners you have, Brian.