Wednesday, December 14, 2005

PROVOKING A WAR WITH IRAN

The bellicosity of Iran's hardline president Ahmadinejad reflects his frustration with his country's economic distress wrought by sanctions. He swept unexpectedly to power with the votes of the working and lower middle class which are the most affected by sanctions. Add to that Iran's experienced a number of high fatality air crashes because it can't buy modern civil airliners, purchase legal spare parts for its American and European planes, and state of the art navigation equipment.

It is very dangerous for us to push this very inexperienced, volatile leader to the wall. Much better to end 25 years of sanctions which only made the country more radical. Sanctions make for good press, and self satisfied diplomats, but severely raise the risk of war. Ahmadinejad is replacing Iran's professional military commanders with Islamic radicals. Very possible when the economic pressure becomes intolerable Iran could launch a presemptive strike with long range missiles on Israel and Europe.

We've been there before. Our oil embargo on Imperial Japan was the proximate cause of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Japan hoped to knock us out with a single blow. Iran might be thinking the same thing. With our military in tatters, and the public fed up with Iraq, today's America won't rally around the flag as it did in 1941.

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