Bush’s risky strategy on Iran

The Bush administration is taking a calculated risk with its plans to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps a global terrorist organization. Tehran is certain to see it as a direct challenge to the clerical regime since it’s the Guards who keep it in power and indeed produced Iran’s current president..

The administration hopes that upping the ante and a stronger U.N. resolution banning travel by Iran’s leaders and cutting off access to the international financial system will persuade the Iranians to give up their nuclear-weapons ambitions.

However, additional sanctions may only harden the regime in its isolation and convince it that having a nuclear-weapons capacity is even more essential. Iran has been under one form of sanctions or another since 1979 without loosening the deeply disliked clerics’ grip on power.

However, the Revolutionary Guards are hardly a benign force. It is a separate military branch, believed to be about 125,000 strong, with its own air and naval capabilities. It is also a coercive commercial venture, exploiting its privileged status to operate many businesses of its own and to hold shares of others.

The Guards have been supplying the Shiia militias in Iraq, the Taliban holdouts in Afghanistan and the anti-Israeli Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. The Guards are also believed to be the suppliers of explosively formed penetraters used to deadly effect against U.S. forces in Iraq.

The terrorist designation will have little immediate effect because the Guards no longer do business or hold assets in the United States, but it gives the Treasury and State departments leverage to convince foreign firms and financial institutions not to do business with the Guards or invest in their enterprises.

Whatever effect designating the Guards as terrorists has on the Iranians, it eases demands from Congress for the administration to take a much tougher line and from a bellicose faction on the right that wants to see military action.

7 Responses to "Bush’s risky strategy on Iran"

  1. JoyfulC  August 16, 2007 at 10:23 am

    Maybe one of the best ways to convince Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions is to finally stop meddling in their affairs.

    But the petroleum industry will never allow for that. They’d rather see us all condemned to live in eternal war and hostility and destruction than to give up an ounce of their ambition to control the world’s petroleum resources and transportation routes — anyone or anything in the way is expendable.

  2. jarrodlombardo  August 16, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    Of course they’d rather see us in eternal war. It means they can control us more easily and they keep getting more powerful. The few people that run the world know exactly what they’re doing, and it’s bad for us.
    –Jarrod

  3. Steve Horn  August 16, 2007 at 11:40 am

    Perhaps he’s hoping that, by starting a war with Iran that goes nuclear, Iraq won’t look like the total cluster f*ck that it has been from day one.

    Peace

    Steve

  4. lexiedogmom  August 16, 2007 at 10:10 am

    Lexie Homewood
    Bush strengthened Iran with his foolish war on Iraq. Of course, there was no way of foreseeing that that would happen. Yeah, right.

    He’s going to engage in a bit of dilomatic pressure now. What if that doesn’t work? I’ll bet he’s wishing he had more available armed forces so he could start another war. If incompetnce were an impeachable offense, we would have been rid of him years ago.

  5. Helen Rainier  August 16, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    Risky? Risky? It’s downright stupid and ill-thought out. But, the Bushies have demonstrated time and time again that the world of reality isn’t to their liking.

    In 1994, no less than Darth Cheney himself said that going into Baghdad would have resulted in a “quaqmire.” And then, less than 10 years later Darth changes his mind? Iraq had been under continuing surveillance by the US and the Brits during those less than 10 years.

    Was Hussein a bastard? Sure sounds like it — however, his government was secular and Sunni run which proved to be a buffer to the larger Shia government in Iran. Now, thanks to the idiotic decisions of the Bushies, we have two Shia governments side-by-side.

    They (the Bushies) also seem to be forgetting that a couple of years ago the Iraqis and the Iranians signed a mutual “military cooperation” agreement. Do you think they even considered what that might mean?

    Fumb duckers all, they are.

  6. Klaus Hergeschimmer  August 16, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    Iran has bought new air defence systems through Syria, which got them from Russia according to the latest Janes defence weekly magazine.

    Here is the link:
    http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Syria_Is_To_Send_Iran_Air_Defence_Systems_From_Russia_999.html

    Not all that long ago, the United States and Israel were pissed when Russia sold Iran Tor-M1 road-mobile shelter-mounted low-to-medium-altitude surface-to-air missile system in 2005 — a deal completed in January.

    Yeah, attacking Iran will be a more formidable task then Iraq whose military was virtually destroyed since the first Gulf War.

    The Chimp and Big Dick Cheney are just drunk on
    PNAC Whiskey.

  7. SEAL  August 17, 2007 at 4:08 am

    Even if Bush had a fresh military equal to what existed before we invaded Iraq, the prospect of invading Iran would be the difference of day and night compared to Iraq. The Iraq military was antiquated and barely sufficient to maintain order within its own borders. The difference in geography is a huge factor. Iraq is flat as a pancake while Iraq is mountainous and rough. Iran has modern weapons and a fight to the death conviction that most of the Iraqis did not have. They are well trained and smart. Invading Iran would be a real war instead of the short run over we had in Iraq.

    Would we win? Certainly. It’s our naval air power that makes that a reality. But it would be a long and bloody campaign for our ground forces and our casualties would amaze you. It would closely resemble the Island campaigns we had with the Japanese in the 40′s. We would lose one third of our soldiers on the ground to the invasion and never completely gain control unless we sent in more troops than we could possibly provide without a major draft. We would need a million. Invading, defeating, and occupying Iran would require an effort comparable to WWII.

    Should Bush/Cheney issue the order, I cannot imagine our military commanders even drawing up a plan for preemtive war with Iran given the current state of our military. The only thing we are capable of right now would be relentless air strikes and hope the Iranian people revolt. What scares me is that Bush/Cheney just might gamble on that. But if it failed, as I believe it would, where would that leave us? Naked before an angry world. And these crazy bastards would try to go nuclear to salvage themselves. That is when the shit would hit the fan. Our military would be placed in the position of refusing the order of the commander in chief for the first time and I believe they would. That would be an american revolution!

    There is simply no way in hell Bush/Cheney can start a war with Iran and they know it. If they cannot figure out all of the above for themselves, somemanybodies surely have already explained it to them. It can’t be done.

    Therefore, the only avenue is the one they are about to take to try and force the rest of the worlds major powers to take sanction action to cut off the income and reduce Iran’s power just as what was done to Iraq. Bush is going to gamble that Europe, Russia, and China will cooperate. I don’t believe they will. So, Bush is going to finally fall with this failure and lose the support of his party. That will certainly result in his being forced to reduce our military operations in Iraq in some form. I do not believe they will ever go far enough to get him to withdraw because none of the leaders in congress wants us to leave Iraq and let it blow up. That is their great fear. And, of course, losing the oil.

    Hopefully, we are about to watch Bush’s final failure. I expect this one to cause Cheney to resign for health reasons about the end of the year. With no power left he will grab his money and run. Bush is too stupid to resign. However, they may have to throw a net over him, ranting, wandering, slobbering, and babbling in the halls of the White House in the middle of the night.

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