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News Speculation mounting of an attack on Iran

  1. Yes

    5 vote(s)
  2. No

    27 vote(s)
  1. Jun 8, 2008 #1


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    The BBC has added it's voice to the mounting speculation that Bush and Olmert may be planning an attack on Iran before the end of their terms of office.

    The full article is available here http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7439431.stm

    What do people here think? Will the US and/or Israel attack Iran before the end of Bush's term in office?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 8, 2008 #2


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    Maybe sometime into an Obama Presidency based on these statements, not before.
  4. Jun 8, 2008 #3
    Israel can do whatever it wants, but it does not have the military power to launch more than an air skirmish against Iran.

    A real military campaign, aerial or ground would require the military power of the United States. The constitution is pretty explicit about the war powers being reserved to congress. Simply put, constitutionally, Bush cannot legally launch a significant air or ground strike against Iran without congressional approval, which is unlikely to be forthcoming.

    Iran has been interfering with the internal affairs of Iraq, especially in the Shi'ite south for some time now in order to promote what they believe are their national interests. A limited strike against certain Iranian forces might be doable, but the consequences of the use of significant military power against Iran is going to lead to them retaliating by redoubling their efforts to destabilize Iraq, something that coalition forces absolutely cannot afford right now, as things are barely under control in the country as it is.
  5. Jun 8, 2008 #4
    I'm not so sure about that. A destabilized Iraq is not really in Iran's interest, given the border they share and various other regional issues. Although, if we replace the word "destablize" by "subvert American plans in," then that's a different story.
  6. Jun 8, 2008 #5


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    There are millions more Shia in Iraq, 60%+ of the population. I would have to see a good argument as why Iran's default policy would not be to just annex the heavily Shia parts of Iraq. At least in the Mullah's minds, I would think this likely.
  7. Jun 8, 2008 #6
    I voted "no" because I think war is bad. :smile:

    But, Israel can take care of its self and if they feel that there is an immanent threat from Iran, they have the capability to take care of it. With or without US approval/help.
  8. Jun 8, 2008 #7


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    Well, at least we won't have to wait until 2012 for this one to die.
  9. Jun 8, 2008 #8


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    If what Obama says can be believed, if he's elected , Iran will conform immediately or they are toast.
  10. Jun 8, 2008 #9
    What Iran is interested in is an Iranian puppet government in Iraq. They are not interested in a democracy, like that which exists there now.

    When coalition troops withdraw, they need to leave behind a stable Iraqi democracy, otherwise it will fail, the Sunni and Shi'ite factions will engage in a civil war, with the Shi'ites supported by Iran, and the Sunnis supported by Saudi Arabia and other Arab states.

    At the end of the day, the Ayatollah would probably rather see a destabilized, impotent Iraq engaged in an endless civil war than a stable, united, democratic Iraq. It is simple logic; there are more Shi'ites than Sunni Arabs, so Iranian-supported factions would have an upper hand in a civil war, and so long as Sunni Arabs in Iraq are fighting Shi'ite Arabs, they are no threat to Iran itself.

    One important factor to remember is that there is still a lot of resentment and fear about Iraq, a country that fought them in a long, bloody war with plenty of ruthless violations of international law.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2008
  11. Jun 8, 2008 #10
    Because, it will never work so long as Iraq has a sovereign central government, and, if and when the government falls, Iran will not simply be able to send its troops waltzing into Southern Iraq. The Sunni Arab states will make sure of that. The last thing that they want is Iran to expand its influence and territory, not to mention that US and British forces could pound Iranian troops to dust from the air before they reached the border.

    A direct annexation of Iraqi territory is pretty unlikely. The Iranian religious leaders may be bold, but they are not stupid. They can reap more rewards simply by supply indirect support to friendly Shi'ite factions and militias.
  12. Jun 8, 2008 #11
    bomb bomb iran, now that is legit. elect mccain.
  13. Jun 8, 2008 #12


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    Obama is very clear on Iran.

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2008
  14. Jun 9, 2008 #13


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    I really wonder what is the problem with Iran developing a nuclear weapon. I will of course agree that from *my* PoV, I would prefer them not to. However, if I were an Iranian, I would prefer my country to have them, I think. It would give a more secure feeling, in a world that looks upon my country in a very negative way.
    I don't think Iran having nuclear weapons is an unsurmountable threat to anyone, except to those who are planning to *invade* Iran. I think the Cold War has shown us that no country possessing nuclear weapons dares to use them from the moment that the other side also has some. So let us assume for the moment that has happened what will inevitably happen one day: Iran has nukes. Indeed, I'm of the opinion that if that's what they *really* want, nobody will be able to stop them. One can slow them down, or one can try to make them change their minds. But if they don't decide themselves to change their minds, then inevitably one day they will have nuclear weapons. So let us imagine that yesterday, Iran exploded its first nuclear weapon in a test. So what ?

    The only target they might really want to hit is Israel, but Israel has enough retaliatory power to rubble Iran too. So contrary to the strong words of M. Ahmadinejad, I don't think he will push the button, as he knows that he might indeed destroy Israel, but he will also destroy Iran, entirely, on the same occasion. So I bet anything you want that he won't push the button. Giving a nuke to a terrorist group is equivalent to pushing on the button, so that won't happen either.

    So even if Iran has nukes, it won't do anything with them. It will only be a guarantee for them not to suffer a major invasion, that's all. That's all nukes are good for. They are impossible arms to use as offensive weapons by a nation, only as ultimately defensive weapons. MAD works. If Iraq had had nuclear weapons, the US wouldn't have invaded them, and that would have been better for everyone.
  15. Jun 9, 2008 #14
    you bet with other peoples lives?

    I would prefer, and it would make me feel more secure, if no country waisted any more money on atomic weapons.
  16. Jun 9, 2008 #15


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    I would prefer that nobody have nukes, and would be thrilled to see cooperative, verifiable nuclear disarmament. Absent that, the best reason to have nukes is deterrence against attack.

    Israel is believed to have about 150 nukes and they are acting as if it would be the end of the world if Iran built one. That is unrealistic in the extreme, because Israel could flatten Iran like a bug.
  17. Jun 9, 2008 #16
    One EMP would render most of the high tech weapons and systems to the blue screen of death.

    So could one really big mass ejection by the sun for that matter. ( hehe pun ) .... it's a weakness in high tech warfare and a weakness to rely on it too much.

    The mutual assured destruction defense is mad-ness
  18. Jun 9, 2008 #17
    I voted no. However, the threat is often more effective than the execution. I can just hear Bush now.

    We're going into Iran to look for WMD. This time I'm telling the truth. The Iranian people will greet us as liberators. This time I'm not just making it up. The mission will be accomplished in a few weeks. This time I really mean it.
  19. Jun 9, 2008 #18


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    Sure, I agree. But it is madness that works :smile: Or at least, that has shown to work at least once.

    I would also prefer everybody living peaceful one next to another, but humanity has a bad record for that. And I really wonder whether, if there hadn't been any nukes, Western Europe wouldn't have been invaded by the Soviet block during the Cold War. I know that it is just opinion and can be discussed, but I tend to believe that nukes was what made the Cold war "cold". Of course with a non-negligible risk factor of blowing everything up.

    So, again, me too I would prefer not there to have to be these terrible weapons. But if they can change real conflicts with real casualties into just threats and some fear, then we won something. Again, I don't mind too much any *nation* to have a few nukes. Terrorists, that's something else. But nations, no. They will not use it.
  20. Jun 9, 2008 #19


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    The poll question was "Will the US...?", not "Should the US...?"

    Looks like you've answered the wrong question.
  21. Jun 9, 2008 #20


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    I voted No. It's not practical. The US military is overextended as it is.

    Politically, it would hurt McCain and the Republicans.

    Economically, it would hurt the US economy, which isn't doing so hot lately.

    Congress wouldn't approve it.
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