Strengthening US 'Defense' In Gulf A Step To War

By Stephen Sniegoski

February 02, 2010 "
Information Clearing House" -- An article in the New York Times by David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt states: "The Obama administration is accelerating the deployment of new defenses against possible Iranian missile attacks in the Persian Gulf." It continues that this move "appears to be part of a coordinated administration strategy to increase pressure on Iran." Since there is about a zero chance that Iran would dare to launch a first strike on the US or its Arab allies, the US would only need to strengthen its missile defenses in order to deal with an Iranian counterattack after the US had first bombed Iran. This is a very dangerous development. It will likely cause Iran, in expectation of a possible attack, to increase its defenses. The US will then claim that Iran is threatening its neighbors and increase its military force even more. The mutual increases in military forces will mean a spiraling arms race.

This is obviously a recipe for war unless one side backs down. Undoubtedly the Iranians are far weaker and the regime would be destroyed if there were war. Probably, Obama hopes that American military pressure will force the Islamic Republic to accede to American demands, which probably include not only requiring the scaling back of Iran's nuclear program but also its abandonment of Hezbollah and Hamas. However, in order to survive it probably is essential for the Islamic regime to stand firm. If it showed weakness, the regime's internal enemies would be even more aggressive.

By showing firmness to a foreign enemy, however, the Islamic regime would likely increase national unity, since all internal opponents could be painted as allies of the US and Israel. Moreover, by standing up to the powerful United States, the Islamic Regime would likely increase its prestige among the anti-American (anti-imperialist) political activists in the Middle East (the Arab Street) and the world. In short, it seems likely that the Islamic regime would gamble that taking a hard-line would provide a better chance for regime survival than caving in to US demands. Their hope would be that the US would not risk the possibility of disrupting the flow of oil, which would cause incalculable difficulties for the world economy which is already in a precarious condition.

The Israel Lobby, media Right, and the Republican hawks would likely pillory Obama for allegedly being weak in the face of aggression. While Obama probably doesn't want war with Iran, he would be affected by political considerations. With the economy in the doldrums and the American people angry, Obama and his political advisers would see significant political benefits in taking a hard-line stance toward Iran. Such a move would enable the president to co-opt the criticism of the rightwing and pro-Israel war hawks and, as a leader against an allegedly dangerous foe, regain the support of the overwhelming majority of the American people. The US would issue ultimatums to Iran to reduce its allegedly aggressive defenses, providing Iran with the choice of surrender or war. Any little incident would spark war and with US land and naval forces almost surrounding Iran, the chances of such an incident would be very high.

See also Transparent Cabal

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