Saturday, February 11, 2006

Who's ready to Rumble?
Who’s ready to Rumble?

Talking about war is one thing, executing it is another. This is something many people here in america and around the world forget. If this continues it will be to their detriment. At present the phony and illegal “war on terror” is still being waged in much the same way mccarthy waged his Communist witch hunt in the 1950’s and like mccarthy’s witch hunt people in america and around the world are becoming nauseated with bush’s phony war. Right now bush is trying to whip up support to prepare to invade Iran. Whether or not war with Iran will happen has yet to be seen.
With war being threatened and considered the question is not if war will happen but who has the wherewithal to go to war. If this were 6 years ago people around the world would take american threats seriously. The quagmire in Iraq and failure to crush the anti-war movement have shown otherwise. They have seen american resources stretched to their limits and the american military repeatedly humiliated as seen in Fallujah in 2003. What many people do not realize is that america is actually weaker than people realize.
The weakness of america is most glaring when one takes a look at it’s military. Over the past few decades since Vietnam the american military took new measures in the hopes that they would be able to create a military that would avoid the same kind of humiliation. That has not happened. Instead, the american military has cut corners in recruiting soldiers by not properly screening for criminal history, mental instability, and physical problems as it did during WWII when it did not allow those kind of people to serve. By doing this it has ensured that those who serve in the military will cause problems, as incidents at Abu Ghraib have shown. Furthermore by eliminating the draft the american military has ensured that those people who serve do so willingly and are of a similar mindset. This is shown by a clear lack in proper training of soldiers, who have many technical and weapons skills but their hand-to-hand combat skills are lacking since many have difficulty in street fighting situations without their weapons and kevlar armor, a far cry from 60 years ago. Even with all the reforms the american army and marines introduce to adapt to conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan the resistance in those two areas still adapts as quick as the enemy. Furthermore, the conditions of the machinery the ground forces use is of questionable capability, since the Iraqi military showed in the second gulf war how to defeat an abrams tank, armor has been so light for vehicles, particularly armored personnel carriers and humvees that soldiers have had to sometimes improvise in combat situations to protect themselves and the manufacturers and defense department have not addressed this weakness. Even if american ground forces were to launch an attack into Iran the resistance groups in both Iraq and Afghanistan would be given new impetus to rise up since it will ease pressure in terms of troop concentration in those countries.
The american navy is also not as tough as it appears to be. Four of america’s aircraft carriers have foul hulls, the kitty hawk and enterprise due to age, the john f kennedy due to age and neglect, it is the worst performing carrier and is scheduled to be deactivated in 2006, and the abraham lincoln of “mission accomplished” notoriety due to structural trouble since it was rushed to completion with the idea to serve in the first gulf war. One or two hits from an Iranian missile would be enough to at least permanently disable these carriers. The surface fleet is as bad off, since the steel hulls of the american cruisers, destroyers, frigates, and other seagoing craft are so thin a rowboat or human fist can penetrate them, something the cole bombers were not aware of. The builders of the arleigh burke class destroyers compounded their mistake beginning with the new chafee in integrating the machinery in with the hull as the hull is being built, making repair to a damaged ship next to impossible in an attack. The navy has shown some consciousness of this by taking many of it’s frigates, including the stark from the 1987 Iraqi missile attack incident, destroyers, and cruisers, including the notorious vincennes which deliberately shot down Iran Air Flight 655 on July 3, 1988, and has been slow in constructing new ships to replace them. The only ships the navy has been focusing on constructing are destroyers, submarines, amphibious ships, and the new carrier george h w bush, flaws and all. While many american submarines are in decent fighting shape their machinery, including exercise equipment and food service machinery, can be picked up by alert sonar operators. Let us not forget that many ships that have been in refit to overhaul their hulls or machinery have actually been weakened by these overhauls. Furthermore, the dependence on missiles, which can be intercepted as shown in the first gulf war, is another glaring weakness since if the missiles launched at a target are intercepted by countermeasures then the ships, which the navy since the missile strikes on Afghanistan and Sudan during the clinton administration on nations with minimal offensive capability, has used these ships for instead of ship-to-ship engagements. Furthermore the facilities that build many of these ships in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas were not affected by the hurricanes that devastated those areas in 2004-5, lending some suspicion to the military’s role in those disasters. Plus with submarines with considerable maneuverability and endurance and the time to learn the mistakes from operation preying mantis Iran has the means to block the Persian Gulf and cause more damage than before.
The only real american strike force that Iran must be concerned about is america’s air forces. Since the end of the Vietnam conflict america’s airborne forces, the military branch which received the least damage, were given new priority and have been used as a major striking force ever since. In terms of quantity of aircraft against Iran america has a numerical superiority over Iran. In terms of quality both countries are even, since Iran has recently developed the industrial capability to mass produce tactical fighter aircraft to replace the F-4, F-14, and Mig-29 aircraft that make up the bulk of it’s airborne forces. And not just any aircraft. When an american F-117 stealth fighter was shot down in the opening days of the attack on Yugoslavia in 1999 by Yugoslav Mig-21 and ground defense missiles Iranian liaison troops who were stationed in Croatia managed to obtain parts of the wreckage, analyze it, and use that knowledge to build it’s own stealth fighter, the Shafagh. With the prototype successful Iran now has the means to mass produce it, which has american war hawks worried. The missiles that both sides use are equal in the amount of damage they can do, if an american missile takes out an Iranian base an Iranian missile will take out an american base or carrier battle group, and in that they can be intercepted. Bear in mind that Iran has the means to counter missile attacks since it has been sold the technology to do so from Russia and has examined the british patrol boat which was equipped with missile countermeasures.
In terms of a sole military conflict any invasion of Iran would be the end of america’s military as an offensive force. Those who delude themselves into thinking a limited missile strike on Iran would not lead to war are deluding themselves since Iran will never accept such a violation of it’s sovereignty. Using any foreign powers to carry out american aggression against Iran is also wishful thinking, since britain, which wants to recover the Khuzestan oil fields it occupied to start up british petrol and fuel it’s war machine in two world wars, no longer has independent offensive capabilities, and israel’s military does not have the range and endurance to make a successful strike on Iranian targets and if it were to do so it would leave itself open to another yom kippur style invasion. However those who think that arms are the sole factor in determining a conflict are grossly mistaken, since Iran possesses many other ways to defend itself. Currently, Iran has one of the largest reserves of oil, petroleum, and natural gas. This is due to the fact that Iranian technology is not largely dependent on these fossil fuels. Not so in the west, mainly america, as evident by prodigious use of fossil fuels in automobiles, building heating, and electricity, as well as suppression of technology that would relieve dependence on fossil fuels. During the Iran-Iraq war Iran capitalized on this by attacking oil tankers in the Persian Gulf and blocking access to it’s oil, which america assisted in by attacking Iranian oil rigs. If Iran were to destroy access to it’s oil as Iraq did in 2003 it would deny american business and industry access to a vital commodity, as well as the military, which has begun reintroducing fossil fuel dependence in it’s material. If Iran denies the world access to it’s oil reserves it will cause a technological crisis, including american military technology.
Even as we speak, despite the above mentioned flaws, the american government is readying itself for a possible attack against Iran. Throughout 2005 the carrier ronald reagan staged exercises in the Pacific hunting for a swedish submarine, similar to the subs Iran has. Recruiting for the military has redoubled and more incentives, most hollow, are offered to new recruits. The base realignment and closures have moved military resources from some vulnerable spots to areas where any potential attackers would be spotted. Plus budget increases for military spending, spy programs, and law enforcement are being increased. Nor should we forget an increased amount of Iran language and culture products on the open market which can be used by potential spies to infiltrate Iranian society. Lest we forget the media in america is focusing on portraying Iran as an evil country and one that must be attacked while independent media outlets that tell the truth where it differs are under attack by the american government. All signs of potential aggression.
Let us not forget the diplomatic and economic methods that can be used to attack an nation. We have recently seen how america put sanctions on China and India, as well as Austria, to get two those nations to support an american referral of Iran to the united nations security council, and tricked Russia into support for that unsc referral with promises of better oil dealings through Iraq’s new criminal oil minister ahmad chelebi if Russia were to back action against Iran. Once the referral happened those nations saw the emptiness of the American promises and are now taking concrete action to prevent an attack on Iran. Furthermore america’s presidency of the unsc for February gives it every means to manipulate a war against Iran and even american diplomats, including john bolton, have admitted that war plans against Iran are being considered. Economically, Iran is preparing an oil bourse in which payment for oil will be accepted in Euros instead of american dollars. If this were to happen it would throw america’s economy into crisis since america, which is the largest debtor nation, would have to convert it’s holdings into Euros to purchase Iranian oil. Plus it would give america’s Asian creditors leverage, particularly China and put them in a position to stop an american war drive.
One remaining factor is how ordinary people act in regards to the war drive against Iran. Among the global Iranian population Iranians of different walks of life, be they iri supporters, militants, nationalists, monarchists, communists, fascists, socialists, etc. have managed to put differences aside and unite in voicing opposition against aggression against their homeland. Since many Iranians occupy prominent positions, be it in finance, technology, media the Iranian population is able to make it’s voice heard. Even with censorship in the western media the foreign and independent media is able to relay the feelings of ordinary Iranians and expose american aggression planned against Iran, especially since Iranians are the third largest ethnic group represented on the internet and online media has a wider reach than print media.
How Iranians are supported by foreign groups remains in question. Right now the only country who’s anti-war movement has been disorganized and at best apathetic to Iran being threatened by american aggression is america. Since the 9-11 attacks and the phony war on terror the anti-war movement has gone from a promising start, as the February 2002 nyc protests and April 20, 2002 dc protests showed, to falling into several warring factions. This came about due to many hard core anti-war figures being attacked, the leftists believing their own propaganda when it was wrong about Iranian and foreign issues, and the rise of the peace movement in the anti-war movement. This infighting caused many groups to support peacenicks, who’s ranks were easily infiltrated by government moles seeking to control the anti-war movement, to denounce militants as provocateurs or fascists and spread disinformation in an appealing way. As a result anti-war coalitions have collapsed. Furthermore, the peacenicks allowed the gi resister movement to join it’s ranks, allowing obvious government moles access to information, material, and people it would not have under normal circumstances. In doing so it has subverted the mainstream anti-war movement. Unless ordinary people who oppose the criminal aggression of the american government get together, stage actions, marginalize the peacenicks and others who promote unconstructive action, and act decisively the american anti-war movement is doomed.
Is aggression against Iran possible? Yes. Can it succeed if initiated? Not likely. Can aggression against Iran be stopped? Yes, and we must act to do so to make sure it does not happen.

Peter Khan Zendran


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