Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Coin of the Realm

In the last few days, I have been hard pressed to allow my Pollyanna side to rule or at least distract my Machiavelli side. It seems that our leaders (or whatever they are) are bent on their own destruction and they are perfectly happy to take us with them.

I see the "remaking of the Mid East" and the words "permanent solution" to be odious code words for an "all out war of destruction".

It occured to me that those who think we won't invade Iran and Syria because our army is in tatters, haven't considered this possibility.

Our troops in Iraq become endangered. The US then demands that Iran and Syria stop supplying the insurgents. At this stage, the US, in the eyes of the neocons and the far right wing, is left with very few good options. Besides, when both sides think they can can benefit from calamity, you have a recipe for a full blown sh!+ storm.

Here is a piece from Richard Heinberg that develops this thesis.

"At the ASPO conference a riveting presentation was delivered by Terence Ward, a writer (Searching for Hassan) who grew up in Iran and is currently a cross-cultural consultant for businesses, foundations, and governments in the Islamic World and the West.

Ward believes that a US bombing attack on Tehran is nearly inevitable (a view that I put forward in MuseLetter #155, March 2005, “Onward to Iran”), and that it will have devastating consequences for the region and for the world.He began by reminding the audience that there is no clear proof of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, and that what the US and Israel have pointed to as evidence falls short of what would be needed to publicly justify pre-emptive military action.

The central question hanging over the proposals and counter-proposals involving the US, Iran, the UN Security Council, and other interested parties including Russia and China, is this:

What if both the US and Iranian presidents seek confrontation and war?


Why would the US administration want confrontation with Iran?

Perhaps that country represents an essential next step, following “regime change” in Iraq, in the project of remaking the Middle East.

From a geopolitical point of view, Iran is located at the juncture of the Middle East and Central Asia. Not only are its own reserves of oil and gas considerable, but it controls access to the Persian Gulf.

Iran is thus crucial to oil and gas transshipment routes to Europe, Japan, and the rest of the world.

Neoconservatives appear to believe that, as soon as the bombing commences, Iranians will rise up en masse to overthrow their humiliated rulers—just as they believed that the Iraqi people would welcome an American effort to completely reshape their country’s economy and political system following the invasion.


Why might the Iranian leaders want confrontation?

Ward made the important point that the current Tehran regime is even less popular domestically than is its US counterpart among Americans. This is shown in the remarkable statistic that, according to a report by the Islamic Republic’s Ministry of Culture and Guidance, less than two percent of the population attends Friday prayers regularly.

Ahmadinejad, whose support comes almost entirely from the dwindling ranks of religious fundamentalists, is in power only because his opponent in the most recent election rendered himself utterly odious through blatant corruption.


Ward’s presentation was remarkable for its depiction of Bush and Ahmadinejad as two sides of the same coin. Both need external conflict to maintain domestic legitimacy, and both are right-wing hard-liners supported by religious fundamentalists; they are also unpopular at home and habitually rely on bravado to boost their image.

There are those who maintain that a US attack on Iran is unlikely because the negative consequences for America would be severe and the benefits few or nonexistent.

I recently made the acquaintance of an Air Force officer with a high-level security clearance who receives daily classified briefings; while being careful not to divulge secret information, he insisted that no bombing campaign is being seriously contemplated.

An attack on Tehran would also unleash an enormous backlash against the US in Shia areas of Iraq, possibly making the American presence in that country untenable. The Iranians’ capabilities in this regard have not been lost on US military leaders.

According to Ward, from American military leaders’ perspective this is a mission from hell. The Pentagon brass are uncertain what targets to attack, because American and European intelligence agencies have found no specific evidence of clandestine activities or hidden facilities.

Thus it would be virtually impossible to gain confirmation of the effectiveness of air strikes in eliminating Iran’s nuclear program.

Recently, General Pace, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, apparently forced the White House to agree not to use nuclear weapons in its planned bombing campaign.

This rebellion by the military has infuriated the White House. "


Wait a minute.

"Rebellion by the military has infuriated the White House?"

This leads me back to my machiavellian dispair.

What if the POTUS decides that he must use tactical nuclear weapons?

What if the VPOTUS is leading the charge?

What if the inhabitants of the land of the free and the brave

don't want to freedom fry innocent civilians with their tax dollars?

What if the Military Brass will have nothing to do with it?

What if a true Constitutional crises emerges?

What if the Far Right and their Religious Fundamentalist allies

are willing to commit mass murder to protect

their Dear Leader,

their archaic ideas,

their lock on power?

What will become the Coin of the Realm then?

I think Love.

Hello Polly.


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art courtesy of Lisa Winlock


Blogger SB said...

a friend sent me this today -- about why we keep working in spite of how dim the future seems, the present.

you'll have to copy/paste the link


3:27 PM  
Blogger Brynn said...

The rhetoric against Iran and recent charges that Hugo Chavez is seeking weapons is closely linked to petrodolloars. See this post:

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love should always be the coin of the realm. Love one another. Preach on.

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It doesn't look too good. BP just cut production in Alaska and the war in Lebanon isn't going to cease and the additon of more troops to Bagdhad won't make an iota of difference. The spiral toward disaster is gaining steam. Disaster far greater than the already great disaster which was greater than the last disaster. Is it as that preacher in San Antone says "The End Time?"

5:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are trying times. I watched some CNN while in N.Y. It is hard to listen to the jaws like durge that they play when they go to commercial.

I went immediately to that line in the post on the 5th that the "White house is furious". It is hard to imagine that the administration could be so fool hardy as to enter into another unadvised front. How can they possibly justify it - and then I know that they don't have to justify anything as long as we are asleep and we don't see that "We are One".

Susan's writing has been terrific. This last one stabs at my heart. Then the one before did also and the one before that.

Your post is such a terrific resource. Thanks.

I love that Polly still exists.

7:36 AM  

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