Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Iran: America's Impossible Strategy, Impossible Goal

One sign of a flawed plan is a flawed goal.

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Ref America's approach to Iran is flawed. It's meaningless to argue that the US is "against" Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. The President's goal is analogous to saying, "We want to prevent people from jumping to the moon."

The President's goal is not achievable, arguing in effect he wants to achieve the impossible. Iran has no intention to obtain nuclear weapons; and even if it did, is very far away from that outcome.

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The only real imminence issue with Iran is with the imminent American bungling. Put aside the issue of whether Iran can or cannot lawfully do something.

The US has no legal foundation to thwart another nation from simply acquiring a weapon system. The laws of war only permit action when there is imminent threat now, not something speculative in the distant future, as is the case with Iran.

Like Geneva and FISA the way forward is not to change or ignore the law, but to examine whether our objective and plans are sound. The law is there as a guide. It reminds us of what is not permissible. If we believe we must violate the law to achieve an objective, there's a very good chance we have an unlawful objective, and have not explored the real problem, viable options, reasonable solutions, not to mention the objective itself.

Consider Iraq. Even if Iraq did have WMD, the Iraqi acquisition of a weapon was no basis to attack, invade, and occupy the country. Such as standard, if applied uniformly, would subject the United States and Israel to a pre-emptive attack. This is folly.

Put aside the issue of there being no imminent threat from Iran. Without a bonafide nuclear weapons program, there is no credible nuclear program to target, nor physical military-related infrastructure to bomb. Yet, the American war fighters continue to target Iranian facilities. What are they targeting?

The US strategy, if put into effect, would require the US war fighters to target facilities unrelated to an imminent military threat. These are war crimes, which the President, the Joint Staff, Members of Congress, and the American combatants could be prosecuted.

This risk was well documented prior to the invasion of Iraq. They are called the Downing Street Memos. It is time to shut down the American Administration, compel them to disclose their illegal plans, and force the leadership to disclose their real concerns with war crimes prosecutions.

Then prosecute them.

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Inherent Flaws

Suppose America does attack Iran, impose a blockade, or use military force. That plan, when put into effect, is unrelated to prudent plans or goals.

In the best case, you start with a good plan, and things get worse. If you start with a bad plan, as is the case with Iran, bad things have already started, and will only get much worse.

The lesson of Iraq is instructive: Where the goal is flawed, the plans are flawed. There's no reason to believe that an illegal plan, devoid of prudence, would achieve in Iran any better result than we have seen in Iraq: Utter chaos.

Reconsider the rush to position troops along the Kuwait-Iraq border. Once there, the argument changed from whether there was or was not an imminent threat, to whether the troops did or did not want to “get on” with “the job” – ignore the fact that their job was to chase something that did not exist.

The same argument is being used with Iran. We see the desire to position US NAVY vessels to enforce a blockade. As with Iraq, the presences of American troops, not Iraqi weapons, was the pretext to wage war. That is circular.

With Iran, the next foolish step is to argue because there are American forces available, they should be used without regard to whether the objective is real or lawful. With this President, having an option is not the same as being prudent in that options use, nor that the option is lawful.

Combat, like Wall Street and litigation, quickly communicates information called reality. If you have a bad plan, and your enemy is stronger, you will soon know. The hard way.

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Unmodified Decision making

Put aside the lack of specificity in the plans, or the unreasonable objective. At best when compared to Iraq, the US approach to Iran is equally devoid of sound thinking.

A decision making system that is not challenged will not change. Where the system fails, but does not adjust, it continues to fail.

Similarly, there's no reason to believe that any US decision making approach, not openly challenged with rigorous public debate will be refined, will enjoy greater success than was has already failed in Iraq.

Rather, this leadership uses the resistance to its folly as perverse "proof" that the flawed plan has been sprinkled with Holy Water.

If God Himself is religious or a spiritual being or entity, is He considering converting to another religion, one that is not based on folly? When you can answer that, maybe you'll be ready to deal with Iran.

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There are alternatives. Yet, rather than discuss whether the possibility of that outcome is real or possible, the President wants to focus American on action. What does the President propose to do to prevent anyone from jumping to the moon? It's a waste of time and resources to consider the matter, much less be concerned with the risks of failure.

The world leadership has seen enough. The Middle East leadership, most if not all US allies, are openly questioning the American objectives and strategy in the entire region. Ref All American strategies, plans, and policy options which stem from this absurd goal are equally impossible. America has lost its way.

American leaders when they argue for-or-against a non-event, are irrelevant statesmen. Rather than pretending to be against something, the United States would be more credible if it looked for ways to do what a Presidential advisor in the 1970s suggested: Working to ensure Iran had access to peaceful, nuclear power.

That advisor was Richard Cheney.