America Is the Rogue Nation

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By Charley Reese

Like most militaries, the American military does not generally question the motives for which it is used. One can only wonder what the officers and rank and file might do if they really understood their true role in contemporary history.

One gets the impression that there are some people in Washington who believe that Israel or the U.S. can bomb Iran’s nuclear reactors, fly home, and it will be mission complete.

It makes you wonder if perhaps there is a virus going around that is gradually making people stupid. If we or Israel attack Iran, we will have a new war on our hands. The Iranians are not going to shrug off an attack and say, “You naughty boys, you.”

Consider how much trouble Iraq has given us. Some 4,000 dead and 29,000 wounded, a half a trillion dollars in cost and still climbing, and five years later, we cannot say that the country is pacified.

Iraq is a small country compared with Iran. Iran has about 70 million people. Its western mountains border the Persian Gulf. In other words, its missiles and guns look down on the U.S. ships below it. And it has lots of missiles, from short-range to intermediate-range (around 2,200 kilometers).

More to the point, it has been equipped by Russia with the fastest anti-ship missile on the planet. The SS-N-22 Sunburn can travel at Mach 3 at high altitude and at Mach 2.2 at low altitude. That is faster than anything in our arsenal.

Iran’s conventional forces include an army of 540,000 men and 300,000 reserves, including 120,000 Iranian Guards especially trained in unconventional warfare. It has more than 1,600 main battle tanks and 21,000 other armored combat vehicles. It has 3,200 artillery pieces, three submarines, 59 surface warships and 10 amphibious ships.

It’s been receiving help in arming itself from China, North Korea and Russia. Unlike Iraq, Iran’s forces have not been worn down with bombing, wars and sanctions. It also has a new anti-aircraft defense system from Russia that I’ve heard is pretty snazzy.

So, if you think we or Israel can attack Iran and not expect retaliation, I’d have to say with regret that you are a moron. If you think we could easily handle Iran in an all-out war, I’d have to promote you to idiot.

Attacking Iran would be folly, but we seem to be living in the Age of Folly. Morons and idiots took us into an unjustified war against Iraq before we had finished the job in Afghanistan. Now we have troops tied down in both countries.

For some years now, I’ve worried that we seem to be more and more like Colonial England – arrogant, racist, overestimating our own capacity and underestimating that of our enemies. As the fate of the British Empire demonstrates, that is a fatal flaw.

The British never dreamed that the “little yellow people” could come ashore by land and take Singapore from the rear or that they would sink the pride of the British fleet, but they did both.

I suppose no one in Washington can imagine the Iranians sinking one of our carriers in the Persian Gulf. How’d you like to be the president who has to tell the American people that we’ve lost a carrier for the first time since World War II?

Exactly how the Iranians will respond to an attack, I don’t know, but they will respond. In keeping with our present policy, our attack on Iran would be illegal, since under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.

Who would have thought that we would become the rogue nation committing acts of aggression around the globe?

Charley Reese is a veteran journalist with Southern predilections (has vilified Abraham Lincoln) and next to impossible to classify political views, except for his outspokenness in matters of foreign policy, where he is uncompromisingly critical of the neocon’s policy of endless imperial wars. Some have defined him as a “paleoconservative” with Libertarian tendencies, but Charley eludes easy classification.

3 comments on “America Is the Rogue Nation
  1. It seems unclear just how effective an Iranian defense can be. I believe that US pundits (and very possibly the US military) have been underestimating the potential losses that we could suffer in an attack on Iran. But there are questions. The biggest issue seems to me to have to do with Iran’s Sunburn missles. How many does it have? Do they have enough range? Are they well hidden? Can the US Navy simply stand just out of range of the Sunburns and pound away at whatever targets they choose? The Sunburns seem to be powerful missiles, but they don’t have long range – somewhere between 100 and 180 miles. The Persian Gulf is much bigger than that.

    How many Tor systems does Iran have? How effective are they likely to be? The Syrian Tor systems didn’t seem to work when Israel attacked the socalled reactor a year ago.

    These strike me as the crucial questions. They (the Sunburn and the Tor) are the only systems Iran has that seem to have the potential to wreak some havoc on US and Israeli forces. If they are effective, then less symmetrical systems could become much more powerful. But if they are not, then Iran will be just as helpless in the face of US airpower as Saddam was.

    So there seem to be a lot of unknowns.

    In any case, attacking Iran would be totally illegal. But as the invasion of Iraq and the total lack of consequences for the Bush administration after the invasion demonstrate, neither the US electorate nor the US political class seem to give a damn whether the use of military force is justified or legal.

  2. “EPPIE’ is absolutely right that we do not know for sure the exact (or even approximate) consequences of starting a big brawl with Iran. And I agree entirely that the lame response from the American populace to an outrageous war lacking in any moral justification is further encouragement to the criminals at the head of the media-industrial-military complex. This entire political class is rotten and must be replaced, along with the system that ensures its replication every 2 and four years…

  3. The elite at the top of the economic class are who are the string pullers and purchasing our goverment and in bloody financial gain with the military industry. One has to wonder how desperate they are to remain on top and greedy to stay in control of upcomers as china and others. To them occupation by using the little people after the bombing is all they care about. The relatonship with the Saudis and others should be prove of that. If an Iran defence can have the ability to tear off an arm, the effects could start a definate depression. If the masses are not herded to fight, they may very well turn to their gov and Imperialist capitalists in looking for a scape goat. What should not be forgotten is the rotten politicians are not only greedy they are doing the biding for some one elses motives. If they are illusive then it is the system of corporate capitalism and military industrial complex.

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