February 25, 2007

Will the World Sit by and Watch if the US Attacks Iran?

In July 2006, the world sat by and watched Israel destroy much of Lebanon's civilian infrastructure including roads and bridges, water systems, electric power plants telecommunications towers, government buildings and thousands of businesses and residential homes.

Fast forward to Iran. According to a recent, well documented article by By Michel Chossudovsky [1]:

... the planned air strikes are by no means limited to Iran's nuclear facilities. Central Command Headquarters in Florida (CENTCOM) has already selected a comprehensive list of military and civilian targets. Industrial sites, civilian infrastructure including roads, water systems, bridges, electric power plants telecommunications towers, government buildings are part of the assumptions underlying the Blitzkrieg. "A single raid could result in 10,000 targets being hit with warplanes flying from the US and Diego Garcia."[2]
In retrospect, the 2006 US/Israel assault on Lebanon's civilian infrastructure looks like a practice run for the pending attack on Iran. Will the world sit by and watch it done to Iran?

Iran, itself, is likely to respond. According to Chussudovsky, Iran could respond "in the form of targeted strikes on US military facilities in the Iraq and the Gulf States," and Israel. Iran also has intelligence assets around the world who could take action. Deeper assessments of the Iranian response are provided in a 2004 paper by the Center for Nonproliferation Studies [5], and an article by Wayne White. [6]

But, will the rest of the world sit by and just watch? Maybe. However, several reactions are conceivable.

First, Israel could be drawn into the conflict, that is, if they are not involved from the beginning.

Second, united by American aggression against the predominantly Shia Iran, many Shia factions in Iraq might not sit by and watch. Even if the Iraqi Shia don't rediscover common cause with the predominantly Sunni Iraqi insurgency, they could find common cause with Iran. In the past, there were signs of a growing unified Shia/Sunni resistance to US occupation. Many believe the US promoted sectarian violence in Iraq to "divide and conquer" this growing unity between Shia and Sunni. However, even without renewed unity, the Shia connections to Iran are strong, and Shia resistance to the US is a real possability as described at length in the CNS paper [5].

Third, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, founded by Russia, China and several "stan" nations, is considered to be a counter balance to NATO. Although SCO claims it isn't a military bloc, it does have a security cooperation component. Iran is an observer nation to SCO. The SCO nations might not sit by watching. China and Russia held joint military exercises in 2005, and both have significant economic and military sales relationships with Iran. [3] (Asia Times Link). Finally, Russia does have a military alliance with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan under the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, (CSTO). They conducted war games on August 24, 2006.

These war games, officially tagged as part of a counter terrorism program, are in direct response to US military threats in the region including the planned attacks against Iran. [4]

Fourth, global terrorist attacks could be conducted by those who sympathize with Iran, or simply want to use the US attack as a pretext.

Fifth, the world economy might not "sit by and watch." Oil corporations will, yet again, reap windfall profits as oil prices soar. However, businesses that are sensitive to oil prices, like trucking and airlines, will be shocked. Other businesses and consumers will feel the impacts. Whether or not a systemic chain reaction will undermine the global economy must always be a concern.

Sixth, although my faith in Senator Joe Biden is thin, he has promised a "constitutional confrontation" if Bush attacks Iran. My understanding of the constitution, based on the Supreme Court decision in Campbell vs Clinton, is that Congress has to pass an explicit law before it even has standing for a "constitutional confrontation."

They must, pursuant to Section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, preclude any additional deployment of United States Armed Forces to the operations in Iran. Congress must explicitly refused to authorize or appropriate the use of funds for an operation on Iran. This is necessary to establish an actual confrontation between the legislative and executive branches sufficient to confer standing to Congress in the U.S. Supreme Court should the President disobey their directive and should they seek intervention of the judicial branch. (Campbell vs Clinton).
So, in the end, we can expect protests in the US and other countries, an initial US military "success," dutifully portrayed by the corporate media, followed by a replay of the Iraq unraveling on a regional scale. Zbigniew Brzezinski recently told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that, if Bush continues on his current path, we can anticipate

military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.


1. "Theater Iran Near Term" (TIRANNT), Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, February 21, 2007. (Updated February 23, 2007).

2. Gulf News, February 21, 2007.

3. Asia Times, June 4, 2005, "The ties that bind China, Russia and Iran," Jephraim P Gundzik.

4. Russia and Central Asian Allies Conduct War Games in Response to US Threats Michel Chossudovsky, Global Resarch, August 24, 2006.

5. "A Preemptive Attack on Iran's Nuclear Facilities: Possible Consequences," Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Sammy Salama and Karen Ruster, August 12, 2004.

6. "U.S. attack on Iran would be huge mistake," February 11, 2007, Wayne White, former deputy director of the State Department’s Intelligence and Research Office, focusing on Middle East issues, especially Iraq and Iran.

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