I’ve been waking in a cold sweat in recent weeks. Not because of ignored schoolwork or looming automotive repairs, though both are concerns. No, my dreams have been more frightening. I’ve woken up nearly ever morning for the last several weeks shaking, my brain fresh with dreams of being drafted to fight in the Iran war.
I’ve been waking in a cold sweat in recent weeks. Not because of ignored schoolwork or looming automotive repairs, though both are concerns. No, my dreams have been more frightening. I’ve woken up nearly ever morning for the last several weeks shaking, my brain fresh with dreams of being drafted to fight in the Iran war. My dreams aren’t spurred on by a heightened sense of paranoia or fear-a war with Iran could really happen.
Many people believe Iran-not Iraq��-was the country that we should have invaded, because of their strong connections to terrorist organizations. The 9/11 Commission found strong connections between al-Qaida and Iran. Others believe that Iraq was to be a testing ground for an invasion of Iran. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending how you look at it, Iraq has been a relative quagmire and could possibly deter an Iranian invasion.
Congress sent a message to President Bush this week saying that he should not consider an attack on Iran without the consent of lawmakers. At the same time another aircraft carrier has been sent by the administration into the Persian Gulf. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says that the military is trying to impress upon Iran the idea that the Iraq war has not left the United States vulnerable.
While it appears that the administration is inching towards another war, other world powers are taking steps to minimize the Iranian nuclear threat. The U.N. Security Council has enacted sanctions, which are having a strong effect on Iran’s economy. For instance, the number of traders in the Iranian stock market have reportedly decreased by 46 percent since the sanctions were introduced.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, has even called for Iranian President and loose canon Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to stay out of their nuclear program, due to a loss of confidence. Ahmadinejad had recently stated that the Holocaust is a “myth” and spoke about the obliteration of Israel just before Iran hosted the world’s white supremacists community at a conference “debating” the Holocaust’s legitimacy.
If regime change is really what the Bush administration wants in Iran, isn’t there a better way to do that than an all-out war? In 1953, democratically-elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, who supported nationalization of the country’s oil industry, was overthrown in a relatively inexpensive coup organized by the CIA and the British government, and was replaced by the former Iranian leader, the Shah.
Though the reinstallation of the Shah didn’t work out too well for Iranians and eventually led to the 1979 Islamic Revolution, it didn’t cost us any American lives. Of course, another CIA-financed coup isn’t a viable plan, as history shows us that the repercussions of CIA-planned coups are usually quite undesirable.
What about a war with limited troop presence? We could just bomb Iran a lot like President Clinton convinced NATO to do in Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999 to reverse the “ethnic cleansing” of Albanians in the Kosovo province. Though the civilian casualties were high, we eventually achieved the desired goal of “victory.” Perhaps a strong bombing campaign on Iran, backed by the European Union, could have a similar “victorious” effect.
If we were to invade Iran we would certainly need a bigger ground troop force than we currently have available, which could necessitate reinstating the draft. Iran currently has roughly 30 million men and women fit for military service. And Iran, unlike Iraq, has compulsory military service, so much of their population has been trained and is prepared for combat.
If diplomacy fails us in the struggle to end Iran’s nuclear program, then perhaps further action will be required. Another war could prove quite costly and would certainly grow the already strong resentment for the United States held in the region. But if the Iranian president goes down as Shaheed or “martyr” Ahmadinejad in order to prevent the obliteration of Israel and the potential start of another world war, then so be it. It is now clear that Iran was our biggest threat, not Iraq. But since we’ve already wasted so many lives and so much money in Iraq, we should not make any hasty pre-emptive moves on Iran. Perhaps we should just sit back, work on cleaning up Iraq and let the European Union worry about Iran for now.