Backtalk, February 19, 2007

Pledge Week

I‘ve sent $50 during the past two donation drives. I’m sending $100 in the mail tomorrow. I have two boys in the military and appreciate everything you’re doing. I am tired of the lies and the greed and the cowardly bullying that has caused this war and is causing so much misery to a few of us in the United States and millions in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East.

Please keep up the good work.

Thursday I will be militant again. I cannot believe that a 56-year-old woman has to go back to congressional offices, deliver letters, and stand at street corners with signs. I thought this was over in the 1960s and 1970s. God help us if I have to fight for my grandchildren.

~ Rhoda S.

12 Consequences of Attacking Iran

Jon Utley’s excellent article on the consequences of a U.S. attack on Iran omits one very important point.

In the case of any U.S. bombing campaign against its putative nuclear facilities, Iran might well respond by massively activating Iraqi Shi’ites (60 percent of the Iraqi population) against U.S. forces in Baghdad and al-Anbar province, and cutting their supply route southward from Basra and the Persian Gulf. This southern part of Iraq is of course precisely where Iraqi Shi’ites are concentrated. In other words, any U.S. bombing campaign against Iran might result in U.S. forces becoming encircled and trapped in Iraq, unable to extract themselves except by fighting their way hundreds of miles southward to the Persian Gulf and leaving American bodies and material scattered all the way from Baghdad to Basra. …

~ Dr. Antony T. Sullivan, president, Near East Support Services

While Mr. Utley makes some good points, an attack on Iran would not be disastrous by any means – perhaps for the regime in Tehran which would stand to lose its nuclear program and much of the military it hopes can support its bid for regional hegemony.

Iran isn’t going to attack international shipping or close the very straits that allow its oil, the lifeline of the regime, to be exported to the world.

I expect the Iranians to put up a good fight, like they did against all odds during Operation Praying Mantis in 1988, but the United States will emerge victorious and Iran’s nuclear program in ruins.

~ Joseph Hannon

Jon Basil Utley replies:

Your comment shows very much what is probably the view of the Bush/Cheney people. It also is very “American” to assume that all people act rationally and are mainly motivated by economic interests. The answer is:

(1) When wars start, few anticipate the hatreds and irrationalities that soon take over. Your thinking would mean that Napoleon and Hitler would have thought about the consequences of Russian winters or, for that matter, the U.S. would not have invaded Iraq at a cost now estimated to reach a trillion dollars.

(2) Iran anyway would not be exporting much after U.S. bombing and so would have little to lose; blocking the straits would inflame almost the whole world against America and wreck Japan and South Korea, which get their oil from the Gulf.

Congress Racing to Spend $1 Trillion on Iraq

Is that not $50,000 for every man woman and child in Iraq? [Actually, it’s more like $37,000. -Ed.] If we had bribed instead of killed we could have every Iraqi dancing in the streets if we wanted to, and/or to do whatever it is that we want them to do – whatever that is (I still have not figured that one out).

~ Thomas Golding