Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Anyone read Fidel's blog this week?


He is certainly going out on a thin limb here, and perhaps his missile crisis flashbacks are causing him to see mushroom clouds dancing in his head, but I think he's got the logic of the situation nailed. Unless he knows something we don't (entirely possible), his estimate on the timing of this is as good as anyone else's, but he is describing a very standard US M.O. Use your bigger bulk to back someone into a corner and give them a choice between striking out or suffocating to death. Japan was the classic example in the late 1930s.

It is entirely possible that Iran will feel compelled to retaliate in some way if the recently transited Suez Armada of Doom starts intercepting all its shipping. I mean, what choice would they have other than to recognize that they are no longer a sovereign country? The same choice Japan had in 1940 when the oil embargo was set up. The Americans of course, learned this trick from the Brits in 1812. Once the Iranians push back, or in any way assert their sovereingty, they will have provided the US and Israel with a Casus Belli for the nuking of their nuclear research centers. Every one has been saying and will continue to say that the strikes won't be very effective, but it doesn't matter because the actual purpose of the strikes is not to destoy the Iranian program, but to let the nuclear genie out of the bottle in a way that is at least cosmetically acceptable, ie though the use of bunker busters to prevent proliferation. Nukes should only be used to prevent the spread of nukes. Orwell would be both impressed, and no doubt depressed.

The other two main American methods for getting into a shooting war with a semblance of moral high ground are, obviously, the sucker punch, executed beautifully by GHW in 1990 at the expense of Iraq (and at the cost of a minor gambit: April Glaspie's career), and the false flag, Gulf of Tonkin, Maine type shadowy operation. Not much scope for a sucker punch here, but perhaps the Iranians could be given a bit of less than candid flag help if they turn out to be too timid.

Fidel's atomic shoot out could be pre-empted if the Iranians just decide to let the Americans run rough shod over them. In which case the US will keep poking them with ever sharper sticks.