Ready for War with Iran?

W.J. Astore

General Joseph Votel, U.S. Centcom commander, testified to the House Armed Services Committee this week that the greatest destabilizing force in the Middle East is Iran, and that the U.S. must be prepared to use “military means” to confront and defeat the Iranian threat to the region.

No doubt Iran is a pest to U.S. designs in the Middle East.  No doubt Iran has its own agenda. No doubt Iran is no friend to Israel.  But the greatest destabilizing force in the Greater Middle East?  That’s the USA.  We’re the ones who toppled Iraq in 2003, along with the legitimate government of Iran 50 years earlier.

Iran/Persia has lived in, and sometimes dominated, the Greater Middle East for 2500 years.  By comparison, the USA is a newcomer on the block. Yet it’s the Iranians who are the destabilizers, the ones operating in a nefarious “grey zone” between peace and war, at least according to U.S. generals.

According to General Mattis, the Iranians are the greatest threat to stability and peace in the Middle East.  The U.S., with its massive military and extensive weapons sales, only safeguards peace and stability. 

Besides the disastrous U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, which accidentally helped Iran, the U.S. continues to sell massive amounts of weaponry to Iran’s rivals, most especially Saudi Arabia. U.S. military operations in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere in the Middle East have both destabilized the region and created marketplaces for U.S. weaponry and opportunities for economic exploitation by multinational corporations.

I’m no fan of Iran and its leaders, but can one blame them for resisting U.S. military and economic incursions into their sphere of influence? Recall how we reacted when the Russians put missiles into Cuba. Look at all the hostile rhetoric directed today against Mexico and its allegedly unfair trade practices vis-a-vis the U.S.

Let’s not forget that for 25 years (1953-78), the Shah of Iran was an American ally.  The U.S. military loved to sell him our most advanced weaponry, which at that time included F-14 Tomcat fighters and HAWK missile systems. That cozy relationship died with the Iranian Revolution (1979); ally turned to enemy as the U.S. supported Saddam Hussein and Iraq during the bloody Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s.

Yet, despite all this history, despite all the U.S. meddling, all the weapons sales, all the invasions and sanctions, somehow it’s the Iranians who are the destabilizing force, the ones deserving of more “disruptive” U.S. military action.

As America’s designs are frustrated in the Middle East, American generals never look in the mirror to see their own faults and failings. Instead, they cast about for new countries to blame — and to attack. Iran is seemingly next on the list, a country that General Mattis, America’s Secretary of Defense, said is “the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East.”

Anyone for war with Iran?  U.S. generals are ready.

6 thoughts on “Ready for War with Iran?

  1. An excellent short summary to put everything in context. Nevertheless, you leave out 1 important component: Israel. That country does not stop piling on the rubbish (I am being polite here) at every occasion, incl. at the UN, and smear Iran as if it were the devil incarnate.

    As with all the evidence & the UN report that Israel is an apartheid state, even involved in incremental genocide, the country has not been able to refute anything with facts. Instead, the only tactics it uses is emotional blackmail directly & through its lapdog the US.

    I would posit that Israel too is a destabilising force in the Middle East with its nuclear arsenal, its regular attacks against the Gaza strip, Lebanon & Syria, as well as its war rhetoric about Iran, which includes implicit threats of a “preventive” strike against Iran.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. “U.S. generals are ready.”

    Did I just read that? Somebody tell me that I didn’t just read that.

    The last I heard, U.S. generals have started demanding thousands of additional U.S. ground forces for Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, and Libya because, obviously, they hadn’t adequately prepared for these conflicts in the first place and haven’t the first clue about how to effectively fight and end them. U.S. generals never know military stuff like that.

    So, come again about that “ready” business?


    1. Oh. Wait a minute. I get it now. The phrase “ready for” — as used in association with U.S. generals — doesn’t mean “prepared.” Rather, it means “anticipating,” or “looking forward to,” career goodies like medals, promotions, lavish perks, and plush retirements. No U.S. general ever gets demoted and fired for failure. Sorry for getting the semantics screwed up. I should have known better.


  3. I think it is a certainty that we are going to war with Iran. Well that means we are going to bomb the hell out of it and I don’t doubt that nukes will be used. We hate Iran. Israel hates Iran. The Gulf kingdom’s hate Iran and all Salafi jihadi’s hate Iran.

    If Iran is destroyed as a modern nation then China’s New Silk Road will reach a dead end. This ultimately is why I think Iran is going down. China’s global ambitions based upon Eurasian economic integration can be stopped in Iran. Stop those Chinese ambitions and Russia will have to turn back to the West.

    That’s my story and I am sticking to it.


  4. Iran has been prepping for a defensive war since about as long as I am alive.
    After what happened to them in both world wars (getting occupied by Russia/USSR/UK despite being neutral) they are very big on defense. They are also patriotic, in case of a war Irans people will rally around the flag, there will be nearly zero dissenters the US could make use of.
    Russia will provide considerable assistance to Iran, as will China. US invading Iran is a clear indicator that the US is willing to maintain hegemony by using completely illegal military force, as such, bleeding the USA white in Iran while the Persian do the dieing is in Russias and Chinas best interest.

    Things may well end up like the in disastrous Israeli attack on Hezbollah in 2006, with Iran being Hezbollah and the US being Israel. Correlation of forces arguably is better for Iran vis a vis the USA then it was for Hezbollah (especially since only a single brigade actually fought in this war, Hezbollah did not commit its reserve) vis a vis Israel.


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