iran = iraq part 2: iraq's revenge!

so obviously by now everyone knows that iran has gone nuclear. becoming nuclear is always a conscious decision. it's a choice that many countries have decided against doing either because of lack of resources, lack of expertise, or simple lack of desire. usually it's a combination of one or all of these things.

now the united states has been doing some sabre rattling. george w. bush has not ruled out against using a nuclear strike, specifically a tactical nuclear strike, to disable iran's nuclear capabilities. this is, of course, the height of stupidity. if you've taken a cold war class in highschool, you may remember seeing graphs and diagrams of supposed tactical nuclear strike plans that the west had planned to use against the giant soviet threat. the diagram, the map, showed in red where the tactical strikes would occur, and of course, the whole map was covered in red. obviously, the technology is better now, but if the bombing campaigns in kosovo and iraq have shown anything, our aim is less than perfect. and considering the huge numbers of mistakes the u.s. military has made in terms of collateral damage and friendly fire, even though they've tried their hardest to avoid such situations, the reality is that any tactical strike will result in complete devastation. someone's gonna get hurt, to say the least.

at any rate, iran has a right to nuclear energy. under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, countries are allowed their own nuclear programs. however, the difference here is that iran hid key components of their program for 18 years. if it truly was strictly for energy purposes, why all the secrecy? and then there's the little bit about calling for israel to be wiped off the face of the map. in international diplomatic circles, saying such things is a no-no.

there has also been talk of a quick military strike. it would be a shame if the u.s. tried any sort of invasion or strike of iran, because 1) there is no such thing as a quick, military attack. these fights tend to morph into bigger fights that go for longer periods until you finally realize you're stuck in a quagmire of a war that you can't possibly win. just look back on history for all the "short" wars that were waged.

2) the u.s. cannot afford another war front. the u.s. military, pre bush administration, was catered to fighting two seperate wars at the same time. however, since rumsfeld and gang took over, they've been getting all excited about shrinking the military, relying more on special forces and technology. this is why when they went to iraq, they had only about 130,000 soldiers initially, and now they're in for the fight of their lives with a desperate need for more soldiers. technology will only go so far. the way to win wars, short of dropping the bomb, is to have troops on the ground. compare the 130,000 troops to the 500,000 they had in 1991 during the gulf war. the lack of size of the u.s. military makes it hard to take on larger militaries like the north korean one. (ever wonder why the u.s. doesn't try to take on north korea despite all their talk of going nuclear? it's because they have a 1 million strong standing army. you need a heck of a lot of technology to even those odds). the reality is, the u.s. military is overstretched and can barely handle iraq and afghanistan at the same time. why else would they leave all the heavy clean-up of afghanistan to the canadians?

3) finally, iran is in the middle of a cultural shift, at least when you're talking about its younger population, which has been moving for change. They have been moving for more freedom from the strict control of the ayatollahs. there has been an increasing westernization, or influence of ideas amongst the younger populace. any invasion or attack on iran would be easy fodder for the iranian religious leadership to demonize. such an attack would be seen as what it actually is: foreign interference and invasion into iran. this would be the fire to fuel a unionization of iran, a sort of us vs them mentality, which would result in the backfire of any social progress made by the youth of iran. simply put, nothing sells nationalism better than an invasion or an attack from an outside force. just look at the movie
independence day. (just kidding).
i've always felt that the people know what's best for the people. sometimes this takes time to develope, but in the end, the people will move for what they want. (e.g.: the "orange revolution" in ukraine. sure there was help, like outside financial preassure, but in the end, the people took what they wanted). on the other hand, people do succumb to mob mentality frequently, so it can be a double edged sword.