The Early Days of a Better Nation

Monday, January 02, 2006

The flight forward

Avedon cites the English version of the Der Spiegel article referred to in the UPI piece cited below. Worth reading in full.

According to The Times today, British diplomatic and military officials have withdrawn earlier claims that infrared-triggered IEDs used by Iraqi insurgents are supplied by Iran. It never seemed very plausible that the technology of the shaped charge was a mystery to Iraqi army officers, not to mention that of the television remote control or the burglar alarm. (That story always had the fingerprint of Brit disinfo, which is that anything smart done by natives is evidence of a hidden hand: Jews and Bolsheviks in the good old days; more recently, and I must say a personal favourite, the tale in the early 70s that the violence in Northern Ireland was in part a People's War organised by Peking through a network of Chinese restaurants.)

In yesterday's Sunday Herald, Iain MacWhirter mentions that Blair sounded so chipper at a pre-Christmas press briefing that hacks were left wondering if he knows something they don't. Given what the man is capable of, that should send a shiver down the spine. I once argued that Blair couldn't talk us into another war, but that was based on the mistaken assumption that he would have to. A sudden attack, no doubt after some casus belli whose real story might come out in 2030 or so, would skip 'stop the war' and fast-forward to 'support our boys', whose genuine peril would keep us glued to the box.

An attack on Iran seems feasible just because it would be destabilising. Neoconservatism, as has often been pointed out, is not conservative but revolutionary. What's stability worth when nothing has really been resolved? A Shia sectarian state, sullen about occupation and aligned with Iran, must seem a disappointing outcome for the global democratic struggle against Islamofascism. It might be possible to spin this as the result of Iranian interference, which has unfortunately given the Sunnis a legitimate grievance that unfairly but understandably also burns against the occupiers. So Blair could blame Iran for Sunni resistance as well as Shia resentment.

Iran has everything Saddam's Iraq didn't: effective armed forces, mass militias, long-range missiles, and a terror network non-state clients happy to help. The aftermath of an attack on Iran would feel like a real war, with bombs and queues and everything. It would do wonders for moral clarity on the home front, for a while.


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