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Monday 1 February 2010

The War After Tomorrow

Buried in the detail of Tony Blair’s testimony to the Iraq Enquiry was yet another detail that may have been overlooked: a small yet significant word called Iran. Blair is not the first to point the finger in this direction – following the release of IT consultant Peter Moore, the head of US Central Command David Petraeus has asserted that Moore was, for a time at least, held captive in Iran.

These first stirrings against Iran do not sound well: it’s easy to see this as the USA wanting payback for the humiliation of the 1979 hostage crisis at their embassy in Tehran, but there is never any move to put one over on Vietnam for the failure of the US-led campaign there. Nor is there any talk of invading other allegedly rogue states like North Korea, as in that case an incursion would result in the same outcome as the drive north during the Korean war: the provocation of the Chinese into replying. And the Chinese have a very, very big army – as well as enough financial muscle to seriously damage the US Dollar.

The only conclusion that can be reached is that it is in the US’ interest to not only extend its area of influence across the Middle East, but also to increase its security of energy supply by having first call on the oil reserves there. The significant problem in moving against Iran would be that the Iranians would be more likely to fire back, and with rather more force, than the Iraqis did. Moreover, Iran could call upon the support of the Government in Moscow. It is to be hoped that Barack Obama resists any attempt by the US military to extend the conflict that has already seen hundreds of thousands dead in Iraq. It is, after all, the same military that wanted JFK to bomb Cuba.

And that could have had much of the world not merely looking into the abyss, but pitched directly into it.

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