To our email subscribers:
Sunday, August 5, 2012
We are reposting here one of our earliest essays (from mid June). This is not to depress you. Recent remarks (in the past few days) from US Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, about Iran and its likely nuclear weapons ambitions have made this essay timely once again. This was filed under “World Events” and many recent subscribers may not have seen or read it.
After this repost, we go heavy in our next essay – hopefully to be ready for posting on Monday or Tuesday. Then we will go light for a while in future essays (especially one that is under construction and targeted for publishing later in the week). And, by the way, we think the annual Perseid meteor shower will be visible soon in the northern hemisphere. We’ll have to look into when the best nights for viewing it are.
Here is the essay as it originally appeared in June.
Possible United States war on a nuclear armed Iran and the global economic and human consequences.
Since 1898, the United States has used its military more times than any other major nation in the world.
Now, some hawks (or vultures) of war are calling for a war on Iran to either prevent that sovereign nation from acquiring atomic weapons, or to punish it if succeeds in obtaining such weapons. Any nation that is seriously determined to obtain nuclear weapons can do so given enough time. Like it or not, the membership in the nuclear weapons club is going to grow as the years go by.
So, why the calls for war on Iran from some quarters? We can speculate as to the possible reasons for this.
But, first let us consider what such a US war with Iran would do to the whole world. It would really be a world war in its devastating worldwide economic effects. Military attacks on Iran would pull in other countries as Iran would likely retaliate against any of its neighbors that are allied, even tacitly, with the United States. Oil production and exports from the entire Persian (or Arab) gulf would be disrupted, if not shut down. The global price of oil would rapidly soar to record levels – greater than the $147 per barrel we saw in 2008. World economic activity and output would decline sharply. An already fragile global economic recovery would be stopped and a worldwide depression would likely ensue – which would in turn cause suffering and social upheavals in many developing countries across the globe.
Other powerful nations would intervene either in alliance with Iran or to oppose US military aggression in the region. This means that Russia and China would likely aid Iran with military supplies and intelligence, and likely oppose the US politically and diplomatically in the UN Security Council.
Much of the Muslim world would rise up in anger at the United States and its allies at yet another attack on a Muslim country. Terrorist organizations would reap a bountiful harvest of new recruits for jihad. Religious minorities, especially Christians, would suffer even greater persecutions and atrocities in Muslim countries around the world. (A regional player, Pakistan, is nuclear armed, and is a real wildcard in this equation. There is much evidence that the Taliban and its Pakistani supporters have infiltrated Pakistan’s intelligence and defense establishment at the highest levels.) Terrorist cells in the USA would be instructed to commit atrocities agains innocent US civilians within the US homeland.
The greater commitment of US military assets and resources to such a war in the Middle East would also potentially tempt psychologically unbalanced petty dictators to aggressive actions in other parts of the world. North Korea, with its 28 year old heir to cruel dictatorship, comes to mind.
And, we must not overlook nor minimize the hundreds of thousands, or likely millions, of persons that would die and be maimed or impoverished in Iran and neighboring countries due to direct military operations and the severe damage done to the economic infrastructures of those countries.
The point is that the world simply cannot afford a US war on Iran, not to mention the obvious moral considerations, but the hawks of war are not deterred by such moral considerations. The needless worldwide suffering and deaths that would be caused by such a war are truly staggering in magnitude.
Unfortunately for the safety and security of the world, the United States government still feels the need to play the role of world policeman. This is dangerous. It is not 1945 when most of the industrial world lay in ruins. At that time, the US could attempt to dictate to the world without much danger to itself by doing so. Not so today in the year 2012. Also, very worrisome for the safety and security of the world, is the fact that the US is currently led by an increasingly unpopular president who is seeing his re-election chances deteriorate with each passing month’s poor US economic performance. Unpopular US presidents have in the past leaped into foreign adventures in attempts to bolster their poor domestic political position.
Personally, I do not want to see a war with Iran over its controversial nuclear development program. My opposition to such a war is two-fold. On moral grounds, it is repugnant the lack of respect for human life such war mongering mentalities demonstrate. (These war mongers are not much better than the murderous Muslim jihadists that have no hesitation in murdering innocent people.) No decent person wants to see large numbers of human beings killed and maimed in war, especially in a needless war that is not justifiable. Secondly, on pragmatic grounds, such a war is a lose-lose proposition. Sending the world into a long term economic depression makes all nations losers and increases suffering and hardship for most everyone on the planet. Such a depressed world economy would also serve to undermine the stability of many national governments and thereby reduce security and the prospects for peace among nations.
Also, let us oppose the current calls for US intervention in Syria. It is wrong that US service personnel would go to Syria and be killed and maimed, as they have been in Iraq, for people who hate Americans. No more US casualties and sacrifice for people who seem to only be capable of hating Americans.
In conclusion, why would/should the US go to war with Iran over its nuclear ambitions? Who benefits from such a war, given that the whole world would suffer from such a war?! A war with Iran would not be in the best interests of the United States. And, such a war prior to the election would actually boomerang on President Obama and ensure his defeat on election day (notwithstanding massive vote fraud in support of him). I encourage readers to think about this.
Thank you for your time in reading this.