Saturday, October 06, 2007

U.S. May Be Planning To Bomb IED Factories In Iran

New news reports are out today that indicate that the U.S. military is putting together plans to bomb factories in Iran that have been producing the IEDs that have been so lethal to U.S. troops in Iraq. While such plans are intended to save American lives, there are huge political and foreign policy problems with such a limited bombing campaign in Iran.

Israel proved that modern radar blinding technology was able to allow the successful bombing missions in Syria recently with no aircraft losses and only limited political fallout in the region. The U.S. may have become emboldened by the success of this mission and be apt to disregard any political fallout over a similiar limited bombing mission in Iran. However, with so much public concern over the Iraq policy in the U.S., the American public may be angry over any act that appears to be an expansion of that war to now include Iran as well.

Iran could respond in unpredictable ways. At least two Iranian UN diplomats were thrown out of the U.S. after 9/11 for taking photographs of U.S. landmarks that were likely to be handed off to proIranian terrorist cells in the U.S. Iran may have terrorist cells that could attack U.S. citizens and landmarks in response to any limited bombings in Iran, creating a cycle of revenge that result in a much wider U.S.-Iranian war.

Any limited bombings in Iran would not stop the Iranian nuclear weapons program, which is protected in 75foot deep bunkers. Iran could really speed up any WMD type programs in response to any limmited U.S. attacks, or even spur Iran to choke off the world oil supply by using antiship missiles to sink oil tankers that service the U.S. market for oil. And any prodemocratic or reform elements in Iran would suffer a huge political setback in the wake of any attacks on Iran, and the role of the hardliners only improved in their tight grip over Iranian political and religious life.

The first instinct of the White House and U.S. military is to stop the flow of Iranian IEDs into Iraq to save American lives. However, the possible heavy political costs also need serious consideration as well. But the fact of the matter is that this IED issue gives the Bush White House their strongest possible case to justify a bombing campaign in Iran, but also is full of huge unpredictable dangers as well. The U.S. certainly does not need to miscalculate and fall into a big war with Iran at this time. But if Iran one day develops nuclear weapons, then the future danger only grows as well. The choice is a difficult one.


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