How is your representative voting?
Expressing support for the State of Israel’s right to defend Israeli sovereignty, to protect the lives and safety of the Israeli people, and to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the use of military force if no other peaceful solution can be found within reasonable time to protect against such an immediate and existential threat to the State of Israel. [my underlining]
It appears that our Congress is aiding and abetting an Israeli attack on Iran. It’s a non-binding resolution, but if Israel attacks why won’t this be seen as a declaration of war–unconstitutional perhaps, but then…..
Update 3: And then, there’s this: “Obama offers Iran an opening on engagement,” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/04/AR2010080406238.html
Update 2: What are the consequences of an Israeli attack on Iran, here is one scenario (HT: Pat Lang):
Attacking Iran: The Potential Negative 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Order Effects
Adam L. Silverman, PhD
While I don’t think anyone is particularly in favor of Iran building nuclear weapons, those who seem the most certain about what to do to prevent it from happening seem to never mention the potential follow on effects. There seems to be a group of experts, analysts, and politicians who are very eager to see a confrontation with Iran regardless of the 2007 NIE’s findings, and the efforts of Admiral Fallon in 2008 and Admiral Mullen in 2009 to push back against a preemptive Israeli strike. This often seems to stem from wishful thinking: if we can prevent Iran from getting a bomb, and have to use force to do so, then everything will be all right. A contact recently sent me a column that deals with this topic and asked for my take on it. My response was a potential 2nd, 3rd, and 4th order effects analysis; specifically the negative effects. And to be very honest: I’m not really sure there would be any positive ones… This column is an extended and expanded version of my response:
The Potential Negative 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Order Effects of Attacking Iran
The potential negative effects for a preemptive attack on Iran’s nuclear development capabilities, whether done by Israeli or by the US, would essentially be the same as no distinction is going to be made between Israel acting alone or the US acting rather than Israel. In the case of the former the US will be viewed as having blessed our client’s actions and in the latter of being manipulated by the client into doing what it wants.
If an attack on Iran’s nuclear capacity should be made we can expect many, if not all, of the following possibilities:
- Iraq will go completely up in smoke. The currently stalled and contentious political process to seat a new parliament and government with a near complete American military drawdown and handoff to the civilian agencies like State and USAID will completely unravel. The remaining American personnel in Iraq will become hostages and targets – either stuck in their secure facilities or become the actual recipients of Iraqi wrath, which will be driven by the Shi’a (both Iraqi and Iranians coming across a porous border to seek revenge), but will also include the Sunnis. Finally, those Iraqis perceived as being allied with the US will become targets for reprisal.
- The Western part of Afghanistan is toast – if not the whole ISAF endeavor. Coalition personnel operating in those areas closest to Iran will likely be hit with two different kinetic problems. The first from the Iranians as they cross the border seeking revenge, as they will also do in Iraq, and the second from Afghan groups with ethno-religious and ethno-national ties to Iran. As is likely to be the case in Iraq, coalition personnel will be at great risk for reprisals. It is also quite likely that their will be a general rallying of Muslims, regardless of Sunni or Shi’a, against the American led efforts in Afghanistan. Any attack on Iran is an Information Operations and PsyOps gift for al Qaeda and all the various Taliban and neo-Taliban groups.
- Pakistan is likely to finally blow as well. The internal Sunni/Shi’a tensions will be exacerbated and the most extreme Muslim elements in Pakistan will go after the Pakistani government for being allied to the US. Here too the most extreme and reactionary Islamic offshoots, such as al Qaeda, will be handed IO and PsyOps gifts.
- It is also likely that this will mark the end of Israel as a functional and surviving state and society. Those Israelis that haven’t left, but have been thinking of it, will go quickly making the reverse Diaspora back to Europe and the US that has been occurring a flood. The hardliners, both religious and secular, as well as their Christian Zionist and neo-Con supporters in the US will have their Masada moment as Israel’s Arab citizenry, the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and at the very least Hezbullah will react very violently. Contrary to the Palmach battle cry, in this case, “Masada Will Fall Again”.
- Turkey will finish its EU rejectionist propelled reorientation back towards the East – the Middle East, Asia Minor, Central and SE Asia, very, very quickly and it will likely make an oppositional choice in response to a preemptive strike that fragments NATO.
- As such NATO will be shown to be useless in a major interstate war crisis.
- There will likely be a huge amount of conventional and unconventional proliferation as even many of our allies will do a double take, decide we’ve completely gone off the rails, that we’re no longer the last backstop, but are instead the biggest threat around.
- The potential economic disruptions would be huge. The price of petroleum will spike very quickly and very high. This, as it did in 2008, will have a spiking effect on the cost of food
What seems to be happening, or perhaps more accurately what is being attempted again as it has failed in for the past three years, is that the same crowd who misunderstood, miscalculated, and misreported the US into Iraq are doing the same thing again. It is amazing to see over 100 members of the US House of Representatives produce a resolution regarding a nuclear threat to Israel that the US’s own analysis says doesn’t exist. As was the case with Achmed Chalabi and Iraq, we now have an Iranian agent provocateur to lead us on into doing something foolish and damaging. What we’re really seeing in the punditry and popular analysis has less to do with Iran’s developing to have a nuclear weapon, or just developing the capacity to build a nuclear weapon and much more to do with the fantastical desire to replace the Shi’a clerical government of Iran that works in the shadows and the kabuki theater/all smoke and no fire government of Mahmoud Ahmedinijad (who as I wrote about at SST in 2009 has essentially no power or authority) with a more American and Israel friendly government. If that sounds familiar, it should, because it is simply the same neo-Conservative fantasy in support of Likud Party and Benjamin Netanyahu electoral success that was created in the mid 1990s, then repackaged and marketed to Americans beginning in 1998 by the Project for a New American Century. As a perusal of the drafters of the IASPS policy proposal and the PNAC letter signatories will quickly confirm: NOT A SINGLE ONE of these worthies had a clue what they were talking about in regards to strategy (ie is this in America’s interest, let alone best interest), operations, or tactics! They have no better understanding of how Iranians would react than they did of how the Iraqis would. If you want to solidify the Iranian clerics hold on an Iranian populace that is slowly pushing back against the clerically imposed limits, then attacking Iran is the best course of action, but it will not get the desired regime change and will only confirm to the hardliners, and most likely most Iranians, that they do need a nuclear deterrent. The fastest way to prove the Iranian conspiracy theory that the US is out to get/punish/attack Iran is to actually do so!
What is missing in what seems to be the long, slow build towards justifying, packaging, and selling a preemptive attack on Iran is a couple of critical questions: what if the 2007 NIE regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons’ development is correct? Moreover, what if we’re just wrong about Iran’s desire to have a nuclear weapon, rather than say the Japanese option – nuclear development for energy, with the ability to quickly build a device if it is deemed necessary? The only remaining question is whether the ideologues and demagogues, and their cats paws, will once again manipulate the US to implement bad policy, largely on behalf of a client state that thinks it’s the patron, into spending our ever dwindling supply of human and financial treasure. We can only hope that they don’t and that someone is able to push this back the way the NIE drafters did in 2007, Admiral Fallon did in 2008, and Admiral Mullen did in 2009.
 Adam. L. Silverman is the Culture & Foreign Language Advisor at the US Army War College. The views expressed herein are his alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the US Army War College, the US Army Training and Doctrine Command, and/or the US Army.
 Both before and during my deployment in Iraq, my team mates and I tracked food prices, disruptions, and crises both in the Middle East, Central and SE Asia, and globally. A good chunk of it, based on the reporting, was caused by a combination of drought, the spike in petroleum caused by froth/hedging in the futures’ market, and what has now been confirmed as artificial inflation in the food market by using futures as hedges and credit default swaps similar to what was done with both petroleum and mortgages.
 I recommend that everyone click through on this link and the proceeding one and see who worked on the original policy proposal for the IASPS, which is essentially a Likud Party policy tank and who the signatories to the PNAC letter were.