Monday, February 20, 2006

What Iran Knows

Iran Nuclear FacilityThe Officers’ Club makes a good case for Iran’s ability to learn her lessons (oh, that she would learn to mind her manners as well). It’s hard to remember sometimes that these people are Persians, not just…not just what they’ve become since Mr. Carter was president. Perhaps it was his influence? (Yes, I know about the Shah and us. The Jimmah jump was simply a rhetorical flourish)

At any rate, the OC says Iran glommed onto seven notions that have carried her thus far. I would say these are listed by Mr. Munn in descending order. See what you think:

7. The media is your friend: Iran has been much better about laying out its case for acquiring nuclear technology than Saddam ever was…

6. Appeal to the “international community”. Like it or not, the people most directly threatened by a nuclear Iran are Europeans…

5. Use the economy, stupid. Yes, Iran threatened to put economic sanctions on itself if it was referred to the security council. That would be ridiculous if it weren’t so possible…

4. Build up the fanatic side of the military. Saddam’s “elite” Republican Guard proved to be the only thing standing between Baghdad and the 3rd Infantry partly because they were furiously devoted to the Hussein Regime and the Baath Party…

3. Divide and conquer. Iran knows that Europe poses no serious military threat to them, and that any action would require a NATO (read: US) action, their best bet is to make side deals to turn member countries against each other…

2. Deter War. Remember the media’s insane predictions of body counts before OEF/OIF? Imagine the media speculation about total war with Iran. Iran can shape this information operation by showing off its military at every opportunity…

1. Get that Nuke Tech! No country has ever been invaded that has possessed nuclear weapons. Saddam kept the capacity to acquire WMD, but never (I think) thought the imperialist cowboy president would get around his ingenious scheme of UN manipulation…
I’ve been trying to think of other lessons Iran has carried away as well, but I’m not coming up with anything. Take a stab at it — this is certainly a big piece of meat — but read the whole post and not just my snips.

And be sure to read the comments, also. They provide some clarification, and some counterpoints. I would like the readers of Gates of Vienna, that astute group of quibblers, to open the door and weigh in on this subject. It's on everyone's mind -- when they're not thinking about the bills or sex, anyway -- so discussion is helpful.

Callimachus at Done With Mirrors


Wally Ballou said...

I think your summary of their tactics is valid - but what are their goals? it sems obvious that they want a bomb so they can wave it around and dominate their neighborhood and Europe. But is that all? Someone (I forget who) recently speculated that Khamanei and Ahmadinejad might be just as happy if an Israeli air raid demolished their facilities - if that would bring about total chaos in the ME and the return of the 12th imam. failing that, they might be happy to use their first bomb right away to scorch Israel, rather than keep it for any political leverage, with apocalyptic results. This certainly isn't the goal of most Iranians, or even of the "islamic establishment" but if the two at the top feel that way, that may be all that matters.

Khamenei has publicly backed the "embattled" president, and he's working hard to cultivate the military, as D suggests. See his website. For now, they can do whatever they want, so what they really want becomes a vital question.

BTW - I notice the great leader doesn't use evil Microsoft products. Glad I do.

El Jefe Maximo said...

I would add "find allies." The Iranians appear to me to be working overtime to stir as many pots for the Americans to deal with at once. They're certainly cozying-up to Moonbat Chavez, working their Hezbollah and Syrian connections, and probably Hamas too, and quite possibly behind much of the cartoon riot issue, not to mention the trouble in Iraq. Smart brains, actually.

It's my own opinion they're doing all they can both domestically and elsewhere to drive up oil prices (see Chavez's utterances on this subject recently). I would not be shocked to find they've been stirring pots in Nigeria, either.

They are doing all they can to give China an interest in the survival of the regime. IMHO, they are playing their cards very, very well.

Joseph Marshall said...

The one lesson I'm sure they took from us is exactly the same lesson that India took from the First Gulf War: If you wish to be a major regional power--insulated from outside military threats--you must have nuclear weapons.

The Indians have been quite explicit about this as a conclusion and a motivation, once their weapons were a fait accompli.

I am also reasonably sure that this lesson was reinforced to the Iranians with the easy fall of the Taliban to our overwhelming conventional forces.

I am very sure that they took heed of the lesson that the United States military was prepared to fight only two major wars, and our current president chose to fight them one after the other.

I think that they were acutely sensitive to the fact that for 13 months afterward there was only one U.S. aircraft carrier operating on the entire High Seas, making close air support of any serious military operations next to impossible.

I believe they took notice when we withdrew from our bases in Saudi, which we so carefully built up to bolster the security of the region, and to function as a logistical staging area, with the obvious intention of rebuilding them in Iraq.

I think they were very attentive when our inattention and unintelligence allowed an Iraqi insurgency to develop and arm itself virtually under our noses.

And I think they are still attentive to the fact that this same insurgency has not been quelled despite the application of virtually the entire combat rotation of our available ground troops.

I finally think that they have come to the very reasonable conclusion that we are in no position to mount a serious and sustained military operation against their country as a whole, and probably will not be so until at least 2010. And this only if we finally do manage to secure those permanent Iraqi logistical bases for our troops.

I think those are some pretty intelligent lessons, don't you?