• 29 September 2010
  • Posted By Setareh Tabatabaie
  • 3 Comments
  • US-Iran War

Military Attack on Iran: A Combination of Ignorance and Naivety

As always, those who talk about what US policy towards Iran should look like, are already prepared for failure of current US policy.

Now Senator Joe Lieberman is preparing to “up the rhetorical ante” on Iran and endorse military actions if sanctions fail

In an excerpt of what his staff has labeled a “major policy address” to be delivered at the Council on Foreign Relations later today, Lieberman states:

It is time to retire our ambiguous mantra about all options remaining on the table. Our message to our friends and enemies in the region needs to become clearer: namely, that we will prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability — by peaceful means if we possibly can, but with military force if we absolutely must.

This comes after  Senator Lindsey Graham last week called for direct military intervention for the purpose of regime change in Iran.  “From my point of view,” Graham said, “if we engage in military operations as a last resort, the United States should have in mind the goal of changing the regime…not by invading (Iran), but by launching a military strike by air and sea.”

Obviously, many things come to mind at their proposal: the question of whether or not Iran is even developing nuclear weapons, the mess we have created and left behind in Iraq, and the chaos we find ourselves in in Afghanistan. Even leaving all this aside, however, I am still left confused and bewildered by the increasing call for military action against Iran by some of our nation’s so-called leaders and experts.

Perhaps most dangerous is the effect military strikes would have inside Iran on the prospects for change. Those who advocate a military attack argue that it will lead to a revolution and possible regime change. These idealistic hopes could not be farther from the truth. As Shawn Amoei wrote, “To believe this is to seriously misunderstand nationalism, the Iranian people, and Iranian history.” See the Iran-Iraq War as the perfect example of how the Iranian people will come together, even under an undesirable regime, in the face of foreign invasion.

A military attack will have a detrimental effect on those within the opposition and civil rights movements within Iran, who already fear being tainted by the US. As insideIran.org researcher Shayan Ghajar eloquently explained:

“Foreign attack on Iran would lead to further marginalization of internal opposition movements by the central government, or would cause a surge of nationalism that temporarily erases domestic disputes. O’Hanlon and Riedel agree, saying, “Nor is a strike by an outside power likely to help the cause of Iranian reformists.” … Mir Hossein Moussavi, the most prominent politician in the Green Movement, has repeatedly argued against… “foreign domination.” …Human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, too, opposes any form of military action. Politician Ataollah Mohajerani, who has ties to numerous opposition leaders, said that any attack on Iran would serve only to strengthen the Iranian military and distract the public from their internal divisions.

In other words, rather than fomenting change, a military attack on Iran would do just the opposite.

In the aftermath of the June 2009 presidential elections in Iran, Joe Lieberman said, “We have to do everything we can… to support the people of Iran.” Now, just a little over a year later, he is explicitly endorsing bombing Iran. I’m sorry, but you can’t have it both ways.  But  it sounds like Lieberman will be joining his friend Lindsey Graham and assert that they know what’s best for the Iranian people, that Iran’s opposition leaders and human rights defenders are wrong, and that the people of Iran will greet us as liberators.

Posted By Setareh Tabatabaie

    3 Responses to “Military Attack on Iran: A Combination of Ignorance and Naivety”

  1. Pirouz says:

    Let’s extend this logic farther, Setarah.

    Advocating sanctions (economic warfare) and engaging in a demonization PR campaign are symptomatic of a cold war, and under such belligerent circumstances, you must expect the targeted country to take effective internal security counter-measures. That’s a given.

    The goal should be a lessening of tensions, so that those internal counter-measures can be lightened. US-Iran rapprochement would provide these benefits, and much more to the Iranian people.

    Don’t make the widespread mistake of putting the horse before the cart. Don’t go jumping up and down every time a media report propagandizes a potential HR violation in Iran. That’s counterproductive.

    Promote peace, understanding and rapprochement. Rapprochement is key. It’s key to a better life for Americans, Iranians and Iranian-Americans.

  2. Jason says:

    “…you must expect the targeted country to take effective internal security counter-measures.”

    I’m pretty sure this counts as putting the cart before the horse, considering the “countermeasures” so far have consisted of doing everything possible to violently crush peaceful protest.

    That said, there are certain members of Congress that I would like whacked with the cluebat a few times.

  3. Iranian-American says:

    Jason,

    But “countermeasures” sounds so much better than rape, torture, beating and killing of peaceful protestors. And unless we call them “countermeasures” (instead of what they really are), then Iran may be bombed. So let’s all come together and make NIAC an organization whose purpose is to hide the Iranian government’s crimes against Iranian citizens. For that is what is truly pro-Iranian.

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