Attack on Iran: Two Strategic Strikes one Waiting in the Wings

I’m republishing the following article, that was written on August 2008,  in view of the latest position of Anthony Cordesman, a military analyst at the Center for Strategic Studies, whom, The Washington Post pundit, Charles Krauthammer, praises for giving “the sagest advice,” on Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. Cordesman instructs that the USA should “ostentatiously let Iran know about the range and power of our capacities how deep and extensive campaign we could conduct, extending beyond just nuclear facilities to military industrial targets, refineries, power grids and other concentrations of regime power,” in other words, the total annihilation of Iran’s theocratic leadership. This is exactly what my article suggested four years ago, as you will see.

By Con George-Kotzabasis reply to:

 The Lies Of Hiroshima Are The Lies Of Today

By John Pilger

On Line opinion, August 14, 2008

The historical fact is, which Pilger deliberately brushes over so he can make his intellectually disingenuous and moral argument, that the fear at the time was that the Germans might get the bomb first not that “Russia was our enemy,” quoting misleadingly General Groves, who was in charge of the Manhattan Project. Roosevelt had an amicable relationship with Stalin and believed their two countries after the war could reach a modus vivendi and indeed, cooperation. Moreover, the head of the Manhattan Project, Oppenheimer, and some of its other scientists, was a financial supporter, if not a clandestine member, like his brother, of the Communist Party of the USA, and hardly would have taken the directorship of the project if the bomb was to be used “to browbeat the Russians,” as Pilger claims.

The intelligent errors of the CIA and all of its European counterparts in their estimates that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction, Pilger cleverly transforms them into lies, appealing to the conventional wisdom of the hoi polloi, so he can do his own disinformation in regards to Iran’s covert planning to acquire nuclear weapons, by dubbing it also as a lie, manufactured by the “discredited CIA-sponsored Iranian opposition, the MEK”, according to him, so he can give credibility to his own lies.

For what strategic reason would the US and its ally Israel attack Iran, whilst the former is involved at the moment in two long wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, other than the great threat that a nuclear Iran would pose to the region and to the strategic interests of the one and to the existence of the other? Whom the US would have “to browbeat” by letting loose from their silos their nuclear missiles against Iran, other than the latter?

In my opinion, if Iran is going to be attacked either by the US or Israel or both the strategic planning of the attack would be made up with two strikes. The first one would be to attack Iran with a devastating “rain” of conventional weapons that would target not only its nuclear plants but also its civilian, military, and religious leadership with the aim of decimating them. If however, its triangular leadership miraculously escapes its destruction and retaliates either against the naval and land forces of the US or Israel or any of the other Gulf States, then such retaliatory action by Iran would call a second strike executed either by Israel or the US with tactical nuclear weapons. And it’s in this dual strike, if it becomes evident to the Iranian leadership of American or Israeli determination and resolve to use their powerful armaments against Iran, that a real possibility exists of a palace revolt among its leadership that would oust the radicals and replace them with moderates who would be prone to accept the international community’s demand that Iran ceases the enrichment of uranium.

Over to you

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Frolicsome Realists of The Washington Note Attack Wolfowitz

 We’re All Realists Now

By Paul Wolfowitz, Foreign Policy August 24, 2009

Failing to Note the difference When the US Power Tank is Full or Near Empty

By Steve Clemons Foreign Policy August 27, 2009

 A reply by Con George –Kotzabasis

Don Quixote with the ever present Sancho Panza at his heels was attacking windmills with his lance. Don Clemons not with the ever present Sancho Panza at his heels, Dan Kervick—but in critical moments you can count that real pals will show up—is attacking the impregnable cogitative fortress of Wolfowitz with a toy tank whilst Sancho Kervick is riding his intellectual hard working donkey at galloping speed to refill Clemons “near empty” tank so they can demolish the modestly crafted and cogent realistic argument of their bete noire Wolfowitz. It’s in the images of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza that the ‘slayers’ of the Wolf are made.

The realist Clemons, Oops, the “hybrid realist,” refuses, even at this late stage, to acknowledge that it was this far from near empty tank that defeated the insurgency in Iraq and that under the strong, resilient, and imaginative leadership of General Petraeus won the war in Mesopotamia. And by defeating Al-Qaeda in Iraq America became stronger not weaker as Clemons argues in his piece. But it will become weaker if as a result of the staggering foolishness of Obama in withdrawing US forces from the urban areas of Iraq prematurely that has led to a resurgence of bombings, which if they continue to increase could reverse the relative security of Iraq post-surge and its great potential to build democracy in the country and become a lodestar for the whole region, as both generals Petraeus and Odierno had warned the Obama administration. And for such a dire outcome the total responsibility will fall upon the “hybrid realists” or “policy realists” that according to Clemons rule the roost in Washington, and of course ultimately upon President Obama.

For a realist, of whatever ‘variability’, to argue in the aftermath of 9/11 that the war in Iraq was a Wilsonian idealistic intervention to impose American values and democracy on the country shows how out of his depth Clemons is from any kind of realism. Wolfowitz clearly states that the purpose of the war in Iraq was not to “impose” democracy by force but to “remove a threat to national and international security.” And as he says one can criticize the rights and wrongs of the war without diverting from, and changing, its purpose. Moreover on the issue of Quaddafi’s decision to give up his WMD programs Clemons contradicts his pivotal contention that America’s intervention in Iraq weakened its geopolitical power. For if that was the case and the perception why should Quaddafi need the “assurances” of a weakened America that “he could remain in power” as a trade-off for giving up his nuclear program, as Clemons states? Once again Wolfowitz is right on this point. Quaddafi relinquished his WMD programs because of ‘feared American will,” to quote Wolfowitz, because of America’s projection of power, of ‘can do’ might that spectacularly defeated both the Taliban and the elite forces of Saddam within few weeks and refuted all the prognostications of many pundits and so called realists who contended that the US could not defeat Saddam and would suffer the same fate as the Soviets in Afghanistan.  It was also this display of US will and power that induced Iran to a ‘silent’ cooperation with the United States in the suppression of the Taliban when the US invaded Afghanistan.

Dan Kervick also is out of his depth in realpolitik with his moralizing piece. He states that “we should forbear from intervening because of odious (M.E.) behaviour to us.” States don’t intervene in the internal affairs of other states because of their odious conduct, that is, on moral grounds, but only when their explicit intentions and actions threaten the vital interests of another state. And both the intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq was not due to odious behaviour but to the potential and real threat these two rogue states posed to the US and the West in general.

Moreover, international laws in themselves and checks and balances cannot be the balm for the internal and external conflicts of nations, as Kervick argues, in an anarchic world without some dominant power backing these laws and checks and balances with an implicit force and its explicit use when necessary. And in our era this invidious burden and responsibility ineluctably falls on the shoulders of the United States. “Liberty and civil peace” do not fall like manna from the sky and protected by nebulous gods. They emanate from great benign states that are not squeamish to use force whenever this is necessary for their protection. Voila Amerique.

Fight Right War or Lose Right to Exist

I’m republishing this paper as the CIA has lately revealed that it had a secret plan to assassinate top echelons of al Qaeda and other terrorists in which ever country they were living. As readers of the paper will see this is exactly what I suggested the Americans should do back in October 2001 against this unique and deadly enemy.

The following paper is an extract from my book Unveiling The War Against  Terror, published in Melbourne on May 9, 2004. The paper was written in early October 2001
  
Con George-Kotzabasis 
 
A knife was plunged into the back of Western Civilisation on the 11th of September, 2001. The attack of the terrorists on the World Trade Centre and on the Pentagon, was not only an act of war against the United States, but also an attack on Western culture and its institutions, whose pinnacle is cosmopolitan America.

 

Moreover, it was not an act of emancipation from the imperialist yoke of the US, as some people with a warped cock-eyed historical sense have seen it, but the prelude of a holy war in the name of Islam against the depraved West by a fanatical group of Muslims, who view the US as the embodiment of the West’s evil.

Furthermore, these recruits of fanaticism, as the hijackers were, who were prepared to sacrifice their lives, were not of the mettle of Japanese kamikaze brave warriors, but cowards who could not perpetrate their ‘heroic’ action without the ‘Koranic’ promise of securing a one-way-ticket to paradise for their martyrdom. They were an inferior disgruntled breed, who having been conscious of the fact that in the race of civilisations they had fallen behind, were full of envy, hate and resentment against the West, which in this historical age has won the race. To illustrate, in a simplified way, that this inability of Muslims to contest other civilisations and win, is deeply rooted in their religion, is exemplified by the commandment of the Koran that its believers should pray five times a day. Imagine a marathon race that lasted all day, whose protagonists were of a mixed religious background, and the position of those who would have to stop and pray five times at the finish of the race.

No wonder, that the verdict of history can be so harsh on cultures whose people spend so much time in the affairs of the Other world than in the affairs of the present one. And no wonder, that by the criteria of economic social and political development, countries with such religious rigidity are falling behind countries of the developed world. It is not surprising therefore, that people who are trapped in such religious conformity, will seek and find scapegoats for their own and for their governments’ failings. This is especially so among the educated and demographically increasing younger generations, whose resentment is intensified even more against the West, because their societies cannot provide them with employment, due to the fact that their elitist and authoritarian regimes spend their incomes on conspicuous consumption, on internecine wars, and on overseas investments in the economically developed countries of the world, instead of investing their capital in the industrial infrastructure of their own countries. For all these deficiencies of their own regimes they blame the Americans. The young therefore, become terrorist fodder in the hands of their fundamentalist leaders, such as Osama bin Laden, because all their ambitions and talents cannot find an outlet within the corrupt regimes of their own countries.

What, however, is most disturbing for the West, is that the distorted interpretations of the Koran by the fundamentalist mullahs, motivate a sizeable part of the young to throng behind their fanatic leaders’ calls for a Jihad, in almost all Muslim countries, as well as some Muslims of the diaspora who reside in the West. For if the will of Allah allows killers of innocent people to enter the kingdom of God, then killing of the innocent would be an act of salvation and guarantee for their mass murderers that they would enter infinite paradise. If there are, as it is obvious, some Muslims who cannot see through these distorted interpretations of the Koran, then Western nations have no other option but to respond to the battle-cry of the Islamic leaders and fight them to the end. No civilised human rights laws should protect this murderous mass of fanatics who are determined to bury civilised life. No United Nations human rights shield should protect these terrorists, as well as those who harbour and promote them. When the heart of Western civilisation is the target of these extremists, then the top priority for the west should be their elimination. The only maxim that should apply to terrorist criminals, is that those who live by the laws of the jungle should also be prepared to die by the laws of the jungle. But this is a maxim of the brave. ….

The Inadequacy Of Soft Options

It would be foolish after the ruins of New York to search for soft options. It is for this reason that the humanitarian calls, of well intentioned people -and of the not so well intentioned potpourri of socialists, anarchists, and their fellow-travellers- for peace in conditions of a ruthless war launched by these fanatics against the West, lack historical knowledge and are bereft of reason. To assert, as these groups do, that the terrorist attack in New York and Washington, is the comeuppance of the US for its policies in the Middle East and of its bombing and embargo against Iraq, is to show the ingrained bias and hatred these groups have against the US, as well as display their shallow historical analysis of events of the last fifty-five years. Such assertions are no more than political and historical alchemy, and should be treated with the appropriate intellectual contempt they deserve.

According to article 51 of the UN Charter, in regards to an armed attack against a nation, the US has every right to defend itself against this attack of the terrorists on its soil. Moreover, it has a moral and strategic responsibility to respond to this dastardly strike against civilians with its full might, especially, when this strike is merely the beginning of what is to come, if these fanatics of al Qaeda and other extremists groups happen to obtain biological and nuclear weapons, which they would use with a zealot’s glee against the infidels of the West. Against this apocalyptic threat that confronts the West, the latter has to act with all its power, pre-emptively, fearlessly, and decisively.

The first signs are, that this ‘war’ against terrorism will be unlike any other wars. The battlelines will be three-dimensional. They will involve ‘blitzkriegs’ on the economic, diplomatic and military terrain. But in the diplomatic field it will be the end of diplomacy as we know it. The United States will play hard ball diplomacy on an international scale, and its “mission will determine its coalition”, in the words of its Defence Secretary Rumsfeld. Its foreign policy will be prudently flexible, but it will not allow itself to be beguiled and misguided by the siren songs of that tower of Babel, the United Nations, to open another welter and ‘banter’ on the table of negotiations.

There cannot be a crossing, a meeting of minds, with such ruthless, fanatical opponents. The scourge of terrorism will not and cannot be resolved on the table of prolonged negotiations, but on the battlefield, especially when the time-bomb of biological and nuclear devices is ticking-on. The US military retaliation must be massive and swift. The times are not for timorous leaders, military sceptics, and indecisive Hamlets. President Bush, having an intelligent, decisive administration, shows all the signs that he will tackle this problem, unlike his predecessor, complacent, Hamletinesque Clinton, by grappling the bull of terrorism by its horns. But, he will not be a reckless matador. This is illustrated by the fact, that despite the carnage of New York and Washington and the immense provocation – it was the first time in its history that the US mainland had become a target – this attack was on the Bush Administration, yet the latter did not respond with a knee-jerk reaction, but with prudence, stoicism, and deliberation. It took almost a month before it responded militarily against this challenge of the terrorists. And before it started firing its missiles on Afghanistan, it forged a notable coalition, encompassing Europe and Asia, of which China and Russia are the most important, against terrorism, as a necessary, if not indispensable weapon in its fight against these fanatics.

In his address to the nation, President Bush made it clear, that the war on terrorism will be unconventional, protracted, and not without casualties. It will not be a war fought by divisions and army corps. It will be fought in the shadows of intelligence, since its enemy has a shadowy existence, and by special forces, whose aim will be to take out terrorist bases, and either capture or eliminate its core personnel and its leaders. To borrow an example from the animal world, it will be a war of the hawks against the hedgehogs. The only difference being, that the hawks will not only operate on the ground, but also underground, ferreting out the terrorists from their burrows. The special forces will sweep from the sky, and as soon as they accomplish their mission, they will disappear into the sky again. No time for their enemies to pin them down. The element of surprise will be a great military advantage, and will play a decisive role, psychologically and physically in beating the terrorists.

Also, military strategists should consider the stretching of the unconventionality of the war more widely, by employing and deploying mercenaries against terrorists. There is a vast international pool of veterans highly skilled in the art of combat and clandestine warfare, who would be willing to use their prowess against terrorism. It would be most imprudent for Western governments not to tap this pool of international condottieri and bring it into its war mechanism against terror, because of moral scruples. In crisis conditions, all morality is answerable to the circumstances of the situation, not to ‘god’. No moral norm can be unconditional. Hence, the recruitment of mercenaries is neither immoral nor unconscionable, if it is going to contribute towards the defeat of terror.

The ‘war’ against the Taliban and bin Laden must be fought with all the US armaments, excluding biological and nuclear weapons. The teary comments of parts of the media on civilian casualties, have a misplaced perspective, and weaken the support that the coalition must have among its people to defeat this mortal enemy. No modern warfare can occur without civilian casualties, especially in the case of these fanatics who often use civilians as a shield.

The fact is however, that more civilians are killed by these dictatorial regimes than are killed when these regimes are struck from outside. Saddam Hussein massacred more civilians than the US bombing during the Gulf War. The Taliban and the Northern Alliance have slaughtered more civilians in their fratricidal war against each other, than the US bombing will ever do. In Rwanda, the Hutu regime massacred 800,000 Tutsi civilians in its tribal war against the latter. Where are the tears of the media for the above historical facts?

To accuse the US, that it deliberately targets civilians, is a gross fabrication and distortion of the truth. If its war planners had such an unjust and feeble-minded policy which targeted civilians, then such a policy would jeopardise its moral standing against terrorists, as well as lose in one sweep the support it has from the coalition, that it so wisely and diligently has put in place.

Pessimists Do Not Win Wars

The US has to retaliate with all its might against this global threat of terrorism. It should give no intellectual quarter to the sceptics and pessimists of academia, who claim that the war against terrorism cannot be won. Professor Fred Halliday, in an article published in The Guardian on 27 of October, claims that “eradicating terrorists does not eradicate their cause”. And a war against terrorism is “war against an enemy.of whom action can have no predictable end”. The most effective way to eradicate their cause is to put an end to the perceived invincibility and successes of the terrorists. Even fanatics, once they are deprived of their ‘invincibility’ by being defeated decisively in their operations, will lose their confidence that God is with them, and will abandon their cause.

As to the second contention of Professor Halliday, one can only reply that action against an enemy can never have a predictable end. But because of the unpredictability of war, one does not reel from fighting a mortal enemy who is threatening one’s survival. No one among the North Vietnamese leadership, could predict or even conceive that they could win the war against the United States, but unimaginative, intellectually nipple-fed professors, are always predictable.

The ‘war’ in Afghanistan against the Taliban and al Qaeda, will not be difficult to be won by the Americans. The defeat of the Soviets by the mujihadeen as an example of what would happen to the Americans, is inappropriate. The mujihadeen won the war against the Russians, not because of their formidableness as fighters, but mainly because of the material, logistical support and military advise the US had given it. In this ‘war’ the Taliban is totally isolated, and is not a beneficiary of strategic support and advice. The only support it has, is the support of fanaticism. And while fanaticism might induce courage, it depletes intelligence. But it is by intelligence that wars are won. Wayward, blind courage does not win wars. In modern warfare when one’s opponent is resolute, as the Americans are in this conflict, ‘robots’ which are motivated by fanaticism are destined to finish in a scrap heap of metal. The defeat of the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan, will ease the defeat of all other terrorist networks that exist in other countries. The West cannot rest until the infamy of global terrorism is crushed. 

Kevin Rudd Escalating his Political Dilettantism

By Con George-Kotzabasis

In our times when rogue states bristling in their apocalyptic beards, like Iran, could produce stealthily nuclear weapons, to set up an International Commission for nuclear disarmament, as Prime Minister Rudd proposes to do, is the ultimate stupidity that any one could suggest. And in the aftermath of 9/11, the magnitude of such stupidity takes astronomical dimensions. Just imagine that countries such as America, Britain, France, and especially, Israel, which could be the targets of a nuclear attack by an Islamist state or by proxies of the latter, would even consider their nuclear disarmament.

Rudd’s proposal limpidly illustrates that Australia does not have a statesman at the helm but a political dilettante and a populist to boot who is more concerned to ingratiate himself with the celestial wishes of its liberal minded constituency than to deal with geopolitical realities.

Moreover, what is rather surprising and amusing is to see that Gareth Evans is willing to underwrite such political buffoonery by accepting the chair of the International Commission for nuclear disarmament. It seems that his Tasmanian “Biggles” days are not over.

Your opinion…