Repeating events however are not unique to children’s fantasy stories. 72 years after the start of the Second World War, the world is again faced with a fascist state led by a highly vociferous dictator arming himself to the teeth – this time with nuclear weapons included – and threatening to wipe Jews off the face of the earth. And like then, this is again happening against the backdrop of a world wide and crippling economic recession and very little appetite in the free world for another destructive and costly war.
The Iranian nuclear weapons program can only be halted by a robust and comprehensive military action. This is something most open eyed analysts now agree on. The only super power that could have both the will and the capability of carrying out such action – the United States of America – is not going to do it. While there are many reasons for that, I believe that the crucial one is the US military misadventure in Iraq.
As we now know, the war in Iraq was unnecessary, unjustified and based on seriously flawed intelligence. Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was well contained by international sanctions and a robustly enforced no-fly-zone policed by allied fighter aircraft based in Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Most importantly – it was not developing weapons of mass destruction and rather than pose a threat to the USA and its European and Israeli allies was actually serving as a counter balance, weakened as it was, to Iranian expansionist ambitions.
It is alleged that during his visit to Kuwait in 1993, President George Bush senior was the target of an assassination attempt by Iraqi agents. It is also well documented that his son, George W. Bush, the driving force behind the Iraq war, was obsessed by this and was quoted referring to it on several different occasions when the issue of a possible second war in Iraq was discussed.
Many words have already been written and spoken on the events, processes and misconceptions that led to the American President George W. Bush and Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair to go to war in Iraq in 2003. What is discussed less often is the dangerously diminished ability of the US and its allies to take military action in its wake, when the grave circumstances, well proven intelligence and belligerent threats coming from Tehran more than justify it.
Time will tell if Israel will go it alone in attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities. Had the Iraq war not taken place, a US participation or even a lead role in this attack would have been so much easier to ensure.