Consequences Of Attacking Iran, Pt. VI: The Last Ride Of The Oil Wraiths
Dick Cheney was outed by the Guardian today as the chief proponent of attacking Iran (ok, no news yet), and the article claims he has won out over Condoleeza Rice and Undersecretary of State Nick Burns for procuring Bush's approval to Bring 'Em On (News. That would be news.). Cheney and The Nazgulettes have been fighting an internal tug-o-war over Dubya's wavering judgement against Condi, Bob Gates, Bush the Elder, and most of the planet. Cheney has reportedly won. On the bright side, this article will spur the sane people, and many marginally sane people, into working harder against another idiotic war, into re-doubling their efforts to block it and send Cheney yee-hawing like Bat Guano to crash harmlessly down into the earth on a disarmed bomb.
We do have a strange bedfellows issue. I would rather pet a cobra than be in the presence of Condi Rice. Or hear her duplicitous tongue form words from the rush of air. And I do not want Bob Gates anywhere near my bed, my dinner table, my house, nor my state. But I appreciate that they and others will do everything they can to undermine Cheney, including leaking this information to The Guardian so a news story can be written. At least some commentators are starting to identify the Sauron's Eye of America's troubles. It was Cheney who ditched the ISG strategy and championed The Surge. It is Cheney who has been pushing for military action against Iran ever since the invasion of Iraq. A barely reported objective of "The Surge" logic is to reinforce Iraq's border garrisons before a strike on Iran. Based on a total of 6 (3 deep-sea, 3 amphibious support) carrier battle groups being massed in the Gulf earlier this year, and on Israeli signals, I believed an attack on Iran was slated to have commenced in April. It didn't happen, and I'm glad events proved me wrong. We enjoyed a nice respite as the Oil Wraiths argued with each other. Now the losers of that argument signal us they could not convince the Grand Decider, that the Lord of Political Logistics won the game of worm tongue.
People commonly assume, as I heard at a suburban steak dinner from fond former classmates last night, that Iran can be easily subdued. This view is strategically misinformed and tactically out of date. All the competent professionals who have analyzed attacks , as I noted to my old friends, think it would be disastrous for the United States' military and for its interests in the region. This blog has harped upon those facts in the past. All known wargame-simulated Iranian invasions or air bombing campaigns ended with the US losing miserably, featuring both strategic and tactical defeats.
The simulations were well-crafted. The terrain in the Persian Gulf greatly favors prepared short-range missile defenses, with rocky crennelations ideal for concealing the new Russian-made Sunburn and Moskito missiles, for which the US Navy has no effective counter-measures, especially in an area as constrained as the Gulf. Obviously I can't provide a source confirming the presence or location of such missiles, but you can safely assume they are part of a well-mapped killing field worthy of Cannae. It is backed by a lethal arsenal of small combined arms designed to overwhelm and eliminate large, vulnerable surface targets.
The United States has a total of 277 warships. Half of them are now near Iran, as the Guardian article states. If Dick Cheney has convinced President Bush to attack, and Grand Master Bozo lowers the checkered flag, expect the Straits of Hormuz to be closed for at least 6-12 weeks, for at least half the world's oil shipments to be bottled up into the Gulf for that time, thousands upon thousands of sailors and marines to sink to the bottom of the Gulf, and the relatively quiet parts of Iraq to erupt while the remaining lifelines to American troops are cut. I wonder how the stock market will keep setting record highs in such a confusion of coincidence. Think about the consequences of that for long, and you might start stocking up on toilet paper. Or even building a backyard outhouse, since it is oil which runs the pumps of so many municipal waterworks.
In the Lord of the Rings, Sauron is deceived by glimpses of the One Ring, erroneous reports of his Nazgul, and by the errant face of a defiant Hobbit into launching his all-out attack on the white city of Minas Tirith earlier than he would have preferred. This came immediately after he and his allies suffered unexpected defeats in neighboring lands they previously considered weak. The wizard Gandalf the Grey correctly sensed Sauron's desperation and fear, for Sauron has masters, too, who demand quick results. Gandalf took the lack of patience as a sign of hope.
I do not wish more bombs or dead upon anyone, particularly not delivered from my country. And I do not wish more dead Americans. Yet the analogy is clear. The threat is seen in the wrong place. The enemy is misunderstood.The all-seeing eye of the White House is now once again in a "Flucht nach Vorne" (retreat to the front) stance, Iran will be much tougher in a direct military conflict than it is in a stand-off, and the consequences for its attackers will be harsher than even most pessimists imagine. Bush is a very, very desperate man whose time is running out, as is his Chamber-master, Dick Cheney. If you have ideas for how best to delay the last ride of the Oil Wraiths, I'd like to hear them. Because many of us happen to be their orc-ish subjects.