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Has Stephen Twigg been drinking again?

Because in his role as head of the Foreign Policy Centre (In its words, 'a leading European think tank, apparently') , he is keeping some rather curious company, and making some rather odd statements. Lest anyone has forgotten, Twigg was fined £50 for being drunk and incapable in 2005.

Said wonk group seems to have taken up the Trotskyite, erm, war cry of 'Don't attack Iran'. Twigg's argument, such as it is, is that 'The consequences of military action against Iran are not only unpalatable, they are unthinkable'. Unthinkable? Hardly, I have managed to think about it just now, and doubtless my readers will experience the same success.

The 'argument' is suported by quite the laundry list of usual suspects. Amicus, Unison and the GMB clearly have won the battle in the workplace, so they have time to delve into foreign policy. I am sure that we all instinctively turn to the voices of organised labour when uncertain about issues of international relations. Add in a light dusting of Muslim alphabet soup organisations, a drizzle of sundry very minor Christian groups, garnish with the curiously named 'International Physicians against the Prevention of Nuclear War' (Sic. Yes, really. The 'leading European think tank' cannot be big on proof reading...), cook at gas mark five for 45 minutes, serve and prepare to be ignored by every media outlet bar the Guardian and the Socialist Worker.

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Blogger CityUnslicker said... 11:06 am

So far so good. If we all listened to Lefties as regards the need for wars and defence then we would now be living according to the Rules of Uncle Joe.

However, Iran is for now in an exceptionally strong position; amazing for such a benighted country.

With troops and special forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq, it is actively fighting us anyway. However, if the Iranian army was to pour into Iraq, could the US cope with that level of violence? I am not sure they have the stomach or the capacity.

Of course in set-piece wars the US are extremely effective, but defending one hostile country from another one is logistically highly problematic. Particularly if the Straits of Hormuz are closed by mines/missle threat.

This scenario is a strong reason not to mount a limited strike on Iran's Nuclear facilities.

At the moment, economic pressure could topple the Iranian government, which is not popular at home.

Otherwise, we would need to wait until we were at least out of Iraq so that the Iranians could not have a pre-text for invasion.

This of course is some years away, by which time they may have the bomb.

Thus my current position, withdrawl from Iraq by the end of the year. It is the only sane strategic option.  



Blogger Newmania said... 11:27 am

Agree with CU`s conclusion.

Love this C

Unthinkable? Hardly, I have managed to think about it just now, and doubtless my readers will experience the same success.


I battled through  



Blogger Croydonian said... 11:40 am

I do not think that a full blown invasion is on the cards anyway, so our alliance of hand-wringing leftists have set up a straw man.

I would think that ongoing black ops to undermine Mad Inejad and his amen corner encouraging the more moderate elements like Khatami would be the wise approach at the moment.  



Anonymous David Allen said... 12:37 pm

I agree with C _ no-one in the Pentagon would be crazy enough to attempt a land war in Iran _ at most there might be a surgical strike against the nuclear facilities. But that should hopefully be unnecessary: Ahmadinejad is now facing more open opposition to his nuclear obsession since his faction did so badly in the recent municipal elections and elections for the council of experts.  



Blogger istanbultory said... 12:59 pm

Excellent comment by CU. Also agree with his conclusion on the need for a rapid withdrawal of UK forces from Iraq within 2007 and I would argue for a partial redeployment to Afghanistan where all is not lost...yet.

As a point of interest, I have a number of contacts in the Turkish business community who are involved in extensive cross-border trade with Iran. The word from Iran is that the Iranians are, indeed, expecting a US attack within the next few months. The people are reconciled to it. The regime believes it can survive such an onslaught. If, on the other hand, Israel were to attack Iran unilaterally, Tehran would use all means at its disposal to retaliate massively against Israel. I suspect we would see Radiological Dispersal Devices (dirty bombs) being detonated in Haifa or Tel Aviv plus a concerted assault by Hizbullah on northern Israel. Plus what one presumes would be a vast surge of attacks on US/UK forces in Iraq by local Shia militias.

Last Monday, Bush declared that "if Iran escalates its military actions in Iraq", the US "will respond firmly". But I can't see what shape that "response" would actually take. Large-scale bombing attacks would achieve little-remember the Israeli attacks on Lebanon. Black ops and strengthening the internal opposition within Iran are not, however, sufficient to remove the current regime. Such efforts failed in Iraq prior to the 2003 invasion. As for "moderates" in Iran, they are a diverse and disparate lot. But they would all pull together in support of the Islamic Republic in the event of a US military strike. Iraq cannot be used as a staging post for an attack on Iran. The current Shia-dominated govt. wouldn't permit it at all. The Turks also wouldn't allow US overflights of their territory or the use of the American base at Incirlik in southern Turkey. Syria which is a vassal state of Iran would instantly side with Iran.  



Anonymous verity said... 2:17 pm

I would also like to report success in thinking about it. Even though it's early morning here, I found it quite easy, in fact.

CU and Stamboul Tory made some interesting comments. What we should not forget is, there may be another route. Stamboul Tory, do you think there is any chance of this regime being deposed internally? If the people loathe it so much, there surely will be a group, or groups, plotting?  



Blogger Croydonian said... 2:34 pm

There is much to digest here.

It looks as though the opposition to the mullahs, is, to put it mildly, splintered.  



Blogger Hercules said... 5:23 pm

Are we going back to the days of warm beer and sandwich's at Number 10?

Heading for another bleak winter of discontent methinks.  



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