Recently by Michael S. Rozeff: Detente With Iran
No matter what anyone says, Iran is not a threat to the U.S. and not even close to being a threat to the U.S. The forces of the U.S. are so extensive and so overwhelming on so many dimensions that for Iran to attack the U.S. would be sheer madness. The Iranians know this. The U.S. knows this. Israel knows this.
We know for a fact that Iran was unable to defeat Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988).
Anyone with access to the internet can easily determine that Iran doesn't stand a chance in a war with the U.S. Anyone who says or thinks that Iran is a threat to the U.S. that should be taken seriously is talking nonsense.
The Iranians cannot want war and do not want war with the U.S. There are absolutely no signs that the Iranians want or intend a war against the U.S. In fact, they have already absorbed a number of aggressive acts from Israel and the U.S. without any kind of retaliation.
If war breaks out, it won't be Iran that has brought it on. It will be the U.S. The firing of the first shots or the triggering incident in such hostilities is beside the point.
The Iranians do not threaten any aggression against the U.S. They are not building up forces to attack the U.S. This is impossible for them. The distance between Tehran and New York is 6,121 miles. Tehran has no missiles that can traverse this distance. Its air force is outmoded. It has no bombers worthy of the name. It has some F-5 fighter aircraft. Their range is 870 miles. Iran has no fleet of ships that can cross oceans.
Iran has no reason for attacking the U.S. It has nothing to gain and everything to lose. It has no national interest at stake.
By the same token, the U.S. has no justifiable reason for attacking Iran because Iran is not doing anything that can remotely be construed as aggression against the U.S. Of course, the U.S. can always create an incident to convince gullible Americans that the U.S. must attack Iran.
If war breaks out between Iran and the U.S., the blame will lie squarely on one side, and that side is the U.S. The U.S. is pressuring and threatening Iran.
The public statements by the U.S. on Israel do not unambiguously suggest that the U.S. is reining in Israel as it should. For Obama to say that he wants a diplomatic solution is all well and good, but the fact is that he is not acting diplomatically by serving up one threat after another and tightening the screws on Iran. For Obama to say that he is moving in lockstep with Israel can be taken to mean that he is in control or that Israel is in control or that whatever Israel does meets with U.S. approval. Obama's language is too ambiguous to be reassuring.
It is not even clear from Obama's public statements that he even knows what he wants from Iran. He has said that he wants their assurance that they will not build a nuclear weapon. They've already said this many times, and the IAEA inspectors have access to Iran internally in order to verify it. According to a Wikipedia article, the Supreme Leader of Iran issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons: "Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has issued a fatwa saying the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons was forbidden under Islam. The fatwa was cited in an official statement by the Iranian government at an August 2005 meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna."
The U.S. has a trumped up reason to attack Iran, which is that Iran might develop and produce a nuclear weapon at some point in the future. Even if it did, it still would not be a threat to the U.S. because the U.S. can retaliate with such overwhelming force. The U.S. has 10,600 nuclear warheads and bombs, with 7,982 deployed and 2,700 stockpiled. See here.
The U.S. Air Force operates 5,573 aircraft. A list of active U.S. Navy vessels takes up many pages. There are 285 ship battle forces. Further details are available here. The annual military budget of the U.S. is 100 times that of Iran. I have not taken the time to get the most accurate and up to date numbers that I could.
Any realistic comparison between Iran and the U.S. forces is going to reveal that Iran's conventional armed forces would be utterly destroyed by the U.S. forces in a matter of days, weeks, or a few months. The notion of a fair fight would have to be extinguished from our vocabulary in such a match up. If the U.S. attacks Iran for any reason whatever, including the pretense that Iran has started a war against the U.S., it will be murder, pure and simple. The power of the U.S. is so overwhelming compared to Iran that Iran can be reduced to rubble without Iran doing any significant damage to the U.S. forces who might attack her.
Every statement that Iran makes about the use of force is a statement about retaliation against aggression from the U.S. Their threats are statements about how they might defend themselves. If one compares the strength and military experience of the two sides, it is crystal clear that Iran's threats lack credibility. Whatever harms she might impose are minuscule compared to what the U.S. will do to Iran in a military campaign.
All the talk from those who keep harping on the "military option" or keeping all "options" on the table, which includes making war against Iran, is cruel and heartless talk. It is cold and hateful talk. It disguises the brutality of a U.S. attack. It makes it sound as if the U.S. is being reasonable and that it is being forced into exercising an option against its will. The reality is that the U.S. is applying all the force to Iran and already punishing her.
The "military option" is aggression against a people that has done nothing to America and shown no intention to begin aggressing against America. It is the same as the aggression against Iraq in 2003. It is the same as Germany's aggression against Poland in 1939.
Whoever in the U.S. government may decide to exercise the "military option" against Iran will be a war criminal, just as surely as George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are war criminals. (This, by the way, does not mean that I wish to see them executed or even imprisoned. But I would like to see them tried and convicted. I'd like to see them disgraced. I'd like to see them lose their pensions and perquisites. I'd like to see what they did aired in public.) As for Obama, his impeachment should be on the table because of a number of his actions, including the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki and the bombing of Libya. Should Obama bomb Iran, then he will have cemented his disgrace in U.S. history.
What is this country that is being talked about when the "military option" is being mentioned as a serious option? It is easy to find photos of Iran and its people, such as here. Here are some other views of Iran: They might help to counteract the abstract nature of the "military option" and the murder that it contemplates.
Michael S. Rozeff [send him mail] is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York. He is the author of the free e-book Essays on American Empire: Liberty vs. Domination and the free e-book The U.S. Constitution and Money: Corruption and Decline.