Will Iran Be Attacked Soon? And Other Important Questions

It’s the question that seems to be on every political-aficionado/news-guru in town. If you ask most Jordanians, I think the response to that question would be a definite “yes” and the follow up to that would be “before Bush leaves office.” In the past few weeks I’ve heard a countless number of people draw the same conclusion. They are also confident in Iran’s retaliatory capabilities. As for me, I’m of the belief that it probably won’t happen, and if it does, it will most likely come in the form of Israel, targeting key sites. I am also pretty confident that, nuclear jargon aside, Israel’s air force, along with American presence next door, will make sure retaliatory celebrations are cut short. But how did I reach such a conclusion? Come to think of it, how did everyone reach the other conclusion?

The point of this post was actually to grapple with the way people, specifically in Jordan, internalize certain news. Politics is the centerpiece of every conversation when a group of males in Jordan get together, especially the older crowd. And when it comes to regional issues, Iran is at the top of the list. And given the home court advantage, I sometimes think that locals, i.e. people who live in this region, are always first to know of something that is about to happen. Like the way animals know before the rest of us do, of an approaching natural disaster. With this in mind, I often compare the average Jordanian with the sharpest political minds CNN can put on the air as “experts”. The western world tends to perceive all American politics as being local, even foreign policy is forced into a local context. The Arab world couldn’t give a damn. American foreign policy to us is a constant line, running as straight as an arrow, unaltered by local issues. American foreign policy is seen as America’s will, it’s manifest destiny, it’s ultimate goal and the vein of its existance: the desire to safeguard Israel and destroy all that is Arab and Muslim. That is the perceived endgame. The idea that (just as an example) President Bush would not risk neither his legacy (what’s left of it) nor handing the Democrats the White house in November, by attacking Iran this year, is just irrelevant. It doesn’t even come into the equation. CNN and MSNBC can line up all the experts they want, for the Arab world, Iran’s destiny is set in stone. That’s the perception.

And I suppose it’s a fair one. If all politics are local, then the Arab world, just as the western world, will think in local terms. It will internalize the signals and indicators it receives and draw conclusions. For surely, what is good for the goose, is also good for the gander.

For example, many, if not most Jordanians, seem to believe that Bush is not currently touring the Middle East for peaceful purposes, but rather to draw up support and/or make assurances to the various places he visits, of a potential strike on Iran.

If I were to think in strictly in local terms, then I would internalize this following bit of news, which came right after Bush visited Israel, that the latter party is warming up its jets on the runway. Perhaps for a Springtime coronation?

JERUSALEM – Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told a powerful parliamentary panel on Monday that Israel rejects “no options” to block Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, a meeting participant said. The statement was the Israeli leader’s clearest indication yet that he is willing to use military force against Iran.

“Israel clearly will not reconcile itself to a nuclear Iran,” the meeting participant quoted Olmert as telling the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. “All options that prevent Iran from gaining nuclear capabilities are legitimate within the context of how to grapple with this matter.” [source]

And so I wonder, with the world so intrinsically entwined, with globalization becoming such a fine art in the way this Earth turns, should we all start to think in more global terms rather than local? But until we get rid of all the lawyers and politicians, hold hands across the planet and sing kumbaya: all politics will remain local.


  • You will never know, and the last CIA report that came up like a month ago reduced the probability of an attack..So yes most probably israel will do a surgical attack and since the US and israel are allies both those forces will minimize the iranian retaliation…
    And for all of those who say that Iran is not an easy target I say: Remember saddam? Also never forget that the US of A owns the sky, and he who owns the sky wins the war..

    Anywho, iran has many many internal problems beginning with soaring inflation and not ending with oppression.

    Now back to reality..

  • I think your right on the money… No way Bush will bomb/strike Iran, another point you forgot to mention is the pull Iran has with OPEC. The CIA won’t back him… The States can’t afford to bomb Iran… I think your sort of Right about Israel; hmmmm maybe I doubt Olmert has the balls to strike Iran. I thought Jordanians were smarter then that… how can they conclude bush will? Good Article…

  • Even if Bush truly believed that Iran poses a threat to him, he won’t attack. He learned the lesson in Iraq, and if he decides to attack Iran he’d need more soldiers and the fight against American troops inside Iraq will get much worse. Besides, he’s not surrounded by the crazy pro-war right-wingers who all resigned or got fired as a result of the failure in Iraq. finally, bush listens to his military leaders, and most of them would strongly recommend against a strike against Iran.
    At the end, it’s all up to what Jesus tells him to do.

  • Now, If the U.S. decides to attack Iran and Iran decides to respond by attacking American allies/colonies in the region and let’s say that they hypothetically attack Jordann (which bare in mind has been publicly attacking and crtiticising Iran (starting from daily press and UP) for a couple of years now), and then Israel decides to interfere and defend its historical ally as they did in the past on numerous occasions, which side are we supposed to take

  • What a timely post…my landlord and I just spend half an hour on the phone discussing this very subject, to the sentence! I should call her back and read her your post.

  • Most probably not, economics of the US do not support that. Inflation is high, the banking collapse, the military overstretch, the congress approval to finance, Bush’s legacy -which appears clearly in his will to conclude a palestinian-israeli peace treaty, which from scattered official quotes looks shitty as Oslo-, Public finance is lecturing more about inner spending.

    On the other hand, and if the odds were different… Iran will most likely be incapable to respond even in the sick manner they are threatening with due to the support they highly depend on from Russia and slightly China to block or redraft UN security council resolutions.

    Israeli strike seems more doable from the american perspective.. But Israel will not dare in my opinion due to non evaluated risks they will expose themselves to by Iran, Syria, Hammas and Hizbullah all acting together (synergy proven of high central command between the 4 parts) in addition to the blow that will effect the arab moderate side in which the states highly depend on for Oil, Security Logistics, Semi control over Iraq, in addition to the necessary arab support for a “final conclusive” peace treaty.

    The problem that arab countries do not have a plan to act accordingly. As if it does not affect us if Iran gets wipped!!

  • “And for all of those who say that Iran is not an easy target I say: Remember saddam? Also never forget that the US of A owns the sky, and he who owns the sky wins the war..”
    Mohannad,,,your assessment and argument are weak and don’t reflect the realty on the ground whether in Iraq or Afghanistan.
    American Forces are bugged down in both countries and has no chance to “succeed”,and who ever control the skies don’t control the out come ; In Iraq, Bush and company have tried every military alternatives to control Iraq and the results of their choices are horrific and miserable to describe at best;in vietnam ,the skies were owned by the the Americans Forces and we all know the result of that war and adventure ,they had to evacuate the American Ambassador and his embassy staff from the roof of the American embassy in Saigon so mush so for controlling the skies.
    \ Back to Nassem’s post “Will Iran be attacked soon?”; in my opinion ,Iran will not be attacked for many reason ,some of it military and some are politcal,on the military option,Bush and his cabal are restrained because of the heroic Iraqi resistance
    In Afghanistan ,the situation worse than people think,more han 50% of the country is in the hand of Taliban Forces and they are not going to fold that easy anytime soon,nd there is plan to send 3000 American soldiers to Afghanistan ,that should tell us something about the American “success”.
    For lack of time ,I would not be able to discuss the political and Geo strategic option at this time . and perhaps later on i will come back and write about the limitation of the American option.

  • Why did you assume that they will do a ground invasion? If they do that then they will prove that they are stupid, which I think they are not..

    Surgical attacks from the air are enough to create chaeos in a country…And no iran has no chance next the air power the US have..

    And again what losses are yoy talking about? If you mean in personnel then I think that a couple soldiers a day is nothing…Politically, we can hypothesize that they lost, but you need emperical evidence, and there are toooo many variables on how you measure a failure..

    And the veitnam war was like 40 years ago, since then battle field technology have changed dramatically, so you argument is outdated..


  • Mohannad,,,both option are off the table ,if you ask any military expert on Iran ,they will tell you it will be suicide that only will result in opining the gates of hell,
    Again I like to remind you of what few Hezbollah fighter( without any air defenses) have done to the Israeli Army(which is the third largest army in the world) in the summer of 2006, furthermore ,the geography will always play a crucial role in any military conflict,Iran is considered one of the biggest countries in the gulf area with 80 million and plus,and to add to that iran can very easily control the Straight of Hormuz by mining the 50 miles stretch between it and Oman which will results in cutting oil supplies to all countries including United States,and that scenario by and it’s self Will not only create economic chaeos but an economic melt down of the worlds economy as we know it….

  • Again you are going back to the ground invasion argument, which we all agree is stupid. And Iranian regime can’t give up the oil revenue which without it they are nothing, a 20$/barrel oil will bring Iran to its knees(Ask economists)..

    Anyway what I am saying is never underestimate the power that the US have, and anyone who denies it is either deaf and blind or stupid..


  • Nobody is denying US military power Mahannad, my argument is very clear,if the US decide to use it’s power, the gates of hell will be wide open and no country including the US can do anything to stop.

  • Just a small note regarding “the gates of hell” that Iran and Hizbullah talks about alot.
    Do you really believe that Hizbullah triumphed over Israel in 2006 battle?
    Israel thought that they could change the facts on ground -as they always do-, they did actually but not as anticipated.. Look at Lebanon and have a look at Israel, do the after math of that war, how expensive it was.. and let that be a benchmark of victory and loss calculations..

  • Do you remember ,ya Ahmed the initial objective of the war in Lebanon and how enthusiastic those right wing Israeli politician and how easy it’s going to be for Israel to destroy Hezbollah you remember that ya Ahmed? and what happened ,did they accomplish what they panned to do?
    On the subject of the cost of war ,off course, Israel will always target civilians and civilian infrastructure to punish the population ,just look at Gaza and the west bank, there is virtually no resistance but the Israelis keep killing civilians to punish the Palestinians and this policy will never work, trust me on that …أحنا وياهم والزمن طويل

  • So I want to go ahead and risk this. Someone joked earlier that president Bush will do what Jesus tells him to do. I am located in the midwestern US… sort of in the thick of “Biblebelt” culture. I just want to point out that there are an increasing number of Americans who are concerned for the world, and sadened… deeply saddened by the actions of our government… who seem increasingly deaf to the voices of the american people. As a Christian, I think that what we should be doing right now… honestly… is begging the forgiveness of all the Middle-eastern peoples and nations for our horrible behavior… on our knees. We should abandon all military efforts, all oil wells… give back as much as we have taken in oil and goods… and then we should live in poverty for a while and think about the toll that our wasteful consumerism has taken on the rest of the world.We should offer to trade, we should talk. We should continue to learn from one another. We should shower your countries with gifts no strings attached. I for one write congressmen and senators… in my university studies, I’m working to devolope sustainable methods of design and energy sourcing… just so that in some small way, I might help remove our excuses for getting into oil wars… These wars are every bit as far from the heart of Jesus as were the crusades and every other voilent undertaking of man. I know that in the scheme of things… my life is small… and the US government is big… and that it now looks as if it will stop at nothing to protect our currency. I guess I hold onto the hope that someday, free (and not by our doing) middle eastern cultures will be able to embrace arm and arm, peacful, open minded western cultures… and vice versa. I realize that I have failed to speak on war with Iran, I hope it never happens. I just want to point out that if our country were really engaged in practicing Christianity, we would not be invading anyone. But we are not, we are focused on money and power. And I am sorry to say that under these motives, our government will stop at nothing. May God humble us before we cause anymore horror.

Your Two Piasters: