Friday, January 6, 2012

Iran, sabre rattling or hollow bluster?

Those in power in Iran must be feeling the pinch from sanctions imposed by the international community. Talk about closing the Strait of Hormuz—one of the busiest international oil shipping routes in the world and critical to many Western economies—and a warning to the United States not to return an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf is no more than an empty bluff.

These are just the sort of bluster and bombastic utterances we became accustomed to hearing from the late Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, and his underlings as they attempted to persuade the Americans that they were stronger militarily than they actually were.

As it turned out in the Iraq War, Saddam Hussein’s army was known more for retreat than for victory, and its air force hardly ever got off the ground.

I believe—as do some Middle East experts—that Iran does not have a nuclear program nearly as advanced as they’d have the West believe. But Iran got itself in a bind because of repeated boasts about destroying Israel, and must now reinforce its charade with inflated claims of military might to  discourage the use military force against it.

Unfortunately for the ordinary people of Iran, their leaders’ reckless rhetoric may have already set in motion a sequence which will lead inevitably to military confrontation with the United States and Israel.

A nuclear-armed Iran is such a frightening prospect, even a 50-50 chance of that nation being close to having nuclear weapons could lead to military intervention to downgrade the threat it poses to the region and to global security.

Copyright © 2012 Russell G. Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

  1. Walter Russell Mead has a good supplementary article, Iran Spitting Nails . "The defiance of a cornered animal".