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An uncomfortable parallel

In the past few weeks, I've been noticing more and more news about Iran, and once again I'm seeing parallels with the War on Terror and World War II -- and I don't think I care for this one.

First, ABC News reported that US forces have captured brand-new, fresh-from-the-factory Iranian weapons from terrorists in Iraq. This is case-closed, irrefutable evidence that they are, indeed, supporting and fomenting the fighting in Iraq -- a clear-cut casus belli against both Iraq and us.

Secondly, a judge has ruled that the Iranian government was behind the 1996 Khobar Towers attack in Saudi Arabia, an attack that was carried out by Hezbollah's Saudi wing that killed 19 American airmen.

Finally, the latest news: that US forces have captured four Iranians, two of them reportedly high-ranking military officers.

In short, what we're seeing are more and more acts of war, moving from the sub rosa to the flagrant and into the world of the indisputable and unavoidable. It reminds me of the relationship between the United States and Nazi Germany in the years leading up to the Pearl Harbor attack.

And what I don't like about it is that in this case, Iran is the United States -- and we are Nazi Germany.

Like 1940, one nation is fighting a war while the other nation is remaining -- officially -- neutral. The neutral nation is quietly and unofficially aiding and abetting the other nation's enemy. There are even actual acts of war being committed, but neither side is interested in acknowledging them and engaging in the war that would result.

The US/Nazi Germany situation resolved itself after Japan attacked the United States, and Germany finally conceded the inevitable and declared war on the US. That move is usually ranked as one of the three greatest strategic blunders of Adolf Hitler, alongside the invasion of the Soviet Union and the failure to invade Great Britain, that cost him the war.

When Hitler declared war on the United States, he was already fighting two momentous foes. The last thing he needed was another powerful foe, yet he still chose to exceed his obligations to Japan and followed them into waging war against the United States.

Currently, the United States is engaged in two fronts against terrorism, in Afghanistan and Iraq. Neither effort is anywhere near the magnitude of Germany's Eastern and Western Fronts, but I am starting to feel concerned over the similarities.

Currently, it is not in either the best interests of the United States or Iran to acknowledge Iran's hostile actions -- because once they are out in the open, they need to be addressed. But I would not be in the least surprised if Iran were to suffer some rather expensive and unpleasant "industrial accidents," "unfortunate events," "freak mishaps," and "military training exercises gone awry" in the near future.

Perhaps those little signs of fate's disapproval will discourage the Iranians from their present course. Perhaps the Iranian people themselves will discourage their rulers from continuing to export their particular strain of militant Islam. Perhaps the mullahs themselves will come to their senses.

Because if not, I see the "undeclared war" between the US and Iran (well, undeclared by us; I don't think they've ever taken back their 1979 declaration) moving closer to being formally acknowledged.


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Comments (12)

All we need with Iran is a ... (Below threshold)
John S:

All we need with Iran is a bit of patience. It appears the Mad Mullas are destroying the country's oil industry through lack of investment and the general incompetence found with most religious fanaticism. An article earlier this week suggests the Iranian government will be penniless in eight years, sooner if they spend billions trying to build a bomb. So all we have to do is wait (and hope the Democrats don't destroy our economy first).

As far as your analogy goes, we have one thing Hitler didn't -- 25 megaton thermonuclear warheads.

One key difference in the a... (Below threshold)

One key difference in the analogy is that in the 1940s the US had a huge manufacturing and production base with which to provide England and Russia with massive amounts of hardware. Iran, even if scaled to the modern scenario, doesn't come close. Political back-room shenigans, sure, but not outright, large scale support.

A far more apt comparison--interms of military hardware--would not be Iran, but Russia and/or the French.

Perhaps we might acknowledg... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

Perhaps we might acknowledge America's role in empire building in the Middle East.

Perhaps we might admit that we reap what we sow.

What exactly are we doing in the Middle East if it isn't for our own dependence on oil?

Of course No One would want to admit that sacrifice should start in America.

Gas up the SUV honey, we've got some errands to run.

Jay - I agree with almost e... (Below threshold)

Jay - I agree with almost everything you say until you get to: "Perhaps the mullahs themselves will come to their senses." That's about as likely as civil behavior's chances of ever making sense...

Clancy, it's no coincidence... (Below threshold)

Clancy, it's no coincidence that that possibility was listed last. It COULD happen, but...


Except the analogy breaks d... (Below threshold)

Except the analogy breaks down in that with a set of launch codes Iran ceases to be a problem for anyone except Hazmat crews.

I have no doubt however, the AP could report Iran shifting a division of its tanks into Iraq and write that this would "stretch the tenuous neutrality" unless the US attacked this division, then it would "US attacks neutral nation, widens war!"

Similar too is the increasi... (Below threshold)
robert the original:

Similar too is the increasingly isolationist and growing anti-war sentiment of the American public, in the face of a "gathering storm" - FDR's greatest problem.

It is our biggest mistake to fail to recognize Iran for the threat that it is, and too narrow to think of it without including the caliphate tentacles already reaching out in Africa, Asia, and the forces that burn hundreds of cars each night in France. The enemy has engaged on a wide front while we argue the number of state paid lawyers to be provided to each POW. Iran is one strategic alliance away, with Russia or China, from duplicating the threat of the Axis in WWII.

Instead of the "Battle of the Atlantic", already well underway at the time of the German declaration of war, we now have the "Battle of Washington" that is nearly lost. The ostrich mentality - if we ignore it long enough it will go away (peace in our time) - manifests itself today in the thinking of many that a few more Kerry meetings in Syria are all that stand in the way of world peace.

"And so the great democracies survived", wrote Churchill: "in order to continue the folly that nearly cost them their life".

Perhaps we might a... (Below threshold)
Perhaps we might acknowledge America's role in empire building in the Middle East.

Yup...gotta love all those American colonies we're setting up and controlling over there. I'm sure you have a list of some, right? Because that's what constitutes "empire building."

Perhaps we might admit that we reap what we sow.

So, what, exactly, are we sowing here? An idea that we will not tolerate attacks upon our citizenry, that sovereign democratic nations are good for its people, and can provide the security desired by people in the region? Surely you're not expecting us to accept the "war begets war, and peace begets peace" thing, are you? Because as far as I could tell, nothing we did beyond existing as a free people provoked the September Eleventh attacks on our nation. We had certainly "turned the other cheek" after the first WTC attack.

What exactly are we doing in the Middle East if it isn't for our own dependence on oil?

Yeah, it's all about the oil, and it's all for us. Keep on believing that the mideast is the only place that has oil, and that we're the only nation that needs it, and that we need to be in control of those countries to get at it.

Of course No One would want to admit that sacrifice should start in America.

Gas up the SUV honey, we've got some errands to run.

And you're riding a bicycle to work, right? None of those nasty fossil fuels for you, huh? If you're pointing to the fact that we are generally a nation of excesses, you'd be right, but you're presenting this in such a way as to indicate that if we'd only switch over to hybrids, all the world would be rosy. What scares me is that people with your limited understanding of international affairs and domestic concerns actually vote and can influence others with their convoluted logic.

Snide comments do not policy make. I invite you to use a whole bucketful of "if onlys" to lay out a viable cause-and-effect analysis of what we could have done differently up to this point, or what we need to do differently from now on that will bring peace and stability to the mideast; or simply an outline for how we can avoid being the target of future attacks.

Or you can accept the obvious: Peace will come when either Freedom or Islamofascism is completely eradicated. So long as both exist, there will be conflict.

Which one do you really want to prevail, cb? A little honesty here could go a long way.

Just wondering...now about ... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Just wondering...now about how many troops do you think it would take to occupy Iran until their new govt is up and running?...

No need to 'occupy' a parki... (Below threshold)

No need to 'occupy' a parking lot.

So what that Iran is doing ... (Below threshold)

So what that Iran is doing in Iraq what we did before we officially got into WWII?

If we do something to further our interests (which is what FDR did), it's ok by me. Unlike some, I don't hold to a good for the goose standard; the only thing I care about when it comes to defending this country is whether a particular action helps or hurts.

So by that standard, it doesn't matter if Iran wants to claim they're only doing what we did. They may be but that's not the test, it's whether their actions are harmful to us... and I would say that funding and lending support to the terrorists in Iraq definitely counts as harmful.

hypocritical? sure. but, again, so what? the job of a president is not to be consistent with times past, it is to do what is necessary to promote the wellbeing of our country.

Good post steve s'. I like ... (Below threshold)

Good post steve s'. I like the part about the Prez's job now not what someone did in the past. Times change. 1st time I ever bought gas was 38 cents worth --2gal. (no I am not 100 years old -yet) lol






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