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13 April 2006
Thoughts on Iran
If ever there was a country that you did not want to attack it's Iran. Just look at the figures - the land area alone is over 1.5 million kilometres. The population is about 68 million with a median age of 25. Over a quarter of them are under 14. Put another way, Iran is three times the size of Iraq in terms of both land area and population. The Iranians not only have the manpower to defend their country, but that median age means that they have plenty of young men who would be only to willing to march off to the sound of the guns. Young men are like that - hand shandyists for war excepted - and in spite of fantasies to the contrary, there is little evidence to suggest that they will not rally to their country's call as the men of my grandfathers' generation did in the Europe of 1914.

To make matters even worse for the Americans, Iran has not been worn down by over a decade of sanctions and her population are well-fed. To make matters even worse for the invaders, Iraq has demonstrated the way forward and all the Iranians have to do is copy that example. The regular army stands as well as any Third World force should be expected to stand. That is to say they will probably fold after a month or so. Then the Iranians will switch to guerrillas war, using the weapons that have no doubt already been hidden away. After that it is really just a matter of letting former junior officers and senior NCOs from the old army have their way. The Third World may be lousy at regular warfare, but it tends to be rather good at the guerrilla kind. To make matter even sweeter, Iran is just as urbanised as Iraq, so the Americans will be fighting in the vast concrete canyons that make up the Iranian cities. This war would be Iraq write large and very bloody.

The Iranians, not being stupid, would probably sign some deal with the Iraqis and the two wars could merge into one. At the same time they could encourage Hezbollah in Lebanon to make life as unpleasant as possible for the Israelis. As a final kicker, they could block the narrow Straights of Hormuz which is how most of the Middle-East's oil gets out.

So why are the Americans now claiming that Iran could make a nuclear bomb in 16 days when all reasoned analysis puts them over a decade away? Inventing pretexts for a war that America could lose and lose badly makes no sense at all. The only possible motive that even begins to make sense - and that only in the dark, twisted corridors of the neocon mind - is that the political numbers in the USA could ensure that Bush ends up a lame-duck after November's mid-term elections. It's a gamble in other words that the American voters can be scared into supporting yet another war, and a further gamble that it can be won within the just over two years that this fool still has in office. Either that, or it's a gamble that his successor will not have the courage to call it a day and will be forced to keep on fighting.



Exile, Comandante
What did you think of my piece on
John Stuart Mill and what you call
"hand-shandyists for war" just curious I don't expect either of you too respond.

An other soldiers Blog hiperlinked above, not a baddie. He was dismayed at the lack of interest in the war at home, that’s what caused me to write this piece on
John Stuart Mill

14 April 2006 at 00:40  

I'm a bit confused about who I'm responding to here. Likewise, that J.S. Mill piece was a bit of trouble to find. And 632C5R09OW8 isn't the first intellectual gunslinger from the Right to come looking for me either...

I dunno. What do you want me/us to say? Thoughtful piece; interesting facts about J.S. Mill; wrong about Lenin and marxism AFAI can tell.

I note that Rosa Luxemburg's magnum opus -- in contradistinction to Lenin's work on imperialism -- very clearly develops her own theory on the inherent requirement capitalist imperialism has for colonies, which the metropole surprisingly must continue indefinitely to extract superprofits from by way of 'primitive accumulation' -- i.e. thru the wholesale and systematic pillage of this periphery -- in order to shore up a swiftly declining rate of return. This is exactly what neo-imperialism does today, but thru its preferred 'New & Improved' instruments of surplus extraction: those streamlined, modernized loansharking & support outfits -- IMF, World Bank, NGOs, police apparatus, et al., etc., ad nauseam -- so necessary in an age of high electronic financial jiggery-pokery and superfluidity of all assets, everywhere, all the time, über alles, von Götterdammerung.

All honest marxists openly state their influences and make proper attributions. I forget offhand what Marx said he found of use in Mill's work; but I'm certain he declared Mills' prior intellectual authorship whenever and wherever appropriate. Luxemburg too, most likely (though she may simply have referenced the likes of J.S. Mill once-removed, by way of Marx' work).

14 April 2006 at 09:39  

Yes, J.S. Mill was certainly an early liberal imperialist. He was dead by the time the true Liberal-Imperialists such as Joseph Chamberlain came on the scene, but his writings probably inspired them.

How much do his writings fit today's mold? Obviously not very exactly, but it is interesting to see how the Liberal-Imperialists supported the Boer War, say, using the argument that the governments in the Orange Free State and Transvaal Republic were bad. One can compare that very well with Iraq in 2003.

14 April 2006 at 10:08  



Thank for replying,sorry for brothering you. I think this the answer. For successful Imperialism to take place there has to be an element of racial superiorly for a new colony to succeed.
John Stuart Mill regarded the native Indians as barbarians, hence
he viewed British presence as solving the natives social ills.
Just John Stuart Mill, Harry place tends to argue that presence of foreign troops in Iraq is necessary for womens rights.But the dark side is that either John Stuart Mill or Harry place would have supported these polices on less india/iraq had huge economic resources.

14 April 2006 at 15:20  

Mold indeed. Downright musty, it is.

I don't think race is necessary -- thus the development of the "failed state" model to cover other contingencies -- but it certainly is a tried and true -- and very comfortable -- method for the white supremacists who run the U.S.

14 April 2006 at 20:27  

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