June 7, 2010

Bring It On, Mullah-Boy

Hatched by Dafydd

My favorite blogger on my favorite blog posted a short squib about a bizarre threat from Iran against Israel, emanating from the penumbra of the New York Times:

Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards are ready to provide a military escort to cargo ships trying to break Israel's blockade of Gaza, a representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Sunday.

"Iran's Revolutionary Guards naval forces are fully prepared to escort the peace and freedom convoys to Gaza with all their powers and capabilities," Ali Shirazi, Khamenei's representative inside the Revolutionary Guards, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Mehr news agency.

John Hinderaker noted that, "[t]he prospect of a Revolutionary Guards escort tells you all you need to know about the "peace and freedom convoys." But I think we can go farther than that: If the Iranian Revolutionary Guard navy carries through on its threat, it would be the most catastrophic military blunder in the Middle East since Saddam Hussein's defiance.

At the moment, the Islamists in Turkey and Iran are squeezing some bad PR out of Israel by encouraging terrorists and their allies to send "peaceful" convoys of "peace activists" to break the Gaza blockade... in reality, to provoke some intemperate Israeli response to add another whiney complaint to the EU/U.N. grievance parade. It annoys Israel and could lead to some serious problems if, for example, Egypt decides to lift its side of the blockade along the Egypt-Gaza border.

But the bad PR depends upon the half-believable fantasty that Israel uses "disproportionate force" in attacking pacifist priests, politicians, and imams. While the videotape of the enforcement of the blockade belies this fiction, the left-stream media can always ignore the feed and tendentiously redefine reality:

Last Monday Israeli troops killed nine activists on board one ship in a convoy trying to deliver aid to Gaza, sparking international outrage, especially in Muslim countries.

But if the Iranian navy itself tries to run the blockade, guns blazing and missiles flying, that turns the entire world-view upside-down: No longer will it be a case of Israel the bully slaughtering a bunch of non-violent "peace activists;" now it will clearly be a brazen military attack by Iran upon another country, hundreds of miles away. Not even the Times could spin that as Israel again responding with "disproportionate force!"

But that's not all; consider the assault itself. Iran's last significant military encounter was the Iran-Iraq war -- which ended in stalemate a generation ago. Millions were immolated in both Iran and Iraq to no strategic purpose whatsoever; both countries still struggle to recover. Since 1988, Iran's primary military activity has been infiltration of the Qods Force here and there (mostly in Iraq) and financing terrorism by Hamas, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and of course Hezbollah.

Contrariwise, Israel has fought actual wars several times since then, primarily in Lebanon and Gaza; that's a lot of recent combat experience. Too, Israel's economy is in better shape than Iran's, which is almost entirely state-run.

I'm fairly certain that in a real shooting war so close to Israel, the Israeli navy and air force would swiftly send the Iranian fleet to Ali Jones' locker.

Such a defeat would shatter Iran's claim to be the "strong horse" in the Middle East. If the world gets a lucky break, the international embarassment of the almighty ayatollahs might foment uprisings against them, perhaps even the overthrow of the "revolutionary," theocratic government -- a faint hope, I'll grant, but pleasant to contemplate.

And the likely scenario just keeps getting better and better: In addition to the humiliation of Iran, Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's hand would be dramatically strengthened at home and abroad:

  • A direct attack by Iran upon the Israeli fleet would drive even the putative peaceniks in Israel to support Likud's strong defense policy, and away from the usual paeans for the "peace process." Support for the Israeli Labor and Kadima parties would plummet, and Likud might control the Knesset for a generation.
  • Supporters of the Palestinians, the Islamist Turks, and Iran would be emasculated, either by the attack itself -- proving that the "peace activists" were either dupes or the original aggressors -- or at the very least by the mortifying defeat of the Revolutionary Guard fleet at the hands of a bunch of Israelis. The strong horse/weak horse dynamic of Arabia and Persia would drive them to pull back in disarray, curbing imperial dreams for a long time.

I believe war between Israel and Iran is inevitable anyway; it's best to bring it on now, prematurely for the Iranians, rather than hold off and wait until Iran's economy improves and it becomes a full-fledged nuclear power.

So go ahead, Mullah-Boy; send your fleet to try to crack the Israeli blockade. It would be the best possible move you could make... for Israel, the United States, and the rest of the West, that is.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, June 7, 2010, at the time of 2:51 AM

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The following hissed in response by: LarryD

What, no mention of Iran's nuke program? That must lower the bar for starting a shooting war, which would put "Open Season" on Iran's nuke program assets.

Given the threat Iran poses to the Arabian states, I can see the fog of war being exploited mightily, during the first days. Russia and China, if they have a lick of sense, should be ready to pull back quickly, because when the shooting starts, they have no friends.

The above hissed in response by: LarryD [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 7, 2010 9:35 AM

The following hissed in response by: Necromancer

All that sand should have been turned into GLASS back in 1979. I don't have to remind you who was the potus then or even the years before that time. I know I'm going to hear a lot of flack on this but I am beyond caring and tired of all of it.
"Semper Fi.
Mine is not to reason;but to do or die.

The above hissed in response by: Necromancer [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 7, 2010 7:36 PM

The following hissed in response by: Mr. Michael

It's got to be over 2500 miles of cruising to get a ship from Iran to the Mediterranean... does Iran even have a ship that can make that transit? Do they have the fuel?!?

I suppose an ally might be willing to top off the tanks along the way; but as fun as it would be to watch the obvious result I don't think they're serious about doing it, much less able to.

The above hissed in response by: Mr. Michael [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 8, 2010 12:23 AM

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