[Marxism] kolko on iran

Andy esquincle at capital.net
Tue Oct 2 21:41:34 MDT 2007

Will the US Attack Iran?

We've read and heard Seymour Hersh.
I think it is worth paying attention to Kolko, as Znet does.

Whlie it is obvious that preventing such an attack is in the best 
interests of the world's poor, -- here Kolko hopes that someone (a 
vague, powerful group in the military and in the very bottom of 
Manhattan) will stand up for the true interests of the American ruling 
class -- to put a stop to the inhuman, criminal (and worse - 
economically destabilizing!) idea of bombing Iran.

Kolko consistently tries to offer the big "real politic" picture -- and 
he consistently tries to find that some hope yet lingers among (perhaps 
a fragment of) the American bourgeoisie -- a kind of lesser-evilism 
(but thankfully free and clear of and about the electoral crap) -- yet 
still consistently despairing, if not contemptuous, of the real actors 
in history (the members of the global working class).   Still and all, 
consistency counts.

What the response from working people, nation by nation, to the 
question of "what if the US attacked Iran?" remains outside of the 
discussion.  And yet that isn't that, really, what makes the stakes so 
high?  (For instance Kolko suggests that there would be (at least) 
deepening resistance even within the Israeli military at the outset of 
the proposed war upon Iran.)

Thinking about Kolko (and less so Hersh), the problem with the US 
attack on Iran might just be that the ideology of the rulers (a 
collection of ideas that amount to frank IDIOCY from the view of the 
world's poor) has frankly triumphed over a more rational analysis of 
their own "ruling class interests" -- _within_ the American bourgeoisie 
and its primary relations.   Maybe not, but Kolko's reasoning below 
seems more likely to support, rather than discredit, this concept -- 
against his own conclusion.


ZNet | Iran

Will US Attack Iran? Hersh, Kolko Weigh In
Historian Gabriel Kolko writes in to say that "war with Iran is not 

by Gabriel Kolko; AntiWar.com blogs; October 01, 2007

1. THE U.S. AND EUROPEAN ECONOMIES are now in a crisis, and it may be 
protracted. The dollar is falling in value, Gulf States and others may 
abandon it, etc. A war with Iran would produce economic chaos, because 
oil would be scarce. There are states, like Russia and Venezuela, who 
can sell it. In a word, the balance of world economic power is 
involved, and that is a great issue.
2. THE GULF STATES do not like Shia Iran, but they export oil, becoming 
rich thereby. They are dependent on peace, not war.
3. THE U.S. PUBLIC AND CONGRESS are variable factors. As the last 
election proved, anyone who thinks the Democrats will stop wars is 
fooling himself or herself. But war with Iran would require new 
authorizations. Then the Congress would, potentially, be very 
important. I may be wrong, but I may be right.
4. CHENEY AND THE NEOCONS huff and puff ideologies and are very 
articulate ideologues. Will they volunteer to fight Iran, and what will 
they do on the battlefield? How many effective fighters do they have at 
the Weekly Standard or AEI?
5. THE AMERICAN MILITARY is at the present moment stretched to the 
limit. They are losing both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Everything is 
being sacrificed for these wars: money, equipment in Asia, American 
military power globally, etc. Where and how can they fight yet another?
6. BUNKER BUSTERS can knock out so many bunkers, not all. If they are 
nuclear they are very useful, but they are also radioactive. In 
addition to killing enemies, they may kill friends and nearby U.S. 
soldiers also. It depends where you must drop them.
7. WHAT WILL IRAN DO, and what sorts of technology do they possess? 
They fought against Iraq about a decade, and suffered about half a 
million casualties. Perhaps they will roll over, but it’s not likely. 
There are a number of tiny islands in the Gulf they have had years to 
fortify. Can 90 percent of their weapons be knocked out? The remainder 
will be sufficient to sink many boats and tankers. The oil exported 
through the Gulf will thereby be reduced, and perhaps cease altogether.
8. ISRAEL may be a factor. They must cross Syrian and Jordanian 
airspace, and the Iranians will be prepared if they are not shot down 
over Syria. Their countermeasures may be effective, but perhaps not. 
Hence a number of Israeli pilots will realize they are embarking on 
suicide missions. Will they? Some will, others will not.
9. IRAN IS LIKELY TO GET NUCLEAR BOMBS, sooner or later. So will other 
nations. Israel has hundreds already. Israeli strategists believe 
deterrence will then exist. Why risk war?
There may be other factors. But these are sufficient.

The Bush-Cheney administration, as the Iraq war proved, is full of mad, 
irrational people, and there is no way to account for them. But not 
everyone in Washington thinks like them, especially in the military, 
and those on Wall Street who have the most to lose from a war have 
great political influence. We are obligated to count on them because 
that is they way the U.S. has operated for decades. According to an 
article in Salon, Sept. 28, “the military would revolt and there would 
be no pilots to fly those missions” were it ordered to war against 
Iran. Without them, there is no danger. The American public is a small 
factor, as elections have repeatedly shown, but may play some role 
also. But the U.S. fights wars and loses most of them. The U.S. is very 
likely to lose a war with Iran if it fights. It probably will not.

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