Iran: An Arab Tragedy

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December12, 2006: Iran has threatened Europe with diplomatic and economic reprisals if any sanctions are imposed on Iran. This appears to have worked, as there is still no agreement on sanctions, even though Iran blew past a UN August 31 deadline to stop processing uranium. Iran openly boasts of having won its battle avoid economic sanctions, and vows to continue its nuclear program without interference. Israel, however, continues to openly threaten to do something, which might include military action.

December 11, 2006:The government is hosting a two day conference to study the proposition that the World War II Nazi murder of six million Jews is a myth. Fantasies are popular in the Middle East, and have been for a long time.

December 10, 2006:The small group of clerics that hold the real power in Iran (they can veto anything the government wants to do), are discussing moving up the presidential elections, to cut short the term of current president Ahmadinejad (who even many Iranians agree is an unstable blowhard.) Ahmadinejad does have the common touch, though, and that worries the senior clerics as well.

December 2, 2006:The Arab countries in the Middle East are worried more about Iran than Israel, but have a hard time admitting it publicly. But the reality of the situation is that Israel has nukes, a powerful army, and is not inclined to conquer all its neighbors. Iran, on the other hand, wants nukes, has a powerful army and has a long history of conquering its neighbors. For this reason, the Arab states consider Iraq a disaster. Saddam may have been a son-of-a-bitch, but he was a Sunni Arab SOB, and thus determined to resist any offensive moves by Iran. Now Saddam is out, and his Sunni Arab followers in Iraq are on their way out (literally, they used to be 20 percent of Iraq's population, but are now less than 15 percent and sinking fast. ) Iraq is run by Shia Arabs, many of them openly pro-Iran. Arabs are torn between sucking up to, and surrendering to, Iran, and resisting Iran.

November 30, 2006: Ten days of military exercises this month seemed to be aimed directly at the smaller Gulf states, trying to intimidate places like Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates into not contesting Iranian aggression.

November 27, 2006: Most of the Iranian army (390,000 troops) and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (120,000 troops, to protect the clerical dictatorship from the army) are deployed along the Iraqi border. Training exercises lately have included practice of guerilla warfare tactics. About ten percent of the armed forces are deployed on the Afghan and Pakistani border, where they are fighting an active war against drug smugglers. For the last decade, this battle has produced several hundred casualties a year.

 

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