I've so far managed to avoid making any public prognostications about what might happen in the world in 2006. But being a news and information junkie, I am beginning to notice lots of dots and they are starting to form a picture. Dots like this:
- Guest blogger "Avenging Apostate", who resides in Dubai (right across the Gulf from Iran, of course), reports seeing 'significantly higher' numbers of Iranians (tourists, students, 'businessmen', you name it) in his locale than just a few months ago.
- The same thing is happening here in Malaysia. Why would Iranians want to start leaving their country in large numbers at this time?
- Even the EU diplomats are declaring diplomacy with Iran (in regards to their nuclear program) to be at a 'dead end'.
- As far as Iran is concerned, President George W. Bush has said, “all options are on the table.” If America’s friends and foes have learned anything from the last five years, it’s that when Bush says “all options,” he means it.
- The US Navy is now in the position (for most of this year) of being able to surge a significant amount of firepower to the Persian Gulf region--potentially up to six carrier battle groups. This number would leave two other carriers to watch China and leaves another two in reserve. Having this huge surge ability at this time, I think, is no accident.
So, what sort of picture do all these dots form? Well, here's my take on this--there's a greater than a 50% chance that there will be a shooting war between Iran and the US this year. Storm clouds are gathering once again over the Middle East. Increasingly, the Iranians are seeing it, and those with means are running to get out of the way. This should be setting off alarm bells.
Sure, there's a few more acts in this drama (if you can't remember, just look back at the run-up to Operation Iraqi Freedom). There'll be a lot of public posturing on both sides, veiled (and not-so-veiled) threats from Teheran, and their jihadi terrorists allies, massive protests from Muslims and the so-called 'anti-war' movement all over the world, wrangling and handwringing at the UN, noises about sanctions, and on and on.
But when have sanctions ever worked? Remember, Saddam turned 'UN sanctions' and 'Oil-for-Food' into a state-of-the-art bribery, corruption, and influence-peddling scam. And that's assuming the sanctions could get through the UN Security Council in the first place. Remember, Iran has a couple of friends on the Council (China and Russia) and they may be well and truly bought off. The US will make the pro forma noises towards the UN, but the Bush Administration likely already knows better. After all, they've been through this once before.
So, ignore the UN and EU, and the 'international community'. Diplomacy is dead, yet again. Muslims only respect one thing, and there's only one thing that is going to keep the United States safe in a dangerous world--the US military. And this increasingly looks like the only means we have to keep the nukes out of the hands of the mullahs and their terrorist brethren. For this end, the EU and NATO have no decent military assets left after their commitments to Afghanistan--decades of dependency on the American military, and EU defense cutbacks make America shoulder this burden alone. This is assuming they would even want to help us on this one, because the peace-at-any-price attitude still rules the roost in Europe. So for actual military assistance, we might have the Israelis helping us out (if we can stomach the certain political penalty that incurs), and perhaps some token British and Aussie help, but that's about it.
What can our Islamic enemies be thinking this time around? Well, we know they have convinced themselves that they are on a mission from God to bring Islam to the whole world--and what better way to do that than building nukes for Allah?
So, the Iranian thug-in-chief and his fellow fanatics think they can win. I think it's a safe surmise that they are not rational. Again, this is familiar--our past enemies (Hitler, Tojo, Saddam, etc etc) made that same miscalculation. And look where that got them.