[OPE] Brzezinski: reasons why an USrael attack on Iran would actually weaken US position further

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@tiscali.nl)
Date: Thu Jul 10 2008 - 18:35:43 EDT

...there are four compelling reasons against a preventive air attack on Iranian nuclear facilities:

First, in the absence of an imminent threat (and the Iranians are at least several years away from having a nuclear arsenal), the attack would be a unilateral act of war. If undertaken without a formal congressional declaration of war, an attack would be unconstitutional and merit the impeachment of the president. Similarly, if undertaken without the sanction of the United Nations Security Council, either alone by the United States or in complicity with Israel, it would stamp the perpetrator(s) as an international outlaw(s).

Second, likely Iranian reactions would significantly compound ongoing U.S. difficulties in Iraq and Afghanistan, perhaps precipitate new violence by Hezbollah in Lebanon and possibly elsewhere, and in all probability bog down the United States in regional violence for a decade or more. Iran is a country of about 70 million people, and a conflict with it would make the misadventure in Iraq look trivial.

Third, oil prices would climb steeply, especially if the Iranians were to cut their production or seek to disrupt the flow of oil from the nearby Saudi oil fields. The world economy would be severely affected, and the United States would be blamed for it. Note that oil prices have already shot above $70 per barrel, in part because of fears of a U.S.-Iran clash. [The head of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries warned Thursday that oil prices would see an "unlimited" increase in the case of a military conflict involving Iran, because the group's members would be unable to make up the lost production. "We really cannot replace Iran's production - it's not feasible to replace it," Abdalla Salem El-Badri, the OPEC secretary general, said during an interview. http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/07/10/business/opec.php ]

Finally, the United States, in the wake of the attack, would become an even more likely target of terrorism while reinforcing global suspicions that U.S. support for Israel is in itself a major cause of the rise of Islamic terrorism. The United States would become more isolated and thus more vulnerable while prospects for an eventual regional accommodation between Israel and its neighbors would be ever more remote.

In short, an attack on Iran would be an act of political folly, setting in motion a progressive upheaval in world affairs. With the U.S. increasingly the object of widespread hostility, the era of American preponderance could even come to a premature end. Although the United States is clearly dominant in the world at the moment, it has neither the power nor the domestic inclination to impose and then to sustain its will in the face of protracted and costly resistance. That certainly is the lesson taught by its experiences in Vietnam and Iraq. (...) http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-op-brzezinski23apr23,0,3700317.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions

Meanwhile, back at the European Parliament....

Spanish Socialist MEP Josep Borrell - Chair of parliament's Development Committee - told the conference that development aid for agriculture was 17% of all aid 30 years ago - compared to 4% now. He added that only 4% of public investment in developing countries goes to agriculture. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/public/story_page/028-32909-182-06-27-903-20080627STO32886-2008-30-06-2008/default_en.htm

And in Israel...

The Bank of Israel is once again intervening in an effort to slow down the steep decline in value of the American dollar against the shekel which has hit Israeli exporters hard. The central bank announced Thursday it will begin buying on average $100 million per day effective immediately, up from the $25 million sum which it announced it would purchase in March. The move comes as part of the bank's efforts to raise its foreign currency surplus to the $35-40 billion range. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1000677.html

Effectively an Israeli attack on Iran, and the consequent oil price hike and even lower dollar exchange rate, would worsen Israel's export position. Such an attack makes no economic sense, hence Condi Rice's vague rhetoric about "defending our ALL LIES" and Ehud Barak's vague reference to "options". 

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