3-Jan-12 World View — Iran Plays with Fire, Provoking a Western Military Response

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

  • Iran tests new missiles in Persian Gulf
  • Iran’s actions raise alarms in Gulf nations
  • Iran and the West are ‘playing with fire’ as mutual threats mount
  • Obama signs defense bill with indefinite detention provision
  • Left-wing bitterly criticizes signing of defense bill
  • Defense bill cuts anti-terror funding to Pakistan
  • My picks for the next President

Iran tests new missiles in Persian Gulf

Iran's long-range Qader missile test on Monday
Iran’s long-range Qader missile test on Monday

Iran successfully test-fired a new domestically manufactured coast-to-sea long-range missile, named the Qader (“Capable”), on Monday. The Qader cruise missile has a range of 200 kilometers and flies at a low altitude. It has a high destruction power and can target destroyers and battleships. Short-range Nasr (“Victory”) and surface-to-surface Nour (“Light”) missiles were also tested, as well as a medium-range Mehrab (“Altar”) missile. The Mehrab missile is equipped with anti-radar and anti-jamming systems, and if the enemy tries to jam the guidance system of the missile, it immediately identifies the source of the interference and changes its course toward the source and destroys the jammer. These tests come in the final phase of 10-day naval war games. Tehran Times

Iran’s actions raise alarms in Gulf nations

An opinion column in the UAE-based Gulf News says that it’s time for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to react to “open Iranian threats”:

How much longer are Gulf states going to remain in a state of denial? It may be a bitter pill to swallow but we cannot go on pretending that the Islamic Republic of Iran has friendly intentions when it is becoming increasingly hostile to its Arab neighbours. Now is the time for the GCC to shore up its common defence capabilities and engage with its allies to guard the sovereignty and security of its member countries. …

As if it wasn’t bad enough that Tehran has been inciting the Shiite minority in Bahrain to launch violent anti-government protests, in recent days it has been showing off its military muscle in the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Aden during an exercise ominously dubbed “Velayat” — a Farsi word that means “supremacy”. If this isn’t a clear message to the world and the region, I don’t know what is.

Some may be tempted to believe that our ally the US will protect us against Iranian aggression; that may be true but it isn’t something we can rely upon. … They could sell us out any time which is why with the help of God we must take control of our own destiny.

Compounding an already volatile climate was an Iranian threat to close the Strait of Hormuz to shipping in the event Washington imposes sanctions against Iran’s oil industry exports. Once again, [Iran] didn’t hold back. He said his country has “comprehensive control over the strategic waterway” — the conduit for 15 million barrels of oil daily. Sealing it to vessels would be a “very easy” task for Iranian forces, he somewhat arrogantly believes.

The writer concludes by urging the UAE to cut diplomatic relations with Iran, and ban all trade with Iran. Gulf News

Iran and the West are ‘playing with fire’ as mutual threats mount

Tehran continues to deny that it is attempting to build nuclear weapons, insisting their program is for generating electricity alone. On Sunday, Iranian state television announced a breakthrough in their nuclear progress, reporting the country had produced uranium fuel rods for power plant use for the first time. This came a day after President Barack Obama approved new sanctions against Iran. These mutual threats make the possibility of a miscalculation that leads to war an increasing possibility. Spiegel

I’ll summarize a Generational Dynamics analysis that I’ve posted many times in the last six years. Iran is in a generational awakening era, just one generation past the Great Islamic Revolution of 1979 and the Iran/Iraq war that climaxed in 1988. That war united the country behind hardline Islamic leaders. But today there’s a “generation gap” between that generation and the generation of kids who grew up after the war, and they are rebelling against the hardline Islamic rules being imposed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. This resulted in big political split with huge 2009 protests (like the huge protests in 1967-68 during America’s last awakening era in the 1960s). Khamenei’s harsh strategy is to provoke Western threats and even a military strike, in order to reunite the country again, as in 1979, though he doesn’t understand that generational theory predicts that outcome is impossible. Khamenei’s harsh strategy has caused the generation gap to split the government, with open political warfare between Khamenei and president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. At some point, the split will result in a collapse of the hardline regime (like the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974). In the end, when Iran is forced to choose, Iran will be on the side of the West in the coming Clash of Civilizations world war.

Obama signs defense bill with indefinite detention provision

President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that authorizes $662 billion in funding for the military. The bill contains a provision that authorizes indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens in some circumstances. In signing the bill, Obama added a “signing statement” indicating that he would not permit this provision to be enforced. UPI

Left-wing bitterly criticizes signing of defense bill

Calling it a “historic assault on American liberty,” Democrat and George Washington University Law professor Jonathan Turley harshly criticized President Obama’s signing of the NDAA as “a continuation of the dishonest treatment of the issue by the White House.” He also complained of the “almost complete failure of the mainstream media to cover this issue is shocking. Many reporters have bought into the spin of the Obama administration as they did the spin over torture by the Bush administration.” Guardian

From the point of view of Generation Dynamics, this kind of authorization was expected. The NDAA is hardly a “historic assault on American liberty,” as claimed by Turley, because even harsher provisions were enacted during the Civil War and World War II. People who worry about a “slippery slope” should take note of the fact that these earlier provisions were repealed once the war ended. We’re now entering a new generational crisis era, and there will be a new war. The indefinite detention provisions will, once again, be repealed when the war ends. By the way, this is one more example that when you put aside the rhetoric, the outcomes in the Obama administration are the same as if President Bush had had a third term. Great events are determined by generations of people, not by politicians.

Defense bill cuts anti-terror funding to Pakistan

Another NDAA provision, dubbed “a new year gift to Pakistan,” could suspend a large chunk of the $1.1 billion military aid to Pakistan. There seems to be a bilateral consensus in the US Congress over the provision that seeks to suspend up to $850 million from the Pakistan Counter-Insurgency Fund. The fund, however, can be released if Secretaries of State and Defence report to Congress that Pakistan is making progress in the war on terror and is cooperating with the US in curtailing the use of improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan. Dawn (Pakistan)

My picks for the next President

The Iowa caucuses are today, and people occasionally ask me who, among the current crop of prominent politicians, would be the best choice for the next President. Keeping in mind that I’m neither a Democrat nor a Republican, and that my main concern is the best choice to lead the nation through the coming financial and war crises, here are my comments, for what they’re worth.

Barack Obama is willing to screw anyone in sight, forget any promise, and violate the constitution or any law to get done anything he wants done, and most of his policies come from his generation’s vitriolic hatred of Boomers. However, those may be the best traits to lead the nation, since he’ll certainly transform his hatred for Boomers into hatred for the enemy, and will pursue the war ruthlessly and with rabid fury, which is a good thing.

Hillary Clinton has been a good Secretary of State, and she knows a lot more about what’s going on in the world than Obama does. She also has the advantage of having her serial philanderer husband as a partner, who will certainly be an asset to her. Once again, the ruthlessness and desire for vengeance may be an asset in a time of total war.

I feel an affinity to Newt Gingrich because he also makes statements that are obviously true, but politically incorrect. I remember when he said something like, “We’re not going to deport millions of illegal aliens who have been here for 10-20 years, and have established lives here.” That’s certainly true, no matter what you think of the illegal immigrant debate, but saying something truthful does not get you votes these days.

Ron Paul is a total fruitcake.

Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman both seem to be good solid managers, which should be a good thing when leading the nation into war. Of the two, I would give a preference to Huntsman because he’s a true expert on China, and I believe that he’s aware that we’re headed to war with China and would be more likely to prepare.

I don’t really have solid feelings about the other candidates. The most vomit-worthy moment of the campaign so far was when Herman Cain had no idea what to say about Libya, even though we’ve been involved in a war there for a year. I’m really glad he’s gone.

On a separate subject, the mainstream media stories are focusing on the circus atmosphere of the Iowa elections, particularly the fact that one candidate after another goes from the bottom of the polls to the top of the polls, and back down again, so that there’s been a different poll leader every week.

I would relate this “political volatility” to the volatility in the stock market, and even to the volatility in euroland. People are anxious and desperate, grasping at each new solution, and then abandoning it when they realize that it won’t work. At some point, total panic will set in, with unpredictable results.