Sunday, March 28, 2010

Israel Attacks Iran — the Sim!

David Sanger offers a laughably inadequate 'observation' of an even more laughably simplistic 'simulation' at the Brookings Institution's rabidly pro-Israel Saban Center. A raft of pro-Israel 'thinkers' — headed by pro-Iraq success-story Ken Pollack — were rounded up to make an Israeli attack on Iran look like a cake-walk. Of course, the US government (and I'm sure many others) have been simulating (translation: guessing) an attack on Iran for years. I'd be astonished if any of the government's simulations are as rosy as Saban's.

Sanger's blather about the Saban sim is more interesting for what it omits — most notably, no mention at all of Iranian civilian losses, which would likely be very high.

Here is my 'simulation' of the aftermath of Israeli airstrikes to destroy Iran's nuclear capabilities.
0. Israel strikes Iranian facilities, ostensibly to shut down potential Iranian nuclear weapons production.

1. Thousands of Iranians killed. Not clear whether Israel even struck all of Iran's facilities (Iran claims not).

2. Iran calls for international condemnation of Israel and US. US claims Israel attacked without advance notice to US, but the world recognizes this as nonsense, especially since the US would have immediate satellite info on Israeli attacks and the US has total air cover of Persian Gulf, Kuwait and Iraq. That is, Israeli air forces absolutely must get clearance from US for fly-overs, even over the Gulf.

3. Iran shows surprising deftness in driving wedges between US, Israel, Europe and Arab and Muslim worlds.

4. World condemns Israeli attacks, especially as Iranian civilian casualties mount and photographs and video are aired globally. US media downplays this, but bloggers provide access, resulting in a cacophany of condemnation of tepid US response to Israel.

5. Russia and China show surprising unity in categorically condemning Israel and lead the world in demanding that the US stop Israel's onslaught, especially as it becomes clear Israel is preparing for a second round of attacks to get what it missed first time round.

6. China sees an opportunity to assert the kind of leadership the US hasn't shown in decades. As it does so, anti-Chinese fear-mongering in the US raises its ugly head. China raises the possibility of sanctions on Israel and the US. Many in Europe and elsewhere agree, shocking the Americans.

7. For the first time ever, the US appears likely to be the target of a serious sanctions regime. Some in US Congress and executive branch suggest this is an act of war. A handful of US military figures cause a media furor when they suggest that the US must break with Israel, not just for US security but for the world's.

8. Iran does not attack neighbors or US forces in Iraq. It does halt oil production. Several other oil states drastically slow production. As oil prices soar, US is forced to ramp up military presence in Gulf and in states bordering Iran, especially Afghanistan.

9. Stock markets in the US and worldwide collapse. US government declares a market holiday, but this only inflames fears. There is growing public condemnation of Israel in the US. Habitually pro-Israeli news organizations like The New York Times and NPR are increasingly unsuccessful at trying to mask their pro-Israel bias. After holding out, the Times runs photos of Iranian children killed in Israeli attacks.

10. Iran deploys news depleted uranium (DU) munitions against Israeli and US aircraft in Iranian airspace. Shockingly, several aircraft are shot down. Crews are captured. The presence of US aircraft in Iranian air brings further charges from around the world that the US has secretly colluded with Israel in the attacks.

11. US and Israel condemn Iranian use of DU munitions, claiming that this proves that Iran did indeed have a nuclear weapons program (though DU munitions are not nuclear weapons). The world is astonished at the American and Israeli hypocrisy, noting that both use the very same munitions.

12. Oil hits $200 per barrel. World markets crisis becomes a general economic crisis. Fuel prices are so high, that transport of basic necessities worldwide suffers. In the northeast US, there are shortages of some food products as fuel prices hurt transport of food.

13. Insurgents in Afghanistan and Pakistan launch daring attacks on US forces. Though largely ineffective, the attacks make necessary more US forces and prove to be huge PR coups against the US and Israel in media worldwide. There are uprisings in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For the first time in years, there are series of bloody attacks within Israel itself.

14. Russia and China announce they are formally recognizing the State of Palestine in the pre-1967 borders. Numerous other nations follow suit, including several in Europe and then, astonishingly, Canada.

15. US orders Israel to cease all hostilities or it will also recognize Palestine. In the meantime, it terminates all sharing of satellite and other intelligence info with Israel. The president makes vague noises about seizing Israeli financial assets abroad. Joe Lieberman enrages most when he condemns the President as anti-Semitic in a speech before the Senate.

16. All hell breaks loose in the Middle East.
A wild speculation, you say? I can only respond that it is a lot more likely than the Saban garbage.

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