Monday, August 14, 2006

Juan Cole on War With Iran

Following up on yesterday's post about Sy Hersh's latest New Yorker piece, in which Hersh reports that Washington views Israel's war on Lebanon as preparation for an American invasion of Iran, Juan Cole warns:

Any US attack on Iran could well lead to the US and British troops in Iraq being cut off from fuel and massacred by enraged Shiites. Shiite irregulars could easily engage in pipeline and fuel convoy sabotage of the sort deployed by the Sunni guerrillas in the north. Without fuel, US troops would be sitting ducks for rocket and mortar attacks that US air power could not hope completely to stop (as the experience of Israel with Hizbullah in Lebanon demonstrates). A pan-Islamic alliance of furious Shiites and Sunni guerrillas might well be the result, spelling the decisive end of Americastan in Iraq. Shiite Iraqis are already at the boiling point over Israel's assault on their coreligionists in Lebanon. An attack on Iran could well push them over the edge. People like Cheney and Bush don't understand people's movements or how they can win. They don't understand the Islamic revolution in Iran of 1978-79. They don't understand that they are playing George III in the eyes of most Middle Eastern Muslims, and that lots of people want to play George Washington.

Patrick Lang, an expert on human intelligence in general and Middle East intelligence in particular, has an article in the Christian Science Monitor on the likely consequences of a U.S. attack on Iran, which Prof. Cole credits as support for his argument.

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