Thursday, March 01, 2007

Maybe We Outta Rethink This Iran Thing.

The American Left has been predicting that Bush would go after Iran for the last 3 years, and now it seems that they’re working on an attack at this very moment. And just like what Dubya did with Iraq, he's claiming that Iran is trying to acquire a nuclear weapon. This despite their repeated claims that they are interested solely in developing nuclear energy, which would leave Iran free to sell their oil reserves to the rest of the world. Of course, the ever delusional neocons aren’t buying. So before we stick our heads into the deep fat fryer that is Iran, maybe we should check on what the United States is actually capable of at this point.

We should remember that when the US invaded Iraq, the country had been under an embargo for 12 years, which saw almost 10% of their population die as a result. Iraq was a country that had suffered being blown to bits in the 1990 Gulf War, and had continued to be intermediately bombed from 1990 to 2003. Prior to 1990, Iraq had suffered nearly 10 more years of war with their neighbor that saw even larger sectors of their population die. And prior to that the country had been in steep decline economically for 15 years. Given all this, how well has the US invasion of Iraq gone?

So let’s put some statistics on the table and compare Iraq to Iran, just in case we need to invade the country.
Iraq: 432,000 sq km
Iran: 1,636,000 sq km

Iraq: 26 million population; 60% Shi’a, 40% Sunni
Iran: 70 million population, 90% Shi’a, 8% Sunni, two-thirds of which are under the age of 30

Iraq: heavily bombed from 1990 to today
Iran: has been at peace since 1988

Iraq: suffered under an embargo since 1990 that killed 1-2 million adults and 600,000 children.
Iran: has suffered no embargo, but the US made it illegal for US companies to trade with Iran, a mandate that Vice President Dick Cheney violated when he served as CEO of Halliburton.

Iraq: The economy of Iraq has been in decline for the last 30 years.
Iran: The economy of Iran has been growing steadily for the last 20 years.

Iraq: Has had little industry other than the petrochemical industry for the last 20 years.
Iran:Has a growing automobile, aerospace, consumer electronics, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and nuclear industry.

Iraq: Short of some oil trading under the UN embargo, Iraq had virtually no trading partners.
Iran: Major commercial trading partners include China, Germany, S. Korea, France, Japan, Russia, Italy, India, South Africa, Turkey, and Pakistan.

Iraq: literacy rate 40%
Iran: literacy rate 86%

Iraq: Armed forces under Saddam, 2003: estimated 389,000 with 650,000 reserves (high end estimate)
Iran: 545,000 total armed forces, 300,000 reservists, and some 11 million who could be mobilized.

Given how well Iraq went, do you get the sinking feeling that if we went after Iran we’d get our asses kicked? Of course, militarily-wise we’re still the strongest power on earth…but after the 5 year fiasco that has been Iraq, do you really think our commander-in-chief has the ability to win such a war?

To put this in another historical context, I can’t help but asking, how many Iraqis have ever held the World Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Championship? The answer is zero. However, the only man that could take that very championship from an Iranian, The Iron Sheik, was none other than the legendary Hulk Hogan. And George Dubya Bush is no Hulk Hogan.


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