Scott Horton at Harper’s is disturbing in his clear-eyed analysis of the coming US-Iran war. “Iraq redux,” as Vanity Fair quoted one high-end foreign policy specialist, regarding the build-up, planning and rhetoric. Pundits are already placing their bets on another “summertime war” between Israel and some combo of Lebanese militants, Gazan Hamas-heads or whoever. The situation is thoroughly disgusting. Back in May, for the last issue of the campus paper in which my editorials appear off-and-on, it looked like Iran was heading up to be the new enemy to destroy. “Iran is clearly a menace to [American] hegemonic interests in the Mideast,” went my words, concluding on the point about the horrid danger of “lending credibility to the Tehran regime, ramping up the threat of regional war and tying the fates of the Iranian and American people alike to the will of lunatics.”
Horton looks at the logistics, all within “striking range”: “Four aircraft carriers, 12-16 destroyers, 4-8 submarines, 4-8 AEGIS cruisers, and over 200 strike aircraft,” giving reason to why “an admiral [is] in charge of CENTCOM.” It is obvious that we’re preparing some kind of air assault; ground invasion is totally out of the question. As for the Iranian/American hostages (how symbolic), Horton thinks “the mullahs in Tehran” and their counterparts in “the Cheney clique … will demonize their respective hostages as spies and a threat to their national security.” It didn’t happen with the UK embroglio with the captured sailors, though it could just as easily happen this time; we can only pray. It is awful when people are used as pawns for wargames. To wit, Horton adds, our government is going to “portray Iran as a force for evil throughout the Middle East and beyond.” Destablizing, evil, threatening, gathering storm. Take it out. Surgical strikes. Preemption. Our force for good. Theirs for evil. Let’s hope history doesn’t unfurl redux at our expense, needless to say the world’s as well.