Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Consequences of U.S. Attack on Iran




Omid- Berkeley Forum has asked Professor George Bisharat about the escalating tensions between Iran & the United States. Professor Bisharat is a prominent legal scholar at the University of California's Hastings College of Law. He focuses on criminal law and Middle Eastern political & legal affairs. He believes that “a nuclear attack on Iran would be immoral, illegal, and politically disastrous.”

Do you think that the latest speculations on a possible nuclear attack on Iran are logical? What would be the reaction of the internaional community to such an attack?

In my view, a nuclear attack on Iran would be immoral, illegal, and politically disastrous. Of course, the same could be said of the invasion of Iraq, and that did not stop the Bush administration in 2003. However, I think that many elements in the Bush administration, including within the military, are against military action of any kind, not to mention the use of nuclear weapons. It is difficult to distinguish between genuine preparations for attack, and posturing for the purpose of intimidating Iran into concessions. But on balance, I think the odds are against a military strike against Iran.

Would attacking Iran raise the sympathy of the Muslim world? What about Islamist groups like Hamas in Palestine, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Badr in Iraq?

If such an attack were to occur, I think it would inflame the entire Middle East and Muslim world, at least at the popular level. In fact, fear of this reaction is one of the factors restraining the Bush administration from attacking. How this reaction would be expressed by particular parties and governments is a little harder to predict, because any overt support for Iran would likely be met with consequences from the United States, and no group wants to be identified for this kind of treatment. So support would more likely be surreptitious.

Is there a possibility that in case of an attack Iran would retaliate by activating its Islamic allies in the region?

I would not expect Islamic allies in the Middle East to retaliate against the US militarily, and perhaps not at all on the official level. Again, the US has a great deal of economic, military, and diplomatic power that it can wield against any opponents of its policies, and so the latter have to resort to indirect means that do not put them in line for US retaliation.

*Professor Bisharat graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1983 and holds a B.A. in anthropology (UC Berkeley, 1975), an M.A. in history (Georgetown University, 1979), and a Ph.D. in anthropology and Middle East studies (Harvard University, 1987).

Comments:
this dude is off the mark!

Even iranian people wont defend the mullahs, let alone muslims of the mideast
 
Thats not true. One thing that distinguishes the Islamic Republic from Saddam's or former Shah's regimes is that it has a popular base, which comprises 20-30% of the population. This passionate minority really believes in the Islamic ideals of the revolution and derives large amounts of benefits from the widely-disbursed state-owned enterprises. And with oil hitting $75 a barrel, the mullahs can afford to keep this base happy in the near future.
 
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Iran was ready for a democracy under the Shah and they are ready for a democracy today. Over 70% of the population is under the age of 35, and they want nothing more than to have the freedoms that they deserve. If the US is really worried about Iran’s supposed “uranium enrichment,” then they should work with internal forces within Iran to overthrow the Mullahs and implement a democratic government. The key is that they new government must be truly Iranian, and cannot be brought in from the outside. The Mullahs are doing everything they can to anger the world and are seeking an attack. If Iran is attacked then the Mullahs will be able to use this as a tool to unite the country and further their power over the great nation of Iran.
 
Iran was ready for a democracy under the Shah and they are ready for a democracy today. Over 70% of the population is under the age of 35, and they want nothing more than to have the freedoms that they deserve. If the US is really worried about Iran’s supposed “uranium enrichment,” then they should work with internal forces within Iran to overthrow the Mullahs and implement a democratic government. The key is that they new government must be truly Iranian, and cannot be brought in from the outside. The Mullahs are doing everything they can to anger the world and are seeking an attack. If Iran is attacked then the Mullahs will be able to use this as a tool to unite the country and further their power over the great nation of Iran.
 
BS by mullahs

Mullahs will be gone in less than a week if attacked and people will celebrate

dont kid yourself dude!
 
The fight between Iranian and American theocracies is not the battle between two nations. Having said that, Iranian Mullahs have a sizable base with vested economic and religious interests and to discount that and solely rely on the regime’s unpopularity is a huge miscalculation. Moreover, the Muslims in the region see an attack on Iran as –yet- another sign that Western crusade against Islam is in full swing and the eventual goal is to subjugate the resource-rich nations of the Middle East. The DC cronies have no heartfelt interest in establishing a democratic, thriving Iran (read the stories on US attempts to create separatist movements among Iran’s ethnic groups) and rather the end game is to weaken the independent cultures of the region, subject them to long-term strives and distribute the spoils of the war among more powerful players in the world. A sinister person may even argue that one of the goals of going into Iraq was to start a Sunni – Shia fight in order to prevent an anti-Western alliance. Whether we like it or not, it is all about money in the end and the region is full of riches and that has brought the neo-colonial powers back at the hornet’s nest.
 
no way! Iran was not ready under the Shah for democracy and neither is it ready today. It doesn't have the political culture for it! look how many people voted for ahmadinejad in the 2nd round: 33% of the electorate! 33% of the Iranian electorate at least doesn't want democracy.
 
Iran is not ready for democracy, but who is? Democracy too, needs to be built up organically from within. An attack by the US will not bring democracy to Iran just as it will not, and has not, for Iraq. When the people of Iran take up arms against that piece of sh*t government for themselves, the US will know it is time to step in and fight by their side. But it is THEIR responsibility, not ours!
 
dude is drowning in theory. Could use a dose of reality.
 
this blog is just another piece of bullshit
 
agreed, i can't believe i wasted my time looking at this crap
 
Interesting article on the BBC website concerning Iran's desire to share its nuclear technology with the Sudan. What makes this significant is the fact that it was Supreme Leader Khamenei—not the insolent Ahmadinejad —who made the pronouncement.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4943782.stm

What the hell is Iran doing? Such a course is a sure-fire way to perpetuate fears among an already anxious international community. Are they simply posturing? What incentive do they have to share NUCLEAR technology with one of the most corrupt and unstable countries in the world? Muslim brotherhood? Possibly some obscure (or not so obscure) relation to oil?

If the regime is interested in self-preservation, providing nuclear technology to a semi-failed state with presumably no compunctions about selling the technology to the well funded ideological Islamic zealots and undesirables of the regions appears to be a huge miscalculation. The transfer of knowledge alone could possibly provoke international hostilities, maybe even military conflict. Further, if/when the Sudan disseminates the technology, Iran is likely to be held equally responsible—again, sufficient reason to use military force. And let’s face it: the Bush administration is seething at the mouth for a publicly/politically sufficient, consumable excuse to initiate hostilities.

I'd like to believe that Iran simply wants nuclear technology (and lets not kid ourselves, weapon capabilities) as a bargaining chip, a way to ensure stability and perpetuation of clerical rule. But with rhetoric (and maybe that is all it is) like this, and considering the source (Khamenei) and the recipient (Sudan), it hard to judge what the hell they are thinking in Tehran.
 
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