Neo-Con End Run
Despite the absence of explicit approval by the White House, such an attack would work to the advantage of the Bush Administration, facing as it now does a hostile Congress with a Democratic majority already talking publicly about ways to wind down American involvement in Iraq. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday intimated that Congress might even go so far as to deny funding for the President's soon-to-be-announced surge of as many as 20,000 more American troops into Iraq, a warning the Right-wing Weekly Standard claims "...makes the House Democrats the party of defeat, the party of surrender." If Israel were to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran, however, congressional Democrats would face the prospect of de-funding American military operations in Iraq at the same time a spiraling conflict would get underway right next door in Iran.
Few doubt that Iran would retaliate, and one of its most likely first actions would be to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which 20% of the world's oil is shipped from the Persian Gulf to the open seas. Iran has mined the waterway before. Furthermore, as described here and elsewhere, Iran has missile batteries lining its coasts, weapons that would make lumbering oil tankers the oil-bearing equivalents of enormous sitting ducks. While Israel's single-strike plan to end Iran's nuclear ambitions might be successfula single strike was all it needed to destroy Iraq's Osirak nuclear complex in 1980the rest of the world would be left to deal with a humiliated, enraged Persian state lashing out in some cases indiscriminately, but in other cases quite pointedly at Israel's putative backer, the United States.
A single Iranian Sunburn missile fired at a U.S. warship in the Persian Gulf would drag the United States into war with Iran. Keeping U.S. troops stationed in neighboring Iraq from involvement would be next to impossible, especially if Tehran saw opportunity in goading weakened, under-staffed ground forces in provinces close to the Iraqi border with Iran.
With such a spiraling conflagration exploding in the Middle East, the Democrats in Congress might find little support for using the congressional power of the purse to turn U.S. policy in the Middle East away from military solutions. In fact, if anything, even a limited fight the U.S. might have with Iran would require both large infusions of additional troops into the theatre as well as many billions of dollars in new money to pay for those troops, their weaponry and support materiel.
Far from ending the American-Iraqi War, the Democrats just might find themselves having to go along with massive increases in funding for a regional war of which the Iraqi theatre was only the first and perhaps the least bloody phase.
The Dark Wraith invites readers to contemplate the situation into which Congressindeed, the United States, itselfmight very well be led shortly.