2005/06/17

Timmerman on Jon Stewart's Daily Show

On June 16, the Daily Show with Jon Stewart featured a talk with the author of "Countdown to Crisis," Kenneth Timmerman. Timmerman was of the opinion that Iranians would welcome a forcible “Regime Change” on the part of the US and would basically, as people predicted for Iraq a few years back, greet invading US troops with flowers and kisses.

One of ANSWER's local members is an Iranian who had visited his relatives over there a few months back. He briefed the rest of us at a recent meeting. Yes, the revolution that deposed the Shah was way back in 1979 and, quite understandably, people's enthusiasm has faded over time and Iranians are getting a bit uncomfortable and feeling a bit restricted. Is Iran a dictatorship? Not exactly. The president was properly elected by any criteria one might wish to apply, but he does not control all of his agencies. The religious authorities maintain quite a bit of control over national security agencies and areas touching on religion. There are avenues where Iranians are free to express themselves. Iran is neither a complete dictatorship nor is it a full-fledged democracy. Our speaker and I are in full agreement that Iran could certainly liberalize more and that Iranians would like to loosen the reins a bit.

But no, Iranians are not at all enthusiastic about being invaded by American troops. Yes, they are fully aware of the situation next door and feel that it is an unmitigated disaster. They have zero desire to repeat the experience. I believe Jon was entirely correct to express skepticism about Timmerman's rosy outlook on a possible American invasion of that country. My own understanding is that Iran would react to an invasion by first setting off bombs and launching small-scale guerrilla attacks all over the Mideast and then by adopting Russia's classic tactics against invaders, i.e. draw the enemy troops in and attack them when their supply lines get too stretched out and they're too deep inside the country to effectively withdraw or get relieved.

Seems to me that an invasion of Iran would be a very quick and effective way to annihilate what's left of America's armed forces after the disaster in Iraq.

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