US Posturing Against Iran

From the Guardian:

Tension between the US and Iran heightened dramatically today with the disclosure that Barack Obama is deploying a missile shield to protect American allies in the Gulf from attack by Tehran.

The US is dispatching Patriot defensive missiles to four countries – Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait – and keeping two ships in the Gulf capable of shooting down Iranian missiles. Washington is also helping Saudi Arabia develop a force to protect its oil installations.

While this move will no doubt appease US hawks, it's a stupid and highly dangerous move, and I'm unsure as to why Obama has done this. Iran, regardless of what you think about the regime, has been boxed into a corner by America. Two of his neighboring countries have been invaded, and Israel routinely threatens to attack it. As a logical consequence, the country is aiming to create a deterrence via some sort of nuclear capability. Of course, no one wants Iran to have that type of capability, but anyone with a little common sense could understand why they are doing it. New missile shields placed in US friendly countries (and by US friendly, that means governments that sell American energy companies cheap oil) will not only encourage Iran to become more hostile, it will enrage the Arab world that is rightly sick of the US treating their countries like a playground. 

Iran is commonly referred to as a 'threat to stability' in the Middle East — an amazing statement given we have just committed two illegal wars in the region, killed perhaps millions of people, destroyed the infrastructure of countries and failed to provide jobs, running water or electricity to their people. But then this is a world where war Western war criminals go on to have lucrative banking careers while their counterparts get executed on youtube. This isn't to say that Iran's nuclear aspirations should be encouraged – far from it. It just isn't the place for the US and Israel to tell it not to given their track own record of immense violence in the region and their extensive nuclear weapons violations.

 

Obama's move will increase the threat of terrorism, make no doubt make Americans less safe. But it's good domestic politics and we should expect more of it.

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