It could be a war or a swift and precise bombing of key installations in Iran. The truth being a full scale war with Iran will be unacceptable to the USA at a time when the extrapolated cost of the Iraq quagmire is touching a senseless 1 Trillion dollars and the fact being Iran is no Iraq.
The war in Iraq was a success in meeting the short term goals of the US,
1. Checkmating Iraq’s firepower – Especially the Scud threat against Israel
2. Unseating the Saddam regime and a cleanup of the Baath-Sunni oligarchy
But in a war with Iran, what would be the short term goals,
1. Taking out Iran’s nuclear capablity – this will not be easy, given the fact that Atomic installations in Iran are geographically wide-spread and high in count.
2. Unseating the regime – Iran is a functioning democracy and even in their wildest dreams, the US will not be thinking about this.
3. Containing Iran’s reaction – will be tough. Iran could go on a rampage in the Persian Gulf and across the middle-east if it is hit. Iran has the firepower to accomplish that and the American forces in Iraq and rest of the middle-east will be sitting ducks despite any ramp up the US intends to and is perhaps currently doing in the Persian Gulf.
Going into a war with Iran has two critical reasons against it,
1. American public opinion – which a propaganda campaign over a period of time may perhaps be able to change
2. World opinion – which asks this Question, but which, if Iraq is any example the current establishment does not really care about
Despite this why would the US make this mistake perhaps in another year or two – the answer is, the conservative right which has placed George Bush and Dick Cheney in charge of the country will not let them go back home without doing something about Iran. There is not much of a choice here and the way things are piling up, it is surely going their way. It may not happen soon, but there is another ‘solid’ two years left in the Bush Presidency.
Before the bombing starts, lets take a minute off to see what Iran (which has not invaded a country in the past one hundred years) looks like. After the bombing we’ll be left with rubble, like Afghanistan and Iraq, it is in the nature of bombs.
P.S : Per the state of the Union did you hear about yesterday’s “Valentine’s Day Massacre”
P.P.S : Take a look at the 2008 Budget Request (courtesy : RoseCoveredGlasses)