A GRAND FOLLY: IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN IRAN IN 2003, NOT IRAQ A few days ago I posted a thread that proposed hard military action is on its way in Iran, and that sadly, this seems to be all but unavoidable at present. A consensus seems to have formed that some kind of military strike will take place, but the only question is when and how â the tactics that we, as allied Western powers, will use. Iâve read virtually every single reply to this post and all of the excellent, reasoned and plausible battle plans that have been proffered, guessed at or hinted â and straight away another maddening, deepening and probably right consensus appears to have formed: That whatever type of military action we use in Iran, and however brilliantly planned and executed, carries a very real and catastrophic chance that it will fail, because the Iranians are now fully prepared and ready for us â however we come. So the question is gentlemen, are we screwed and have we left it too late? Is there anything at all that we can do militarily, or will it just inflame the situation further, and finally, have we now got no reasonable choice but to accept a nuclear armed Iran? Iâll be honest and say that the more I think about this, the more Iâm beginning to doubt that it can be done. Iâm just trying to put myself in the enemyâs shoes (Iran in this instance) and analyse the situation and their probable reactions. We can be sure that for the last ten years theyâll have been expecting and preparing for possible Western powers intervention â be it fast & light commando raids, special-forces sabotage, full-scale ground invasion, âshock & aweâ (remember that one?) or an old fashioned Israeli bomber-run on the nuclear sites with âbunker bustersâ. Surely their best & brightest military minds, who are pretty damn good and highly experienced, have developed impressive plans and strategies to use against us? So what are we to do gentlemen? What are we to do and how the hell are we to do it without tripping off a nightmare scenario? We could in a still-very-bad best case scenario find ourselves facing the best trained, financed and motivated Islamic terrorist insurgency the world has ever seen, flowering like a cancerous weed in Iraq and Afghanistan before literally spreading across the entire world. We could in a worst case scenario be faced with immediate and huge loss of western power invading soldiers, faced by an almost instant nuclear reaction from Iran when we began to get the upper hand, as we eventually would. Iâm racking my brains on this one and I just donât see a happy solution, but I do sense that the Iranians have got the momentum and upper hand politically right now. If we do decide to fight them I think that itâll be towards the end of Obamaâs first term or at the start of his second or whoever replaces him; that way he can say âIâve just spent the last four years trying to persuade these guys nicely and theyâve ignored me. And unlike my predecessor Iâve not rushed to war without prior planning or diplomacy.â Which is fine and all very admirable, but the only problem is the Iranians know our intentions and are now ready for us; they know weâre thinking like this and that the winds of war are blowing in their direction. And might they have a surprise for us, as the Spartans did for the Persians all those years ago? We should never forget that we donât have a monopoly on great military minds; whoâs to say that the next Napoleon or Wellington might not come from the Middle East? Donât forget, they had a certain Saladin once upon a time â a man who united Sunni and Shia against the infidel crusaders with crushing successâ¦ Iâm going to suggest something now that I know will offend and upset many of you, but none the less I think itâs time we discussed it: WE SHOULD NEVER HAVE INVADED IRAQ AND DEPOSED SADDAM. WE SHOULD HAVE LEFT HIM IN POWER AND USED HIM AS AN IDEOLOGICAL AND PRACTICAL BULWARK AGAINST HIS SWORN ENEMIES IRAN AND AL QAEDA. HE COULD HAVE BEEN INCREDBILY USEFUL TO US IN TERMS OF INTELâ GATHERING AND EXPERIENCE. WE SHOULD HAVE CUT A DEAL WITH THE OLD TYRANT, AS WEâVE DONE WITH GADAFFI, AND BROUGHT HIM BACK ON SIDE. So did we invade the wrong country and did we hit the wrong target? We could have taken strong military action against Iran with relative impunity back in 2003. But now? Well now it might prove to be impossible.