We must not let Bush wage war against Iran
Daily Telegraph Link
Daily Telegraph Link
Some common sense from Boris.No, no, let's be fair. Let's show the iron logic for which this column is famed. It is time to set on one side the catastrophic record of Bush, Cheney and the neocons, and look dispassionately at what they are now proposing. In considering the case for an attack on Iran, let us try to ignore the results of the demented adventure in Iraq.
It is not easy. The Iraq war has led to the deaths of more than 3,000 US service personnel, about 133 British troops, and anything between 50,000 and 655,000 Iraqis, most of them innocent civilians. There are about 100 Iraqis dying every day, or being hideously maimed, in the course of suicide-bomb attacks. It is undeniable - or at least it is undeniable by anyone except Tony Blair - that the war in Iraq has greatly increased the threat of terrorist attacks in this country and across the world.
But let us momentarily shut our eyes to those truths, and let us decide whether the warmongers are right this time.
A second American aircraft-carrier battle group will soon be in position. The US special forces are apparently on the border, or even operating in Iran itself. Some time this month, we are told, the US administration will ratchet up the pressure by the usual means: the UN will be asked to agree a resolution on the use of force, and failing that, the Israelis will simply go ahead with the bombing, and the US will pile in behind them.
Is it possible that this time, unlike last time, they will get it right? Can we really exclude the possibility that Dubya knows what he is doing? Just because he got it so disastrously wrong in Iraq is no reason to think he is always wrong. Perhaps he is like a brilliant brain surgeon who happens to have made one tragic slip of the knife. Perhaps he is a Nijinsky who launched his career with one bad pratfall. Perhaps there really is a good, solid case to be made for following him into battle again.
Perhaps Cheney and co are right to say that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a new Hitler, and that he could pass his weapons to terrorists, and so on. Indeed, on the face of it, Washington is absolutely correct to be alarmed.
In an ideal world, a man like Ahmadinejad would not have access to nuclear weapons. In an ideal world, the Israelis would find a way of doing one of their lightning raids and depriving Iran of its nuclear capability - and given that the Iranian leader has threatened to wipe Israel off the map, they would have every justification.
Frankly, I would be thrilled if the Americans were really able to knock out the Iranian nukes, if they were able to do it quickly, efficiently and with minimum bloodshed, and to do it in such a way as to stop the hydra regrowing its heads.
And, yet, even if I blot out all memories of past performance, I doubt the wisdom of this administration in taking on any such mission.