On the bombing see:
On the bombing see:
Thai police discovered bomb-making materials after the detention of a Lebanese man suspected of planning an attack, but the prime minister insisted on Monday that everything was under control….
Police detained a Lebanese man reportedly carrying a Swedish passport. Officials said he had links with Hezbollah, a Shi’ite Islamist group in Lebanon backed by Syria and Iran that is on the U.S. blacklist of foreign terrorist organizations.
KHAMENEI APPROVED PLANNED MASSACRE IN THAILAND
It is an axiom of Khamenei’s strategy that “We cannot survive friendly or even normal relations with the USA.” No operation with such risks could proceed unless Khamenei approved. He has a known history of using proxies to target other nations to assure “plausible” deniability, even if the whole world knows who did it. His justification for this atrocity rings hollow as Khamenei knows. The USA, especially under Obama, is unlikely to have targeted the Iranian nuclear scientists and has been practical obstacles to doing do. If Khamenei pretends otherwise, it is only because he needs the USA and Britain as enemy for domestic reasons. Iran’s ruling mullahs have ridden the same hobby horse since stealing control of the revolution during the US embasy attack.
Khamenei would fit just as well as Supreme Leader of North Korea or Zimbabwe. Inside Iran Khamenei he survives temporarily via intimidation, force and bribery. The Thailand attack would have killed dozens of Thais, Aussies, Japanese, Swedes Germans, etc. in addition to American and Israeli tourists but so what? Killing innocents at home has never bothered Iran’s Supreme Moral Exemplar. His death squads even killed Khomeini’s own son for criticizing the regime.
The planned Thai attack would have extended Iran’s parish status worldwide for a regime already knee deep in trouble. Would the West respond by going to war–a prohibitively expensive option that would require a ground invasion and alienate most Iranians? If neighbors joined in, would mullahs target their oil fields, bringing a response in kind? Life might be hard for Iranians afterwards, but it wouldn’t bother Khamenei. If you have not seen the astounding German film, Downfall, note Hitler’s commands to Albert Speer or his reponse when German generals urge evacuating civilians from Berlin. It’s Khamenei in a nutshell: “If I fall, the German people deserve to go down with me.” Just substitute “Iranian” for “German.”
Politically a bloody massacre in Thailand offer huge political benefits for Republicans. Except for the dumbest (Bachman, Palin, Perry) these scoundrels would know that going to war with Iran is nuts–especially given easier and more palatable alternaltives– but it would hardly stop them from demanding war to put Obama on the spot. If Obama refused, he is a coward If he acted, the Republicans would berate him for “stepping in quicksand” while feasting on the economic consequences That’s a sure bet.
LIKELY CONSEQUENCES OF A CIVILIAN MASSACRE IN THAILAND
Russia and China could hardly continue defend their Bearded Bride in the UN. Any remaining chance that Iran could avoid an oil boycott would be gone. Once in place, it would be insane to remove it so long as this outlaw regime exists. Barring any foreign invasion, most Iranians won’t support the Thai attack, as the regime hopes, but will see any murdered tourists as victims of the same tyranny they’ve suffered.
The day Iranians start a Syrian-style uprising (widespread, continous with millions of protestors), the attempted Thailand attack will have removed any hesitation among outsiders about providing a no-fly zone and other assistance upon request. To allow the regime to continue will guarantee a dozen Thailand-style attacks by an obsessive-compulsive regime whose reaction to every problem is consistent: intimidate, intimidate, intimidate. What works (temporarily) can be suicidal against better armed neighbors.
The outside world feels equal revulsion toward Assad and Khamenei, so why is limited intervention far more likely if Iranians request it? The answer is simple: humanitarian motives will not do politically given prolonged costs in blood and treasure. If Iran and Syrian why not everywhere where tyrans rule with varying degrees of harshness? Why not China, Zimbabwe, North Korea, etc. What makes the IRI special?
SIX REQUIREMENTS FOR MILITARY ASSISTANCE TO ANY REVOLUTIONARIES
Requirements are: viable terrain, a not-too-dense population, a population willing to rise up and take handle all ground combat, a military ripe for defections, humanitarian motives and–easily the most important–national security motives (meaning the regime in question is perceived as a danger to a foreign nation or its civilians). Concerning the latter, expect to see xenophobes and propagandists to act predictably, citing the oil motive as all inclusive, as if Iran’s other other crimes against so many countries mean nothing, and despite the self-evident fact that all countries have acess to oil on the world market at prices determined by supply and demand. Even if oil cost $1,000 a barrel if would be far cheaper than war. That’s without even counting human losses (sons, daughters, fathers and husbands, etc).
Popular support for intervention is essential in a democracy especially where the target nation is large and even moderately well armed unlike Antigua or Panama. Popular support is more likely where the targetted regime has engaged in unprovoked proxy attacks and covert schemes (the marine barracks, Thailand, Washington, D.C. scheme, kidnapped hitchhikers and tourists, IEDs and Quds assistance to Al Mahdi militia in Iraq, the kidnapping and murder of four US soldiers, etc.) Note the involvement of Iranian special forces in arming, training and even directly assisting assaults on American forces outside Iran’s borders and in helping to plan terrorist attacks on American and other civilians.
DO IRANIANS WANT TO BE FREE OF TYRANNY OR NOT?
If so, they must show as much spunk as the brave Syrians, rising up–daily, everywhere and in large numbers when this ongoing crisis has alienated sufficient numbers. Would Iranians prefer a shorter struggle with fewer civilian casualties or a year or two with ten times with ten times as many civilian casualties and property damage? Would they prefer to make it easier for soldiers to defect with their weapons and armored vehicles? Would they prefer a protected safe area? If so, they’ll ask for outside help for the same reasons Syrians have? Given such conditions, will Iranians get help should they request it? Almost certainly because Europe, the USA and Iran’s neighbors have a ton of personal grievances with the regime, much like Iran’s people who will have to supply the ground effort.
A no-fly zone will first eliminate air defenses, missile sites, command and control, fighter aircraft and helicopters. Nex comes regime armor, artillery. Protection would include a safe zone for Iran’s provisional government. Iranians can also expect weapons, training and special force assistance just as Khamenei provided for his proxies in Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Syria and Afghanista. IEDs, anyone? We can help there too Khamenei: we owe you one! Who needs an oil motive?