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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 11-Jan-06
Iran appears to be positioning itself as a post-war superpower

Web Log - January, 2006

Iran appears to be positioning itself as a post-war superpower

Iran restarts its nuclear enrichment program while calling for Israel's removal.


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad <font size=-2>(Source: irna.ir)</font>
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Source: irna.ir)

Last October, when Iran's new President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, spoke to students at a conference, "The World Without Zionism," he called for Israel to be "wiped off the map," and called for a new wave of Palestinian attacks to "wipe off this stigma from the face of the Islamic world."

Ahmadinejad's words shocked the world, including France and Russia. Journalists scrambled to try to explain it.

"I think that it's due to Ahmadinejad's na´vetÚ," said one analyst, referring to the short time he'd been President. Others explained that similar attacks on Israel are common throughout the Muslim world, and the only difference with Ahmadinejad is that he forgot that he was a head of state, and so people actually cared what he said.

It was easy to excuse Ahmadinejad in that way, since it seemed a reasonable explanation.

But since then Ahmadinejad has made a series of statements about Israel that have continued to outrage almost everyone outside the Muslim world. In these statements, Ahmadinejad said that Israel should be pushed into the sea, that the Holocaust never happened, and that the entire state of Israel should be moved to Europe or Alaska.

It's no longer possible to assume that these are just na´ve statements of a new President.

Nuclear brinkmanship

However, this was all just words until Tuesday, when Iran restarted its nuclear enrichment program. Iran claims that the program is for peaceful energy development, and peaceful nuclear energy development is very popular with the Iranian people. But the nuclear fuel is dual-purpose, usable for both electric power generation and nuclear weapons.

It's hard to overestimate the effect this has had. Incredibly, Iran has actually united countries as ideologically different as America, France, Germany, Russia, the UN and the EU -- all opposed to Iran's nuclear plans, and threatening a "serious response" if Iran took the steps it finally took yesterday.

By "serious response," these governments mean referring the situation to the UN Security Council, where sanctions will be imposed on Iran, provided that China doesn't veto the sanctions, which it will. And what would the sanctions be, anyway? Iran supplies a great deal of oil to the world, and if the "sanction" were to forbid Iran to sell oil, then the price of oil would go up even higher. So the threat to the refer the situation appears to be an empty threat.

There's a very great deal at stake. If Iran continues with its nuclear program and builds nuclear weapons, then the entire region -- the Mideast, Europe and Western Asia -- will be threatened.

This brings us to the other possible "serious response": There have been numerous rumors and leaks about plans to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities.

Israel has been openly hinting at bombing Iran's nuclear facilities by March, 2006, for several months. Israel previously bombed Iraq's nuclear facilities -- in 1981, when Iraq was developing nuclear weapons at Osirak.

Even more, one lengthy analysis by the Canadian thinktank Global Research, predicts a massive "shock and awe" bombing campaign, conducted by the US, Israel and Turkey, which they say is being planned for Iran's nuclear facilities. According to the analysis, which no one has confirmed, the Europeans and even some Muslim countries are in accord with the plan.

Iran is certainly aware of all these threats, but is going ahead with the nuclear program anyway.

"The policy of Iran is completely defensive, but if we are attacked, the answer of the armed forces will be swift, firm and destructive," says Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, Iranian defence minister.

What is Iran up to?

The fact is that Iran, and especially President Ahmadinejad, have been acting as provocatively and even offensively as possible. The threat to "wipe Israel off the map" may or may not have been a faux pax, but there's no doubt at all the subsequent statements in a similar vein were no accident, and were done on purpose. But for what purpose?

And are those statements related to the nuclear development plans?

The following possible explanation is speculative. It certainly is not a prediction, but is consistent with Iran's recent behavior.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, Iran is in a "different place" then the Western nations that it's currently confronting.


President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran<font size=-2>(Source: Mardomyar.ir )</font>
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran(Source: Mardomyar.ir )

Iran is entering a "generational awakening" period, just as America was in the 1960s. Iran today is one generation past the genocidal Iran/Iraq war of the 1980s, just as America in the 1960s was one generation after World War II.

Like President John F. Kennedy, elected in 1960, we can see the young, charismatic Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a position to change Iran's direction, as the country enters its generational awakening.

By contrast, America, Europe, and the West are all in a "generational crisis" period, increasing confrontation and willing to fight, rather than compromise to solve problems.

There are many differences between countries in awakening versus crisis eras, as has been shown throughout history in many countries. When a country goes to war during a generational crisis period (like World War II and the Civil War for America), the war is likely to be extremely violent, bloody and genocidal, resulting in massive historical changes.

When a country goes to war during an awakening era, it's much more careful and canny, willing to win by deception rather than by genocidal fighting. That's where Iran is today.

So the speculative scenario is this:

This scenario may seem farfetched, but when you think about it, it's not much more farfetched than what's actually going on. Ahmadinejad seems to be doing everything he can to provoke a bombing campaign against Iran, and such a bombing campaign will surely come. Ahmadinejad will certainly not just still and allow Iran to be bombed without some kind of retaliation, and the scenario described above is one of the few that appears to be consistent with everything that's going on. (11-Jan-06) Permanent Link
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