Thursday, April 19, 2012

Canaries in the Coal Mine

In 1980, Iraq tried to leverage Iranian occupation of three Arab islands in the Persian Gulf into a leadership role for the whole Arab world in a war against Iran. Iraq's plan to launch a commando attack on the islands was not carried out and the Arab world funded--but did not join--Iraq's long fight against Iran.

Today, the Arab Gulf states are willing to call out Iran on their occupation of the islands:

After holding an extraordinary meeting to discuss the issue, foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council urged Iran to end its occupation of the islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb which lie near key shipping lanes in the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf.

Iran took control of the islands in 1971, shortly before the Gulf emirates gained full independence from Britain and formed the UAE. The islands are valued for their strategic position in the Strait and for their potential oil reserves.

So far, Iran hasn't intimidated their Arab neighbors into silence.

Who believes any neighbors could stand up to Iran if they get nukes?

Who believes those neighbors won't go nuclear themselves to regain the ability to stand up to Iran?

And who believes a nuclear-armed Middle East is a good idea?

These are meant to be rhetorical questions, but God help us, some people here give the wrong answers every time.