So it appears that the US is quietly building up military forces within striking distance of Iran. The island of Diego Garcia (UK) has served as a staging area for standoff weapons. The military-political establishment has been busy with threat analysis and is evidently staging forces to some extent based on their conclusions and evolving policy.

I think there are many credible arguments that rightly assert that Iran is an active threat to what passes for stability in that region. Or at least at the first-order level of political analysis. Iran is plainly an obstreperous theocracy with a particular zeal for the export of its orthodoxy.

As always, the drums begin to beat for war and the business of manufacturing public consent begins in earnest. I’ll go out on a limb and make a gross generalization. All human populations seem to have a fraction, say 1/4 , who are particularly fearful by nature. These are the folks who susbscribe to concrete notions of nationalism, righteousness, and the associated keenness for adherence to orthodox doctrine. These were key proclivities of the US/Soviet cold war era. It is part of a collective consciousness that is especially adept at finding patterns that validate its fundamental fear.

It would seem that we may be in yet another run up to the projection of force on the far side of the world. A good question would be this: Are we addressing the fundamental cause of World-vs-Iran conflict? At minimum we trying to shore up the result of a century of bad western foreign policy.  This region is at the overlap of profound social forces associated with abrupt infusions of petrodollars, reflexive militarism, ethnic antipathy, and religious orthodoxy.

I think that Chomsky has some valid points about the origin of these conflicts. Iran and other groups have used the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a bully pulpit for their own regional ambitions. Obviously there is sincere religious and ethnic outrage over the the Palestinian issue. But a state like Iran is sure to use this conflict to their own political advantage to exercise the projection of power.

The US and other western states have chronically miscalculated the magnitude and direction of regional conflicts.  For instance, would a military strike against Iran be viewed as just an attack on the government of Iran, or as an attack by infidels on Shi ‘ism? Are we prepared for what would follow? I think I can guess the answer.