Saturday, March 24, 2007

Bad Poker Hands

The game of cat-and-mouse with Iran took another couple of steps today.

The UN Security Council voted to increase sanctions against Iran.

In retaliation, Iran has claimed that British sailors have confessed to entering Iranian waters voluntarily.

It's such an obvious game of 'tit-for-tat' it's not even funny. The sad part of the whole mess is the fact that Iran is really just goading the United States - trying to provoke George Bush into attacking Iran. (Iran's behaviour reminds me of someone I used to know years ago - specialized in "button pushing" someone until they got mad and retaliated - if you ignored this attribute he was basically harmless)

Even if the United States were to be successful in knocking the Iranian government over, he'd actually expand the porous region between Iraq and Afghanistan, making it easier for insurgents in all three areas to gain access to resources.

Interestingly, it would also open up the prospect of dragging China into the fracas - as there are significant economic ties between China and Iran. While China's army may not have the technological sophistication that the US army has, it will be fresh, and China has numbers of troops it can call upon that make the United States, or any other western power, look pretty trivial - a distinct advantage in what would amount to a war of attrition.

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