Are we heading for a war with Iran?


Dear friends!

Are we heading for a war with Iran?

Although I live in Palestine, my mind is not focused on the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Yes, there was an issue which made headlines: 1.800 Palestinian prisoners were on a hunger strike. Many are still held in administrative detention, this means they are in prison without trial, without knowing why they are held captive! But before this issue got too hot, an agreement between the prisoners and the Israeli authorities has been reached. Settlement activity goes on. The Palestinians do not talk about peace, while their land is taken away - so - peace talks are stalled. The building of the wall and the ongoing cantonization create facts on the ground, which do make a two-state solution impossible. The occupation of Palestine goes on since more than four decades, although dreadful and without hope, it has become kind of a routine.

Where is the focus of my thoughts? I am troubled most by the tensions between Iran and Israel. Iran is ruled totalitarian and as a theocratic system, the people there do not enjoy individual liberties. But the efforts of the West to isolate Iran do have only limited success. While Europe and the US intend to strengthen the sanctions, Iran tries to sell more oil to India and China. Soon the new negotiations between the 5 superpowers plus Germany and Iran will go into their third round in Geneva. If necessary Iran can make some concessions and hope to ease the sanctions that way.

Decisive is in what international climate the conflict between Israel and Iran takes place.

The cruelties in Syria might escalate. The war-like situation could spill over to Lebanon, or Turkey might be drawn into the violence, maybe even the UN decides for a military intervention.

Iran is a powerful regional factor. The apparent injustice of the world economic system makes it easier for the regime to find political alliances in South America or Africa, in China or India. Despite the sanctions Iran finds enough room to survive and to provoke the current world-leaders with the nuclear program. A secret non-declared war already takes place between Israel and Iran. In this direction point several Iranian nuclear scientists who lost their lives in mysterious ways. Two explosions hit last November Iranian atomic facilities. And the recent cyber virus attack “flame” also is most likely caused by Israel. There are detailed plans for larger military attacks together with the USA.

On the 16th of March President Obama signed a new executive order, which will give the President complete authority over all resources in the USA in case of a war or an emergency situation.

But most important the economical system, which has been led by the US for nearly 70 years seems to be disintegrating. After Bretton Woods (1944) this system worked quite well for several decades, but during the last two decades we have seen heavy and growing financial turmoil. The super rich do not know what to do with their money and the poorest of the poor do not have enough to eat. I believe that the main reason for chaos in the financial system is the interest rate. (When I have been discussing this subject another important reason for economical injustice was given to me: the rich pass on their wealth to their heirs.)

China and the other BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa) are not represented democratically in the two ruling financial institutions IMF and world bank. The dept crisis in Europe is getting more and more dramatic. Greece has to elect a new government soon and it seems to be possible that Greece will have to leave the Euro-zone. In Spain and Italy things are similarly dangerous.

Justice is the way to peace. Injustice cannot offer stability. The 99% are not unified, not organized and not able to raise their voice sufficiently – efficient reforms cannot be realized. The sense that we are heading towards a major crisis is growing. In this world wide climate of insecurity, mistrust and escalating economical crisis it is impossible to find diplomatic solutions, neither for the Palestinian/Israeli conflict nor for the looming war between Iran and Israel.

Not long ago we celebrated Pentecost. We should give God the glory. It is not HE, who is responsible for the catastrophic situation of the world, but it is us: it is our egoism, our greed, our hardened hearts, our lacking willingness to share, our incapability to love. So it is time to pray:

Loving God, may your Holy Spirit guide us through these coming crisis.

Have mercy on us, oh Lord!

Let us not partake in violence and injustice, but rather contribute to peace and justice!!!!

Martin and Christiane

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Comment by Tim Upham on June 29, 2012 at 6:37pm

One thing to take into consideration is that Assad is backed by Iran, and Turkey just recently started denying oil shipments from Iran.  Tension along the Turkish-Syrian border was a rare occurrence in the past.  Where Turkey had tension along its southern border, was pursuing Kurdish rebels into Iraq.  It seem highly unlikely for Iran to get militarily involved in a conflict between Syria and Turkey.  What Iran would do is just fund the Assad regime.  But it is beyond me, why Iran would want to get into another military conflict, after its devastating 8-1/2 war with Iraq.  Iranian cities were devastated by Iraqi missiles, and nearly a 1,000,000 people were killed in that conflict.  I knew some Iranian Jews from Tabriz, who told me that during that war there no downtown core of the city, because of Iraqi missile attacks.  These people left Iran, but I am sure those still there have not forgotten.

Comment by Roger Eaton on June 29, 2012 at 6:31pm

Hi Martin,

You have seen the recent news about large scale US / Israeli war games scheduled for October? This on top of the Syrian situation.  -- Roger

Comment by Martin Rau on June 29, 2012 at 12:44pm

Hallo Tim and hallo Roger,

thanks for your comments. They are good, in so far as they tell me, it is not yet so far. But, of course there is this but. We do not know if and when the USA will supply more weapons to Israel, for instance bunker breaking bombs and the airplanes which can refill another airplane in the sky. Maybe the US at least under Obama will not do that at all. But my main point in the newsletter was: an economic decline and growing military tensions work together to drive our world into the abyss. In that case the USA would just be drown into this quagmire even if they are half-heartedly against that war. The present escalation between Syria and Turkey points into that direction. Greetings and blessings, Martin

Comment by Tim Upham on June 23, 2012 at 9:03pm

Shimon Peres said it is up to the United States, to deal with Iran.  But as President, he is just a ceremonial figurehead.  So he can make statements that can be publicized, but he does not preside over Cabinet ministers.  The last time he did that, is when Israel launched the raid down into Entebbe.

Comment by Roger Eaton on June 23, 2012 at 8:46pm

Thank you, Martin Rau, for this thoughtful blog and prayer.  Your outline of the situation matches my assessment of the situation as well.  Tim is right, I believe, that Israel does not have the capability to knock out Iran's underground enrichment plant with conventional weapons, while the US probably could do so.  However, Israel could use a nuke and that option is what I see as the wildcard in this situation. 

Comment by Tim Upham on June 3, 2012 at 8:48pm

If there is a military strike on Iran, it will be the United States that will be doing it.  Israel does not have the stealth bombers and the bombs that reach underground to where Iran's nuclear reactor is located at.  Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has not stated that this will happen, but has said it is a possibility.  So I am sure, he is being very careful about what he is stating to the press.  Tehran just broke off diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan, a Shiite Muslim nation which has diplomatic relations with Israel.  For there was rumors that Israel would be striking Iran out of Azerbaijan.  But how would Israeli aircraft not be detected by Iranian radar?  Iranian radar is what picked up the Ireqi missiles which just devastated Iranian cities during the Iran-Iraq war.  That is it, Iran is a Shiite Muslim nation, which broke off diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan, and had a devastating 8-1/2 war with another Shiite Muslim nation, Iraq, and the Shiite Muslim shrines are located in Iraq.  So Iran has been a very poor role model for the Shiite Muslim world.  So despite all of the fearful speculation, Israel can have a happy Shavuot and other happy holidays, because nothing is definite yet.


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