March 12, 2012

The Illusion of Attacking Iran.


When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.

by Deepak Chopra and Ken Robinson

War is where illusions go to die. This was true of Vietnam and war in Iraq. It is being ground into us every day in Afghanistan.

At this moment, those who want Israel to mount an air attack on Iran's nuclear facilities are counting on mass amnesia. But forgetting the lessons of past wars won't save the next bout of military adventurism.War with Iran is a real possibility, and yet there has been no real debate on its consequences. The rest of the world may cast Iran as the villain of the piece, but Muslims are at best ambivalent. Considering the firestorm that arose from the burning of the Koran at a U.S. base in Afghanistan, it was wily religious politics for the Iranians to build the Fordow Uranium Enrichment Facility right next to “Qom,” the center of Shi’a scholarship globally and the site of the Holy Shrine of Fatema Mae’sume, sister of the Imam Reza (789-816 AD). It is a significant destination of pilgrimage.

An attack on Qom is equivalent to an attack on Mecca for the Sunni Muslims, which most people agree would be catastrophic for the West. Even if the Israelis show remarkable precision in their air strikes, as they have in the past, targeting the area will certainly galvanize and nationalize the Shi’a in a way that George Bush’s "axis of evil" speech only suggested.

This and other risks are not lost on Israel, but Americans have no clue that this location must be target number one, if a major attack aims to destroy or greatly degrade Iran’s nuclear program. The uranium enrichment facility there is built into the side of a mountain, considered too deep for our bunker busters, which in any case Israel doesn't possess in its arsenal.

Before invading Iraq, the neoconservatives surrounding Bush characterized a unilateral act of preemption as a“clash of civilizations,” a right-wing illusion that is deservedly dead. But an attack on Iran will revitalize such thinking. The impact of Western interference as "neo-crusaders" in the Islamic world could well define the West, if not for a thousand years as the earlier Crusades did, then for the foreseeable future.

Instead of feeding the public on a new batch of illusions, these points are worthy of illumination, to educate Americans on how high the stakes are and how quickly the security of the nation could unravel if we have to fight the A-Team of the Quds Force and Hezbollah, either here or overseas.

President Obama has served the country well by his cautious attitude and refusal to stoke war fever, but his coolness only inflames the right wing. For them, the greatest illusion is American exceptionalism carried to the point that this country is invulnerable. After 9/11 this illusion was hard to keep alive, but the right has managed by stoking wildly exaggerated fear about national security and by claiming the best antidote for one failed war is to wage a new one.

We need for realism to prevail over illusions. This time won’t be like Operation Babylon, the Israeli attack on the Iraqi reactor in Osirak in 1981. An attack on Iran will have global consequences, setting in motion a series of cascading events that cannot be accurately calculated by game theory whizzes at the Pentagon or paranoid Israeli nationalists. All we can know for certain is that the consequences will be irreversible and out of our control. 

Deepak Chopra and Ken Robinson are diverse individuals who have walked extremely different paths in life, but continue to meet each other and find common ground at the intersection of peace and war.

Ken Robinson is a former special operations and intelligence professional with 30 years of experience, globally, and a member of the National Military Intelligence Hall of Fame.  

Write Your Comment

  1. Bob

    You are a spiritual person from India and you will be dismissed out of hand by American religous conservatives. They will do the same with your military friend. The political divide in this country is the clear threat to me. It may yet cause the Israelis to react out of fear. Please exercise your infinite wisdom and that of your colleague to make your message appeal to the political right. The gulf between left and right has the greatest potential for compromising the future. Best

  2. QB

    Heartphone there is something more I wanted to say regarding the drivers of the confrontation. It`s kind of redundant because it is something most people know but don`t wish to admit. All the factor which drive normal conflicts are just potential triggering events. The real driver is that three major human belief systems desire a violent completion here. Unwinding that desire is what you need to concentrate on if ultimately you are to prevent it. That is no easy task since the following of those belief systems are the core of what many people in the world have used to bring self importance to their lives. When the s..t hits the fan remember it flys with the wind, and the consciousness which drives the storm is a friend who likes to balance the world.

  3. heartphone

    I guess the ALTERNATIVE of Deepak has ALWAYS been MEDITATION. I remember on the former Intenblogdotcom we talked about this and the benefits it could have for worldwide peace. During those days we made the commitment to meditate on world peace each day at seven pm, each at our own local time, so that this meditation would be regularly during day and night in different parts of the world. Am still doing this and I guess and hope others in the world are still doing this. So please DO JOIN us at seven pm your local time: "Meditate at seven"...

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