This Iran Thing Keeps “Droning” On…

A fair amount of my posting themes tend to utilize my own application of common sense, which for any of us simply represents our cognitive conclusions based on our personal life experiences.  My common sense may not be exactly your common sense, but there are similarities, and sometimes we can learn from each other.

English: President of Iran @ Columbia University.

This guy is not as powerful and influencial inside Iran as we Westerners think.

As of this writing folks (mostly younger) are asking if “we” will be going to war with Iran.  After all, it’s those younger folks who would end up engaged in such a conflict.  I guess us older folks sense this is just yet another potential world hotspot that likely will blow over, or in the least will likely end up one of those little blurbs in history like our past military efforts in Panama, Grenada, El Salvadore, etc., and less about being yet again another 10+ year conflict.  But let’s talk about a few events and toss them against the entire picture of Iran’s current antagonism.

The entire issue with Iran is their desire to proceed on a tactical nuclear program outside of the peacetime uses for nuclear applications like power generation.  The question is how far have they gotten in enriching weapons-grade uranium.  Obviously the concerned nations have been exploiting their intelligence gathering capabilities to try and get some factual information in order to determine the proper response… be it continuing with sanctions and embargos or exercising some military option… or even some covert action to delay or cripple the program.  One can be assured that the Obama administration is not wanting to fall victim to questionable intelligence like Bush did as a precursor to the U.S. invading Iraq.  So given all the cloak & dagger secret stuff we might see from world events that some things are in the works.

Their equipment was illegally and clandestinely brought into Iraq from other sources.

In June, 2010 a computer virus was discovered that worked only when it could infect certain kinds of equipment by the German manufacturer, Siemens.  The Stuxnet virus is unique in that it was designed only to infect industrial monitoring and control processes of specific Siemens programming.  Malware of this type typically is not designed to target on certain industrial equipment applications but rather to infect as much as possible and do the greatest damage.  This has led to strong speculation that the design of this virus could only have been accomplished by an advanced nation-state and not likely someone with a laptop in a Third World nation.  The net result is that the Iranian enrichment program had been delayed considerably because the virus would trigger (or not) certain processes requiring millisecond response times, essentially making things not work right.  As it turned out, it was easy to determine that the Siemens equipment being used in Iran was on the embargo list and procured clandestinely.  The rest was programming.  Slick trick… and I hope the CIA were the one’s who thought that one up.

Next… remember in the news this last January the assassination of yet another Iranian nuclear scientist?  That made four in like four years.  We denied having any part but it doesn’t take a nuclear scientist to speculate with some basic accuracy that Israel’s Mossad might have had a part in it.  If so, then one can presume that there are intelligence assets in place and active in Iran.  We may not know to what extent, but it was enough to pull off the assassinations.  Not only do the killings remove a critical and difficult to replace asset to the program but it also serves to demoralize and strike a level of fear in those remaining who are involved in the program.  Obviously there is significant intelligence inside Iran, albeit maybe not directly inside the underground complex… yet.  I would be inclined to believe the President should he take any action one way or the other based on intelligence.  It seems like he has a good connection.

"Captured" drone in Iraq.

Remember that drone that was shot down or crashed in Iran this last December?  The official U.S. response is that the flight crew lost control of the aircraft before it went down.  The drone was an RQ-170 Sentinal.. a bat-winged stealth plane used for surveillance and reconnaissance (the “R” designation) and real-time video, and is not a weapons platform like the Predator drone.  These things are programmed to fly in certain GPSflight pattern configurations if remote control contact is lost, in order to regain the remote control signal.  Iran says their signal jamming equipment brought it down but I think that’s unlikely.

I am sure this thing wasn't "brought" down.

  Let’s consider this… one can very easily presume that these things can destroy themselves.  By that I mean, not in some destructive explosion that might rain down flames and parts onto some civilians… but rather by simply sending a surge of voltage through it’s computers to render all technology useless, then using it’s onboard GPS to land somewhere remote.  At that point who cares who finds it.  But what this whole scenario might suggest is that we were conveying to the Iranian government that we are watching… and if this drone was in an area that Iran thought was once secure and secret it now knows otherwise.  In fact, in reaction Iran might try and move or re-locate certain vehicles or equipment.. thus tipping their hand on their location that might be picked up by other drones in the area.  My point is.. I just can’t believe this was just a drone that crashed or was even brought down.  In fact, you could almost see it in her face when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked for the drone to be returned to us.  It wasn’t going to happen and certainly no one in government was breaking a sweat about it.  In effect, it was a warning to the Iranians.

Israel's PM Netanyahu

Ok.. let’s explore the political process we hear in the news each day.  Israel keeps threatening to bomb the location and the U.S. keeps talking about letting the sanctions work and using diplomacy.  Sounds like the typical good cop-bad cop scenario to me.  What supports that idea?  Well, in the past Israel has never needed anyone’s “permission” to bomb anyone who might be developing a nuclear program.  In 1981 Israel bombed a nuclear reactor in Iraq near Baghdad.  In 2007 they bombed a nuclear facility in Syria.  So to presume Israel would not act on it’s own in this case is a bit strange unless it’s because there is a political strategy afoot, like good cop, bad cop with the U.S.,  or maybe there’s plans for covert action with more peromanant results.  As this is being written today Israeli PM Netanyahu has been meeting with Obama and members of Congress.  It’s more communication to Iran… plans are being made and they better watch out.  Heck, this being the middle of the republican primary likely serves Obama in working through this Iranian thing because of all the extra clammoring for military action by the republicans.

So I really don’t think we are perched on the brink of some war and certainly there’s not going to be some nuclear conflict between extended nations.  My common sense suggests otherwise.   

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