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When an immovable object meets an irresistible force collision is inevitable. The two forces are those of the irresistible drive of the conservative fundamentalists in the US Administration and the immovable force of conservatives in Tehran. Ahmadinegad's refusal to stop uranium enrichment, his statements about the holocaust, the threat to wipe Israel off the map and its support for militias in Iraq as well as Hamas and Hezbolah have now been matched by equally bellicose language form Bush and Cheney that sets the two countries on an irreversible road to war.

Last week Bush stunned reporters when replying to a question he stated that "if you're interested in avoiding World War 111, you ought to be interested in preventing Iran from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon." Last Sunday this was taken a step further by the main policy strategist in the White House, Dick Cheney, who stated "we cannot stand by as a terrorist state fulfils its most aggressive ambitions," which he described as "efforts to de-stabilize the Middle east and to gain hegemonic power."


On the surface such rhetoric would be like something form Alice in Wonderland, if its were not so Orwelian. The White House "Ministry of War and Peace" has been the main protagonist in de-stabilizing the Middle east and seeking hegemonic power there, of which its policy towards Iran is equally designed. In fact, it is quite likely to result in World War 111 in form different to those before. There would be intensive airborne and missile warfare, but it is unlikely that the US could invade because the whole Iranian population would fall behind the regime and the armed forces are highly trained in urban guerrilla warfare, which the US could not get bogged down in. Iran would fight fiercely. it would not be World War 111 but it would compound an irrevocable split between the "Christian" and Muslim worlds.


Iran has already threatened to respond to any attack by US Forces with the immediate launching of 11,000 missiles against US positions in Iraq. To which they added "to begin with". Oil platforms and refineries in the Gulf would be hit sending prices of oil through the sky and plummeting the world in to a recession not seen since the inter-war years. In Iraq the US would find that the mass of the Shiite population would stand with Iran and their forces would come under concerted attack by tens of thousands of militia. The Iraqi Army which is riddled with militiamen would likely collapse and Iraq would be thrown into total war and anarchy. Outside of that, the whole of the population of Middle East and Muslim countries would be enraged and radicalised by such a step. It could bring internal turmoil and threaten the ruling regimes of US allies like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. This would be even more the case if Israel participates in raids. It would not be ruled out that Iran would also target Israel and US bases in Turkey. Fundamentalism in general would be widened and strengthened, despite differences between the Iranian Shiites and Sunni jihadists. Relations with Russia already frosty would be thrown back to glacial times of the Cold War.

Bush and Cheney have been criticized for being in denial over Iraq, but when it comes to Iran they have completely lost touch with reality. They have some 15 months more in office and aim to use their almost omnipotent position to go down in history. Even Time magazine has commented that war look increasingly inevitable and that such is the high-strung state of affairs that it could break out by accident more than design. Any number of incidents can now escalate especially around the Iraq war and the intransigence  of Iran over nuclear enrichment. Weapons of Mass destruction could again become the war song of the Bush Administration.  


Leadership is about being able to cope intelligently with environmental demands and concrete situations. Good leaders are well-grounded and have a realistic perspective of current and future events. They are able to level-headedly weigh up all the options and think through all the consequences. It takes powerful problem solving skills and considerable flexibility and impulse control to avoid disaster in international affairs. All of these skills are lacking in the Bush/Cheney psyche. In the words of the psychologist Carl G.Jung, "An inflated consciousness is always egocentric and conscious of nothing but its own existence. It is incapable of learning from the past, incapable of understanding contemporary events, and incapable about drawing right conclusions about the future. It is hypnotized by itself and therefore cannot be argued with. It inevitably dooms itself to calamities that must strike it dead."