I have maintained for some time, that an attack on Iran would be a very foolish thing. Iran is not unprotected and the US is not invincible.
Douglas Herman gets it…
By the second day, the message became clearer: Iran was no longer the pushover of years past. The combined effect of Sunburn, Exocet and Yakhonts missiles striking several US Navy ships fleeing the fishbowl of the Persian Gulf was an unforgettable sight. So unforgettable that CNN and Fox chose not to show them.
According to Mark Gaffney: “At the time of the Falklands war the Argentine air force possessed only five Exocets, yet managed to sink two ships. With enough of them, the Argentineans might have sunk the entire British fleet, and won the war.”
By contrast, the Iranians, cognizant of their defeat at the hands of the Iraqi and US forces in 1987-88, aware of the twin threat from Israel and the US, had focused heavily on defensive weaponry, supplied to them by Russian and Chinese manufacturers.
“The Russian SS-N-22.Sunburn (Moskit), which technical journals and experts have termed the most effective and lethal anti-ship weapon extant, is far cheaper to produce than a fighter plane or a missile destroyer, cruiser or aircraft carrier,” wrote Gaffney before the war. To make matters worse for US Navymen, the Russians provided the SS-NX-26 Yakhonts anti-ship missiles to Iran, reported to possess Mach 2.9 speed and a range of 180 miles.
The width of the Persian Gulf? 100-180 miles.
The immediate closure of the Persian Gulf to oil tankers from six nations provided a huge boost to peace advocates. By the second day of the war with Iran, with US Navy ships ablaze and sinking, with dire forecasts of worldwide fuel shortages, with gas prices spiking at $10 a gallon in some places, with increasing calls for impeachment appearing in the mainstream media, with environmentalist decrying the spread of radiation from the bomb blasted atomic sites in Iran, suddenly the neocon-sponsored war with Iran no longer seemed like such a good idea.
“I see,… and with the deepest affliction, the rapid strides with which the federal branch of our government is advancing towards the usurpation of all the rights reserved to the States, and the consolidation in itself of all powers, foreign and domestic; and that, too, by constructions which, if legitimate, leave no limits to their power… It is but too evident that the three ruling branches of [the Federal government] are in combination to strip their colleagues, the State authorities, of the powers reserved by them, and to exercise themselves all functions foreign and domestic.” — Thomas Jefferson to William Branch Giles, 1825. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, (Memorial Edition) Lipscomb and Bergh, editors, ME 16:146