Martin Samuel The Times Online Opinion Football: “Invade Iran? There’s another way, stupid
Martin Samuel

Check the history books: ‘limited war’ would result in something far worse ? so let?s give sanctions a chance

THERE IS NO situation in the Middle East so dire, that we cannot get a white guy in to make it worse. Next on the agenda: let?s bomb Iran. Yeah. That?ll work.
The gentleman who commissions these columns from me once described their leitmotiv as the phrase ?I?m surrounded by idiots?. He has a point. The word stupid was employed to deride eight opinions/government objectives/patterns of behaviour in society in the past year. And I wanted 2006 to be different, really I did. But, sorry, here we go again.

War with Iran is an idea so spectacularly flawed that even many of those daft enough to believe that the occupation of Iraq could be resolved successfully are against it. War with Iran is such a potential wildfire that Israeli Intelligence privately considers it a dumb move. The consequences of war with Iran are so far-reaching that even to place it on the agenda is to have exceeded the bounds of logical thought.
The sweetener is that old chestnut, the limited war. The West could fight a limited war in Iran to curb the nuclear programme, and then withdraw. Just like it could remove the Taleban in Afghanistan, get rid of Saddam Hussein and still be home for tea. Yet, as 3,300 British troops decamp to inhospitable Helmand, and the death toll of allies in Iraq rises to 2,440, what is abundantly clear is that war in the Middle East has no limit. “


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