I can just hear the derisive snorts in response to that suggestion. “Are you insane? Why would Iran commit and act of national suicide by provoking the United States into a war that it can't possibly win?”
The answer is very simple: a war with Iran will hasten, if not quickly result in, the Amerikan Empire's collapse.
It is true that an offensive war against Iran would begin badly for the Iranian side, probably resulting in the bombing of major Iranian cities, ports, oil, and nuclear power facilities for starters, followed at some point by a full-scale ground forces invasion of Iranian territory, either from Iraqghanistan (do forgive me this humorously cynical synthesis of our current quagmires), amphibiously from the North Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf, or some combination of both. It is certain that hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of Iranians will suffer in the process and that U.S. tactical objectives will be met in a matter of weeks, just as they were in the Mess in Potamia next door before it became a second Vietnam. Following this, I expect that the Obamunist, he of no military experience and with a highly flimsy credibility rating among the American Chickenhawk Class, will exuberantly exploit what he will be led to believe is “victory!” Like his equally simian predecessor when he appeared on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, the Obamunist will probably also equally enthusiastically declare “mission accomplished” after just enough troops have ensconced themselves inside Persia to make it look like another imperial outpost in the Fertile Crescent. But the Iranians have some insurmountable advantages over their Amerikan foe.
For all of the flatulence eructing from Rome-on-the-Potomac like gas after a chili cook-off about the possible first use of nuclear weapons by the U.S. or its Israeli master, both Iran and RotP (and surely Tel Aviv too) know that Amerika is completely without moral standing in the rest of the world's eyes to do this. For all of the head-bobbing by Pax Americana's European satraps, for all of their imitative chest thumping calling for the maximum sanction against the mullahs of Tehran, everyone knows that the nuclear option is off the table. This is especially the case when one considers that Russia and China, the emerging new superpowers of the post-Amerikan age, are so close to and so heavily invested in Iran's economy and infrastructure. Neither the Bear nor the Dragon, flush with a surplus of Amerika's fiat dollars (albeit of declining value), much of which they have put to work inside Iran, are about to see their investments go up in a mushroom cloud. Both will act very quickly to put the rogue Amerikan regime in its place should even a serious hint of nuclear “first strike” make its way into official conversation, and Iran knows this.
Notwithstanding all such talk from the neoconservative wing of the Amerikan warmongering faction, the response from neither Russia nor China is likely to be military. Unlike the belligerent pea brains inside the D.C. Beltway, who seem incapable of imagining (or respecting) any other kind of threat, both Russia and China realize the inherently uneconomic, destabilizing, and counterproductive nature of military action against the U.S. Holding all of the economic cards in the era of a collapsing U.S. economy, Russia and China's reaction to U.S. aggression against their interests in Iran will be economic, and very much more devastating than a military strike. China is very likely to finally dump the dollar and begin a series of trade embargoes against the U.S. in the form of export restrictions that will very quickly bring what little remains of the U.S. retail economy to its knees. Russia, though with much less economic leverage over Amerika, can still wreak havoc on Amerika's oil lifeline by possibly shutting off flows of oil from Central Asia and the Caucasus to the Black Sea or the Mediterranean, disrupting the international energy markets, sending petroleum prices through the stratosphere, causing a worldwide oil shortage and skyrocketing prices that might just deliver the coup d' grace blow to the U.S. economy (and certainly destroying what little of its industrial infrastructure remains). Once again, Iran benefits from the fallout while seeing the Amerikan bully castrated in the process.
Israel, Amerika's overlord, might very well blackmail or strong-arm the Obama Administration into letting it initiate hostilities against Iran, or might very well use an American “first strike” as cover to launch a nuclear first strike of its own. Either way, any gains from such a strike will be chimerical and short-lived. Dependent upon Amerikan taxpayer largesse (as well as Amerikan-subsidized oil) for its very existence, not to mention its regional military might, Israel's military muscle will turn to jello as soon as the dollar upon which such might is sustained collapses. Unless the Israeli government has invested in an alternate international currency or large quantities of precious metals, it is as doomed as its Amerikan vassal, and even if it does shift its currency away from the dollar (after abandoning it in the manner of a parasite that abandons its host's carcass after sucking it dry and to death), the idea that it will find another host to sustain it in the style that it was accustomed to while feeding off of its Amerikan host is ludicrous beyond belief. In short, Israel, once goading Amerika into initiating hostilities against Iran, perhaps even launching the opening salvo, will disappear, stand down, and sit on the sidelines, allowing its Amerikan vassal to absorb the losses, costs, and defeat before collapsing itself.
It is difficult to say when the final collapse of U.S. economic and military might will occur in the wake of an outbreak of war with Iran, but if events unfold as I've just described, Amerika will be incapable of even mounting the defense of its own borders from within its own territory, let alone projecting imperial power abroad. With the dollar reduced to something less valuable than Monopoly[TM] money, the ability of the Empire to maintain its legions, to equip them with technology, fuel, weapons, and supplies will vanish. It is entirely possible that the those serving in the imperial legions will find themselves in a predicament similar to that of their Roman antecedents of two millenia ago – stuck in a foreign and hostile country with no way to get back home. This assumes that there will even be a “home” to get back to, as the United States that they left might no longer exist, having broken apart or launched into civil war as the national economy collapses. Again, Iran benefits in every way.
Every aspect of this dismal scenario benefits both the mullahs who rule Iran and the Iranian people themselves. First they suffered for two and a half decades at the hands of an Amerikan-imposed tyrant. Then, no sooner did they throw off this tyrant's rule, they had their country invaded and ravaged by another Amerikan puppet who ruled their western neighbor (remember him, Mr. "Weapons of Mass Destruction?"). In the three decades since, they have been threatened, bullied, and sanctioned without letup. Like most of the rest of the planet, they're past sick and tired of Amerikan arrogance and are eager to bait Amerika into not only biting off more than it can chew, but into making it fatally choke on the ultimate geopolitical and economic bone. Given the egotistical demons that rule Amerika and the unwavering, if pathetically unrealistic and misguided faith that they place in its war machine, the Iranians are soon likely to get their wish and their vindication.
Go ahead, Amerika – make Iran's day. The Iranians will have the last laugh.
UPDATE, October 2, 2009: Apparently I am not the only one who envisions the scenario I describe above. No less a luminary than the incomparable Congressman Ron Paul sees the Chinese as the primary beneficiary of a U.S. strike on Iran, with an attendant collapse of the U.S. dollar as the Chinese dump it as the world's reserve currency. See this summary of Ron's interview with (the despicable, but sometimes cogent) Glenn Beck for his full analysis. (Thanks to today's LewRockwell.com for the link.)