Blowback, from Mali to Iran

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As we all know, the French intervention in Mali has brought anti-western blowback in Algeria, where dozens of Americans and Europeans are being held hostage by Islamist militants. So what if the U.S. attacks Iran? Iran is a far richer and more technologically-resourceful society than Mali. What would the blowback be in that instance? It would surely be huge– cyber and human attacks, as the US military command states here [excerpt below]. (Thanks to Harry Hjalmarson)

And not to conflate American and Israeli concerns, but did Jeffrey Goldberg acknowledge this American reality in arguing that Israel can’t live with a nuclear Iran the other night in New York? I’m awaiting a report on the former Israeli army corporal’s debate performance. Meantime, here is Bloomberg’s Tony Capaccio:

Iran’s developing ability to launch cyber attacks will make it “a force to be reckoned with,” the head of the U.S. Air Force Space Command said.

General William Shelton said the Iranians are responding to an attack on the computer operating system that runs the uranium enrichment facilities in the country’s suspected nuclear-weapons program…

Iran has denied responsibility for a spate of cyber attacks against online banking sites that accelerated in September. U.S. banks, including JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Bank of America Corp. (BAC), Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) and PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (PNC), have said some customers were having difficulty at times accessing their websites. Former Senator Joseph Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, was among those who have said Iran may be at fault.

“Iran respects international law and refrains from targeting other nations’ economic or financial institutions,” Iran’s mission to the United Nations said in a Jan. 11 statement, according to the a report on the website of the state run Press TV news channel.

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