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What if Iran Sent Commandoes to the US Border? How US Policies Look from the Other Side

Imagine that America's policy toward Iran were reversed; imagine Iranian commandoes on the U.S.-Mexico border. How would Americans react?
 
 
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Exclusive: New Iranian Commando Team Operating Near U.S.

(Tehran, FNA) The Fars News Agency has confirmed with the Republican Guard’s North American Operations Command that a new elite Iranian commando team is operating in the U.S.-Mexican border region. The primary day-to-day mission of the team, known as the Joint Special Operations Gulf of Mexico Task Force, or JSOG-MTF, is to mentor Mexican military units in the border areas in their war with the deadly drug cartels.  The task force provides “highly trained personnel that excel in uncertain environments,” Maj. Amir Arastoo, a spokesman for Republican Guard special operations forces in North America, tells Fars, and “seeks to confront irregular threats...”

The unit began its existence in mid-2009 -- around the time that Washington rejected the Iranian leadership’s wish for a new diplomatic dialogue. But whatever the task force does about the United States -- or might do in the future -- is a sensitive subject with the Republican Guard.  “It would be inappropriate to discuss operational plans regarding any particular nation,” Arastoo says about the U.S.

Okay, so I made that up.  Sue me.  But first admit that, a line or two in, you knew it was fiction.  After all, despite the talk about American decline, we are still on a one-way imperial planet.  Yes, there is a new U.S. special operations team known as Joint Special Operations Task Force-Gulf Cooperation Council, or JSOTF-GCC, at work near Iran and, according to Wired magazine’s Danger Room blog, we really don’t quite know what it’s tasked with doing (other than helping train the forces of such allies as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia). 

And yes, the quotes are perfectly real, just out of the mouth of a U.S. “spokesman for special-operations forces in the Mideast,” not a representative of Iran’s Republican Guard.  And yes, most Americans, if they were to read about the existence of the new special ops team, wouldn’t think it strange that U.S. forces were edging up to (if not across) the Iranian border, not when our “safety” was at stake. 

Reverse the story, though, and it immediately becomes a malign, if unimaginable, fairy tale.  Of course, no Iranian elite forces will ever operate along the U.S. border.  Not in this world.  Washington wouldn’t live with it and it remains the military giant of giants on this planet.  By comparison, Iran is, in military terms, a minor power

Any Iranian forces on the Mexican border would represent a crossing of one of those “red lines” that U.S. officials are always talking about and so an international abomination to be dealt with severely.  More than that, their presence would undoubtedly be treated as an act of war.  It would make screaming headlines here.  The Republican candidates for the presidency would go wild.  You know the rest.  Think about the reaction when Attorney General Eric Holder announced that an Iranian-American used-car salesman from Texas had contacted a Mexican drug cartel as part of a bizarre plot supposedly hatched by senior members of the elite Iranian Quds Force to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in a Washington restaurant and possibly bomb the Saudi and Israeli embassies as well. 

Though doubts were soon raised about the likelihood of such an Iranian plot, the outrage in the U.S. was palpable.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisted that it “crosses a line that Iran needs to be held to account for.”  The Wall Street Journal labeled it “arguably an act of war,” as did Congressman Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.  Speaker of the House John Boehner termed it “a very serious breach of international behavior,” while House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers swore that it crossed “a very dangerous threshold” and called for “unprecedented” action by the Obama administration.

 
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