It's amazingly easy to disregard the systematic genocides of the past without mentioning the current genocidal activities which are happening now in central Africa and elsewhere. Beyond the destruction of human lives is the most devastating period of mass extinction in the history of the planet (NOT barring the end of the Jurassic period) which is also largely overlooked as species in every phylum disappear forever at an unprecedented rate. Why this willful ignorance persists is up for debate (like everything else in this apologistic post-modern world) but what seems clear is... certain human beings have situated themselves in positions of power over who and what lives or, more likely, dies. However self-destructive the actions of these privileged elites will eventually prove to be seems wholly irrelevant to them -- as long as their group/family/organization continues to rule while human society lasts. Whether or not these groups of controlling elites are globally hegemonic or more nationalistic isn't very important as long as large amounts of of immense power and wealth have been collected into the hands of these elitists (and to maintain that fortune and power they will deal with the masses ruthlessly -- with or without assistance from other elite groups around the world). One could easily speculate about the final devastation of their gluttonous greed but, for now, in this article, let us focus upon the not-so-distant history of the middle east and, more specifically, upon the impending devastation to be unleashed upon Iran.
Foremostly, it must be understood that the developing crisis in Iran is almost wholly about literal power -- energy in the form of petroleum oil. The group threatening Iran is based in, and holds control over, the United States of America. Petro-chemicals are the leading export of this nation. The USA gathers petroleum from around the world and processes it into fuel, agricultural chemicals, plastics, and other products which it makes use of domestically and exports internationally. The US is literally covered in roads made of petroleum derived asphalt. Every sector of this wealthiest nations economy is linked to petroleum -- from agriculture to transportation to the whole military-industrial complex. Every severe economic crisis of 20th century America was preceded by a sharp increase in the price of petroleum. Petroleum is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy and the bloodlust for it is evermore insatiable. The underlying importance of this paragraph is in the fact that that the nation of Iran has the second largest proven petroleum reserves within its borders. For the power elites in America to maintain their economic and military supremacy they must control that petroleum.
To a lesser extent the invasion of Iran will be about military power -- the power of nuclear missiles in particular. Should the military of Iran ever develop nuclear strike capability, that would effectively deter any invasion (and the subsequent loss of control over the Iranian oil by the Iranian power elites). Furthermore, a brutal and ruthless display of American military strength (that could make the war in Iraq look like the 4th of July) would deter the power elites in every other nation from developing nuclear weapons in particular and, in general, from challenging US supremacy at all anywhere.
This is about the long-term control over the resources and people around the globe. It is possible that the sudden consequences of peak oil and the new technologies enabling easier nuclear proliferation have caught the power elites off guard to some degree -- but you can be certain that they are now fully aware of these implications and are more than prepared for a brazen power grab. A ground war in Iraq was planned long before the 9/11 attacks and that nation had been softened up by bombings for a decade beforehand (reiterated in case anyone failed to notice). Elsewhere in the middle-east historic plans by the American power elite to control the regions petroleum reserves have met with mixed results -- relative success with the royalty in Saudi Arabia and... with pointed failure in their support of the Shah in Iran. Suffice it to say that the existence and usefulness of petroleum in the mid-east isn't news -- nor is political intrigue or military action to control it. In WW2 there was talk about dropping an A-bomb over what is now Saudi Arabia to prevent Nazi's from getting control over the region's resources -- that didn't prove especially necessary or feasible but the topic came up nevertheless and persists as a potentially feasible strategy.
So let us now consider the current situation in Iran... What wouldn't the ruling class in America do to control the region and resources of Iran? Would they kill a million Iranians? How about ten million or more? From the pre-american aboriginals to the middle passage to WW2 and Vietnam, such numbers are hardly unprecedented and the sophistication of military technology is far more advanced now. There has even been relatively candid talk of using "bunker buster" nuclear weapons in Iran and keeping the option to use nukes "on the table," to quote US President George W. Bush.
Anyone willing to dismiss this nuclear sabre-rattling as an idle threat might be in for an unpleasant surprise to their wishful thinking. Why wouldn't they do it? A large portion of the US population seems to be under the sway of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh -- and many of the rest would be ready to tow the patriotic line in the event of another 9/11-type Reichstag fire. Can't you just here the people talking over the water coolers and in the soup lines: "They only used small tacticular newkler boms and Al Kider IS based in Iran (probably were they'll find Osama)" As for the rest who might still be appalled by the use of nuclear weapons -- they will be marginalized, belittled, harassed and, if necessary, rounded up.
(That's just what fascistic regimes end up doing.) Around the world other populations will be outraged and may even want to boycott American products -- but so what? American corporations sell advanced and essential products directly to other governments and multi-national corporations which need those products to control and feed their populations. And any serious uprising which threatens US business interests could meet the same fate as the Iraqis & Iranians -- many people will continue to just stay in line and out of trouble.
In the final analysis... a serious attack on Iran will destabilize the security of the world. Russia and China will seize the opportunity to deal harshly with Chechnya and Taiwan, Japan will strengthen it's push for nuclear armaments, and India and Pakistan will move closer to full-scale nuclear war. The genocidal war in Africa will continue to rage out of control and a myriad of other conflicts around the world will erupt. Ecocide and the effects of global warming will continue but... The powers that be will control what's left of the precious petroleum oil and they will use it to continue their domination for decades until, finally, one day, techno-industrial civilization violently and completely collapses.