Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Events in Iran
Stanley KurtzTake it to the bank. We will join Iran in a state of War in which they’ve labored for a long time. For us, it may be sooner, it may be later, but it will be. As Trotsky said, “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.”
The fly in the ointment for Iran might have less to do with an increasingly timid West than with a Sunni-Shiite split. Once the Iranians have a bomb, America’s willingness to protect Sunni states under its nuclear or conventional umbrella will come into doubt. That will prompt Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and maybe even some of the other Gulf States to get bombs of their own. Theoretically, that could lead to a Mexican stand-off and stability. But in the early years of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, the probability of a regional war will be high. And with nuclear bombs bouncing around several Muslim states (many with similar signatures because of a common origin in, say, Pakistani technology) the dangers of some rogue faction handing off a bomb to terrorists for use against the U.S. and/or Israel will greatly increase. And with the U.S. and the West in general retreat in the face of a nuclearized Middle East, all the states in the region will be more vulnerable to Islamist takeovers.
Editors at National Review
The Iranian regime is as unscrupulous as any in the world today. It is busy undermining the reconstitution of Iraq, arming and financing gunmen of its choice to kill and maim whoever happens to be in the way. International officials and experts suspect that the urgency and duplicity surrounding its nuclear program mean that its end product will be a nuclear weapon — in which case Iran can expect to be not merely a regional power, but an Islamic rival of and alternative to the West.
Until now, the cost to Iran for its policy of vowing death to the West has been negligible. Encouraged by so slack a response, the regime flagrantly disregards the requirements of morality and international law. A time may be drawing closer when it will experience the test of strength that it so heedlessly wishes on others.
The Iranians have two basic reasons to take hostages. One is to break our will and drive us out of the region; the other is to trade their prey for their comrades now in our grip, of whom there is a significant number (several hundred Iranian intelligence and military officers have been captured in Iraq in recent months, according to good U.S. government sources). Why now? Because now is when they succeeded in doing it; they’ve been trying all along.
It would be nice if someone in a position of power noted that the Iranians have committed an act of war on a NATO country, and that the other members of the alliance can be obliged to join in common action against the aggressor if the relevant terms of the treaty are invoked, as they should be. That should be the first move, showing the Iranians that the West is united and determined to act. It should be accompanied by the appearance of some vessels from what is left of Her Majesty’s Navy, buttressing our own warships and — shhhh! — the French carrier now in the area. If we have actionable intelligence from the recent wave of defectors/prisoners, we should step up the campaign against Iranian officials and agents in Iraq. And we should undertake the legitimate self-defense to which we are entitled, by moving against the terrorist training camps, and the improvised explosive device assembly lines and manufacturing sites inside the Islamic Republic.Above all, we should, at long last, proclaim this regime unworthy of respect and call for its downfall.Enough already.
Victor Davis Hanson
One of the more brilliantly bad things Iran has done is to remind the Europeans—the British, French, and Germans particularly—that their military assets are not assets when used far from home in solitary fashion. Instead because they are faux "military assets"—with their small size, number, and rules of engagement—they become liabilities that at any time could prompt a political crisis.
In the future, we should expect the following: greater demands from the European public to distance itself from the US (e.g. the fault for this crisis is our arrest of Iranians in Iraq, our failure to talk to Ahmadinejad, our war in Iraq, fill in the blanks) while at the same time greater demands from European admirals and generals only to venture out from their ports while in convoy with American ships or under cover of American air power.
Links to this post:
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]