Monday, March 26, 2007

WSJ favors attacking Iran; public increasingly says 'not unless we're hit'

The WSJ op/ed board wants to blow up a few Iranian toys:
As with the 1979 hostage crisis, how Britain and the rest of the civilized world respond in the early days of the crisis will determine how long it lasts. Britain has already demanded the safe and immediate return of its personnel; they will have to make clear that its foreign policy will not be held hostage to the mullahs. ...

It is worth recalling, however, that Iran was at its most diplomatically pliant after the United States sank much of Tehran's navy after Iran tried to disrupt oil traffic in the Persian Gulf in the late 1980s. Regimes that resort to force the way Iran does tend to be respecters of it.

The Iranian public's opinion of the US has actually improved since 9/11. It is considerably more favorable than that of our Saudi Arabians or Jordanians, residents of supposed allies. This isn't surprising, given that the US has removed Iran's primary antagonist in the region, spread Shia influence westward (and erstwhile helped it expand eastward in the late nineties through support for Massoud and by knocking out the Sunni Taliban), eliminating the buffer zone that rendered any tactical moves on control of the Persian Gulf imprudent, and, in its stumbling in Iraq, the US has revealed itself to be less capable than the mullahs believed it to be after Desert Storm.

Like most popular prognosticators, the op/ed board makes no mention of the obvious fact that the war in Iraq setup this capture of British sailors. Bogged down in Iraq and on tenuous terms with most of the other countries trying to dissuade Iran's nuclear ambitions, the US looks relatively feeble to an Iranian president who's reportedly not winning many popularity contests at home. Nabbing a few British seaman may even lead to pressure on the US to release the Iranians captured by the US in Iraq.

Nor does it make note (though the evidence comes from a poll the paper just released) of how military action against Iran might have been an easy sell a few years back, but that the Iraq War the WSJ op/ed so fanatically supported has seen the preemptive imperative politically untenable.

A new WSJ/NBC poll shows that only 40% of Americans say the US should strike at "groups or countries that are preparing to commit terrorist acts on the United States" if we have evidence of an impending attack. Thirty-nine percent say we shouldn't respond until they've actually carried out the attack. In September '02, the shares were 67% and 22%, respectively.

The ideological board is reckless. The positions they supported cost the GOP in the November midterms. They advocate open borders and all the negative externalities it entails. Now they want us to pick an unnecessary fight with a country four times the size of Iraq and home to more than twice as many people as the next-door neighbor we're so unsuccessfully occupying. Gigot and company are dangerous. Don't believe me? Try this:
It is also far from certain that Western military strikes against Revolutionary Guards would move the Iranian people to rally to their side: Iranians know only too well what their self-anointed leaders are capable of.
No doubt they'd welcome us as liberators.


JSBolton said...

American troops would of course not be welcomed as liberators, after having bombed Iran.
It still would be good to have a perfect reason for getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and make some punitive raids on a dangerous enemy with quite real WMD ambitions.
The pseudo-idealistic feeling of having an obligation to uplift the people of a country which has been invaded to punish its rulers, is a large part of what brings on the long-grinding problems of extended intervention.
It is not known to be ideal to stay and try to fix the society of a hostile population, as any Islamic one must be, insofar as it is actually Islamic.
In Iran there will not be generic humanity to be found, nor homo economicus, nor lovers of freedom in any significant proportion, but, instead, the moslem as such; a hostile being relative to those who love freedom-from-aggression.
We will have to wage war on Iran one day, and the president's need to rally the citizenry around such a national project of danger and executive nature, would make this the best opportunity to move not reactively, but more planfully.

undergroundman said...

No doubt they'd welcome us as liberators.

I hope you're being sarcastic.

Anonymous said...

Not to be picky, but the Iranians have been attacking us for almost 30 years. There was the 1979 hostage crisis, the 1983(?) Beirut Marine barracks(islamic terrorists suported by Iran), the attacks in the Persian Gulf on the US Navy (Operation Sea Dragon), Hezbollah (supported by Iran) attacks have killed American and Iranian agents have kidnapped and killed Americans in Beirut. They also counterfit US dollars(that is why I think we changed our bills as of late) in a massive way to buy weapons and support their terror proxies. Iran has agents in Iraq and they support our enemies with equipment and intelligence. I can only speculate how many casaulties there have been due to theirr expertise in aiding the jihadists in Iraq. The Iranians recently got their hands on Steyr .50 "anti-material" rifles. They are not going to use these to shoot tin cans in the back yard. To add insult to injury, there are probably hundreds of North Koreans in Iran helping with their "nuclear energy" program. And just about every day the islamic wack job Ahmajihad threatens to destroy America. We should have smashed these savages years ago, now we are reaping the consequences for our inaction. They are working feverishly to get a nuclear device so that they can use it on the US. I have no doubt in my mind(I live in the NY metro and I consider this area a target, and yes, I have a BOB). Once Iran is a smoking ruin, don't bother to "nation-buil" either because it is a waste. All I am concerned with is that these barbarians are not a threat.

crush41 said...


Yes, I meant for that to be dripping in sarcasm. It's a constant challenge, as I'm sure you know, trying to make clear a shift between a serious and a satirical voice when posting.


But Hezbollah doesn't seriously threaten US interests outside of the Middle East. Iranian influence inside of Iraq is not at all surprising and is a result of our location in the thick of the frey. Saudi resources have likely killed Americans as well.

No love lost for Iran, but trying to force regime change isn't going to get us anywhere.

What might have been optimal would have been for a sub to have sunk the Iranian vessel as it attempted to board the British anti-smuggling ship. Make the mullahs aware of swift, devastating force. But using it as an attempt at forced regime change and occupation strikes me as disastrous.

Anonymous said...

Don't mean to quibble, but regime change in Iran should not be a goal. I don't care who runs that dump. The mullahs can rule from on top of a pile of rubble if they want. i just want them crushed. If any of them are left alive, then the lesson won't be lost o them: "Don't fuck with the US." That should have been the lesson in Iraq, but we were stupid. I disagree that Hezabollah isn't a threat outside of the ME. I believe that Iran has directed Hezbollah agents to set up shop in the US, which I believe they have done. They are a lot cooler and smarter than than many of these Al Qaeda types. I know that we should expect Iran to be involved in Iraq, but I say we make them pay for it a little more than they are now. And smacking Iran around and killing a few NK "technicians" in the process of destroying their nuke facilities is also a good way to remind other potential troublemakers not to do business in Iran either.
But in any event, I agree that the use of quick, devastating force will keep these peole in line. It is the only way.

crush41 said...


I'd prefer we withdrawal from Iraq, and from the Islamic world as much as possible.

But a continued war of half measures is the worst of three major options. I'd like us to facilitate ethnic separation and then pull out.

If we're going to stay, though, we shouldn't be afraid to carpet bomb in 'trouble' spots.

If nothing else, a little devastation would strike some fear into Islamic leaders like it did to Qaddafi--harbor international terrorists, disrupt oil lines, or capture/kill Westerners, and your capital will be eviscerated, your regime obliterated, and your family killed. Make sure these things don't happen, by whatever means necessary (no more silly rhetoric about ending world tyranny or claiming that all people yearn to be free).

dave in boca said...

I believe the relentless torrent of surrender-monkey gibberish from the US MSM has begun to make the American spine a bit wobbly. In the MSM rush to nail their flag to the Democrat mast, they have undermined our country, though they are too arrogant to ever admit to this unintended consequence of deriding and conceding surrender to every accusation, no matter how frivolous or stupid, that nut-case morons like Ahmedinejad or George Galloway put forward.

Evan Sayet had a wonderful YouTube on this trait of liberals to proffer their hindparts by grabbing their ankles once a foreign dorkwad makes a nasty statement about the US.