Saturday, November 03, 2007


You know, if it wasn't for the presence of Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential race, I would be overconfident to the point of complacency these days. Listening to these people bloviate about foreign policy in the post-9/11 world is the partisan equivalent of making out one's Christmas wish list. No gadget or trinket, no matter how outrageous, is beyond hope of acquisition.

Horrifyingly, because that dragon is more than in the running, this collectiv(ist) formula for national suicide is destined to make it back into actual American policy.

Take the likely next vice president of the United States, Barack Obama, for example. Do you want to hear his latest brainstorm on Iraq policy? I wish I hadn't:
Other aspects of his policy also remain unclear. While Obama said he hoped to withdraw all American combat forces within sixteen months of taking office he also said in the interview that American and allied troops should be prepared to return to Iraq and protect civilians if there was genocidal attacks against civilians. [emphasis added]
At least he is taking into account the time necessary to conduct a safe, orderly retreat that wouldn't turn into a pell-mell slaughter all the way to Kuwait, as opposed to the as-little-as six month time frames other Democrats have advanced. The rest of that graf doesn't beg the question, it grovels before it. If American and allied troops should be prepared to return to Iraq in case of a burgeoning genocide, wouldn't it make more sense to stay there long enough to maximize the chances that a genocide cannot result from our departure? Isn't Obama as much as conceding that leaving as soon as possible would be likely to produce precisely the result that would necessitate American readiness to go back in? And once he'd pulled us out, does anybody seriously believe he would give the order to return, no matter how big the disaster?

Then there's this line:
A mission to squelch possible genocide after an American troops withdrawal goes beyond anything Clinton has proposed. [emphasis added]
Gee, THAT's reassuring. Especially as what the ex-first lady proposes on anything at any given second is as random as popcorn-popping in an industrial furnace.

Here, BTW, would be Obama's excuse for letting all the Iraqi people perish:
Obama argued that it was "too speculative" to say if the United States would undertake such action unilaterally or only if allied nations participated.
Would Generalissimo Obama seek that UN permission slip? Will Rosie O'Donnell replace Tyra Banks on America's Top Model? Besides, he's got a better idea:
Obama also said he would try to discourage an escalation of sectarian killing after American forces left Iraq by making clear that the United States would investigate war crimes and hold the perpetrators accountable.

But aides to Obama have also emphasized that apprehending war criminals would not be taken on through a new military mission, leaving unclear how such criminals might be detained.
Well, there's a strategy that'll strike fear into the hearts of bin Laden and Ahmadinejad. "Oh, NO, what're we gonna do NOW, Emir Osama?!?" "I dunno, President Mahmoud! The U.S. Congress and Media we could handle like the decadent, weak-minded fools they are, but now President Obama is sending {shudder} his LAWYERS after us! How am I supposed to find decent legal counsel in friggin' Waziristan?!?"

Well did Brother Trunk say of Obama (which I read on my short-circuited Blog Talk Radio show today, not that anybody was allowed to hear it), "He has gone further on less ammunition than any of the Democrats." Which, of course, makes him a born vice president.

As I alluded to earlier today, the Donk field's unanimous deriliction on stopping Iran from going nuclear is even more maddening, to which the aformentioned Scott Johnson also made reference:
John Edwards led the critique of Ms. Hillary on her support of the Senate's Iran resolution. According to Edwwards, the resolution read like it was "written literally in the language of the neo-cons." Support for the resolution was misguided because "we need to stand up to this president. We need to make it absolutely clear that we will not let Bush, Cheney and this Administration invade Iran." Ms. Hillary responded that she supported legislation to restrain the Bush Administration. Her vote only reflected support for diplomacy.
If the Iranians would send an ambassador to the United States, I can't imagine he would say anything any different from what Opie did. Indeed, Edwards was as throaty in his defense of the mullahgarchy as Mrs. Clinton was in defense of bin Laden the other day.

If only this delusional insanity didn't have a hand on the levers of power in Washington. Unfortunately it does, and Hillary & The Six Dwarves have a big echo chamber on Capitol Hill:
Finally, at least for Democrats who say they are nominally interested in halting the Mullah quest for nukes, there is the Mohammed ElBaradei option. Perhaps, the time is ripe, as the director general of the International Atomic Energy told CNN on Sunday, for "creative diplomacy." Time to lower the temperature and accept for now Iran's enrichment of uranium in exchange for the cooperation they promised back in 2003.

Senator Boxer, a Democrat from California, is intrigued. She said everyone wants to avoid a confrontation with Iran. "We don't want to go that way. Let's calm down the rhetoric. Let's work through diplomacy. There's lots of back channels. I think ElBaradei was right when he said, look at North Korea."

The problem with the approach favored by what might be called the "Ask Nicely Democrats," is that it runs the risk of — in the words of the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan — "defining deviancy down." According to the commander of our troops in Iraq, David Petraeus, Iran's Quds Force has orchestrated the murder of our soldiers and funded and armed the worst terrorists in the country. As I reported in July, the Iranians host senior Al Qaeda leaders who meet regularly in the eastern part of the country, in a tactical alliance with whom they share a common foe today. In addition to all of this, Tehran has snubbed numerous offers from the west to obtain nuclear fuel in exchange for real guarantees they will not build nuclear weapons.

Had it not been for the invasion of Iraq, politicians of both parties would call this kind of behavior what it is: acts of war. As it stands, six years into what the President insists is a war on terrorism, we can't bring ourselves even to speak plainly about our enemies.
I think Eli Lake is wrong on one point - if we hadn't invaded Iraq, we would simply have one more enemy about which Democrats and RINOs would be incapable of "speaking plainly". And the case for war against Iran would be substantially thinner precisely because we wouldn't have troops in Iraq for the Quds Force to target.

Following this mess is like falling through a looking glass into a harrowing Bizarro world, a peacenik Groundhog's Day where the same failed diplomacy fetish is employed time after time after time, always with the same result and always with the same excuse that "We just haven't tried hard enough." We've done diplomacy with the mullahs; the EUnuchs have done diplomacy with the mullahs. This diplomatic masturbation has been going on for years. And it's never produced a single, solitary, measurable positive result. EVER.

At least, not for us; for the mullahs, it's been a propaganda and strategic bonanza. They've gotten all the time and resources they need to manufacture their own arsenal of nuclear weapons, which has always been their objective and one from which they have amply demonstrated to any mind capable of comprehending it that they cannot be reasoned, wheedled, or swindled. Once they have those nuclear weapons, the mullahs will no longer need to feed our insatiable capacity for futile, cowardly jaw-jaw, and Armageddon will commence. All Obama's lawyers and all Hillary's diplomats won't be able to put that genie back in its bottle. And, of course, it'll all be George W. Bush's fault for invading Iraq.

Sadly, once again, even the estimable Ed Morrissey fails to grasp how far our options have dwindled:
Barbara Boxer and her clueless colleagues may want to pretend that asking nicely has not yet been tried, but the EU-3 tried it for years. The Iranians will not be dissuaded by sweet nothings whispered in their ears. Bribes and payoffs have been refused. It will take tenacity and tough sanctions that strike at the base of the mullah's power to get their attention, if the world wants to avoid war. [emphasis added]
This, I believe, can be taken as the consensus Republican view on Iran. Unfortunately, it is only moderately less delusional than the Donk position. Call its adherents the "Ask Sternly Republicans". The problem with it is twofold:

1) Economic sanctions are, at best, ineffective in coercing dictatorial regimes. We had every sanction devisable by the human mind slapped on Saddam Hussein, and not only did he survive and thrive, but was rapidly rebuilding his WMD capability, including his own nascent nuclear weapons program. At worst, economic sanctions only hasten open hostilities, as FDR's oil embargo against Imperial Japan drove them to attack Pearl Harbor before their war economy could grind to a halt.

Forcing the mullahs to gamble on war before they're ready (i.e. before the have nuclear weapons capability - assuming they don't already) might actually make strategic sense, assuming sanctions were draconian and properly targeted. Ironically, Dems are evidently perceiving that angle and are already attacking the idea of sanctions itself, much less any that would constitute more than a bad joke.

2) It's too late in the game for sanctions to be a viable option even in the context set forth in the immediately preceding graf, just as it's too late to try and seed a popular uprising against the mullahgarchy. Both would have been at least worth trying in the '90s, when Iranian nukes really were years away. The immediate aftermath of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 was the last chance to push such alternative strategies to war, but the Bushies foolishly opted to stick with "diplomacy" instead.

Now the bitter fruits of those years and years of idiocy are about to be harvested. It doesn't matter whether or not "everybody," or anybody, wants to "avoid a confrontation with Iran"; the reality is, we've got one whether we like it or not. The only alternative to a war on the mullahs' terms is a war on our own.

This can cannot be kicked down the road any further. We have to deal with it now, and because we haven't dealt with it in the past, we only have one option left for dealing with it: the military option. Only question is whether we employ it without Iranian nukes being involved or with them.

And the political party in the ascendancy in the United States, that controls Congress and will capture the presidency a year from now, adamantly insists that we fall down the looking glass instead.

To say we're in trouble is a stupendous understatement. That it will be almost entirely self-inflicted may well prove to be our national epitaph.