"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Friday, January 26, 2007

Bush Lied, Will Innocent Iranian Terrorists Die?

A recent move by the Bush administration authorizes and urges the use of lethal force against Iranian intelligence officers and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard within Iraq; as these groups have been working with Shiite militias there.

Washington Post:

“In Iraq, U.S. troops now have the authority to target any member of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, as well as officers of its intelligence services believed to be working with Iraqi militias.”

Before this however:

"For more than a year, U.S. forces in Iraq have secretly detained dozens of suspected Iranian agents, holding them for three to four days at a time…..U.S. forces collected DNA samples from some of the Iranians without their knowledge, subjected others to retina scans, and fingerprinted and photographed all of them before letting them go."

Kicking it up a notch:

“The decision to use lethal force against Iranians inside Iraq began taking shape last summer, when Israel was at war with Hezbollah in Lebanon.”

Here’s the “but wait…:”

At the time, Bush publicly emphasized diplomacy as his preferred path for dealing with Iran. Standing before the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Sept. 19, Bush spoke directly to the Iranian people: "We look to the day when you can live in freedom, and America and Iran can be good friends and close partners in the cause of peace."

Appropriate actions, but the familiar refrain of calling the president a liar may pop up.

As with any plan of action or action, this new authority has it’s supporters and detractors:

“The wide-ranging plan has several influential skeptics in the intelligence community, at the State Department and at the Defense Department who said that they worry it could push the growing conflict between Tehran and Washington into the center of a chaotic Iraq war.”

Is this the same “intelligence community,” that just a few years ago was looked upon as wanting? Is this the same “intelligence community,” that after being chastised by representatives on both sides of the aisle became the “all knowing darlings” to those in opposition to the Iraq Theater of Operations whenever it disagreed with the administration?

I understand concerns; I also understand concerns have kept us from taking this fight to the enemy as is necessary to some semblance of victory.

Senior administration officials said the policy is based on the theory that Tehran will back down from its nuclear ambitions if the United States hits it hard in Iraq and elsewhere, creating a sense of vulnerability among Iranian leaders. But if Iran responds with escalation, it has the means to put U.S. citizens and national interests at greater risk in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.”

Holding Iran accountable unfortunately does have its risks, one risk of course being escalation. I also don’t know whether the administration’s “theory” is accurate, I have my doubts; but only time will tell.

To fight a war of this nature, or of any nature for that matter one needs to recognize the enemy and those that would do the endeavor harm. It doesn’t lean toward victory if we choose to ignore various aspects of the field for fear of escalation.

We can back down and pull out of Iraq for fear of just such an escalation; but retreating would create an escalation as well, to the greater war.

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