"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

Saturday, March 31, 2007

In Defense of a Chicken-hawk and 15 Hostages

From A Civilian Chicken-Hawk Warmonger on Iraq, Iran, the U.S., Britain and 15 Hostages:

"With four aircraft-carrier battle groups, several hundred carrier-based strike fighters, and 20 strategic bombers just minutes or hours from Iran, the United States will have assembled everything it needs to cripple the regime and wipe out the most important elements of its nuclear program."
Theses assets in place would allow us, if used if necessary to tell Iran that we will not play just a talking game. In the post I suggest as the government has often said, "no options are off the table." However, there is an option that may be on the table but we appear to have to intention of using.

I feel this is a mistake and I have suggested in a previous post around the time that the U.S. agreed to work with Iraq in meeting with area nations like Iran and Syria as:
"assistance to the Iraqi government’s initiative for talks. This is acceptable to a point and is “diplomacy” in “action.”
As of yet these meetings have not taken place. Now as everyone knows the Iranians have 15 military members held in captivity with Iran parading them on television, likely coercing confessions that mean nothing while suggesting the 15 may be tried in an Iranian "court."

In my late February post I suggested softening various economic targets in Iran as a means of communicating that now we are willing to talk. In my "Chicken-hawk" post, with the taking of British hostages it is now, more than ever the time to take action. Talk can continue as it always does, but talk is not something the Iranians nor many others think much of as it has only allowed them time to continue their "peaceful nuclear" projects. Considering as well Irans efforts to create and/or add to the chaos that can be Iraq and we're talking about a very nasty player indeed.

Iran flaunts and taunts and all that can be said are things like "oh, this will not do;" "return the people," and look to the UN to condemn, which they eventually oblige in their usual tepid manner so as not to offend someone that might go off half-cocked; as if they haven't already

All this is leading to a response to my "Chicken-hawk" post from March 30, which called for a more "coercive diplomacy" which intails using military assets (not ground troops) to let Iran know we are not interested in the usual games.

From a comment to the post:
"After which the Iranians would probably have a couple dozen more hostages- captured American pilots. And they might not be in a mood to negotiate after we just bombed the shit out of 'em!

Use your head."
This comment is without doubt a possible outcome. Captured pilots, deaths and perhaps an Iran that is in no "mood to negotiate after we just bombed the shit out of 'em!" It's a scenario that did not escape my thoughts, yet it is, whether we like it or not an integral part of what using a military for what a military is for.

The commenters remarks are the very same that have led us to this point that we have arrived at. Bush aside, we have been fighting in Iraq with too much concern about avoiding the inevitable consequences of fighting to win. Now Iran wants to play too.

If they are in no mood (oh dear I hope they won't be too angry with us), to negotiate so be it. We can continue to pummel them or should I say uptick our military response to their intrangicence.

My commenter thinks upsetting Tehran and their taking more captives is something that should keep us from doing anything. That's what Iran has and is counting on since 1979.

To this, I say, "use your head."

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