Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Blips on the Screen: 4 Mar 08

Sooner rather than later
Iran must be confronted

So Ahmadinejad thumbs his nose at the world and continues down the road to Armageddon. Despite these latest and tougher UN sanctions, and near-unanimous international condemnation, Iran is fast becoming the single most dangerous threat to world peace. However, rather than showing any signs of toning down his inflammatory rhetoric, Ahmadinejad just ratchets it up another notch and calls our collective bluff. Not only are we confronted with the looming specter of a soon-to-be nuclear armed terror state, but the mounting evidence has now become irrefutable that Iran has been actively involved in attempting to destabilize and weaken the fledgling democracy in Iraq. Furthermore, it has been proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that Iran has been funneling sophisticated weaponry into that country, which has been shown to have been directly responsible for the deaths and maiming of innumerable US soldiers and their Iraqi brothers-in-arms. Additionally, they are responsible for funding terrorist groups not only in Iraq and in Gaza, but throughout the Middle East.

What more must they do before we respond in earnest?

Rather than making yet another WWII analogy, equating Ahmadinejad's escalating and maniacal maneuvers to that of Adolf Hitler's naked aggressions of the 1930s, let us just agree on this: Diplomacy is not working. It didn't work then, and it's not going to work now.

Can there be any serious doubt as to what has to be done? How much longer can we afford to procrastinate before the inevitable showdown? Is there any question that confrontation -- military confrontation -- is the only thing that will stop this madman, and the mad mullahs who are pulling his strings. Was there some other way that we could have stopped Hitler? Can we continue comforting ourselves with the delusional rationalization that the fear of Armageddon in any way deters these apocalyptic maniacs?

Surely, even the most Bush-hating pacifistic liberal must admit to this imminent threat and our lack of viable options. Surely, here at least, unlike that highly -- and mostly retrospective -- controversy over our admittedly unpopular war in Iraq, our country will forget its bitter partisan politics and, as we have done before, pull together in the face of this common peril. Surely, when the time comes -- and it is rapidly approaching -- we will gather 'round the flag and support our country's right to defend itself against our enemies.

Surely, one half of this great nation of ours has not become so cynical and so distrustful of the motives of their own government that they will once again accuse our elected leaders of lying to us just to get us into another war for their own evil purposes. Surely, they will not take to the streets once again in loud dissent, and march under those resurrected placards, accusing our wonderful nation of bullying Imperialism, or calling our courageous soldiers rapists and murderers. Surely, this time, in the face of this growing and undeniably ominous threat to our very existence we will not turn against each other and tear ourselves apart.

We haven't gone that far yet --
have we?

Suggested reading for those who still have doubts:

Iran may be biggest threat to Iraq: U.S. general
Cross posted from Reuters:

By Andrew Gray

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iran may pose the greatest long-term threat to Iraq's stability, a U.S. general said on Tuesday, the day after Iran's president wrapped up a visit to Baghdad.

Army Lt. Gen Ray Odierno, who recently ended a 15-month assignment as the No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq, said Iran continued to train extremist militia groups in Iraq.

Odierno also said he was not surprised Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was able to move around without security problems during his two-dayvisit to Baghdad as the groups that often target high-profile visitors are Iranian-backed.

"Over the last 12 months, every time a visitor would come from the United States, we'd either foil a rocket attack or the rocket attack happened. And guess what? That's because it was being done by Iranian surrogates," Odierno said.

"And when the government of Iraq holds a meeting, there tends to be rocket attacks. Why's that? Because it's done by Iranian surrogates," he told reporters at the Pentagon.

The U.S. military has repeatedly accused Iran of training, supplying and funding Shi'ite militias in Iraq. Iran has denied the accusations.

Ahmadinejad's visit was the first to Iraq by an Iranian president since the two countries fought an eight-year war in the 1980s in which 1 million people were killed.

Iraq's Shi'ite-led government has sought good relations with Iran, another Shi'ite majority country.

But Odierno said he believed Iran wanted Iraq to have only a weak government.

Despite a substantial drop in violence since last summer, U.S. forces in Iraq still face many challenges, including the threat from Sunni insurgent group al Qaeda in Iraq.

Odierno singled out Iran as a factor of particular concern.

Asked if he saw Iran as the greatest long-term threat to Iraq's stability, he said: "If you ask me what I worry about most, I do. I do worry about that as a long-term threat."

Odierno said he had mentioned Iran in discussions with President George W. Bush at the White House on Monday.

He said the United States had "pretty clear" evidence that Iran was still training Shi'ite "special groups."

He also said U.S. forces in Iraq continued to find many deadly armor-piercing munitions which the U.S. military says come from Iran, but he could not tell whether Iran had slowed the flow of those weapons.

Adm. William Fallon, the top U.S. commander for the Middle East, said the United States expected Iraqi leaders to convey to Ahmadinejad "the necessity of stopping this lethal flow of equipment".

"We are working with our commanders to try to cut off this Iranian influence," Fallon told the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services.

(Additional reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Eric Walsh)


  1. Well, short term actions could include targeting especial and precious assets of the IRRGC. London Times ran a story about that back in NOV. A stepped up campaign could be interpeted as such chicanery bears a painful response.

    Long term - regime change. In "Children of Jihad" Jared Cohen points out in his Persian pilgrimage that kids in Iran are sick of preachers ruining their nation, their future and their lives:
    "The biggest problem in Iran right now is that young people there can tell you
    exactly what kind of society they don't want, they can tell you exactly what
    kind of society they do want.

    These young Iranians cannot tell you for the life of them who they want to lead them. They cannot find a single leader to gravitate around and so without a leader to mobilize them, they are not going to go to this. That's part of it. They are also terrified as a legacy of the student riots and what happened in 1999 but also a lot of them have lost confidence in the reform movement.

    So if they go to the streets and risk getting arrested or detained, who in the government are they actually trying to influence? They don't feel like they have an advocate in the establishment right now. Now, I believe that the next leader of Iran is going to come from this youth generation."

    This is significant. For the price of a single bunker buster (your choice - nuclear, neutronic or conventional) tens of 1000's of laptop computers with Wi Fi and filter busters could be passed out to combat a regime whose nation is fully crunk with smart, tech saavy young people that could communicate, form their ideologies and find future leaders online. This would perhaps spur the most awesome of all regime changes - from the inside out.

    And the Mullahs know this and they fear it - why else would they filter, censor and ban the internet?

    Time is not on their side.

  2. Listening to Rice bitching at Israel over self-defense, it is obvious. Bend over and kiss yer arse goodbye. We grafted an anus into the White House, and we're going down the drain.

    Now the once grand party has nominated another schmuck who admires Islam.

  3. If we confront Iran at this point in our "culture war" we will hear the never ending whines from the left about warmongering, occupation, "it's about the oil", etc., etc., ad nauseum....

    Waitng for a later date will insure more people will die needlessly and then the whiners on the left will be screaming...why didn't you do something.

    There is no making the illogical delusional lefties happy no matter what we do and frankly I am more than a little weary of their diatribe.

    If we are going to do something then get it done and do it soon. The regime in Iran deserves no quarter and certainly not negotiation.

    How many of their own people have they murdered? Any stats on that?

    Islam is the problem. All the so called "religion of peace" does is diminish, enslave, and murder human beings.

    There are some great people in Iran that deserve much better than what they have.

    But can we really afford to wait for a regime change?

    Anything we do will be wrong to at least half of this nation and the body politic will bump along trying to appease all and accomplish nothing in the end.

  4. Thanks all for the great comments.

    The left has already started complaining about Bush dragging us into another illegal and unnecessary war, and we haven't even done anything yet.

    Although I said I'd try not to use another WWII analogy, they just keep fitting the present circumstances.
    There were, as I've mentioned elsewhere, a lot of "good Germans" who were honestly opposed to Hitler prior to 1939. However -- and this is a big however -- after a certain point in time, after he had invaded Poland and France and England were drawn into the war, it quickly became a moot point. We were at war with ALL GERMANY -- and unfortunately we had little time -- and even less impetus -- to try to separate out those good Germans from those bad Germans.
    Ultimately, this was not of our doing, but was the result of the German people -- for whatever reasons -- allowing the tyrant to assume power and lead their country down that "Road to Ruin".

    I'm afraid we are witnessing this same scenario being replayed in today's Iran.

    I have to agree with Dean. We just cannot sit back and wait for some hoped-for-insurrection against the mullahs by those disenchanted -- but unfortunately powerless -- students -- while our own people are being killed and the monster's fangs are growing more deadly daily. Yes, we can try to help things along, we can try to give our moral and financial support to those who oppose the regime, but we cannot expect them to save us from having to face up to this coming crisis.

    We can hope for a miracle, but we cannot count on it.

  5. Well, then what you are speaking about and let's say it out loud. A regime killing regime change. Not really an invasion but a massive blitz on Preacheropolis, their fanboys, their IRRGC centers and factories (and there are plenty of them - General Petraeus listed several last time he was in DC).

    An old school special ops campaign to take themm down targeting say the top 20% of their ruling clerics.

    Careful about blaming everything on Islam. After all, India has more mohammedists than the entire ME combined and she also has a robust, secular democracy with a semi egalitarian society complete with rule of law, periodic transparent elections and a free, uncensored press.

    More people are becoming aware of that (not to mention Malaysia has almost as many as the ME and is more like Japan, Little Satan or America than Egypt, Syria and Iran) so you may have to upgrade your points. No diss - just a thought. I conceed the point that soemthing about it in the ME is suspect - but that could also be because of tribal leaders, great leaders and supreme leaders instead of elected leaders.

    To Ben - Rice's 'griping' was actually diplo speak. Consider: Rice mentions restraint, Livni and Barak mention the Geneva Conventions - specifically protocol 77, The UN slams HAMAS in condemnation and Olmert scores by pointing out nobody nowhere would put up with such craziness. The rest of the world nods off in Palestinian Sympathy Fatigue.

    Politicians in DC are becoming quite adept at the asymmetrical hudna game - and if American history is any indicator - will master it like she has everyone elses.

    Iran is not a super power. Check out their stats at the CIA Worldfactbook 2008 and it is pitiful. The sanctions are ruining the country, the secret police are getting attacked in broad day light and Germany is their only legit (non weaponry) biz partner (who btw sponsored the latest rounds of sancs.)

    If anyone is really interested in what may unfold there soon - watch the Arab League Summit in Basharopolis later this month. It will be a bold attempt to formally estab a shi ite crescent from Persia to the Med. Sunni Arab states may actually wake up and take up Great Satan's recent coalition forming offer to counter Iran.

  6. Ok I guess I wasn't being specific enough. So I'll be clearer. We simply cannot allow this escalation to continue unabated, which means we must at some point in time take the necessary military actions to bring it to a halt -- forever.

    "Well, then what you are speaking about and let's say it out loud. A regime killing regime change. Not really an invasion but a massive blitz on Preacheropolis, their fanboys, their IRRGC centers and factories (and there are plenty of them - General Petraeus listed several last time he was in DC)."

    Yes, as a matter of fact, that sounds pretty damn good to me. I've also seen some pretty good plans for using naval and Air Force assets in an intelligent way with deadly accurate force and minimal civilian casualties.

    What we cannot do is to just allow them to continue sponsoring terrorism and continue killing our troops and destabilizing the entire region while we carry on endless and ultimately fruitless talks with them, while they continue to develop their nuclear capabilities unimpeded. They ridicule our forbearance and consider it proof of our weakness.

    We have shown admirable restraint till now and all it has accomplished has been to enable our enemies to become stronger and more prepared for that conflict -- which, incidently, they see as inevitable.

    We must hit them hard and hit them first. And not just for the sake of impressing or killing the crazy Iranian mullahs, but for the sake of bringing some real fear of American power into that increasingly dangerous region. If they will not respect us -- which seems to be pretty obvious that they don't, then we must teach them to fear us. We must not forget there own unequivocal words -- they intend to destroy us. Period.

  7. Do unto others as they attempt to do to you; do it first, last & better.

  8. We simply cannot allow this escalation to continue unabated, which means we must at some point in time take the necessary military actions to bring it to a halt -- forever...well said my friend..Amen!!

  9. The Daily Show actually had a good take on Ahmadinejad's visit to Iraq.

    Debbie Hamilton
    Right Truth