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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|Alexandrian Solutions to Gordian Knots|
President Bush is going to announce his new approach to Iraq in a few weeks. Let me recommend two suggestions from the 'sphere.
First, from John Hinderaker:
Here is how you can do it. In late November, U.S. military sources revealed that they had found irrefutable evidence that Iran is arming the militias who are killing American soldiers:
[U.S. officials say they have found smoking-gun evidence of Iranian support for terrorists in Iraq: brand-new weapons fresh from Iranian factories. According to a senior defense official, coalition forces have recently seized Iranian-made weapons and munitions that bear manufacturing dates in 2006.
Iranian-made munitions found in Iraq include advanced IEDs designed to pierce armor and anti-tank weapons. U.S. intelligence believes the weapons have been supplied to Iraq's growing Shia militias from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which is also believed to be training Iraqi militia fighters in Iran.]
So here is what you, President Bush, should do: take as a model the Cuban Missile Crisis. First John Kennedy, then Adlai Stevenson, laid before the world the evidence, in the form of aerial photographs, that the Soviet Union was installing nuclear arms in Cuba. The proof was taken as conclusive, and, consequently, the Kennedy administration's actions enjoyed universal support at home, and widespread support abroad.
Do something similar here. Commandeer a half hour in prime time to tell the American people, and the world, that we have clear evidence of Iran's involvement in killing American servicemen. Show the captured munitions. Explain exactly how they have contributed to American casualties. Display aerial photos of the training camps. No doubt there is much more evidence that can be presented or described.
You should say that Iran's supplying of weapons in order to kill Americans is an act of war. In the dramatic finale of your speech, announce that thirty minutes earlier, American airplanes stationed in the Middle East took off, their destination, one of the munitions plants or training camps of which you have shown pictures. That training camp, you say, no longer exists. You say that if Iran does not immediately cease all support for, and fomenting of, violence in Iraq, we will continue to strike military targets inside Iran.
To which, no doubt, most of the world will respond with shock and dismay, trying to force our hand back in the kid gloves like they did with Israel this past summer. But there will also be those--and rest assured, the media will find them quickly--who simply say "this can't be done--it will ruin the world." To which they should be referred to this idea from Arthur Herman, via Hugh Hewitt.
The first step would be to make it clear that the United States will tolerate no action by any state that endangers the international flow of commerce in the Straits of Hormuz. Signaling our determination to back up this statement with force would be a deployment in the Gulf of Oman of minesweepers, a carrier strike group’s guided-missile destroyers, an Aegis-class cruiser, and anti-submarine assets, with the rest of the carrier group remaining in the Indian Ocean. The U.S. Navy could also deploy UAV’s (unmanned air vehicles) and submarines to keep watch above and below against any Iranian missile threat to our flotilla.
Our next step would be to declare a halt to all shipments of Iranian oil while guaranteeing the safety of tankers carrying non-Iranian oil and the platforms of other Gulf states. We would then guarantee this guarantee by launching a comprehensive air campaign aimed at destroying Iran’s air-defense system, its air-force bases and communications systems, and finally its missile sites along the Gulf coast. At that point the attack could move to include Iran’s nuclear facilities—not only the “hard” sites but also infrastructure like bridges and tunnels in order to prevent the shifting of critical materials from one to site to another.
I would follow that up with two further, key announcements, both specific to stabilizing Iraq:
1. That we are increasing our military presence by 40,000 troops for a four-month rotation with one purpose: closing the borders of Iraq and Syria--yes, we are talking a massive border with difficult terrain, but the American military is capable of the task, and the murderous flow of arms and finances which are coming across these borders to kill Americans justifies--demands--such an action;
2. I have ordered our commanders to rewrite our Rules of Engagement for Iraq to empower our troops to use wider discretion in engaging the sectarian elements within Iraq and to allow us to make use of the internationally recognized principal of "hot pursuit", particularly with regards to terrorists fleeing across the aforementioned borders.
With the firing of Don Rumsfeld, the acceptance of John Bolton's resignation, and the appointment of Robert Gates, the President seems to be signaling a retreat from the domestic front--not to mention fecklessness on the shooting front-- on the War of late; I believe it is well past time to turn the momentum around with a moonshot.
Boldness has undeniable advantages. It is not merely coincidence that both the ancients and the Christians have their tributes to action ("Fortune favors the Bold;" "The Lord helps those that help themselves")
At this point, even a massive failure on this idea has the strong potential to, if not end, at least severely remediate the Iranian nuclear program. That, alone, makes the idea worth undertaking.
Let a legacy be one of action in defence of free peoples, rather than a meaningless pursuit of unenforceable resolutions that bear the imprimatur of impotent world bodies.