What to do with Iran…

by Ryan on May 9, 2006

in Politics

Apparently, the major powers have no agreement on what to do with Iran. I was actually hopeful that Mahmoud’s letter was going to break the deadlock– that Iran wanted to engage the world community, but under certain conditions that we could accomplish through nuance and back channels. Apparently, Mahmoud just wanted to nag Bush directly, rather than through those loopy speeches.

But what should we do with Iran? China sees an emerging energy market in Iran that they need to tap into. Russia sees another client state. France is simply irrelevant.

These questions seem to me to be quite relevant, though:

  • Do we embrace a new nuclear power with ties to international terrorism if it eventually helps our economic relationship with China and Russia?
  • Do we gather another “coalition of the willing” and kick ass, risking a collective stroke amongst America’s Left and the MSM?
  • Is it even worth trying to compromise with a nation bent on vaporizing one of our friends in the Mideast?
  • What good is a UN Security Council Resolution in the post-9/11 world anyway?

As the UN obstructs, the clock keeps ticking toward that day when we may have only one option with Iran.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Colonel B.M. (Mack) Blevins May 10, 2006 at 12:07 am

As a retired full-bird colonel in the U.S. Marines, I just want you boys to know I’m with you all the way. It’s time to pull together and nuke these Iranean monkeys, everthing that walks and crawls. I’m sick of all these lily-livered democrats, and turn-coat republicans. I’m sure you’ll agree now is not the time for compromise or squeamishness. We need to start rounding up all the protesters and all those that speak ill of our country and ship them out. Everthing is set up for it. All the black sites are ready. Lets take back our country! Semper Fi!

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Ryan May 10, 2006 at 4:30 pm

I agree that we need to project strength in order to be respected. As a teacher of teenagers, I know the importance of establishing lines that one does not cross. My students know where they stand from day one– respect is earned, not assumed. So should it be with our approach to Iran.

I think that the protesters are more funny than dangerous. I wouldn’t round them up as much as show the American people some of the other signs these people have!

Having bumped into a few protests in NYC and here in NJ, I’m telling you that the news selects which causes or messages they show the masses. They won’t show how disorganized and fractured the “anti-war” movement is. Half of them want to “free” Palestine, Tibet, animals from science, and/or destroy market capitalism. The other half believe the MSM bilge on Iraq and just follow a crowd or try to impress the grungy chick by standing for a “cause”. They tend to wear the old 1890s anarchist black, need a bath, and occasional access to Daddy’s trust fund. They’re a hoot!

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rightonoz May 12, 2006 at 8:03 pm

I am not one who supports unnecessary war, and despite our government’s support of the US/Uk in Iraq, consider that conflict to have been unjustified, illegal and a damnded stupid decision all round in terms of the initial decision, tactics, troop strength etc.

Now before anyone accuses me of being a leftie etc, I agree wholeheartedly with Korea (but should have finished the job), The UK/Aus/NZ defence of Malaysia from both the communist insurgency (good tactics achieved a win)and against the Indonesian attacks in Borneo, I agreed with Bosnia/Kosovo (except we sat on our backsides too long before doing anything) and the first Iraq war (Pulled out too soon?)

Being around during Vietnam, I can say Iraq while having very different starting points is another Vietnam. I have doubts we will ever achieve a satisfactory end to this one.

Back to the point… While my stated opposition to uneccessary conlict stands, I am becomming more concerned about Iran and feel this may well end up being one of those situations where it is necessary to kick the crap out of them. I DEFINTITELY do not support using tactical or any other nukes on them… Opens a door that would be impossible to shut. All you could guarantee is that one day it would be used on one of us.

If the Russians and China cannot get past their own interest in stirring this issue as a means of growing influence in the region, then we need to take action without their agreement. It will soon be too late to stop this one.

Having spoken about the Iranians I have met who want to be part of the wider responsible world, I do believe we need a strategy that does not alienate these moderates who we will need on side to bring Iran back into the mainstream. It would be better for it not to be seen as a US war if it comes to that, however there may be no choice.

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Ryan May 13, 2006 at 2:42 pm

Just so you know, Iraq is not Vietnam:
1. The VC actually had massive popular support in S Vietnam; Zarqawi has no popular support outside a few Ba’athists in Sunni areas– they’ll fade and die in time as democracy and an improving economy eventually moderates the violence.
2. If we lost in Vietnam there was never any real threat that the repurcussions of leaving might see VC attacks on our major cities in the USA. Zarqawi WANTS to attack America and giving him and his ilk safe haven by leaving would actually affect American security directly.
3. We did not defeat the VC because they had popular support, nor were we training ARVN with tactics that worked. We’re kicking the terrorist’s ass in Iraq and we’re training the Iraqi military with tactics that do work.
4. America has a President who believes his generals over a few news reporters with an agenda and half the story. The “credibility gap” in the Iraq War is between the returning soldiers and the news media; most soldiers have high morale, believe in the mission and talk about clear successes in the rebuilding effort.
5. We actually held national elections in Iraq– something that NEVER happened in Vietnam. In fact, they’ve already had three successful elections and are currently forming a new government under a Constitution they wrote and approved.
6. Most Iraqi’s feared or hated Saddam, most Vietnamese viewed Ho Chi Minh as their own George Washington.

I know people like to draw simliarities between Iraq and Vietnam; that they are opened-ended conflicts against a guerrilla enemy fighting asymetrically who believes that to win the battles it must happen in Washington since they can’t do it on the ground. There is no single organization in the world that learns from mistakes faster and more efficiently that the American military. We may not have found WMDs but we must win, are winning and eventually would have had to go back there.

We’ll set Iraq up, get the heck out, trade with them, and have a useful ally in the War on Terror. It may take 10 years, but it has to happen and I believe that we’re well on our way.

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rightonoz May 14, 2006 at 12:58 am

My comparason with Vietnam was not based on the background or the politics, but on the fact that in both wars there is/was seemingly no structured exit plan.

Contrary to your views, I believe the government and to a lesser extent the military are not learning the lessons of the past.

I’m sorry but I do not agree with you on Iraq and elections. Elections do not make a democracy and we can’t force it on them. There are too many in positions of power both within the government and without that want their own version of a dictatorship as soon as everyone leaves.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I do not believe there has been a sucessful arab democracy yet. The British set several countries up with ‘democracies’ before giving independence in the Arab and African countries. Fairly soon after the last British troops left, the arrests, coups and dictatorships began.

My personal view (from exposure in the region) is that there is an ingrained cultural barrier that needs to be somehow overcome before we will see such a success. Having a 100,000 troops bogged down in a war that many feel is going nowhere is not a recipe for that change.

I hope that you are right about the Iraqi army, however from the news filtering out over the use of army and police rogue elements for suppressions of some religious groups (christians are getting it from all sides over there) makes me seriously doubt this.

In terms of winning the hearts, the British troops from day one had a very open policy towards the civilian population, and had greater success (I know not as volatile an area), however even they are seeing the population turnimg against them, being driven by radicals in the mosques who seem to be untouchable. This is from a very close friend in the British Army not too long returned from Iraq. He’s senior (more right wing than I)and we had some very strong discussions on the rights and wrongs previously, however he is worried about the outcome. I would far rather believe him than any politician in the US, UK or Australia.

I have close friendships with members of the UK, US and Australian forces (amongst others) through an earlier profession. These are all officers and good friends for whom I have the greatest respect.

While the US friends are more ‘my country right or wrong’, even they privately express concerns.

To get back to the original discussion, I still agree with you that something does need to be done about Iran… That is one we cannot afford to get any further. The British officer I mentioned says their government has absolute proof that Iran is providing weapons to insurgents. (no Official Secrets Act breach). He also has some interesting views on how to address Iran with the resources the UK and Australia have in Iraq/Afghanistan. No insult intended to the US, but we are talking the worlds VERY best. (even the Israeli’s rate these guys) but that would probably cause the lefties to have a fit.

BTW, Great to see your brother is back safe with your family! Despite any reservation I have, you can be rightly proud of the job he has done under terrible conditions. (my arguement is NEVER with the troops on the ground

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