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A Good Friday Respite

Friday, April 14, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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No more blogging for today, but the WaPo Q & A was fun, and well received:

Hugh-Bloody marvelous today. You didn’t just parry the attacks of the seminar libs, you whacked ’em right back with the sledgehammer combo of humor, logic, and belief in a noble cause. Those who are defined by what they stand against rarely come with anything beyond blaming and name-calling.

This formal Naval Aviator gave to the Vets this am.

More Lileks-More Steyn!!!

I urge you to listen to the first hour today for the rebroadcast of my interview with VetsforFreedom.org’s Wade Zirkle.

And like my correspondent, you can donate online to VetsforFreedom.org here.

Also note the Mark Steyn and James Lileks interviews from yesterday, and this new blog, “SeeingEyeBlog,” which just demosntrates that as the days go on, more and more talent is pouring into the ‘sphere from unexpected places, like cinematographers.

Finally for today, Colonel John, who has served in Iraq, writes this in response to the Iran debates this week:

Your post on April 12th with Jonathan Alter and Lawrence Korb concerning Iran brings up some interesting points.

The first point Alter brought up mentioned the military’s inability to accomplish the mission. His reasoning about the lack of intelligence shows he is trying to apply the thinking on Iraq to Iran. Intelligence is never perfect, nor complete; therefore, waiting for the perfect scenario increases your vulnerability. However, being in Iraq for three years right next door to Iran is an improvement over our situation in 2002. In addition, the Iranian bravado of where and how they’ve developed their technology has significantly added to the intelligence situation.

Alter then mentioned that an attack on Iran will cause the Iranians to strike us in Iraq. It appears as though the anti-war crowd is finally admitting to the foreign fighter component after insisting that the resistance was strictly a legitimate native Iraqi insurgency. What Alter fails to understand is the overall strategy. Those against the war said the Iraqi invasion was a distraction from Afghanistan. They have it wrong; it was President Bush who distracted Al-Queda from Afghanistan and deprived them of what they believed would be another glorious repeat of the 1980s fight against the Russians. By attacking Iran, it stretches the command, operations, and logistics of the terrorists even further. Additionally, the Iranians will not have time to increase their attacks against us in Iraq if they have to watch out for themselves in their own backyard. Their priorities will shift away from Iraq in order to concentrate in their own area.

As far as unleashing Iranian-sponsored terrorism around the world (Korb’s point), what does he think has been happening for the past 27 years? After all this time, will they really refrain from their world terrorism if we promise not to attack? Their reach and confidence will only increase once they have the threat of the bomb. This fear of Korb should not deter us from taking action. If anything, it confirms the necessity of such action. They will only stop their world terrorism if they are challenged.

The idea that any action in Iran will force our position in the world to crumble is weak and faulty. This is said by those who believe we will not be liked and that world opinion will turn against us. Are we concerned about security or a popularity contest? The left world wide is not going to approve of us anyway, so we have two choices:

1) Take action and be hated, yet respected which provides us security, or,

2) Take no action, be hated anyway, and not have any respect, thus leading to more terror and a nuclear power in Iran.

This is the year of decision on the war. Saddam Hussein will eventually be convicted and probably executed. The Iraqi government will be seated soon and will take more responsibility for the armed conflict. This will ease the stress and responsibility of the coalition forces. Something has to be done about Iran this year. It might be possible to wage a similar campaign as the one conducted in Afghanistan. Having forces already in two countries that border Iran provides flexibility if military action is taken.

While some conservatives might have mildly criticized President Bush for declaring war on a method (terrorism) rather than on the countries supporting terror, it has given him incredible flexibility for action within those countries by going after terrorists, without specifically targeting each as a separate entity. This allows him to gain the support of the native population in replacing the regimes by making the people feel that war has not been declared on them as a nation, only against the terrorists running those countries. President Bush might be remembered as the most prescient president in strategic terms since Lincoln. After September 11th , he and his staff must have come to the conclusion that the war on terror would require some type of action against Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq. It would have to be long-term strategy, not just simply launching a few cruise missiles. He is the ultimate ‘realist’along the lines of Reagan, while utilizing the ‘idealistic’methods of Wilson to achieve the goals of ensuring our security. However, since war is an instrument of policy and policy is influenced by politics, there will be political pressure to refrain from taking action in Iran . If he leaves a nuclear power in Iran run by the mullahs for his successor to handle in January, 2009, his presidency may not be viewed as favorably and the success in Iraq will appear to be negated.

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