30 May 2008

Iraq and Iran

You know, I've always hated that stupid song where the singers tells me he doesn't know the difference. If that's the case, he should not be permitted to vote. The franchise should be a responsibility. But in Modern America, we can't say "responsibility" much less take any. But I digress.

First, Iran. As far as I'm concerned, we are fighting a proxy war in Southern Iraq against Iran. A friend of mine recently returned from theater and told that in his unit's sector in Baghdad, of the EFPs, 60% were imported from Iran and the rest were home-made. The imported ones were much better, as they had copper disks vice the steel ones of the home-made charges. A steel disk doesn't have as much velocity and doesn't have enough residual thermal energy to set a vehicle on fire after impact.

The Asia Times makes the case that the imams are unpopular, that the economy sucks rocks, and that they are printing money like it is going out of style. I'm no economist, but I know that uncontrolled expansion of the money supply leads to out of control inflation which is Bad All Around. There's the demographic time bomb expressed in 50% youth unemployment rates and no jobs for the cohorts coming of age in the next few years either. Spengler makes the case that the end result is foreign adventures in Lebanon and Iraq. I can see that, it's a time-honored method. He also points out that the people running Iran are True Believers in the Islamic revolution of Khomeni. Given that one cannot know for sure without telepathy, I believe this to be a reasonable reading of the statements and actions of the Iranian leadership.

But what to do about it? Invading Iran is, for a variety of reasons, right out. That would put the imams in the position of leading defense against the foreigner, which would solidify their position. It would also put us in the situation of having to occupy a nation with over three times the population of Iraq, with more rugged mountainous terrain.

Nancy Pelosi and Barak Obama seem to believe that appeasement is the right track. If we engage with Iran, then peace and love will blossom forth, at the small price of selling Iraq and Lebanon to crazy people who want to make nuclear weapons and shoot them at Israel and the United States.

The Belmont Club argues that if the estimates of the situation in Iran are really that bad, we would be selling our interests in the Middle East to a power who would be incapable of imposing order, and may be incapable of maintaining its own house in order within months or years. Pajamas Media is claiming that $35 billion dollars (that's billion with a 'b') in Iranian oil money is missing.

If this is true, then Iran's economic situation is even worse, and they may HAVE to go on foreign adventures to pacify the populace. So, what to do, what to do?

First, we must support the Lebanese people who decisively rejected foreign control over their nation, again. Second, we must support the Iraqi government against the Iranian-controlled JAM Special Groups and their Qods Force advisers.

Third, we need to keep international pressure up on Iran to be forthright on the subject of their nuclear program. Contrary to the recent NIE, there is more evidence of Iranian nuclear intentions emerging.

Basically, I'm talking containment. Back the Iranians into a corner, let them know in no uncertain terms that they have no alternatives, and then support opposition groups inside Iran. There's no shortage of them, I'm sure.

What then? Well, I see three possible positive outcomes. First, and most positive, we get regime change through internal dissent. Best of all possible worlds. Crazies go, and doesn't cost any American blood.

Second, less positive, the Iranians detonate a nuclear bomb and 30 minutes later, the Israelis make them go away. This has the disadvantage of throwing nuclear fallout around the region, but otherwise I won't miss Iran much.

Third, the Iranians try a full-scale military adventure and we get to kick their asses so hard their grandchildren will feel it. Hooray for for-real shooting wars with conventional infantry divisions and whatnot. It doesn't bother me, but it is a terribly expensive option.

On to Iraq. What to say about Iraq?

First, on Soldiers in Iraq. Badger Six is signing off on his blog.

A former Marine is being prosecuted for his role in house-to-house fighting in Falluja (after two previous investigations said there was no evidence) and was imprisoned for invoking his Fifth Amendment rights in the investigation. Funny how Leftists are all about the "Constitutional rights" of foreign nationals detained in the act of committing war crimes, but silent on a combat veteran being abused.

Second, on Media coverage in Iraq. Greyhawk has a review of press coverage of al-Anbar up. Why? It's hard to find current reporting on Iraq. The country has basically lost interest, and the media refuses to cover the good news, so there isn't much to cover. The American Journalism Review discusses that in more depth.

More ranting to follow.


Anonymous Bill McD said...

A)Talking != Appeasement. It is very possible to conduct diplomacy without capitulating to the demands of one's enemies. And yes, their government is most assuredly that, by simple virtue of our national postures.

B)Re: Sgt. Nelson: I've been looking through those reports, and I don't see anything in there about him actually invoking his 5th Amendment rights. Personally, I don't think he should have to specifically do so, but in civilian criminal proceedings, that's usually how it works: They can ask you, and you can 1)answer, 2)refuse on 5th Amendment grounds, or 3)get charged w/contempt of court. If he hasn't invoked, then he's leaving himself open to those contempt charges, and quite frankly, needs better freakin' defense counsel.

If he has invoked his 5th Amendment protections, then his next call should be the ACLU. That's what they exist for, after all... protecting his rights in the courtroom just like they've protected such staunch liberals as Rush Limbaugh.

12:09 PM  
Blogger David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 06/02/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

My own 3 part plan for Middle East Peace, under the the McCain presidency.

1) Afghanistan and Iraq join Nato. Kuwait will apply to join about a nanosecond later. That puts 4 NATO allies on Iraq's border. Iran will be geographically isolated.

2) With our Iraqi, Turkish, Kuwaiti and maybe even Saudi allies, effect Regime Change in Syria the same way we effected Regime Change in Iraq in 2003, and in Italy in 1943, and for pretty much the same reasons. This isolates Iran politically, and makes orphans of Hamas, Hizbollah and all the other Iranian-supported terrorist groups.

3) Wait. The median age in Iran (according to the CIA world fact book) is 26.2 yeas. This means half the population is at or under this age, half over. And MANY young people are without work. Young people without work=real, deep trouble for the mad mullahs. As those young people look to Iraq and Afghanistan and see the progress that is being made there...real prosperity, the rule of Law (NOT Sharia, but the real thing), and they will soon want a piece of the action. Lather, rinse repeat, until the mad mullahs do the Saddam /Mousoulini Dance at the end of a rope.

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the Iranians detonate a nuclear bomb and 30 minutes later, the Israelis make them go away."

Call me hyper, but this outcome has me smiling from ear to ear. It has for a long time...


4:15 PM  
Blogger Don M said...

I think Anonymous has it about right.

5:02 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Iran can be conquered by applying a brick to the heads of maybe 30 people. Our own Castrorum will be delighted to supply the brick, and the necessary force to bust some heads open should the opportunity present itself.

But I do not sanction indiscriminate use of any WMD...regardless of what country does it. Why murder millions? In fact, the people who really do need their heads bashed in the most will probably survive a nuclear attack, and then the problem is compounded.

Now, if you want a surgical airstrike to take out the Iranian leadership, I'm all for that. Or if you want to send in the 82nd Airborne to take out the Iranian nuke storage site(s) (this is a mission they train for), I'm all for that.

But the indiscriminate use of nuclear weapons on a civilian populace???......no, I will fight against that with all my might. That makes us no better than them.

7:10 AM  
Anonymous Laserlight said...

I wouldn't be thrilled about using WMDs but I wouldn't be too categorically against it either. If I'm the nice kid who always plays by the rules, you know you can pick on me; if you know I just might bring an axe tomorrow, you will at least tone down the harassment, or pick on someone else. Syria and Libya got really polite while they were thinking "You might, I might be next."

6:22 PM  

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