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Kristol: Conning the Neo-cons
Posted by: mcq on Thursday, July 20, 2006

William Kristol spends most of his article in the Weekly Standard describing how Hezbollah and Hamas really aren't Israel's problem but Iran and Syria are. No secret there. I think every pundit south of the moon has figured that part out. As Kristol points out, no Iran or Syria, no Hamas or Hezbollah.

OK, I'm with him to that point. I think we can all agree that's probably true. So what to do about it? Well, claiming Israel's war is our war too, Kristol recommends the following:
The right response is renewed strength—in supporting the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan, in standing with Israel, and in pursuing regime change in Syria and Iran. For that matter, we might consider countering this act of Iranian aggression with a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. Why wait? Does anyone think a nuclear Iran can be contained? That the current regime will negotiate in good faith? It would be easier to act sooner rather than later. Yes, there would be repercussions—and they would be healthy ones, showing a strong America that has rejected further appeasement.
Why wait? My question is why expand the problem, especially when you're unprepared for the results?

We have a relatively limited action going on in Lebanon. To this point Iran and Syria's support has been mostly sub rosa. Any strike on Iran will involve them fully and overtly. Do we want that at this time? And does anyone suppose that if we strike Iran, they won't do their level best to destabalize even further a very fragile Iraq? And what about Syria? Does anyone think that if we strike Iran they won't figure they're next and act accordingly against Israel? How are those repercussions "healthy ones"? And why is it necessary to demonstrate our rejection of "further appeasement" by boming Iran?

Like I said, Kristol spends an entire article building up to this recommendation and it simply doesn't sell. Striking Iran wouldn't eliminate Hezbollah or Hamas or Iran's support for those groups. And more likely than not it would strengthen internal support for the mullahs, not facilitate "regime change". If anything, a post-strike Iran would probably expand its support and, given reports of Hezbollah cells world wide, order the terror organization to strike outside the ME and especially in the US.

I'm not averse to a policy of regime change in both Syria or Iran. But a military strike is not the way to achieve that, and especially not now. Obviously Iran's nuclear ambitions are of great concern, but Kristol's suggestion is not the way to address them. I don't necessarily disagree with him when he says Israel's war is our war too. It engages radical Islam, who is our enemy. Don't forget we still owe Hezbollah for 200+ Marine deaths in Lebanon. But not all wars are won exclusively through military action. And I can't imagine a worse suggestion, in terms of military action, that that which Bill Kristol is now advocating.

The one thing this nation doesn't need is an expanded role in the fighting in the ME. And it damn sure doesn't need to fuel the fire into a conflagration by attacking Iran based on the dubious notion that doing so will somehow fuel an internal regime change and magically defang Hezbollah.
 
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Well to an extent I’d agree, BUT I’d note that the collapse of the Soviet Union put paid to the IRA and a host of European terror groups. Whent he paymaste disappears the readicals remain, but have no guns or Semtex. So, IF bombing would create regime change in Iran, don’t discout it.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
The one thing this nation doesn’t need is an expanded role in the fighting in the ME.
Not no fast on that one. It’s going to come to us eventually, it may be better to take it on while the terms may be more favorable to us, than for example, if the opposition is armed with nukes.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I think this sums up the situation quite well...

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060720/OPINION02/307200016

I think we should take a hard tack with Iran, if we find direct proof of involvement, get some tough sanctions through the Security Council (to start with.)

Syria needs to be persuaded that their future lies in seperating their politics from Irans needs.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
mcq said:
But not all wars are won exclusively through military action
true, but all wars possessing an element of islamofacism should be. to prove me wrong, please provide the list of successful counterexamples.

i used to be neocon, but then (like you) have an expectation of short term bad mojo. however, this is a pill i’d rather swallow now. call it a bird in the hand philosophy.

of course, the arrival of the 12th imam could negate all this.
 
Written By: window licker
URL: http://
Bombing alone hasn’t caused a regime change anywhere but Spain. If we turn this into a regional war our oil supplies will be threatened. At minimum, oil prices double. That spells recession here at home. This administration has yet to demonstrate that its knows how to bring peace anywhere. Perhaps we should finish Afganistan and Iraq before attacking Syria and Iran. That is what is known as strategy. Thus far, even when we win militarily we seem to be able to turn it into something that looks, feels and costs a lot like losing. We will make more enemies that friends if we get into this one. Get ready for draft if we hop in.

We have no dog in this fight.

 
Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
war our oil supplies will be threatened. At minimum, oil prices double. That spells recession here at home.

V.
We have no dog in this fight.
Huh, doesn’t your post contradict itself CindyB? Please elaborate and expand. Otherwise, thank you for your input and please feel free to come again.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I’ll use small words for you, Joe.

If we get involved, Iran will get involved and our oil supplies will be threatened. Then we have a dog in a very big fight. That fight would be over oil and not Israel.

If we stay out of Israel v Hezbollah, Iran will not threaten our oil supplies, (knowing that we will get involved if they do). Israel is not acting in our best interest. What ever the outcome their action, the US will be no better off. That is why I say we have no dog in that fight.

We can only be worse off if we intervene.
 
Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
And more likely than not it would strengthen internal support for the mullahs, not facilitate "regime change".
Unless, of course, we pick our targets intelligently and the mullahs wind up dead.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: Peter Jackson
URL: http://www.liberalcapitalist.com
Actaully then we DO have a dog in the fight, don’t we? We only don’t if any outcome really has little or NO effect on us, as the fighting in Yugoslavia in the 1990’s had no effect on the US. It would have had an effect on Greece, Turkey, and Italy, but not the US.

No Israel is acting in ITS best interest, however it can be plausibly argued that our interests coincide. Why did oil spike at USD 78 per barrel neither Israel nor Hezbollah have oil, BUT one of the interested parties does. So it does behoove the US to see Iran AND Hezbollah changed....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I think we should try everything short of complete appeasement before engaging in direct military action. Sanctions still sounds like the best solution. Iran is not such an isolated country that they are invulnerable to sanctions. You destroy their economy, and the Ahmadinejad regime goes down with it. While it may seem that it is impossible to get Russia and China to go along, I think we can convince them that the alternative is a U.S. led strike on Iran. At the end of the day, its frankly not what they want
 
Written By: Alex
URL: http://
And does anyone suppose that if we strike Iran, they won’t do their level best to destabalize even further a very fragile Iraq?
Are you implying that they are not currently doing their best to destabilize Iraq? That they are just making a half-hearted effort now?
 
Written By: DS
URL: http://
Are you implying that they are not currently doing their best to destabilize Iraq? That they are just making a half-hearted effort now?
Yes.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net

 
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