political will

Suffice it to say that I am deeply skeptical of the competence of the Administration in any attempt to replace the regime in Iran; I have however reasonable confidence that we could destroy the regime in Iran. This Atlantic Monthly article has probably the most trustworthy (but ultimately still a speculative) assessment that we can use for a baseline on the much-needed discussion.

Regime change alone is not sufficient. If we attack Iran, destruction of the nuclear facilities MUST be a guarantee, with genuine accountability of the sort that the Bush Administration has never once demonstrated previously.

To even have a hope of convincing skeptics like me to support a noble cause when said cause will be executed by those with a record of incompetence, a certain level of hard-nosed metrics will need to be publicly embraced by the Administrations' supporters. The standard for success and the stakes are far higher and if those calling loudest for invasion are not willing to hold the Administration accountable, and publicly demand it in advance of any campaign, then we can expect a total snafu, and refusing to support the Administration then becomes not obstructionism but simple patriotic duty.

And on that score, the signs are not good. Already we see ominous references to "militarily possible, but politically impossible" and the usual references to treasonous liberals and defeatism and all the rest of the same dialouge-obliterating terminology that has prevented a genuine unity in this country. Just as reference to "liar" and "oil" utterly prohibit patriots like Dean from even wanting to talk to the DailyKos left, reference to "traitor" and "America hater" shut down patriots like myself from dialog with the RedState and Windsofchange crowd.

So, I am a skeptic, not of whether America can prevail, but whether the cause for war is truly as critical as those who argue its necessity is, such that they will be willing to put their political concerns aside. If the war on Iran is a political suicide pact; so be it. If you truly believe that it is a necessary thing, then demand that the Administration pursue it nevertheless, and roll the dice with public opinion.

You might find that certain patriots, in the mold of myself and many others, would respect and support an Administration that made a genuine, honest, and damn-the-political-consequences argument for war on Iran. That was the President I thought I had on September 12th, 2001.

Sadly, I expect that the Administration's political instincts will prevail, and that is not the fault of Democrats or the media. I hope to be proven wrong. Please.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

I don't know that the ground troops for an invasion are there, short of essentially throwing everything that we have of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps into the breach. That's a bad, bad way to fight a war, though, for many different reasons.

Destroying Iran's reactors might barely be possible. The U.S. has been working for years on the technology to do things like crush buried bunkers via concussion or to use blasts that at least suffocate the people inside those bonkers. That, coupled with a thorough destruction of most of the Islamic Republic's military assets that are reachable by air strike would at least mollify the threat.