Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Its time for the US to tell Iran how we feel.

The United States has found explosives, rocket propelled grenades, high-tech rifles, and personnel supplied to the Iraqi insurgents by Iran. Iran has had an active roll in killing American service men and women. A report from the European Union today says it believes the only thing preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is technical limits. The EU now believes that economic sanctions and diplomacy will not prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Iran has been at war with the United States since the early 1980’s. Hezbollah was founded by Iran. Iran continues to direct the “Party of God” today and provide it with support and funding.

Iran through Hezbollah has been responsible for some of the worst terrorist attacks against the United State. Before September 11, 2001, Hezbollah had killed more Americans than any other terrorist group. Perhaps one of the worst Hezbollah attacks was at the Marine Barracks in Beirut in October of 1983. 241 American Military were killed in the attack. Our forces were part of a peace-keeping force during that attack.

What would Iran or Hezbollah do with a nuclear weapon? Is there anyone who doubts they would try to use it? If the EU believes diplomacy will no longer work, then there is very little chance of Iran negotiating with the “Great Satan”.

This leaves us with the question, “What should we do about Iran?” There are very few people out there who would argue for a land invasion of Iran. Realistically, I feel we must strengthen the boarders with Iran. It is also time to consider air strikes on Iranian locations. I have seen reports that a third carrier group is en route that theatre. This should give us plenty of Air power to keep Iran busy and out of Iraq.

Iran must be made to feel that their best interest lies in staying out of Iraq. Iranian officials may enjoy seeing the debate between different political groups within the United States. Iran needs to understand that if they want to provide weapons, training, and men to our enemies, then they will be treated as our enemies.

UPDATE:

After posting this I saw a story on Fox News saying that the Iraqi borders with Iran and with Syria are going to be closed for 72 hours. Curfews are going to be extended as well. I think this is a good step in the right direction, I truly believe this looks like a new strategy in Iraq.

10 comments:

Epiphany11 said...

I have to say I'm relieved that something is being done. I just hope the momentum is maintained.

Lisa Renee said...

The only problem I have with your post is that you don't lay any of the responsibility with the United States for why Iran and Hezbollah exist. It was the United States that created some of the very hatred that continues to fuel the existance of these groups. If you remember the source of the US relationship with Saddam Hussein was based on helping him to fight Iran. It also should be pointed out that one of the reasons why Iran wants nuclear weapons is because Israel has nuclear weapons. The leaders of Iran are not stupid and they realize that to create the belief that nuclear weapons are possible puts their country in a better negotiating standpoint. All one has to do is to look at how North Korea as well as several other nations have used their nuclear "threat".

So, while I agree with you in principle that Iran will be an issue, I think we also have to look at the real reasons why we are exactly where we are at with Iran and stop trying to threaten them with sanctions as well as force and look at some of the root causes.

Andy D said...

Lisa, thanks for the comment. My response is going to sound a little heated, and maybe a little like I am attacking you, but that is not my intention.

There are two separate issues here. The first is Iran trying to acquire nuclear weapons; the second is Iran supplying men and materials to people who are trying to kill Americans.

Some of your arguments regarding the first issue are worth noting. I also agree that we can stop trying to sanction Iran out of a nuclear weapon. Negotiating with them amounts to trying to buy them off, and that isn’t going to work either. My concern is that Ahmadinejad has said he is willing to use his weapons. He believes if he can nuke Israel, and Israel responds with a nuke, that is ok because there are more Muslims than Jews. He believes Iran is predestined to rule the world. We can not allow Ahmadinejad to get nuclear weapons because he will use them. Make no mistake on that point.

The second issue is Iran supplying men and materials to our enemies. Again you make some valid points, but you totally miss the primary point. The reason Iran wants to kill Americans has nothing to do with our history in the Middle East, or who we supported when. It has everything to do with Iran being run by a fundamentalist Islamic government. They want to kill us because they hate us. They hate Jews, Christians, Buddhist, less fundamental Muslims, and anyone else who doesn’t worship the same way as they do. They describe the US as the “Great Satan” and Israel as the “Little Satan”. No one will dispute that the Iranians hate Israel. What does it say about how they think of us when we are the Great Satan? If you want to look at the root causes of the trouble with Iran, you must acknowledge that fact. Any discussion about why Iran is trying to kill Americans is incomplete without pointing that out.

Andy D said...

Epiphany,

I am happy something is done, and I pray more gets done.

Matthew Smith said...

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog; I thought I'd return the favor.

Anyway, the administration's concerns about Iran seem appropriate, but I know it's not just me that sees a scary parallel:

CNN's Ed Henry asked the president... With contradictory claims now being made about Iranian involvement in Iraq, "What assurances can you give the American people that the intelligence this time will be accurate?"

Bush responded: "Ed, we know [that Iranian-supplied weapons are] there, we know they're provided by the Quds force. We know the Quds force is a part of the Iranian government. I don't think we know who picked up the phone and said to the Quds force, 'Go do this,' but we know it's a vital part of the Iranian government.

"What matters is, is that we're responding. The idea that somehow we're manufacturing the idea that the Iranians are providing IEDs is preposterous."

What I ask is this: is anything preposterous any more?

http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2007/02/14/bushiran/index.html

Andy D said...

Thanks for the comment Matthew.

I think you are hinting at the parallels with WMD’s. I watched the press conference and that was mentioned. The difference here is that we have these materials in hand. Our military has shown reporters the actual hardware the Iranians have sent to Iraq. We have Iranians in custody.

The President pointed out something in the conference today. The Quds force is part of the Iranian government. We don’t know if the Ahmadinejad knows that the Quds sent these materials or not. But which is scarier, that he knew and sent them, or that Ahmadinejad had no idea and the Quds sent them on their own??

Matthew Smith said...

I think you are again going a bit too far with your presumtions. As the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday, the degree to which the Iranian government controls the Quds force "has been hotly debated in U.S. foreign policy circles." The Brookings Institution's Kenneth Pollack told the Times: "There are people who believe the Quds Force does not move a muscle without getting explicit orders from [supreme leader Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei; there are other people who believe they are rogues. The weight of evidence is somewhere in the middle."

Frankly, even administration officals can't seem to get their stories straight.

Monday, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace: "It is clear that Iranians are involved ... but I would not say, based on what I know, that the Iranian government clearly knows or is complicit."

Monday, White House press secretary Tony Snow: "Let me put it this way: There's not a whole lot of freelancing in the Iranian government, especially when it comes to something like that. So what you would have to do, if you're trying to do the -- to counter that position, you would have to assume that people were able of putting together sophisticated weaponry, moving it across a border into a theater of war and doing so unbeknownst and unbidden."

Tuesday, U.S. Central Command Commander William Fallon:"I have no idea who may be actually hands-on in this stuff."

Tuesday, White House press secretary Tony Snow: "The intelligence indicates that the Quds forces, which are part of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, are associated with this ... What is beyond dispute, and what is of primary importance here -- and Gen. Pace hasn't disagreed with it, and we don't disagree, and frankly, again, I think you'll find upon further conversation ... that, in fact, we generally agree on the basics of the situation here, which is there are armaments that have made their way from Iran into Iraq. There are Iranian forces in Iraq. These weapons are being used to kill Americans."

Wednesday, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns: "I'll resist the temptation to draw an organizational chart, for obvious reasons. [The al-Quds unit is] a part of the Iranian defense and intelligence establishment. They're a major part of the Iranian government. Therefore, the actions of that force are the responsibility of that government. If that force is supplying technology for Shiite militants, that government is responsible."

Wednesday, President George W. Bush: "What we do know is that the Quds force was instrumental in providing these deadly IEDs to networks inside of Iraq. We know that. And we also know that the Quds force is a part of the Iranian government. That's a known. What we don't know is whether or not the head leaders of Iran ordered the Quds force to do what they did. But here's my point: Either they knew or didn't know, and what matters is, is that they're there. What's worse, that the government knew or that the government didn't know?"

(quotes taken from Salon's War Room)

Andy D said...

My assumptions are this:

1) Iranian weapons and explosives are showing up in Iraq and are being used against our military.
2) Iranian fighters are being killed and captured in Iraq trying to attack our enemies.
3) Someone within the Iranian government is ordering point 1 and 2 to happen.

There are now two questions, 1) How high in the government is the order coming from, and 2) What do we do about it?

Based on the EU report, and the amount of material that seems to be in Iraq, I firmly believe at a minimum military action along the border is going to be required. If you put this in the context of Iran pursuing a nuclear weapon, I believe more than just operations around the border will be needed.

Matthew Smith said...

I realize we're not going to agree here, and it's your blog, so obviously you can always get the last word.

However, my point is that - despite the president's words - nothing is irrefutable. I seem to remember a SOTU speech about a British report of enriched uranium in Niger. Let's ask Scooter how that one turned out.

The point is this: almost everyone outside of 1600 Penn agrees that the justifications for entering Iraq were flawed. Some think the administration lied, some say they intentionally misled us, some say they allowed expectations to affect judgement, some say they were the victims of bad intelligence; whatever you believe is irrelevant to this debate.

What matters is that we don't know enough to be as bold with Iran as we were with their neighbor. Not with hundreds of thousands of American soldiers fighting for their lives (yes, and democracy too) in Iraq. Not with our track record in the region. And not without international support.

Is that really too much to ask? Why should I suspend my doubts about the administration now? I shouted at my liberal friends that we owed the president our support about Iraq, that despite ourdisagreements, the POTUS would never play partisan politics in that forum.

I was wrong...and I wasn't the only one. John Kerry lost the 2004 election in no small part because of his mishandling of the "voted for the war before I voted against it" affair. Hillary still can't quite admit her error.

Do I feel betrayed? Of course. Should that matter for national security issues? No, of course not.

But what has this president done except diminish the former grandeur of his office? Why should any of us - liberal or conservative - hold his words in the same high regard we once would have?

Maybe I should thank Bush for helping me become a "grown up" and finally dissolve my youthful idealism. Maybe...but maybe that's not really a good thing.

I'm sorry for hijacking your space and won't comment again unless you invite a response. Thanks for the forum.

Andy D said...

Matthew, you are always welcome to comment here. I created this site for people to discuss issues. The discussion part isn’t so good if I am the only one talking. So one with my response….

Without starting a new argument on why we went into Iraq, lets leave it at you and I differ as to whether we should be there now or not. Maybe I should write a new post on my thoughts on that one.

In regards to Iran, lets look at the evidence we have:

1) We know weapons made in Iran are being used against our troops in Iraq. Reporters have been allowed to hold and inspect some of this material.
2) We know the Quds forces have some men in Iraq training some of our enemies.
3) We know Iran is pursing nuclear capability. Iran claims it is for peaceful purposes.
4) We know the leadership of Iran has called for the destruction of Israel and the West.
5) The European Union no longer believes Iran will respond to diplomatic efforts or to any sanctions.

In a most optimistic reading of these facts, one has to conclude that Iran is managed by an incompetent group that is trying to get nuclear capability. In a worse case scenario, Iran wishes to make good on it’s desires to destroy their enemies. In either scenario, I don’t believe waiting to see what happens next is the best approach. Diplomacy has failed to prevent any of these measures.

I am not calling for a full scale invasion of Iran. I do feel that we are going to be forced to take some military action in Iran. I don’t know how involved it will be, it could be limited air strikes to destroy nuclear reactors. We will just have to wait and see.