contact
Main
Contact Me

about
About RightWing NutHouse

Site Stats

blog radio

Listen to internet radio with RINO Hour of Power on Blog Talk Radio
Click Here to Pay Learn More

testimonials

"Brilliant"
(Romeo St. Martin of Politics Watch-Canada)

"The epitome of a blogging orgasm"
(Cao of Cao's Blog)

"Rick Moran is one of the finest essayists in the blogosphere. ‘Nuff said. "
(Dave Schuler of The Glittering Eye)

archives
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004

search



blogroll

A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT
A Conservative Lesbian
ABBAGAV
ACE OF SPADES
ALPHA PATRIOT
AM I A PUNDIT NOW
AMERICAN FUTURE
AMERICAN THINKER
ANCHORESS
AND RIGHTLY SO
ANDREW OLMSTED
ANKLEBITING PUNDITS
AREOPAGITICA
ATLAS SHRUGS
BACKCOUNTRY CONSERVATIVE
BASIL’S BLOG
BEAUTIFUL ATROCITIES
BELGRAVIA DISPATCH
BELMONT CLUB
BETSY’S PAGE
Blacksmiths of Lebanon
Blogs of War
BLUEY BLOG
BRAINSTERS BLOG
BUZZ MACHINE
CANINE PUNDIT
CAO’S BLOG
CAPTAINS QUARTERS
CATHOUSE CHAT
CHRENKOFF
CINDY SHEEHAN WATCH
Classical Values
Cold Fury
COMPOSITE DRAWLINGS
CONSERVATHINK
CONSERVATIVE THINK
CONTENTIONS
DAVE’S NOT HERE
DEANS WORLD
DICK McMICHAEL
Diggers Realm
DR. SANITY
E-CLAIRE
EJECT! EJECT! EJECT!
ELECTRIC VENOM
ERIC’S GRUMBLES BEFORE THE GRAVE
ESOTERICALLY.NET
FAUSTA’S BLOG
FLIGHT PUNDIT
FOURTH RAIL
FRED FRY INTERNATIONAL
GALLEY SLAVES
GATES OF VIENNA
HEALING IRAQ
http://blogcritics.org/
HUGH HEWITT
IMAO
INDEPUNDIT
INSTAPUNDIT
IOWAHAWK
IRAQ THE MODEL
JACKSON’S JUNCTION
JO’S CAFE
JOUST THE FACTS
KING OF FOOLS
LASHAWN BARBER’S CORNER
LASSOO OF TRUTH
LIBERTARIAN LEANINGS
LITTLE GREEN FOOTBALLS
LITTLE MISS ATTILA
LIVE BREATHE AND DIE
LUCIANNE.COM
MAGGIE’S FARM
MEMENTO MORON
MESOPOTAMIAN
MICHELLE MALKIN
MIDWEST PROGNOSTICATOR
MODERATELY THINKING
MOTOWN BLOG
MY VAST RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY
mypetjawa
NaderNow
Neocon News
NEW SISYPHUS
NEW WORLD MAN
North Star National
Northerncrown
OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY
PATRIOTIC MOM
PATTERICO’S PONTIFICATIONS
POLIPUNDIT
Political Byline
POLITICAL MUSINGS
POLITICAL TEEN
POWERLINE
PRO CYNIC
PUBLIUS FORUM
QUESTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS
RACE42008
RADICAL CENTRIST
Ravenwood’s Universe
RELEASE THE HOUNDS
RIGHT FROM LEFT
RIGHT VOICES
RIGHT WING NEWS
RIGHTFAITH
RIGHTWINGSPARKLE
ROGER L. SIMON
SHRINKRAPPED
Six Meat Buffet
Slowplay.com
SOCAL PUNDIT
SOCRATIC RYTHM METHOD
STOUT REPUBLICAN
TERRORISM UNVEILED
TFS MAGNUM
THE ART OF THE BLOG
THE BELMONT CLUB
The Conservative Cat
THE DONEGAL EXPRESS
THE LIBERAL WRONG-WING
THE LLAMA BUTCHERS
THE MAD PIGEON
THE MODERATE VOICE
THE PATRIETTE
THE POLITBURO DIKTAT
THE PRYHILLS
THE RED AMERICA
THE RESPLENDENT MANGO
THE RICK MORAN SHOW
THE SMARTER COP
THE SOAPBOX
THE STRATA-SPHERE
THE STRONG CONSERVATIVE
THE SUNNYE SIDE
THE VIVID AIR
THOUGHTS ONLINE
TIM BLAIR
TRANSATLANTIC INTELLIGENCER
TRANSTERRESTRIAL MUSINGS
TYGRRRR EXPRESS
VARIFRANK
VIKING PUNDIT
VINCE AUT MORIRE
VODKAPUNDIT
WALLO WORLD
WIDE AWAKES
WIZBANG
WUZZADEM
ZERO POINT BLOG


recentposts


RINO Hour of Power: War Drums Beating in Washington

RINO Hour of Power: Surf’s Up! GOP Wave Building?

RINO Hour of Power: Political Potpourri

RINO Hour of Power: Is President Obama Checking Out of the Presidency?

RINO Hour of Power: Is There a Serious Case to be Made for Impeachment?

RINO Hour of Power: Border Crisis: US Sovereignty at Stake

RINO Hour of Power: Are Liberals Patriotic Too?

RINO Hour of Power: A Conversation with Dr. Victor Davis Hanson

RINO Hour of Power: The Bergdahl Swap: Detestably Necessary

RINO Hour of Power: Moran vs. Moran Redux: A conversationw ith my brother Terry Moran of ABC News

RHOP Relaunch: Moran vs. Moran: A conversation with my brother Terry Moran of ABC News

RINO Hour of Power: Putin’s Ukraine Fiasco

RINO Hour of Power: ‘Which side are you on boys, which side are you on’

RINO Hour of Power: Political Potpourri

RINO Hour of Power: Is the GOP Becoming Reasonable?

RINO Hour of Power: Alas, Obamacare

RINO Hour of Power: A Dismal State of the Union

RINO Hour of Power: A Look at the Electoral Map for 2016

RINO Hour of Power: The trillion dollar spending bill will test House Republican unity

The RINO Hour of Power: The Push for a Single Payer Health Insurance System

RINO Hour of Power: The Crumbling Edifice of the Mass Surveillance State

Boehner’s Outburst Fuels GOP Civil War

Obamacare and the Facilitation of Criminal Activity

RINO Hour of Power: Political Potpourri

RINO Hour of Power: The GOP’s Obamacare Conundrum


categories

"24" (117)
ABLE DANGER (10)
American Issues Project (11)
Arizona Massacre (5)
Bailout (32)
Bird Flu (5)
Birthers (16)
Blackhawks (2)
Blagojevich (9)
Blogging (404)
Books (10)
CARNIVAL OF THE CLUELESS (68)
Caucasus (1)
CHICAGO BEARS (40)
Chicago Bulls (3)
Chicago East (3)
CIA VS. THE WHITE HOUSE (29)
Cindy Sheehan (13)
Climate Change (3)
Climate Chnage (11)
conservative reform (96)
cotton candy conservatives (19)
CPAC Conference (12)
Culture (11)
Debt ceiling (2)
Decision '08 (402)
Decision 2010 (13)
Decision 2012 (34)
Deficit reduction (5)
Election '06 (9)
Entitlement Crisis (4)
Environment (15)
Ethics (290)
Fairness Doctrine (1)
Financial Crisis (53)
FRED! (28)
FrontPage.Com (79)
Frum Forum (2)
Gaza incident (1)
General (429)
GOP Reform (61)
Government (295)
health care reform (65)
History (298)
Homeland Security (18)
IMMIGRATION REFORM (28)
IMPEACHMENT (3)
Iran (114)
IRAQI RECONCILIATION (13)
Israel vs. Hamas (6)
KATRINA (29)
Katrina Timeline (5)
Lebanon (18)
Liberal Congress (12)
Manzine (1)
Marvin Moonbat (14)
Media (262)
Middle East (183)
Moonbats (81)
National Health Insurance (4)
NET NEUTRALITY (2)
Newsreal Blog (1)
Obama inauguration (2)
Obama-Rezko (15)
OBAMANIA! (80)
Oil Spill (2)
Olympics (6)
Open House (1)
Palin (23)
Pirates (1)
PJ Media (119)
PJ Tatler (5)
Politics (1271)
Presidential Debates (7)
Presidential Transition (9)
RINO Hour of Power (119)
RNC (2)
S-CHIP (3)
Sarah Palin (5)
Science (70)
Space (33)
Sports (18)
Star Trek (1)
SUPER BOWL (7)
Supreme Court (28)
Swine Flu (4)
Tea Parties (15)
Technology (5)
Tenth Amendment (3)
The Caucasus (1)
The Law (19)
The Long War (11)
The Rick Moran Show (306)
Too Big To Fail (8)
Torture (2)
UNITED NATIONS (22)
Walpin Scandal (2)
War on Terror (402)
WATCHER'S COUNCIL (117)
WHITE SOX (7)
Who is Mr. Hsu? (7)
Wide Awakes Radio (9)
WORLD CUP (11)
WORLD POLITICS (127)
WORLD SERIES (16)


meta

Admin Login
Register
Valid XHTML
XFN







credits


Design by:


Hosted by:


Powered by:
1/4/2007
IRAN HAWKS: SHADOW BOXING WITH REALITY
CATEGORY: Iran, Middle East

I have nothing but the greatest respect for Michael Ledeen. He has proven himself one of the most plugged in analysts in the commentariat when it comes to all things having to do with Iran. I would take anything he says about Iran much more seriously than anything I’d hear from Juan Cole who, although a noted scholar and someone whose articles on the historical background of the Middle East are nothing short of fascinating, suffers from a horrible case of Bush Derangement Syndrome which has clouded his analyses and at times, made him virtually unreadable.

That said, Ledeen is trying to take us over a cliff by advocating War against the Iranians.

It’s not that I disagree with his basic premise; that Iran has been at war with the west in general and the United States in particular since 1979. This fact should be self-evident given the number of attacks sponsored by the Iranians against Americans and American interests in the last quarter century. And I also have no disagreement with Ledeen regarding this latest evidence of Iranian aggression; the shocking assistance to both Shia and Sunni terrorists that has no doubt led to many American deaths in Iraq.

They are attacking our interests. They are killing our soldiers. They are threatening much worse. Why then should we not make the attempt to change the regime in Iran to one that would be freer, more peaceful, and less aggressive in its aspirations to dominate the region?

Ledeen believes that the amount of force needed to cause the Iranian regime to collapse is minimal and wouldn’t detract from our efforts in Iraq:

I have little sympathy for those who have avoided the obvious necessity of confronting Iran, however I do understand the concerns of military leaders, such as General Abizaid, who are doing everything in their considerable power to avoid a two-front war. But I do not think we need massive military power to bring down the mullahs, and in any event we now have a three-front war: within Iraq, and with both Iran and Syria. So General Abizaid’s objection is beside the point. We are in a big war, and we cannot fight it by playing defense in Iraq. That is a sucker’s game. And I hope the president realizes this at last, and that he finds himself some generals who also realize it, and finally demands a strategy for victory.

In passing, it follows from this that the entire debate over more or less troops in Iraq, surge or no surge, Baghdad or Anbar Province, all of it begs the central question. As long as Iran and their appendage in Damascus have a free shot at us, all these stratagems are doomed.

Alright. I’ll play. Suppose we apply whatever military power (short of “massive” - whatever that means) and the mullahs still rule? What’s next? We’ve just spent three years learning a valuable lesson (all over again) that American military power has its limits, that despite our troops best efforts and spectacular performance on the battlefield, it doesn’t matter a tinker’s damn if other factors not amendable to military force cannot be controlled or are not addressed.

In the case of Iran, it is answering the question who or what would take over once the government was overthrown? Are we once again going to indulge in the fantasy that a tyrannical government is teetering on the edge and all that is needed to send it crashing into the garbage heap of history is a little push? Ledeen thinks so:

As it happens, this is a particularly good moment to go after the mullahs, because they are deeply engaged in a war of all against all within Iran. I wrote in NRO two weeks ago that the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had been carted off to the hospital–a major event, of which the Intelligence Community was totally unaware–and his prognosis is very poor. That information has now trickled out, and I found it today in the Italian press and on an Iranian web site. The mullahs are maneuvering for position, and Ahmadi-Nezhad’s ever more frantic rhetoric bespeaks the intensity of the power struggle, which includes former president Rafsanjani, Khamenei’s son, and Ahmadi-Nezhad’s favorite nut ayatollah. We should propose another option to the Iranian people: freedom.

Freedom is what most Iranians want, and, unlike their neighbors in Iraq, they have considerable experience with self-government. The Iranian Constitution of 1906 is remarkably modern, and Iranian intellectuals have in fact been debating the best form of government for their country for many years. Iranian workers are in open revolt against the regime, along with such minority groups as the Kurds, the Balouchis, the Azeris, and the Ahwazi Arabs. In other words, most of the Iranian people. It is long past time for us to speak clearly to them and support their cause.

I have no doubt that the Iranians want freedom. Just as I am convinced that the people of Iraq want to be free. But Iranian intellectuals, enamored though they are with a 100 year old document that even the Shah honored in the breach, are not going to pick up guns and kill the mullahs. Nor are the 200,000 Revolutionary Guards going to suddenly become rabid democrats and lay down their arms to give democracy a chance. And Ledeen and the rest of the Iran hawks have yet to present any kind of a military option (short of “massive”) that wouldn’t necessarily involve hundreds of thousands of presumably American troops who would have to physically march to Tehran in order to overthrow the government. For Ledeen fails to answer who in Iran would finish the job that we would be starting?

As internally weak as the Iranians may be - and I’m not convinced of that by any means - they have done their job the last 25 years. Anyone who has expressed a desire for anything more than cosmetic reforms in the Islamic paradise has been ruthlessly suppressed. The restive minorities that Ledeen rightly points to as our natural allies are even more brutally oppressed. In short, any real opposition to not only Ahmadinejad but also the Rafsanjanis and Khatamis is small, frightened, disorganized, and incapable of taking advantage of any favorable military situation we may present them with. And it would take years to build up any kind of effective political opposition to the theocrats in Tehran, something one assumes Ledeen and the other Iran hawks would not be willing to wait on.

Ledeen cautions against a two front war but then virtually advocates taking Syria on too. This is madness. We have got to realize that the consequences of starting a war against Iran would not only fail to achieve the goal of overthrowing the mullahs (short of throwing everything we have against Iran’s 800,000 man military) but also lead to unforeseen problems that would only make matters worse in Iraq, in Lebanon, and could lead to a general Middle Eastern war in which hundreds of thousands of people would be killed.

There is another way. It won’t overthrow the mullahs right away nor will it stop their nuclear program - something that an attack as envisioned by Ledeen won’t guarantee anyway. This study done by the Army’s Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) recognizes the danger of Iranian nukes as well as the continued threat of aggression from the Iranian regime. They advocate a much broader approach to the problem:

* Engage in traditional deterrent strategies such as making it clear to Tehran that the use or threatening the use of nuclear weapons has reciprocal disadvantages to the regime.

* Allow the development of nuclear weapons by states threatened by Iran such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

* Employ a regional military strategy against the regime by building credible alliances.

* Work with dissident groups to create an armed, united opposition that could affect regime change.

Unsatisfying to be sure. But perhaps we should ask ourselves if it isn’t better than the alternative to an attack on Iran? Iraq in even greater chaos thanks to a general Shia uprising against our forces. No guarantee the mullahs would be ousted. Almost certainly the prospect of a spate of terrorist attacks carried out against our interests in the Middle East and perhaps even here in the United States. And the horrible prospect of a general war in the Middle East.

To my way of thinking, military action only makes sense if the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages War with Iran - as satisfying and enticing an option though it may be - isn’t even a close call. And advocating such a course of action is like shadowboxing with reality; you’re not dealing with the real problems in Iraq by going to war with Iran.

There may be security issues we can help the Iraqis with by sending another 30,000 troops into Baghdad and Anbar. But the insurgency and sectarian violence would continue with or without Iranian and Syrian assistance. Hence, only an Iraqi political settlement that all parties can sign off on has any chance at all of bringing a modicum of peace to that bloody land. And until the political will exists in Iraqi society for such a general settlement, any war we wage against those who assist the militias and the insurgents will be worse than futile and do more harm to our interests in the region than good.

UPDATE

A commenter points to this blurb on The Corner where Ledeen is saying he does not advocate going to war against Iran:

Rich: No, I don’t want to invade Iran, as I have said for many years. And I don’t follow your logic. I think — and, as recent news stories in the NY Sun and NY Times have made clear, the policymakers in the Bush administration now know—that much of the terror war in Iraq is the result of Iranian activities. I have written here for years that the Iranians were promoting both sides of a series of potential civil wars in Iraq, Sunni/Shiite, Kurd/Turkamen, Arab/non-Arab, etc.

The two policies you list (run away or invade Iran) are only two among many. In Tracinski’s article, he quotes Michael Rubin on behalf of what Tracinski calls “Cold War II.” That is, support democratic revolution in Iran. Again, I’ve been arguing in support of that since before we started Operation Iraqi Freedom. I think it’s the best option, I think it will succeed if it is well done, and I think this is an excellent moment for it, since Khamenei is dying (as I was the first to report; it is now all over the Iranian blogs) and there is an intense internal power struggle at work. You probably noticed that the justice minister was killed in an automobile crash the other day, and it is noteworthy that an amazingly high percentage of important Iranians die in car and air “accidents.”

“Tracinski” is Robert Tracinski who advocates attacking Iran now. On the other hand, Ledeen does not advocate a hands off policy regarding Iran either:

I have also argued for a long time that our troops in Iraq should defend themselves against Iran and Syria. I think we should attack terrorist training camps in both those countries, and I think we should also go after the facilities where the terribly lethal new generation of IEDs is produced and assembled.

As I have said, any military action taken against Iran will cause enormous problems for us in Iraq as well as set off some of the consequences I outline above.

Also, See-Dubya over at Hot Air accuses me of wanting a “political settlement” with Iran. This is incorrect. I linked to the SSI monograph largely because it gave some alternatives for going to war - none of which included negotiating with Iran BTW. Reading what Ledeen had to say on The Corner, I would guess that my thinking is much closer to his - support of democratic elements in Iran (or attempting to unite the opposition) while strengthening our friends and working to develop a coalition in the region to oppose Iranian aggression.

Hardly a “Bakerite” solution.

By: Rick Moran at 8:25 am
10 Responses to “IRAN HAWKS: SHADOW BOXING WITH REALITY”
  1. 1
    Saraa Said:
    8:38 am 

    Hi Ricky! Happy New Year!

  2. 2
    gregdn Said:
    9:49 am 

    Great post. As you somewhat obliquely point out, even if we were able to knock over the regime in Iran what guarantee is there that it wouldn’t be replaced by something equally reprehensible?
    Ledeen and other Neocons are trying to rationalize their failure in Iraq. Kristol wants more troops in Iraq. Ledeen however goes for the gusto: he’s arguing for making the war a regional one.

  3. 3
    The Thunder Run Trackbacked With:
    11:33 am 

    Web Reconnaissance for 01/04/2007

    A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

  4. 4
    Hot Air » Blog Archive » Pajamas Media: Iran’s supreme leader dead Pinged With:
    4:19 pm 

    [...] Reuel Marc Gerecht says to expect a U.S.-backed Israeli attack on Iran sometime within the next two years. How about attacking now instead, says Robert Tracinski. How about not, replies Moran. Winner by TKO: Slick Rick. [...]

  5. 5
    thirteen28 Said:
    4:55 pm 

    Rick,

    What about this post by Ledeen on the Corner today:

    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MzE5MWFhMmMwMWRkNTYzNmNkY2VjZmQ3YjQzMzNlOGU=

    It doesn’t sound like he’s advocating us going to war in Iran to me. Are there other sources that quote Ledeen contradicting what he says here?

  6. 6
    Right Voices » Blog Archive » Allahpundit: Iran’s supreme leader dead…Maybe Pinged With:
    7:28 pm 

    [...] Right Wing Nut House » IRAN HAWKS: SHADOW BOXING WITH REALITY [...]

  7. 7
    harrison Said:
    11:23 pm 

    Good post, Rick.

    Short of an actual invasion of Iran, we should

    1) Start transferring our troops to secure the Iraq-Iran border - preventing the direct channel through which the mullahs are funding the Madhi Army, SCIRI and aQ insurgents; the “surge” seems to consist more of logistical personnel than boots on the ground

    2) Continue doing this and don’t let up.

    3) Wait it out. Without oil, Iran is nothing.

    4)And as Rick himself mentioned in this recent post, who knows whether Iran might be more receptive regarding the nuclear issue?

  8. 8
    Misha I Said:
    11:24 pm 

    Oh yes, that’s brilliant.

    1) Threaten them with reciprocal consequences that they know won’t ever happen and that will, as a result, be completely ignored. Have the past years taught you NOTHING, or have you simply chosen an alternate reality because you don’t like the one you live in?

    2) Give nukes to our enemies, the Wahhabi Saudis. Pure brilliance there. Why not give some to al-Qaeda directly, and save us the middle man?

    3) Build “credible” alliances with nations that have, for 60 years, not kept their word for more than three seconds at a time.

    4) Build up an armed insurgency that we’ve just been told would never work.

    Fantastic.

    That has to be some of the most blatantly self-delusional claptrap that I’ve read in, oh, all of my life.

  9. 9
    harrison Said:
    11:36 pm 

    Good post, Rick.

    Short of an actual invasion of Iran, we should

    1) Transfer our troops to secure the Iraq-Iran border, prevent direct channels through which funding of Shiite death squads, Madhi Army, SCIRI and aQ insurgents; the surge seems proportionally directed towards more logistical support than boots on the ground

    2) Continue to do more of this, and don’t let up

    3) Wait it out. Without oil, Iran is nothing.

    4) Perhaps Iran’s new leaders will be more receptive? See Rick’s recent post regarding Khamenei’s death.

  10. 10
    soccer dad Said:
    11:23 am 

    There was an article in Commentary a few months ago that laid out a military option that didn’t seem so outlandish. What to do about Iran: A Military Option by Arthur Herman.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.