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Iran, Neocons and Owning A War

Over at The Tank on National Review Online, I responded to a Friday piece by Pat Buchanan in which he posits that all the ducks are lined up for a "Neocons' War with Iran."

Buchanan acknowledges that we are fighting Iran's proxies in Iraq (that we have Iranian Quds Force commanders in custody is perhaps then a minor point) and cites Petraeus's Congressional report fairly extensively to illustrate. Yet, if we respond to force with force, it is somehow the "Neocons' War with Iran." Iran's quest to kill us has little place in his logic, which I find somewhat incomprehensible. I challenged, in part, with the following.

I feel compelled to restate that fully 10% of U.S. combat deaths in Iraq have come and continue to come at the hands of the EFP armor-piercing roadside bomb that Iran designed, manufactures, and supplies.

Iranians seek us out and kill us on the battlefield. Whether they do this with their army, with proxies, or with Peter Pan - I fail to see how that matters. Our dead brothers are our dead brothers. Yet there is no Iranian war.

If, however, we dare to retaliate by reducing the Iranian cross-border terror camps to dust, is a "Neocons' War" suddenly materializing out of a vacuum? Does America - or more specifically President George W. Bush - instantly become the wild aggressor? How on Earth does one possibly navigate that leap of logic?

Buchanan is not alone in alluding to Iran as a potential victim of American aggression. The Australian has run a story in which President Bush's vow to protect American forces from Iranian death merchants as a "threat" to Tehran.

That so many steadfastly refuse to publicly acknowledge a war that has been prosecuted by Iran as an Iranian war is not surprising. It is borne of the cheap impetus of political opposition, which is self defeating. It doesn't (and won't) matter who is President. It hasn't for thirty years and it will not suddenly matter in less than one. Iran will kill us and Iraqis so long as we continue to afford it the 'proxy' buffer between acts of war and their consequences.

This is not a defense of 'neocons.' I am not one - however one defines it. I did not 'come to conservatism' from somewhere else. But more importantly, my political views (and those of others) simply don't matter. But if "The Neocons" get it and correctly ascribe responsibility to those who kill our men on the ground, the entire body politic would serve America well by paying little attention to who has identified the aggressor(s) and focusing much more on how and why it is either so or not so.

Until we figure this out, we will forever be ascribing responsibility to each other internally while our intelligent enemies kill us sans accountability. This is how we will lose this war against the jihadyun - be they Sunni or Shi'a, Arab or Persian, European or American. We are our own worst enemy. They know it. We feed it.


The Iranian regime has one leadership and one ideology. There are few 'shades' of grey between freind and enemy. All those from outside of the middle eastern region are not 'family', and hence are held with less esteem (at best). History has given reasons for the U.S.A. to be considered an enemy. This ideological state has run uninterupted for many years. The U.S.A. is a democracy, and theoreticaly open to all that come as freinds. Governmental policy is directly affected by public opinion, no matter how attempts to control this are implemented, there is always room for opposing arguments to be aired due to the basic value of freedom of speech. This , you would think, would lead to more balanced and better contemplated actions, such is not nescessarily always the case. In case of prolonged and unresolved conflict, it can only be seen as a disadvantage. The very ideology behind a conflict , and its leadership, are continuously and publicly being questioned.To say this brings hope and oportunity to an enemy would be an understatement.The fact that policy from any western country comes up for renewal every four years or so, and even during those four years is susceptible to being heavily influenced speaks for itself. Iran has much influence regionaly in place, due to a long history of local interaction of varied nature, that run back through centuries. It has various territorial and social claims regionaly that are if not unresolved , certainly open to reapraisal. The presence of foreign enemy troops next door under a leadership that has not/is not perceived to have the same determination,local authority, continuity, and coherence is an open invitation to acts of historical vengeance,political manipulation (through violence when nescessary) and any other form of interference deemed worthy. Or , to put it another way, when you go strolling around the world the way the U.S.A. has done, you are sure to find that there are quite a few people with sore toes,some left struggling in the passing wake. It would only take some very clear but simple reasoning for such people to turn against you. Let us hope for better management and will in the future, from all sides.

Now Mr. Schippert you well know that wars of attrition don’t work against an intractable enemy. Bombing Iranian supply lines or EFP assembly sites will only widen the theater of operations and embolden the enemy. The Iranians will relocate/rebuild and continue to supply their proxies. Even though the Chinese were supplying arms and equipment to North Vietnam the US did not interdict for obvious reasons. It is basically the same reasons in Iraq. The main objective is to secure the Iraqi government and establish a viable US presence in the Arab ME while avoiding a wider war. The decision is to accept the losses for the greater objective.

However, I do agree with your assessment except in place of attacks of attrition go for the knockout blow. The last remaining anti-US powerhouse in the ME is Iran. Bring Iran to its knees and the entire ME picture changes in a flash. Of course Hezbollah and Hamas would be unleashed, but Israel would have to accept their losses and end the threat. The remaining questions are Russia and China. Russia is not a problem. The short-term rise in oil prices will more than compensate Russia. As for China I don’t know what their position would be, but for a steadfast communist nation they have certainly accepted a mantle of capitalism and rather well done at that-----that high-speed whirring noise you hear is Karl Marx turning over!

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 04/14/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.