Iran

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

My Fellow Americans,
I’m pleased to announce a major foreign policy accomplishment.  There will be peace in Iraq for the first time this century.  By this time next year, there will be no American troops in Iraq.
Americans went into Iraq because our intelligence agencies assured us Saddam Hussein as stockpiling nuclear material to use against us.  The invasion was a preemptive strike, but it was self-defense, fully justified by the evidence known at the time.
We stayed in Iraq to repair the damage we had done, to rebuilt roads and bridges and schools, to protect innocent Iraqis from opportunistic neighbors and militant troublemakers.  America is not an imperialist nation.  We don’t conquer territory.  We don’t occupy it longer than we must.
Iraq is now a fully functioning liberal democracy, with an elected parliament and civil liberties assured by its government.  They no longer need us to hold their hand.  The’re ready to take their place on the world stage as a proud nation.  
I’m ordering all US military forces in Iraq to submit plans to withdraw from Iraqi territory no later than December 31st.
Some may say our withdrawal is premature, there are still militants, terrorists, neighbors, troublemakers.  But there always will be.  Iraq’s troubles are not our troubles.  The territorial, religious and cultural causes of conflict go back millennia.  An American president can no more solve them than he can order the seas not to rise. The best he can do is get out of the way so the people involved in the conflict – Shia and Sunni, Kurds and Persians, Christians and Muslims – can solve their own problems.
Therefore, I declare to you: the war is over, and we won.  My strongest congratulations go out to every man and woman who served: you made the world a better place.  I’m proud of you all.
Thank you, may God always bless America, and good night.

17 thoughts on “Iran

  1. The Iranian regime has one mother: the revolution of 1979. The rise of Iran as a regional power has one father: the US in Iraq since 2003. Standing up to this regime comes a little late. Strategic blunders have long legs.

    On the way out, the US should install a powerful Sunni dictator to act as a counterbalance to Iran. That way, Iraq and Iran would just focus on each other, essentially stabilizing the region. We could call it “Ba’athification”. And maybe the dictator’s name could be “Dassam Suhein”. Who’s with me?

  2. Emery took, what his doctors assure him is, a “clever” pill this morning! It must be working.

  3. PB, do yourself a big favor: stop reading the troll comments. They are not worth the time.

  4. Solid Gen-Xer here now infected with multiple Brian Wilson earworms. Thanks, but honestly, it could be a lot worse.

  5. It now appears that the ME is unable to become a brotherhood of equal nations, at peace with one another and the world.
    So be it. The US can at least say that it knows that no amount of money and political capital expended by the US can change that; this was not clear before about 2005. Bush’s and Obama’s goal of keeping the globalist project alive by using extraordinary police powers to deter terrorist incidents provoked by that globalist project has had only mixed success, primarily because civil rights concerns have made LE response to terrorism reactionary.
    Historically the ME has been politically controlled by an empire. Before WWI it was the Turks, before the Turks, the Persians. If you go back far enough, it was the Romans, the Egyptians, the Babylonians . . .
    If the US withdraws militarily from Iraq, it will immediately become a province of an expanding Iranian Empire. Iran will rule the ME from the Caspian to the Mediterranean. If that’s okay with the US, then let’s do it.
    It may mean peace for the US, but it will not mean peace for our remaining allies in the ME.

  6. ^^ In short, Iran is shrewdly moving to advance its national interests while the US is fumbling its interests away at a rapid clip due to leadership that has the consistency of a random—walk experiment.

  7. If I meant that, I would have said that, Emery. Innacurate paraphrases are hackery.
    The Obama administration thought that we should back the Iranians as the new bosses in the ME. I remind you that Iran is a theocracy which endorses terrorism, desperately wants nuclear weapons as well as the ICBMS that can carry them around the globe, and considers its greatest enemies the United States, a Democratic republic, and Israel, another Democratic republic. There is no universe where Iranians controlling the ME is good for the US.

  8. If I meant that, I would have said that, Emery. Innacurate paraphrases are hackery.
    The Obama administration thought that we should back the Iranians as the new bosses in the ME. I remind you that Iran is a theocracy which endorses terrorism, desperately wants nuclear weapons as well as the ICBMS that can carry them around the globe, and considers its greatest enemies the United States, a Democratic republic, and Israel, another Democratic republic. There is no universe where Iranians controlling the ME is good for the US.

  9. “If the US withdraws militarily from Iraq, it will immediately become a province of an expanding Iranian Empire. Iran will rule the ME from the Caspian to the Mediterranean. If that’s okay with the US, then let’s do it.
    It may mean peace for the US, but it will not mean peace for our remaining allies in the ME.”

    I take a more primitive, naive, isolationist view of the value of an American soldier’s life. If we’re going to spend it, I want to know what the nation is going to get for it?

    In my worldview, allies are more than friends, they’re great friends, the type that will show up when you need help to move the bodies. Who are those people the USA can call in the Middle East? I submit the answer is “none.”

    If America believes an Iranian empire is a threat to the existence of the United States, the way a nuclear-armed Saddam would have been, then sure, let’s invade. But let’s be clear that we’re not nation-building, we’re waging war. Blow up factories, destroy rail lines, desalinization plants, treatment facilities, and, of course, the oil industry. Treat Iran the same way we treated Nazi Germany so we don’t have to treat it the way we treated Imperial Japan. And when we’re done, when no stone is left atop another, dust off our hands and come home.

    If it’s not worth that, then it’s not worth a single American soldier’s life. Let them kill each other, and let their various gods sort them out.

  10. Deterrence is a subordinate consideration to the overall game of advancing national interests. Iran may forebear retaliatory violence to avoid further retaliation from US forces because the opportunity to advance its political interests in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon has been more favorable than at any time in decades. Trump is acting like a concierge welcoming Iran to the top table in Northern Middle East politics. 

    The larger game afoot in the Greater Middle East is that Iran is cementing its position as the regional Muslim power in the region while there is a profound shift in geopolitical influence as China and Russia displace the United States as the dominant external powers to the region. Most likely Iran has to move to reach some sort of equilibrium with Israel on Syria and possibly Lebanon so that Iran can more fully realize the political gains of suzerainty over these countries. The Sunni autocracies will undoubtedly also be amenable to accommodation and rapprochement. 

    The European and Asian powers over time will move to remove US-imposed sanctions on Iran or otherwise move to neuter unilateral exercise of American economic power. So not only is the US going to be pushed out of the Greater Middle East but its global economic power is going to be weakened if not constrained. 

    In short, by avoiding armed hostilities, Iran and its allies Russia and China get to run the table and pick up an unprecedented number of geopolitical tricks off the America’s exceedingly poorly played hand. 

    The US for now is not going to recover because its policy making apparatus is incapable of conceiving of and executing a consistent set of consecutive steps to lead towards an achievable goal. The capability is nonexistent. In particular, the continuously displayed stupidity of Secretary of State Pompeo constantly belies his reputation for having once been smart. 

    Trump personally sits at the apex of this dysfunction and simply confirms the rule that reason cannot prevail against ignorance. The impenetrability of Trump’s ignorance is truly astounding. 

    The Republican partisans are just exhibiting their normal habit of projecting a pattern formulated from their ideological prejudices on untoward events as they occur. This gets at a larger dysfunction in the Republican party, particularly its foreign policy circles, which have had an atavistic hatred towards the revolutionary regime of Iran since taking power on January 20, 1981. No Republican regime has ever been able to look anew at the Iranian regime and try to bring any sense of objectivity of how to reach a constructive accommodation with what is now a long-lived regime. For Republicans, it’s always 1953 and time for regime change. The world changes and moves on while Republican thinking remains frozen in the distant past. 

    So the question for the next American administration in 2021 will be: what is lost and what can be restored? But most likely it will never be the same again. Bush and Trump have seen to that. 

  11. … aw, heck, in for a penny… after stealing intro to Sefton’s morning post, I can just as well steal the followup:
    But wait, there’s more! The cherry on top of Engel’s idiotic double-talk and pretzel logic came yesterday when he and his party [the Democrats, duh] voted down a resolution supporting the Iranian people protesting the mullahs as well as condemning the latter for shooting down a Ukrainian airliner, killing 176 people. That is madness. Period, full stop.

  12. “Iran may forebear retaliatory violence to avoid further retaliation from US forces because the opportunity to advance its political interests in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon has been more favorable than at any time in decades.”

    This is a fantasy. Iran’s economy has retracted by 12% in the last year. Iran has suffered civil disturbances, due to the poor economy, that required killing 1,500 of its own people to quell. Now we have killed their top general, and they are so weak they were unable to take a single American life in retaliation, while shottong down a civilian airplane full of their own people.
    The highpoint of Iranian ambition was during the Obama administration, when Obama literally airlifted pallets of cash into Iran in return for back-loaded promises to do nothing much at all.

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