February 15, 2007

Limited Engagement


Three weeks ago, President Bush made it clear that engaging Iran militarily was not being pursued:

"Some are trying to say that because we're helping ourselves in Iraq by stopping outside [Iranian] influence from killing our soldiers or hurting Iraqi people that we want to expand this beyond the borders," Bush said. "That's a presumption that's simply not accurate. We believe that we can solve our problems with Iran diplomatically."

Since then even more evidence of Iran's maleficence in Iraq has been revealed, yet Bush continues to evade the necessity of truly confronting Iran. From CNN: Bush blames Iraq weapons on 'part of' Iranian government.

President Bush said Wednesday that "a part of the Iranian government" is involved in sending deadly explosives into Iraq ...

But the president Wednesday rejected as "preposterous" suggestions that the United States was creating a basis for conflict with Iran.

"My job is to protect our troops, and when we find devices that are in that country that are hurting our troops, we're going to do something about it, pure and simple.," he said "... Does this mean you're trying to have a pretext for war? No. It means I'm trying to protect our troops. That's what that means."

"Protect our troops"? What's preposterous is leaving the Iranians completely unmolested while they kill our troops in Iraq. Here again are articles indicating Iran's war-making in Iraq:

Rumsfeld: Iraq bombs 'clearly from Iran' (CNN, August 10, 2005)
EXCLUSIVE: Iraq Weapons -- Made in Iran? (ABC News, March 6, 2006)
Rumsfeld accuses Iran of troublemaking in Iraq (AP via Army Times, March 7, 2006)
Casey cites Iran hand in attacks by Iraqi Shiites (The Washington Times, June 23, 2006)
Barbero: Iran training Shiite insurgents (AP via Army Times, August 24, 2006)
Donkeys harboring weapons stopped at Iran-Iraq border (Army Times, November 2, 2006)
Iran involvement suspected in Karbala compound attack (CNN, January 31, 2007)
Iraqi insurgents using Austrian rifles from Iran (The Telegraph, February 13, 2007)
U.S.: Large Cache of Weapons Discovered in Iraq Traceable to Iran (AP via FOX News, February 26, 2007)

From the Ayn Rand Institute: How to Truly Support our Troops by Alex Epstein.

[A]lmost everyone wants to give our troops the resources they need to do their jobs: the best weapons, armor, provisions, and training available -- as well as praise, gratitude, and encouragement. But for our government to truly support our troops, it must do far more than help them do their jobs; it must give them the right jobs to do -- the jobs that will effectively defend America while minimizing the risk to their lives. Our government must place soldiers' lives at risk only when American freedom is threatened, and during war it must give them the objectives and tactics that will defeat the enemy as quickly as possible.

The conservatives' Iraq war does not meet this standard. It could have--if the war had been undertaken as a step in defeating the anti-American, terrorist-sponsoring regimes of the Middle East and thus rendering the region non-threatening. Instead, President Bush made the war's primary focus the welfare of Iraqis--above all, their "freedom" to elect whatever regime they wished, no matter how anti-American. Further sacrificing Americans to Iraqis, Bush and his subordinates imposed crippling "rules of engagement" (also supported by liberals) that place the lives of civilians in enemy territory above our soldiers. Our hamstrung troops in Iraq have not been allowed to smash a militarily puny insurgency; instead, they have been forced to suffer an endless series of deaths by an undefeated enemy, while Islamic totalitarians worldwide rejoice in our defeat.

One does not support our troops by sending them to fight wars of self-sacrifice and then thanking their corpses. The conservatives' call to "stay the course" in Iraq--or to add 20,000 troops to that course--is harmful to America and its troops because the mission has been conceived and conducted in defiance of American interests.

If the conservatives do not support our troops, then do the liberals? Absolutely not.

Observe that while liberals criticize the Iraq war for killing our troops, they propose no alternative policy that would protect America against Islamic totalitarianism and its state supporters, including the militant, terrorist theocracy of Iran. Liberals' only policy proposal is that we not take military action in Iraq or in any other country beyond Afghanistan.

Also see Washington's Make-Believe Policy on Iran by Elan Journo.

Related: Dead Ball.

UPDATE I: From Hot Air: Video: Troops tell Geraldo they support the surge. Notable comments from two different soldiers: "untie our hands" and "let us take the gloves off."

UPDATE II: From The Moscow Times: Iraq Closes Border Crossings With Iran, Syria for 72 Hours.

The U.S. military said Wednesday that the aim was to choke off the flow of weapons and foreign fighters into the country.

The flow will find another way if we don't stop it at the source.

UPDATE III -- Feb. 26: From FOX News: U.S.: Large Cache of Weapons Discovered in Iraq Traceable to Iran [added to list above].

Posted by Forkum at February 15, 2007 04:32 PM