To call for caution when one is entering the field of battle, is to show how out of depth one is in matters of war. Now that the U.S. and its European and Arab allies, with the backing of the UN, have decided and are preparing to cross swords with Gaddafi, what is needed is a resolute, clear, swift, and decisive strategy to crash the Gaddafi forces in a series of prompt and sudden attacks. However, before they do that, the U.S. and its allies should make a threatening declaration addressed to the Gaddafi loyalists and mercenaries, that if they refuse to abide to the conditions as set up by the United Nations, then they will be totally destroyed by the arms of the Coalition. As I’ve argued three weeks ago, such a threat has more than a great chance to force the Gaddafi loyalists to abandon the dictator and hence lead to the collapse of the regime without the Coalition forces firing a shot.
My strong belief is, that if the U.S. and its allies ultimately deal a coup de main with their overwhelming power to the Gaddafi loyalists in the event they persist fighting the Opposition forces, they will melt like butter under the heat of the Coalition’s ordnance.
For a political animal like Steve Clemons his Pontius Pilate stand that the Iranian election is “not our business” is astonishingly amusing. But I suppose saying this with a grin on his face in his TV interview is because he has no answer to the argument that Bush’s hard policies might have influenced the educated classes of Iran in their revolt against Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs.
Even if Ahmadinejad won the election fairly, the fact remains that now as a result of the election the extant split prior to the election between the modernist forces and the antediluvian ones is exacerbated. What is imponderable, and lingers in the province of Nostradamus, is whether this fissure of Iran’s society between these two forces will bring an internal ‘modernist’ change or an open dictatorship of the Mullahs and the military, as their only way to survive from this tsunami of dissent against them.
As for Dan Kervick in his desire to present himself as an imaginative thinker he foolishly delves in ‘Rumsfeldian unknowns,’ which excellently illustrate the vaudevillian streak in him. His comment that there might be “anti-democratic” forces that would aim to “overturn” the democratic election is a laughable fiction. The forces that want to “overturn the result of the election” are doing so because of the perception that Ahmadinejad stole the election, not because they could be “anti-democratic.”
The Times contention is fatuous: That the President and his advisers ‘knew or should have known [the intelligence] to be faulty’. But if this should be so, it should also apply to all the other leaders of the West who also acted on this faulty intelligence.
‘Quick points’ are bound to be thoughtless.
Clemons, as he often does on this issue, revises the facts to make his own tailor made argument. The war in Iraq did not aim in “removing a bad leader” but in preventing a future coupling of Saddam’s regime with terrorists. The war on terror in the aftermath of 9/11, was not a “crusade’ but an existential necessity. And for Clemons to countervail Bush’s “emotional war” with his “emotional peace”, shows him to be strategically and historically irrelevant.
And he still refuses to acknowledge Iraq’s great potential of becoming a Democratic state in the region. It’s a perfect example of personal weakness trumping reality.