Well, Gee, Let's Invade Iran, Too!
Taken from GlobalSecurity.org
Ok, let me preface this up front with a disclosure: I'm married to an Iranian woman I adore, and by virtue of this I have family in Iran, so as you might imagine I'm highly prejudiced on this subject. That said, I'm also sick and fed up with people in DC talking tough so they can look like they have a pair of cujones, especially when their being "tough" means having to send out someone else's spouse or child to actually execute the toughness.
What got me on this subject was the following article in the Times, Lawmakers Push for More Action on Iranian Nuclear Standoff. From this we get the following:
As the Bush administration and its European allies pursue a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear standoff, some top lawmakers from both parties pressed for a more vigorous approach today, including the option of military action.
We have Hillary Clinton telling us that the Bush administration is downplaying the Iranian threat - that amazes me, I mean the president of the U.S. has labeled Iran a member of the axis of evil and you can't get a penny into or out of that country without having to go through the U.S. Treasury Dept. So it would appear that what she means is that we should be doing more than throwing silly and counterproductive restrictions and club memberships at Iran. What might that something be? I guess invading or otherwise taking some non-specific military action would be the way to go.
Is there anything out there more dangerous than Iran having nuclear weapons? Well, yes, a true rogue nation like North Korean, which makes its money these days by counterfeiting American currency, drug running, selling rockets to various countries, and who would likely feel that selling nuclear warheads would be a neat get-rich-quick scheme in keeping with its other money making endeavors. Of course North Korea already claims to have nuclear warheads, but nary a democrat or republican seems to be howling to do anything militarily in that country, most likely because they know it would piss off the Chinese and the South Koreans, and the North Koreans would surely not be pushovers, with or without nukes to play with.
Of course Iran has a problem, it doesn't have friends quite like the North Koreans do, though China and Russia do seem to be more in its corner than not. But the Iranians share something with the North Koreans, they wouldn't be pushovers when it came to our doing anything in their country as they're every bit as fanatic as the Koreans are when it comes to the homeland. Anyone who has studied the Iran-Iraq War will know that the Iranians managed to prevent losing to an enemy who had better intelligence (thanks to the U.S.) and arms because they were willing to suffer incredible loses on the battlefield, and there's no reason to believe that this particular proclivity of the Iranians has changed. Doing anything militarily in Iran, short of bombing the place and that would not do a whole heck of a lot except sow hatred for us, would come at the cost of a huge number of American and combatant Iranians (which wouldn't necessarily be those in uniform) and noncombatants, and you don't have to think too very hard to figure how this would play with all the non-rightwing Iranians we've allegedly been trying to curry favor with and help. The Iranians would not roll over like the Iraqis did. Few Iraqis had any true love for Sadaam so they, on the whole, didn't mind losing him. While many Iranians aren't exactly in love with their present government they have no where near the hatred for it that the Iraqis had for theirs, and they are a proud people who would fight any invader with a passion - the Iranians represent an ancient culture and they're used to being alone and facing the world alone, and there's no question in any reasonable person's mind that the Iranian people will most assuredly stand up to any U.S. military action.
Military action in Iran will not work, and it will exacerbate exponentially all of the problems we've managed to bring upon ourselves with Iraq. We've already stretched our military too far and the idea of taking a tired Army and Marine Corps and sending them after the Iranians is the utmost of insanity, not to mention an extraordinary waste of human life.
Diplomacy has to be aggressively exerted, instead we have politicians in DC giving the Iranian government excuses for doing everything they can to come up with nuclear warheads, either by making them themselves or buying them from some willing seller (maybe the same North Koreans who sell them rockets.) Heck, look how well this has worked for the Koreans - they have nukes, or at least so they say, and we haven't invaded. Really, how much more plain a less can you find?
The diplomatic pressure that needs to be exerted should be selective, not like the sanctions imposed on Iraq in toto which resulted in making the lives of innocent Iraqis miserable. The Iranian people in charge should be targeted very specifically and made to feel that they're being ostracized by the world at large, but we need to do whatever we can to not disenfranchise the Iranian people as a whole. Whatever we do must be in league with other nations, and at least so far we're on the right foot with being in the company of England, France, and Germany. Doing whatever is necessary to get China and Russia in line with this is crucial, and from there I believe the Iranian people will begin to get the message - or not, who really knows, but sending troops in or bombers with big bombs to hit ill-defined/located targets will not get the right message across. Sending the U.S. military into Iran is NOT the answer, will solve nothing, and will create more problems than are solved - if you think the Iraqis throw a great insurgency, just wait to see what would happen if we put boots to the ground on Iranian soil.