The View From 1776
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Pull Out of Iraq, Then What?
Liberal Republicans, Democrats, and independents declare that our invasion of Iraq was based on lies, was immoral, and now is a failure. Glibly they demand that we simply withdraw our troops from Iraq, but none of them has presented any evidence of thinking about what happens next.
The standard rationale is that, by pulling our troops out, we can concentrate on the presumptive real objective, capturing Osama Bin Ladin. In that simplistic scenario, we end the terrorist threat, and everybody can go back to watching American Idol on TV.
However dangerous Al Queda may be to the future hundreds or thousands of victims of terror attacks, Al Queda cannot at this point threaten our national survival. Iran can and does threaten our continued existence as a nation.
The Middle East situation is like a chess match, in this case against Iran. Making a single move, then walking away from the board forfeits the match to Iran. What happens then?
Iran is emerging as the dominant power in the Middle East, having boxed us and Israel between Hezbollah on the west and Iran itself on the east.? Whether Israel renews the military campaign and eventually destroys most of Hezbollah’s military capability or not, Hezbollah emerges as the only military power able so far to stand and fight successfully against the IDF, others having been destroyed in a matter of days or weeks.
Worse, pulling our troops out of Iraq will leave us the defeated Great Satan in the eyes of the Muslim world. For Muslims everywhere, our pullout will make Iran and its surrogate Hezbollah the heros of the anti-American world.?
If liberals think that our presence in Iraq animates young Muslims to become Al Queda recruits, just wait until Al Queda and Iran can broadcast that the cowardly Americans really are paper tigers. Like sharks smelling blood in the water, Muslim jihadists will attack all around the globe.
Iran almost certainly will attempt to crush Israel with renewed Hezbollah attacks, perhaps in tandem with the Syrian army, counting on the United States not to honor its commitments to defend Israel, especially if the Democrats take control of Congress this Fall. Liberals and other Americans have increasingly distanced themselves from Israeli survival, often joining the European voices denouncing Israel’s “disproportionate and terroristic” retaliation against attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah.
Iran’s other move is likely to be seizing control of the Persian Gulf and strangling the United States, Europe, and Japan economically by raising oil prices exponentially or denying us access to Middle Eastern oil altogether.
To prevent that, neither the United States nor the UK has sufficient military forces available for deployment on the ground, even if the public were to support such moves (and the publics, here and there, emphatically reject any military solution today). ?
Israeli frustrations in Lebanon demonstrate the limitations of relying on air power alone against Iran.? In any case, the mountainous terrain of Iran makes air and missile power far less effective than was the case in Iraq.
That leaves us in the 1939 situation.? Will we and the Brits have the fortitude to mobilize for full-scale war - drafts and all - should Iran launch nuclear or other direct attacks? Or will we just hand it off to the UN?
Meanwhile, the even more gloomy assessment is that Iran no longer needs to attack us directly.? Iraqi shiites failed to do their part in stabilizing their renegade bands, after sunnis provided information leading to Zarqawi’s death.? Now the prospect of civil war and dismemberment are much higher than a month ago.
Iraqi shiites appear to have decided that they don’t want a united Iraq, but a regionalized one in which they control all of the major southern oil-producing region.? In that aspiration, Iran is supporting them all the way, and Iraqi shiites appear willing now to be a client state within the sphere of Iran’s influence.
After having split Iraq and dominated the southern, shiite section, Iran will have a straight, unimpeded shot at Saudi Arabia, which hasn’t even remotely the capacity to contend against the Iranian army.? Without actually invading Saudi Arabia ? moving Iranian troops through the shiite sector of Iraq, up to the Saudi border, will suffice ? Iran will scoop Saudi Arabia into its sphere of influence.
Iran then will own the Persian Gulf and control the world’s major oil supply.? Will hedonistic Americans have the stomach even for a blockade of the Persian Gulf, our most effective potentiality at the moment?
At that point, it’s all too likely that Americans will adopt an updated version of the 1960s liberal mantra, “Better Red than Dead.” ?Ned Lamont’s foreign policy prescription ? the same as that of Geroge Soros and other liberal luminaries ? calls for “negotiations.” What that means in practice is that we will endeavor to appease the Iranians by humbly delivering regular financial tributes to our Muslim suzerains.
Don’t forget, in the meanwhile, that liberal opposition to reforms in Social Security, Medicare, etc., with all the Baby Boomers retiring, will bring us to fiscal insolvency.? Foreign nations will no longer view the United States as the safe haven for their export dollar receipts, and the dollar will necessarily be radically devalued, which means inflation via higher import costs.? With the huge imbalance between the numbers of retired Baby Boomers and young workers, raising taxes sufficiently to pay for both the welfare state and national defense will at that late date be impossible.?
The probability is that we will resort to the Nixon-Carter policy of rampant inflation as a disguised tax. In the ensuing dissolution of American society we will either be easy prey for Iran and Al Queda, or do as did Germany after its hyperinflation and social corrosion under the socialistic Weimar Republic ? fall under the sway of an American Hitler who will promise to restore social order by abrogating the Bill of Rights.