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Mr. Babbin lays out the case for stopping Iran’s nuclear program well enough, and also deserves praise for recognizing that the “war on terrorism” is in fact a war against fundamentalist Islam. He falters, though when he says that a full-scale invasion of Iran is beyond our reach and suggests more limited means (e.g. air strikes). Perhaps an invasion is beyond our means at present. The solution to that problem is to increase our means…or to use all of our weapons (i.e. nuclear weapons). That’s what one does when one actually intends to fight a war seriously. We are not doing any of those things. We are “fighting” as much as we can without being willing to make hard choices, either in terms of fiscal priorities or strategic ones.
When the September 11 attacks forced us into this war, it was clearly going to take some time to mobilize our resources and to deal with the various threats arrayed against us. That was nearly four years ago. Although many commentators supportive of the administration’s efforts have correctly pointed out that judged a year or two into them, our progress in World War II or the Civil War wouldn’t have looked so good, that case can no longer be made. Four years into World War II, and we’d won it. Germany and Japan had been completely destroyed (not just “defeated” but destroyed). Four years into the Civil War, and the South had been defeated (and largely destroyed). In both cases, we made a national effort, mobilized our forces and fought all-out. Today, four years after the President identified North Korea and Iran as part of an “axis of evil”, they have developed (or are close to developing) nuclear weapons, and we’ve done nothing against them. Meanwhile, we’re bogged down in Iraq…
Of more concern than errors of strategy in the current war, is our apparent unwillingness to actually take on an enemy that could put up any sort of a fight, or that might have nuclear weapons. This doesn’t speak well of either our national will or the extent of our military power. And, it will have dangerous consequences for us down the road. It’s all very well to say, “We’re the most powerful military force since Rome.” What counts, though, is usable military power. Our most potent weapons, nuclear weapons, are unusable (or all but). The Navy could sweep the world’s seas, and the Air Force, the worlds’ skies. But neither would be enough to actually force a war against anyone to an end. To do that, one has to invade and occupy an enemy’s country, and that requires ground forces. Limited military strikes against anyone won’t solve the problem. Counting on the locals to rebel and save us the trouble is wishful thinking. Unless we’re prepared to use our own nuclear weapons to force the issue — as we did against Japan in 1945 — the only truly effective way to “solve” the twin problems of North Korea and Iran is to declare war on them and then wage unlimited war, including an invasion. Limited air strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities will accomplish little beyond imposing delays, while without a doubt starting a real war with Iran. They’d strike back with terror attacks against us or against the Europeans. They’d intensify their support for the insurgency in Iraq. If we didn’t destroy all of the nuclear facilities and they actually completed a working weapon, we’d end up on the receiving end (which may happen anyway). Then we’d have to actually fight.
I believe that the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs are far and away the biggest immediate strategic problem that we face. And, not just because of the potential for either regime to supply terrorists with nuclear weapons. Rather, because if either country’s program is seen as deterring us from military action, then the incentive for other hostile nations to acquire nuclear weapons will become irresistible. Our own freedom of action to protect our citizens and their property will then become sharply reduced. Or the added costs of systems to deal with this problem will become even greater, at a time when we don’t have the money for unlimited on-going expenses. Instead, we need to make an example of one or both countries, an example so unambiguous that potential imitators will be deterred…forever.p>Nations have to chose military and foreign policies that are compatible with their political systems and the temperament of their people. It should be obvious by now that our country does not do protracted, poorly-defined “half” wars well. At heart, the Jacksonian approach is the one compatible with the demands of our political system and our national temperament. In other words, once we’re in a fight, fight all-out, smash and the enemy with whatever force is required…and come then home. It has worked whenever we’ve done it. In the modern era, we’ve failed whenever we’ve tried anything else. br> — Anthony Mirvish /p>
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
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In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
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It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?