ebrown_p wrote: Quote:
Ebrown, I disagree with you completely that we don't have a credible military option, though I too would like to avoid it. It falls back to the difference between winning the war and winning the peace. Regime change in Iraq was accomplished in short order... to what end we have yet to see. Militarily, Iran could be defeated almost as easily. The peace is the hard part, and where we are stretched thin.
Do you really want to argue that the US can afford to do in Iraq what it did in Iran?
We have spent 300 billion dollars now, we don't have an exit strategy or timetable, and the Iraqi's still don't even have a government. In addition public support for the war (which is essential in a democracy) is plummeting.
Are you deliberately ducking my win the war/peace point? Saddam and any WMD aspirations he may have had were swiftly defeated years ago.
Assuming you are right that it would be "almost as easy" (and I question this), I promise you we don't have the manpower, the political will, the international support or the money to invade another Muslim country.
Saddam and any WMD aspirations he may have had were swiftly defeated before manpower, the political will, the international support (or lack thereof) or money become much of an issue. So too could
be the case in Iran. "Winning the Peace" is not necessary to eliminate (or greatly reduce) the threat of WMD.
Extreme example: if we left Iraq tomorrow and it descended into a full-blown civil war; the threat of Saddam or any WMD aspirations he may have had would remain history.
The Iranian government knows this which explains their rather confident behavior right now.
That rings some bells too though doesn't it? Saddam seemingly believed we'd back down in the face of his rather confident behavior too, didn't he? The doomsday predictions of an Iraqi invasion were ever present then as well... However accurate they may have been in retrospect; they didn't save Saddam or whatever WMD aspirations he may have had. Frankly; I thought Saddam would have the good sense to fold when the world's only superpower went "over the top" to put him "all in".
Now, Iran seems to have a better hand then Saddam's Iraq, but in terms of military prowess they can still be sent "All in" against a superior hand at any time of the United State's choosing. Whether or not the United States will choose to commit to such a wager has yet to be determined but I think it foolhardy to doubt their ability
. With liberal's trying to out hawk the hawks; I think Iran's current bluff could easily find the Supreme Leader as well as their nutty mouthpiece in the same boat as Saddam.
Anyone who doubts the superiority of the United States Military need only check the CIA's world fact book to see that our expenditures in this department dwarf that of any potential opponent, let alone Iran. What we may lack in available "boots on the ground", we more than make up for in available heavy artillery. Iran deadlocked against Saddam for nearly a decade at such an enormous expense their median age is still FUBAR. The US took what, 3 weeks, to drive Saddam out of power?
Militarily; it is a rather simple matter of if we will
, not if we can
. This part of the equation is not unlike the Iraqi dilemma at all.