January 20, 2006
Typhoons of Change
As a rule I don't usually drop Instapundit-like references to another blog. Nothing wrong with that, but I tend to think of myself as a short-winded essayist. However Winds of Change has two extremely provocative posts about the Iran dilemma, that are both long and well worth the effort:
"The Case for Invading Iran" - Thomas Holsinger
and the even more pessimistic,
"Our Darkening Sky: Iran and the War" - Joe Katzman
Bottom line: There aren't any "good" options left, only bad, very bad, and very very... From Joe (who is Canadian, by the way, if you're not familiar with WoC):
Perhaps if we had acted with greater firmness earlier, the situation might be different. There was, and is, wisdom to waging the war in an order dictated by the situation's logic - but not in abandoning the Iranian front entirely. Perhaps if we had backed the Iranian dissidents to the hilt with a relentless campaign of rhetoric and material support, and worked hard to create a pre-revolutionary situation as a strategic state-level priority in the USA and/or Europe, things might be different. But Europe values riches over rights (and will, in time, have neither), while American action would only happen over the State Department's dead body. Regardless of the obstacles, however, the cold hard fact is that we consistently refused to act - and so we'll never really know.
I tell you naught for your comfort, here, and naught for your desire.
It's 2006, and here we stand. "Faith without a hope" is now all that is left to us. Faith that someone will step up with a successful Hail Mary play, executed against all odds. That they will somehow avert the nightmare we in the West have so diligently allowed, with our endless appeasement, inaction, and miscalculations, to build on our watch over the last 25 years. Perhaps.
Also read the comments to both posts. Why we've been so distracted that these scenarios haven't had greater play I just don't know, but I'm culpable. I suppose I assumed that a pro-democracy population in Iran would somehow come to the rescue. I failed to remember the Lesson of Tiananmen: Popular idealism alone, absent the credible threat of violent retaliation, isn't enough to end totalitarian rule. I fear we'll reap the whirlwind.
(Cross-posted to Demosophia)