Posted by Lexington Green on May 28th, 2003 (All posts by Lexington Green)
David Warren writes (1) that the Iranian regime is the new protector and landlord for al Qaeda (or its successor, currently nameless), and (2) that the Iranian Mullah’s turbanned heads sit lightly on their robed shoulders. Michael Ledeen has been arguing this for months now. (See this recent piece.) The Iranian “street”, or at least “campus” has been ready to throw these bastards out for some time. Warren also suggests that the US Government is hardening its stance toward Iran. Nonetheless, Warren notes that nobody, no matter how hawkish wants to “invade” Iran.
However, that may be answering the wrong question. After all the word “invade” is so old-fashioned, so “machine age”, so last century. Of course no one wants to do that. Anyway, it’s been done recently and well, and who wants to be passe?
No. This is the moment to turn the fearsome new weapons of the enemy back upon him. We keep hearing about how in this new world we are entering, tanks, planes and howitzers are irrelevant. (They looked pretty relevant rattling around Basra and Baghdad, but let’s put that to one side for the time being.) These units of power are supposedly now of no account because they can be circumvented by “Fourth Generation Warfare”, by “networked warriors” who will “swarm” around conventional forces and make “asymmetrical attacks” deep in the rear areas of their supposedly slow-moving enemies, disrupting and crippling whole societies, etc., etc.. We keep getting told that this is the threat faced by the civilized world. (See the excellent book Non-State Threats and Future Wars which I am halfway through reading.)
Fine. OK. Fat, dumb and happy America is, we are told, especially susceptible to asymmetrical sucker punches. The menacing but shadowy people who want to do us harm can infiltrate our society and work their way into the interstices and strike at the ill-defended but critical nodes and hinges and lynchpins, etc. Agreed, suicidal maniacs with box cutters, or terrorists with backpack nukes, are a menace. Let’s face that threat and be ready to defeat it.
But why can’t we dish it out, too? If the bastards can swarm us, why can’t we swarm them? Why can’t the United States do the same unto others? Why can’t we throw some bone-crunching, jaw-busting asymmetrical punches of our own? Why can’t we create a parallel capability to dish out this same nasty medicine? No reason I can think of. For example, we could certainly create a cadre of Iranian expats or Farsi speaking Americans, and send them into Iraq to undermine, disrupt, cripple and wreck the Iranian regime in exactly the same way. American “fourth generation warriors” could aid the locals in a non- or minimally violent overthrow of the Mullahs. Or, if that wasn’t working out, they could provide a sharp “special ops” edge to a locally generated but US-supported and armed revolution. These new challenges are not magic. Once the novel language is stripped away, it is apparent that most of these supposed new challenges are, at bottom, techniques. And the United States possesses the human and material resources to build the capacity to employ any techniques it chooses, including these, with maximum effectiveness, against anyone who decides to fuck with us.
Anyway, even if we don’t do any of this, the mullah regime in Iran is heading for the scrap heap.
Here’s a little springtime wish for our dear ChicagoBoyz readers — let us fervently hope and pray that before the leaves turn we will see Khomenei’s picture being flung on the bonfire like Saddam’s was. 2003 could end up being a very good year indeed.
Update. Sylvain comments that we ought to take it easy with Iran, since the overt involvement of the US is perceived as a bad thing in the region. I respect and understand this view, which a lot of people share, and I used to agree with it. I’m glad he raised this, since I should have addressed it in the first place.
As time goes on I care less and less what the “Arab Street” thinks, says or does — or for that matter what any of the governments over there (or in Old Europe) say, or think or do. The US/UK/Oz/Poles conquered Iraq. No revolutions happened in Cairo or Riyadh or anywhere else. No riots happened except in Baghdad. The “Arab Street” did what all inert mineral matter does. It sat there motionless. All that happened was that al Qaeda or somebody set off some bombs and killed a bunch of muslims in Saudi and Morocco. This is sad, but it is not a formula for rallying the mythical Arab Street against the Great Satan. The Iranians have given us plenty of provocation. The United States should make its case, then actively and openly support an Iranian revolution against the mullahs. What would happen? The revolution would succeed, Iran would be liberated, enormous crowds would celebrate in the streets of Teheran waving American flags, Iran’s nuclear weapons program would be shut down, its support for terrorism would be shut down, and a pro-Western regime would come to power there. All of these would be very good things. They are within our grasp, practically for the asking. Set off against these good things is a hypothetical bad thing: Some third parties won’t like it if the Americans openly help the Iranian people make these good things happen. But so what? None of these third parties are going to do anything about it. People in the region are finally, and at long last, once again, really and truly afraid of the United States. Good. It’s about time. That works wonders over there. So forget about the Arab Street. The French, Russians, Chinese, the State Department, North Korea et al. would be upset. They’d issue some memoranda, voice their disapproval, note the relevant provisions of the U.N. Charter. Fine. Whatever. They would not and cannot do anything substantive about it, either. Syria, Hamas, and who knows what other terrorist outfits would suddenly find themselves in a real pickle with their best buddy and bankroller crushed like a bug. Again, great. And the Iranian people want to be rid of the mullahs and are capable of understanding that the United States does not want to annex them, etc. and would likely be glad to have our assistance. And if some of them thought the revolution was “tainted” by US involvement, they’d still be glad to get rid of the mullahs and they’d then have the freedom to say any nasty things about the USA they want into the bargain. Who cares? It can’t be worse than what everybody else says about us already.
It all adds up to a big green light.
Baghdad in the Spring, Teheran in the Summer. Yeah, baby. We should go for it.
Update II:Rumsfeld Pushes for Regime Change in Iran. The Financial Times reports: “If regime change were to become official policy, then the US would cut off diplomatic contacts, lend support to opposition groups and intensify economic pressure. It would not necessarily involve military action.” Also this: “the view of hawks in the Pentagon is that the struggle in Iran is not between hardline clerics and elected reformists led by President Mohammed Khatami, but between the people and the system.” (via Drudge)
YES. Go get ‘em. No time like NOW.