April 22, 2010

The Coming Conflagration: the Inevitable Ground War Against Iran

Hatched by Dafydd

The mullocracy of Iran has made brutally clear that they will not be satisfied with anything less than a full-scale, intercontinental war against the West, which means (certainly to them) against the United States of America. And in the process of sending this message, they have humiliated and cuckolded our weak and frankly delusional president, Barack H. Obama: His policy of "engagement" -- which appears to comprise begging and pleading with Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be his Facebook friend -- lies in ruins; in the process, he has made America the laughingstock of the ummah.

Yes, for all his faults, I certainly miss the muscular foreign policy of George W. Bush.

This is what I'm talking about:

Iran is increasing its paramilitary Qods force operatives in Venezuela while covertly continuing supplies of weapons and explosives to Taliban and other insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the Pentagon's first report to Congress on Tehran's military.

The report on Iranian military power provides new details on the group known formally as the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), the Islamist shock troops deployed around the world to advance Iranian interests. The unit is aligned with terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, North Africa and Latin America, and the report warns that U.S. forces are likely to battle the Iranian paramilitaries in the future.

The Qods force "maintains operational capabilities around the world," the report says, adding that "it is well established in the Middle East and North Africa and recent years have witnessed an increased presence in Latin America, particularly Venezuela."

So in response to all of the Obamacle's "diplomacy" towards Iran; in response to all the apologies he has made them about America the bully, the unilateral concessions to Russia on sanctions, the heavy-handed pressure on Israel to capitulate to the Palestinians; in response to every Eid and Ramadan greeting Obama has extended to "the Iranian people;" and in particular, in response to the clear policy statement that we will not attack Iran for any reason, and that we shall sit idly by and let them get their nukes... Iran's response to this appeasement is to send even more special forces to our own backyard.

Thank you, Mr. Hope N. Change.

The benefit to Venezuela President-for-Life Oogo Chavez of an infusion of highly trained, brutal, and very combat experienced "shock troops" is obvious: Chavez rules by terror, but the Venezuelan military is frankly pathetic. In particular, Venezuela's next-door neighbor, America-friendly Colombia, has a significantly better trained and better funded military -- according to the CIA World Factbook, Colombia spends about $13.6 billion annually on its military, three times the $4.2 billion spent by Venezuela; and while Colombia President Álvaro Uribe Vélez has his own internal problems fighting the Marxist insurgency -- Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) -- I suspect that Oogo Chavez must deploy a lot more of his military just to maintain his barbarous rule.

Chavez needs military aid, which the Iranian pact supplies him; but what does Ahmadinejad get? Venezuela is not a Moslem country, nor will it ever be. It's nowhere near Iran, and there is no ideological connection between them, other than hatred of America. And while Venezuela has a lot of oil, so does Iran and hardly needs any crude from Oogo.

That one shared trait then must logically be the answer: The only reason for Iran to send Qods-Force troops to Venezuela is to threaten or attack the United States:

The report gives no details on the activities of the Iranians in Venezuela and Latin America. Iranian-backed terrorists have conducted few attacks in the region. However, U.S. intelligence officials say Qods operatives are developing networks of terrorists in the region who could be called to attack the United States in the event of a conflict over Iran's nuclear program.

Qods force support for extremists includes providing arms, funding and paramilitary training and is not constrained by Islamist ideology. "Many of the groups it supports do not share, and sometimes openly oppose, Iranian revolutionary principles, but Iran supports them because they share common interests or enemies," the report says.

George W. Bush, I believe, once said (if I may paraphrase) that the difference between the Vietnam war and the war against the Iran/al-Qaeda axis is that unlike in Vietnam, if we retreat from the jihadis, they will follow us home and continue the war on American soil. In 2001, al-Qaeda proved it.

It's pretty clear this is exactly the situation we see in Latin America: Under President B.O., we have (in Iran's view) fled the battleground. As Lee Smith discusses extensively in his book on Arab culture, the Strong Horse, the reaction this provokes in the Moslem world is not one of sympathy for the vanquished but rather the bloodthirsty desire to follow and utterly destroy the beaten foe. "Mercy" only has meaning within the ummah as a (possible) response to "submission."

Even though Persian Iran is not Arab, its Moslem culture and history of empire cause it to react just the same: Ahmadinejad unquestionably believes that Iran is the "strong horse," America the weak horse. In his world, once the Iranian people realize how the power has changed with the passing of the Bush administration, they will quickly regroup behind the new strong horse. Thus, when we retreat and submit to Iranian demands and insults, not only does Obama encourage Iran to project yet greater force into the Western hemisphere, buddying up to our greatest enemy in Latin America; but the One We Have Been Regretting Already also manages to strengthen the hand of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad within Iran itself. Obama executes a perfect double-play -- against America.

The latest aggression in Venezuela hardly occurs in a vacuum. Iran has repeatedly attacked American forces, both indirectly and directly, for decades, going all the way back to the hostage crisis of 1979. Attacks continue to the present day:

  • In response to military intelligence that Iranian troops had infiltrated southern Iraq, President Bush responded forcefully; from 2006 to 2008, we captured a number of Qods Force officers and other personnel.

    In July of last year, President Obama ordered five of the most senior Qods Force detainees released from custody and handed over to the Iraqis to be returned to Iran. The president never really explained what he hoped to accomplish by such blatant appeasement. It was not reciprocated by the mullahs.

  • We fought a long and ultimately successful campaign against Iran's biggest puppet within Iraq, Muqtada Sadr, driving him to exile in Iran; there he remains, so far as I know -- hunkered down in the holy city of Qom (217th holiest city in all of Islam!)
  • Iran also gave powerful explosively formed penetrators (EFPs) to Shiite insurgents in Iraq, along with Qods Force trainers and commando leaders; EFPs are powerful enough even to rip apart our Abrams main battle tanks.
  • Iran has also been supplying Afghan insurgents with high-powered and technologically sophisticated weaponry with which to fight not only the democratic Afghan government (democratic by the standards of the "non-integrating gap") but also the American military forces prosecuting the Afghanistan counterinsurgency (COIN) under the command of Gen. Stanley McChrystal:

    Qods forces in Afghanistan are working through nongovernmental organizations and political opposition groups, the report says. Tehran also is backing insurgent leaders Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Ismail Khan.

    "Arms caches have been recently uncovered [in Afghanistan] with large amounts of Iranian-manufactured weapons, to include 107 millimeter rockets, which we assess IRGC-QF delivered to Afghan militants," the report says, noting that recent manufacture dates on the weapons suggest the support is "ongoing."

    "Tehran's support to the Taliban is inconsistent with their historic enmity, but fits with Iran's strategy of backing many groups to ensure that it will have a positive relationship with the eventual leaders," the report says.

  • Most recently, Iran transferred Scud missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon; that branch of Hezbollah is nominally controlled by Syria, operating under the direction of Iran. The Scuds have a range of 435 miles and are quite accurate, in contrast to the rockets Hezbollah has been shooting at Israeli cities recently, which have a maximum range of 60 miles (and very little accuracy at even half that distance). This brings nearly all of Israel within Hezbollah's range, including Tel Aviv, Israel's second-largest city with a population of nearly 400,000... and the natural target, as the capital and most populous city, Jerusalem, is also holy to Moslems (the 355th holiest city in all of Islam!)

    It was this same Lebanese branch of Hezbollah that directly slaughtered 241 American Marines, sailors, and soldiers (along with 58 French paratroopers) in the Beirut barracks bombing of 1983. Qods Forces also likely had a hand in the terrorist attack on Americans at the Khobar Towers in 1996, killing 19 American servicemen.

Bluntly put, Iran is already at war with America, Israel, and the West, and has been since 1979. In response to Obama's policy of Neville-Chamberlain like capitulation, it has only gotten more aggressive, belligerent, and intractable. And just like the last evil empire we defeated, Iran has boldly moved its military forces into our hemisphere to threaten or even outright attack the United States homeland, secure in the knowledge that even if they did, the only response likely from the Obama administration would be a public tongue-lashing -- followed by a furious fusillade of indictments.

Only two possible endings exist to this buildup of Qods Force in Venezuela and around the world: Either we ultimately go to all-out war against Iran and defeat it, overthrow Ahmadinejad, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and the mullahs, and and "drain the swamp" by democratizing Persia (same caveat about "democracy")... or else Iran goes to all-out war first and defeats us. If we respond by retreating in panic and confusion, then we cede the entire Middle East to what will become an Iranian Caliphate... a crescent stretching from the pyramids of Egypt to the minarets of Istanbul, across the Hindu Kush to Islamabad, encompassing the aptly named Persian Gulf, and with colonies and outposts speckled across Africa, India, and Latin America.

I know which option our current Capitulator in Chief will choose; through Secretary of Defense (and neutered Republican) Robert Gates, Obama has already signalled his intentions: He intends to do nothing:

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates recently played down the growing Iranian influence in the Chavez government. Asked about Iran's ties to Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, Mr. Gates said, "I think it makes for interesting public relations on the part of the Iranians, the Venezuelans."

"I certainly don't see Venezuela at this point as a military challenge or threat," Mr. Gates said during a visit to the region.

Well, neither do the rest of us, Mr. G.! Neither is Syria, to pick another small ally of the enemy.

Iran itself, however, is a different question, one that Gates should not have begged with a snark: Iran has "the largest missile force in the Middle East" (the Moslem Middle East, one presumes the Washington Times means) and borders the Persian Gulf and the Straight of Hormuz, through which much of the world's oil passes -- including most of the Middle-East oil we buy to fill the gap left by our truculent refusal to responsibly develop our own oil, natural gas, and coal fields. Iran has already overtly threatened, if attacked, to sink a tanker or two in the Straight to shut down all the Western economies, possibly for years. (I wonder: If Iran carried out its horrific threat, then could we drill in ANWR and the Gulf of Mexico?)

Oh yes, and I almost forgot; there's also that pesky "nuclear warhead atop a Shahab-3 missile" problem. That might complicate a war with Iran two or three years from now.

Fortunately, I don't think Iran will be ready to launch such a cataclysmic attack before 2013, so we still have a chance to make the only sane decision and launch a pre-emptive war. (By "pre-emptive," I mean like our other putatively pre-emptive war in Iraq, in which we finally responded to the latest casus belli after twenty years of provocation.)

The Herman Option is more difficult now; evidently, somebody on the Guardian Council staff reads Big Lizards, and Iran has been building more gasoline refineries and trying to strengthen its existing facilities against attack. But the option is still available -- at a somewhat greater human cost than if George W. Bush had acted before leaving office, as he promised he would. I suggest that now is the time to take it; that door may no longer be open for the next president.

Instead, Obama's legacy will be to force us to use a much longer, more expensive, and tremendously bloodier invasion of Persia proper, fighting against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, the IRG Qods Force, and Hezbollah in Iran, Syria, and Lebanon. Call that the "no-option Obama mandate."

That is, if we have any money left after four years of Obamunism.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, April 22, 2010, at the time of 3:02 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Dan

Have you ever considered the fact that it is us, the United States, that has a military force occupying large parts of the Middle East, and not the other way around? And you can't figure out why some people in the Middle East don't like America?

Hmm, let's think about this. Let's reverse the scenario. What if Iran (or Iraq) had a military presence in the United States and was stealing all the natural resources in the United States for their own use? Do you think MAYBE that might upset some people in the US of A?

Does it make any sense yet? USA takes their military to the Middle East and surrounds all the oil. Additionally, this causes chaos and complete *hell* for the people living in the region. Some people living in that region therefore do not have a favorable attitude towards the US. Still can't figure it out? I'm really not surprised...

The above hissed in response by: Dan [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 5, 2010 10:45 PM

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