Boxed Himself In?
By Pat Buchanan
- As Americans anguish over how to extricate this
country from Iraq without a disaster greater than what we
now have, and without our friends suffering the fate of our
friends in Cambodia and Vietnam, they had best brace
themselves. This escalator is going up.
and his generals are laying out the case for a new war. And
there has been no resistance offered either by a vacationing
Congress or the major presidential candidates.
On CNN's "Late Edition" Sunday, Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, No. 2
commander in Iraq, said, "It is clear to me that (the
Iranians) have been stepping up their support" for enemy
fighters in Iraq.
"They do it from providing weapons, ammunition, specifically
mortars and explosively formed projectiles. ... They are
conducting training within Iran of Iraqi extremists to come
back here and fight the United States."
Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch said his troops were following 50
members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, who have been
crossing the border and training fighters in Iraq. The State
Department is about to declare the Revolutionary Guard a
Earlier in August, President Bush directly charged Tehran
with aiding Iraqi insurgents who are killing U.S. soldiers:
"I asked Ambassador Crocker to meet with Iranians inside
Iraq ... to send the message that there will be consequences
for ... people transporting, delivering EFPs, highly
sophisticated IEDs, that kill American troops."
The EFPs are roadside bombs that penetrate Bradley Fighting
Vehicles and Abrams tanks. They have taken the lives of
scores of U.S. soldiers.
Whether Bush has made the decision to attack the al Quds
training camps inside Iran, he has painted himself into a
If he does not strike the camps, he will be mocked by the
War Party as a weak commander in chief, too timid to use
U.S. power to protect soldiers he sent into battle or to
punish those killing them.
Thus, Bush must either announce that his diplomacy has
worked, and attacks out of Iran have diminished or been
halted, or he will have to explain why the Top Gun of the
carrier Lincoln was too wimpish to do his duty by the
soldiers he sent to fight.
Who is pushing for attacks on Iran? Israel and its lobby.
Vice President Cheney. Sen. Joe Lieberman, who has been
calling for air strikes on Al Quds camps for months. And a
War Party facing lasting disgrace for having lied the
country into an unnecessary war, and for having assured the
American people it would be a "cakewalk."
The arguments for war on Iran are both strategic and
Israel is terrified Iran will end its nuclear monopoly in
the Middle East and wants an all-out U.S. war on Iran to
prevent it. The War Party fears Iran may acquire a nuclear
weapon, which would inhibit U.S. freedom of action in the
Gulf and convince the Arab states that the United States is
yesterday and they must appease Iran or go nuclear
As for Bush and Cheney, if they go home without hitting
Iran's nuclear sites, and Iran acquires a nuclear weapon,
the Bush Doctrine will have been defied by the Ayatollah as
well as Kim Jong-il, and their legacy will be a no-win war
The War Party is thus seeking an excuse to launch air
strikes on Iran, as that would trigger Iranian
counterstrikes on our forces. Then they will have their
long-sought casus belli for U.S. strikes on Iran's nuclear
First, the al Quds camps, then Natanz, Isfahan and Bushewr.
Initially, Americans might cheer the bombing of Iran, and
Congress would head for the tall grass. But as U.S. strikes
would be an act of war, rallying the Iranians behind the
failing regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and igniting a long
war the end of which we cannot see and the troops for which
we do not have, there are powerful arguments against a new
Iran and the United States would both pay a hellish price,
and Iran at least seems to recognize it. Both the Iraqi and
Afghan governments say Iran is behaving as a good neighbor.
There is evidence Tehran's nuclear program is faltering, or
being curbed. Iran is said to be making concessions to U.N.
Iran has released an American seized in response to our
seizure of five Iranian "diplomats" in Iraq. Iran's
ambassador to the United Nations, in a letter to the
Washington Post, denies Iran is aiding the Iraqi insurgency
and calls on the U.S. government to "proffer evidence" and
"provide the list of Iranian agents who it alleges are
operating in Iraq."
If there is a rush to war here, it is not on the part of
As Bush is preparing for war on Iran, if he has not already
decided on war, where is Congress, which alone has the
constitutional power to authorize a war?
Or has it given Bush and Cheney another blank check?
To find out more about Patrick Buchanan, and read
features by other Creators Syndicate writers and
cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at
COPYRIGHT 2007 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.
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