Thursday, October 27, 2005

Astute Blogger Roundup

The Astute Blogger says Israel "put Iran on notice," when they declared that Iran is a "clear and present danger." According to the Astute Blogger that phrase is diplo-speak for "Ok then, we're going to kick your ass."

It's obvious that the Iranian President's saying that Israel will be "wiped off the map" was a direct existential threat. And, I think we can conclude that Israel will "deal" with the Iranian threat, because Israel has never been Clintonian. They always deal with threats. Think of their destruction of Iraq's nuclear reactors in 1981.

Bye bye Iranian reactors.

But the Astute Blogger doesn't stop there. He goes on to say that he is convinced that Assad will be dealt with too, and soon:

Assad is our first target - he could fall in a month or so - unless he succeeds in fomenting a regional conflict. Once Assad is gone, then Iran's nuclear program could be neutralized - perhaps as early as next summer. In which case it will be a very hot summer. the enemy knows this. So, between now and then the enemy will try to pin us down in Iraq - make it hard for us to deploy/redploy assets to Syria and/or Iran. And they will step up attacks against Israel.

Rather than slug it out with them in a war of attrition, I suggest we kill the enemy at their roots: by moving any and all assets we need to in order to take down Assad and neutralize Iran's nuke assets (and its military assets, too). When these poisonous roots are dead, then the leaves will drop and the limbs wither - all over the Middle East.

BTW: Israel is buying 500 "bunker-buster" bombs from the US that could be used to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities.

This sounds reasonable. The Astute Blogger seems to be convinced the Assad regime will fall from pressure created by sanctions leveled by the UN. However, in the first place, I have my doubts sanctions would work, if deployed. And, in the second place, we know Russia has said that they do not support sanctions. So, I guess it's a moot point anyway.

Additionally, The Astute Blogger believes that incursions across the Syrian border, by the U.S. military, for the purpose of pursuing fleeing terrorists, will put pressure on the Assad regime, which may cause it to fall.

I would like to think that it would be this easy. We did all the same things to Hussein, and he stayed in power until we forceably removed him. I don't have much hope for anything different happening in Iran or Syria.

Today, the Astute Blogger is saying that Israel's incursion into Jenin is a sign that their inevitable conflict with Hizbollah and Syria is just around the corner:

... as the rate of anti-Israeli attacks increase, attacks in Jordan will begin. WHY? Because, as Iran and Syria and al Qaeda get their backs pushed up against the wall, they are responding with ever more desperate measures; now they need to start a regional war in order to fend off the encroachment of democracy and liberty (in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon). Things will get worse before they get better. But we will win; the forces of liberty always have. Stay tuned...

I asked the Astute Blogger how bad he thought things would get. His response was more predictions on the course the war will take from here on out:

the center of gravity is ... iraq.

if we kill zarqawi we can greatly diminish the attacks that front - and preclude jordan becoming a front.

failing that, i expect rate of attacks in jordan and israel to increase dramatically. the enemy hopes this will divert attention and assets. and that it will hurt abbas and sterengthen hamas and hizballah. this is happening NOW. israel is trying to preempt this. if israel succeeds, then another front is neutralized. if not, then another front erupts. the idf needs to assassinate many jihadoterrorists now.

also, the UNSC needs to pass a resolution focusing blame on the regime and punishing the regime. we need get russia to abstain. if this and a zarqawi kill happen before 11/7, then we can roll the enemy back and put iran on the ropes.

the outside date for a rollback is the next election in iraq. we need to be in a better positon then than we are in now.

Iran will try to interfere with the next iraqi election by stepping up attacks, and the iraqis need to stop them. they might - by appealing to nationalism.

i expect things to get worse between now and when an anti-assad UNSC resolution is passed.

but we will survie and defeat them at every turn.

I post all this, because I think the Astute Blogger analysis of events is, well, astute. And, he is many times correct in his predictions. I also like the ever-pragmatic, yet ever-positive tone of his analysis.

However, I think these predictions are based on a lot of ifs, and speculation.

I don't think Russia, or China will support any substantial anti-Assad resolution. And, I don't think the Iranians will allow themselves to be drawn into this war. Instead, I think they will continue to use their terrorist proxies.

Hizbollah will not attack Israel within the borders of Israel. They may reintroduce rockets fired across the border, but the Mullahs, and the terrorist organization have played it smart so far, and I think we can continue to expect them to play it smart. They know that if they attack us directly, we will have excuse to hit them with the full force of our military. They know they can't win that battle. This is a war on Islamic terrorism. It is not a war where nation states fight each other in the open.

I agree with the Astute Blogger that things are going to get worse before they get better, however. Because I expect all hell to break loose when either the United States or Israel destroys the Iranian nuclear facilities.

UPDATE: Wretchard, in discussing the Oil-for-food scandal, explains why "sanctions" and "pressure" don't work against a rogue Islamist regime:

The fundamental argument against international military action is the supposition that effective alternatives exist to containing rogue states and tyrants. But what if it does not? The Volcker Report essentially describes the history of the decade-long diplomatic battle to proscribe the movements of Saddam Hussein following the Gulf War. It is an account of the unmitigated defeat of the "international community" at the hands of Saddam; not only a defeat but a rout and a surrender. And although the surrender had already taken place, the world was told categorically by the capitulators themselves that they were fighting and winning the good fight against the forces of lawlessness.

The problem with September 11 was not that it happened, but that it happened where it could not be ignored; this fact was the virtual third aircraft that crashed into Manhattan that day, striking somewhere in the vicinity of Turtle Bay.

Yes, and that fact means that nothing less than military force can be trusted to take out the Syrian and Iranian regimes.